1974 and 1979 Wacky Packages
Wacky Packages sticker trading cards measure 2.5 x 3.5 inches.
As far as I can deduce, the stickers are from two separate Wacky Packages series. The ViceJoy and Mrs Klean cards are from (Series #1) from 1979 and are printed on card stock with a series checklist printed on the reverse side. (see pics) The remaining cards are printed on thick paper with a tan backside and are from the (9th Series) from 1974.
My brother and I began collecting "Wacky Packs" around 1973 or 74 while still attending elementary school. We were avid collectors for a couple of years and at one time we both accumulated the entire collection of series (1 - 8). On at least one occasion I purchased an entire display box of Wacky Packs in order to acquire a single card. We often traded the duplicate cards with other collectors and even established a Wacky Pack Club though it was short lived.
Wacky Packages are trading cards and stickers featuring parodies of North American consumer products. The cards were produced by the Topps Company beginning in 1967, usually in a sticker format. The first series was created by Art Spiegelman and primarily illustrated by Norman Saunders. Production of the original series ended in 1979 but the concept proved popular enough that it has been revived every few years since.
Some of the illustrators associated with Wacky Packages include: Kim Deitch, George Evans, Drew Friedman, Bill Griffith, Jay Lynch, Norman Saunders, Art Spiegelman, Bhob Stewart and Tom Sutton.
Art Spiegelman, born 1948 in Stockholm, Sweden is a New-York based American cartoonist and editor, best known for his graphic novel Maus. Spiegelman's work first gained prominence in the underground comix scene in the 1960s. His graphic novel, Maus, took thirteen years to complete and chronicles his father's experiences as a Holocaust survivor. It won a Pulitzer and has come to be viewed as a pivotal work in comics, responsible for bringing scholarly attention to the medium.
Norman Saunders illustrated many of the early Wacky Pack cards, including: Rice 'A' Phone, Bustedfinger, Neveready and Fright Guard among other cards. He began illustrating the trading cards in 1967 and continued to create artwork for Wacky Packs through the 16th series in 1976. Saunders was born in Minnesota in 1907 in a one room log cabin. He discovered an early talent for illustration and amused his classmates with drawings in the margins of his textbooks. Students clamored to claim one of Norm's books for use during the next semester which reportedly led to a school lottery for distribution of his "illustrated" textbooks.
After graduating from high school, Saunders won a full scholarship to the Chicago Art Institute and eventually went on to illustrate popular book covers, comic covers, trading cards and for magazines and advertising campaigns. Wacky Package Illustrations were reportedly Norm's last and most popular art ventures.
Original concept art by Art Spiegelman.
Below is a link to a website dedicated to Wacky Packages.
Another interesting site dedicated to Wacky Packages.
Condition: Good overall condition. The cards show some discoloration and wear but are in generally good condition. One of the "Moscow Chocolate Syrup" cards shows a bump along the right side. I believe this was a manufacturing flaw.
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