Nostalgia, you beautiful and dangerous mistress! Going back to something from your childhood re-imagined is a risky proposal, so it was with mitigated optimism that I picked up the Garbage Pail Kids Go Hollywood, only to discover a strong introduction to Alt-Comix for pre-teens and teens. That all might sound great but you are going to have to look past the poor first story of the collection. Why or how this is the introduction to the book is still a mystery to me, but my best advice is to enjoy the artwork and then quickly turn the page to the second story. Every other story understands that grossness is a convention to tell a story, not the story itself. Our first tale introduces Methane Max and everything else is a pun on farts and poop. Not so with the rest of the book where grossness is used as a convention instead of a plot.
The artwork really sat with me. There’s a distinct classical Garbage Pail Kid feel to each story but not without it’s own uniqueness. The diversity of art styles is a real strength, from tight distinct lines with deep colors to soft lines and bright light; there’s enough here to want to start sketching in the margins. The aesthetics are buttressed with the silly actions you’d expect from MAD Magazine (see Obama picking his nose and eating it, for example) making for a consistent book cover to cover despite the multiple contributors.
Then there’s Maxx creator and artist Sam Kieth. He ends the book with a PSA for grossness, a plea for the healthy fascination of kids with bodily functions! This manages to add some surprising weight to the book; what was a silly orifice fueled romp now has an Everyone Poops type of lesson. Also, SAM KIETH!
Outside of the odd choice for the first story in the collection there is some serious booger, bomb and gross-out goodness and this remains a fun book with a diverse collection of artists and an unexpected message.
Garbage Pail Kids - Hollywood Writer: Bobby Fingerman; Jeff Zapata; Pat Barrett; Sam Kieth Artist: John Cebollero; Jeff Zapata; Pat Barrett; Sam Kieth Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 8/12/15 Format: One-Shot; Print/Digital