Although St. John Bosco School had banned Garbage Pail Kids cards in the mid-’80s, that didn’t stop preteen Matthew Chojnacki from bringing the grotesque parody of Cabbage Patch Kids to his Catholic school. “I thought it did a really good job of validating some of those weird quirks you might have as a kid,” says Chojnacki, the Lakewood-based executive producer for 30 Years of Garbage. The documentary about the cards’ history and recent resurgence, which is available to order online, depicts the original artists’ underground style, along with interviews from the collectors and artists they inspired. Here are three Garbage Pail Kids Chojnacki was happy to reunite with while working on the film.
Brainy Janie The popularity of a card portraying a giant-brained girl with a test tube in one hand and a computer by her side encouraged kids to use their brains. “These cards — anything with a nerdy, brainy tilt to them — I really thought, Oh, I’m kinda cool I guess,” says Chojnacki. “That was one of the first times that I felt that.”
Rock E. Horror The character in a corset and fishnets was Chojnacki’s first intro to the out-of-reach adult world. “I remember then seeing [The Rocky Horror Picture Show] later,” he says. “This is as good as it gets when you’re 10.”
Chojnacki wasn’t a fan of the cards featuring vomit or snot, but a kid talking on the phone, spewing PB&J felt familiar. “Every day I ate peanut better and jelly for lunch,” says Chojnacki. “I really thought that was a clever gross-out card.”
More Info: 30yearsofgarbage.com