This is more a case of wanting to “honor” what may be my favoritest candy ever, Ferrera’s Atomic Fireball. Delicious as the candy is, the packaging is pretty bare bones and doesn’t leave a lot of room for visual parody.
I wasn’t sure which way to go with this product parody; I did have another idea in mind, but for this little project I wasn’t sure it was the best foot to put forward.
Putting together this one required a lot of method drawing. And by “required” I mean “involved” and by “method drawing” I mean “eating LOTS of Atomic Fireballs.”
The Violent Rumble entry from the other day seems to have loosened up my cartoonist’s block…at least as far as this little Wacky Packages sub-project goes. Hopefully I’ll be able to come up with ideas for actual strips before too long.
With this drawing I’ve gone back to a full-marker approach (lettering aside). I think I prefer the results this way. At least, I feel more like the end product is mine and not something anyone with a photo-editing program could have done (not that this is a big claim, mind you).
It’s pretty evident that I need new markers. I’ve been meaning to go to a real art supply store (looking at you, Blick in Philadelphia) to check out where marker technology is these days. It has to have advanced from the Marvy Marker sets I got back in the early 80s (which I loved but which are all but bone dry at this point).
Not afraid to admit that I’m particularly happy with this one. Infectious diseases are cool, so I appreciate being able to weave that interest into the parody. Also, I am pleased that I was able to find another product that meets the criteria I’m loosely holding to in this little exercise: (1) a product Topps never hit with a Wacky Package (well, in the original run—I’m not up on any of the post-70s series); (2) a product I like.
Here’s the last of the drawings I did in my Wacky Packages drawing session from February, finally colored in.
I once again used the flood fill feature of my photo-management software, which I am losing my fondness for. The program offers a lot of color options, allows for more even coloring, and saves me marker ink. On the other hand, the flood fill never seems to know what to do with the black lines, and it can yield a too-cartoony look to the finished product (which I know is a weird thing to say about cartoons).
Also, I tend to leave gaps in the borders of shapes and “balloon letters” (that’s what Maia used to call block letters), so when I flood fill an area—for example, to make the letters yellow in this drawing—I invariably end up having a whole area overfilled with yellow until I can go in and use the clone feature to close the gaps in the outline. This is something I consciously corrected for as I inked in the lines of this drawing, which was distracting and took some of the fun out of the exercise.
As far as the product and the parody go…I love Violet Crumbles, but they are hard to find (Amazon aside, but I’ve been trying to get the Amazon monkey off my back). They’re from Australia, and they are divine. The parody practically writes itself.
OK, so 3 down, 27 to go for my own Wacky Packages series. I’ve been given a couple of ideas (thanks, Beth and Robby), so hopefully I can get a few more of these out there. I don’t have any ideas for proper comic strips, so I can keep my hand in the cartooning/blogging game that way.
Another parody from last month’s Wacky Packages-inspired afternoon of drawing. This time I colored it in the old-fashioned way, with magic markers. And I mean really old fashioned, because some of these markers date back from when I was Maia’s age.
I like the color of markers better (though brown sure isn’t easy to work with). I don’t like how the delicate line work exposes the fact that I need stronger glasses (so I have them). I used my drawing program’s text feature to add the text at the bottom. Partially this was because I wanted to see how it would work, and partially it was because I knew it would be almost impossible to color around white text (look at the text at the top to see what I mean). I don’t feel like this is cheating; I read an interview with one of the Topps artists who worked on the original Wacky Packages (Jay Lynch), and he said that they used rub-on lettering all the time.
From this entry, we see clearly that I’m combining an 8-year-old boy’s sense of humor with a 50-year-old man’s perversion. Best of both worlds!
So I think I’m going to work toward drawing a full 30-product series of these parodies this year. I have three done (well, one’s only in the pencil sketch stage), and…I don’t know that I have any more ideas. (Beth, this is right in your wheelhouse. If you wander back this way and read this, feel free to offer suggestions.).
Like so many others my age, I had the Wacky Packages monkey on my back something fierce back in the 70s.
When Topps resurrected Wacky Packages a few years ago, I was compelled to buy a few packs. But I was disappointed with the gags and the art. I’m not quite sure why—it’s certainly not an issue of my sense of humor becoming any more refined. I think it’s just that none of the parodies seemed very clever. I remember my mom loving the old Wackies, so much so that she would often refer to products by their Wackified names (Log Cave In syrup is one I remember her using a lot). None of these new ones seemed like they’d have been Marty-worthy.
Anyway, I recently dug out my old collection, and it got me to thinking about all the ideas early-70s Jon had for new Wackies. I think you can see where this is heading.
OK, so this may not be especially clever. Fair enough. I came up with this particular idea a few years ago, while cat sitting for friends. I actually did a mock-up of this design and slapped it on the Pop Tarts box in their cabinet. My idea had been to replace several other products in their house (the only other one I remember was Adam Ant’s in Your Pants for the game Ants in the Pants), but it was too much work.
This is one of three Wacky-esque sketches I dashed off a couple of days ago. I used a computer art program to color it, which was not easy. I don’t think Topps ever came up with a Wacky for Pop Tarts. Seems like it would have been pretty low-hanging fruit.