If you were a kid in the mid-'70s, it's likely you collected Wacky Packs, as we all referred to them. (Officially they were/are Wacky Packages.) They came packaged like baseball cards — complete with the not-so-fresh, sugar-coated stick of bubble gum — and for a short time were more popular.
The famed Series One through Series Seven (from 1973-74) have been put together in book form to celebrate the phenomenon's 35th anniversary. Wacky Packages (Abrams, 239 pages, $19.95) will perhaps take you back to a time when you started looking at life askance — and never looked back.
As you can see here, the Topps company tapped into our most depraved sensibilities with their product parodies. And the accompanying artwork by guys like Norm Saunders, Bill Griffith, Kim Deitch, Art Spiegelman and Chicago artist Jay Lynch became embedded in our brains.
Spiegelman and Lynch provide the introduction and afterword, respectively. "The dopey gags came easily. This was a dream job," writes Spiegelman. "Yessirree — I am proud to have been a worker in the debased basement of the great temple of commerce that is America's popular culture."
Lynch sums it up: "Thirty-five years later, they're still funny. What more could we hope for?"