1. What Topps projects have
you recently been working on?
I recently worked on Wacky Packages Series 3 and Garbage Pail
Kids Series 5... and I just started Wacky Packages Series
2. How many pieces of art (per project) were completed for the release(s)?
For WP3 I did 36 paintings and another 3 designs. 26 are in the base
set, 3 are part of the foil subset, 4 are bonus stickers, and the rest
were held back probably for WP4. For GPK5, I did 6 designs, 2 of which
I painted. Luis Diaz painted two of the others, with John Pound and
John Cebollero doing the other two. I've seen three of the four pieces
and they are outstanding. I'm more of a fill-in artist for GPK
at this point due to heavily working on Wacky Packages, and at
the same time, as well as the fact that Topps has some really great
artists in Pound, Bunk and Diaz working on it. By the time I'm done
with Wacky's, there areonly a few GPK left. A few of the more
entrenched fans were a bit tough on some of my first pieces, but I think
they will be happy with the new ones. There's a big learning curve on
GPK because the fans want everything to look like John Pound.
It takes some time to adjust your style to mimic someone else. Hopefully
they look 'Pound-ish' (new word!), but still have some of my own look
3. Do you have a favorite
Garbage Pail Kids or Wacky Packages for the All-New Series
releases that you've done?
For Garbage Pail Kids, one of the new pieces I did is my favorite
so I can't tell you what it is right now! I'll just say it involves
gambling. I am happy with DOUG Sledding (bonus card #6) from GPK4 as
well, but just a bit disappointed by how dark it was printed. It lost
a lot of its charm.
For Wacky Packages, I
really like Creeps from WP2. This is a spoof of those tasty marshmallow
Peeps candy that come out every Easter. For WP3, my favorite
is Sundburn Bread.
4. What type of artwork history
do you have? School, comics, etc.?
I went to Mason Gross School of Art at Rutgers where I studied painting
and printmaking. Since then, I worked with Jim Shooter at Defiant
Comics doing pencil work on their trading cards before that company
bombed out! I did a few comics over the years along with loads of temporary
tattoo work for WCW (the wrestling company that was bought by
WWE), other tattoos, along with toy and package design, wrapping
paper, children's puzzles, etc. Found out something over those years...
pay for artists SUCKS and you're always the last to get paid (if at
all). So I said "Screw it" until the Wacky Packages
gig presented itself. My wife and I have an internet collectible toy
biz and own a bunch of real estate now which gives me some time and
money flexibility to do projects like this.
ANS4 : B6 DOUG
5. How did work find you
I had known Jay Lynch through the Wacky Packages message boards.
When I heard that Topps was bringing back Wacky's, I quickly
did three sample paintings and with Jay putting in a word for me, I
sent them over to Topps by computer. Just an hour or so after sending
them, I got an email from editor Jeff Zapata telling me they wanted
to use one for a bonus sticker for ANS1 WP. So that's how I got Asteroids
into that series. I lucked out because they had just pulled a piece
from teh series and were desperate for a new piece. Right spot at the
6. Were you a fan of WP or
GPK in the 70's and 80's, and how do you feel about working on the new
phase of the WP and GPK craze now?
I was a HUGE Wacky collector as a kid. I was pretty young when
they came out, but I hoarded them for a few years. About ten years ago,
I found a nice 7 inch tall stack of them, at my parents house, and finished
off any of the ones I was missing, so I have a full set of the oldies
now. I did not collect GPK because I was in high school but my
sister was a big collector of them so I knew them well. In fact, she
gave me a monstrous box full of them when she found out I was working
It's a real thrill to be painting these. I started drawing because of
Wacky Packs. I would copy all the stickers when I got them and
make some of my own so this is a full cirlce thing. Never would I have
thought they would bring Wacky Packs back. I really enjoy the
GPK too. They are even more of a challenge than the Wacky's
because the fans are so demanding.
ANS4 : B9 DANCIN' DOMINIC
7. As seen laid out in my
ANS3 'GPK History' section, I was blown away at your GPK roughs you
completed for the series that were switched-up a bit for the final release...
and extremely surprised that your unpublished Pushing up DAISY/Dawn
of the DAWN piece was never released. What are your technique's, painting
I liked that piece! I think the problems with it were that it was done
too much like the Cabbage Patch Dolls which is a no-no, and that
dead characters rising from the grave have been done to, well, death.
Almost everything I have done
for Topps I have written, so I'm usually working from my own roughs
which gives me the flexibility to alter things as I go along. I like
to keep most of what the rough looks like if I get it from another artist,
unless Topps specifically asks for changes. I made quite a few changes
to Totem TIM (editor's note: ANS4 25a and 25b High Man DAN), because
the rough Jay sent was similar to an older GPK totem pole gag in terms
of layout (editor's note: OS3 107a Totem PAULA and 107b TATEM Pole).
That's probably the only one.
As far as how I work, well,
I'm hunched over my desk with little brushes painting with gouche on
a canvas of paper no bigger then 5" x 7". Tough on the back
and eyes. I trace my rough out, block in the colors, and then start
detailing. That's about it. I was used to painting on 5 FOOT canvases,
not on 5 INCHES!
Unpublished : 0a PUSHING
UP DAISYS - 0b DAWN OF THE DEAD
25a TOTEM TIM - 25b HIGH MAN DAN
8. Where else can we find
'Gross' art? And what other personal projects have you recently been,
or will be, working on? Website, etc.?
I wish I had time for my own art right now, but I am already working
on WP4! Thanks for reminding me though, I have to get a website going
one of these days...
Thanks for asking for an interview,
I hope people like the new Wacky series and the few pieces I
did for GPK this go around. Take care - Dave.