Two of the biggest gross out kids franchises of the 80s collide for the first time in Madballs vs Garbage Pail Kids. This comic book sees the grim and gory Cabbage Patch Kids parodies taking on the slimy spheres in a couple of different stories, as well as some clever one page interludes.

First up, a normal human family buy a beautiful, huge house for a knockdown price – not realising the reason it’s so cheap is because it’s situated between our two sets of gross 80s characters. As much as I absolutely adored both the Garbage Pail Kids and the Madballs growing up – quite frankly, the more gross the toy or trading card series, the more I got a kick out of it – I can’t say I’d want either set of characters living next door, let alone being sandwiched between them. Anarchy, naturally, ensues.

A fun, one page activity panel in which you hunt for objects in a dumpster is next – followed by the second story, in which the titular characters compete against each other in a variety of silly sports events. Lastly, there’s a page of groan worthy jokes and a cover gallery (this being published by Dynamite, there’s a seriously overwhelming number of variant covers).

It’s fun, fast paced, anarchic and filled with daft puns. As it’s aimed squarely at kids, the first story acts as a sort of reintroduction of the characters – with pretty much all of them lining up to introduce themselves by name and demonstrate their quirks. The anthology feel was a wise move, as it stops there being a need to drape a serious plot over the characters; neither of which have particularly consistent back stories – and each of which faltered when there was an attempt to give them proper lore. For example, the awful Madballs cartoon gave them a terrible plot with a focus on them being a band (if I recall correctly!)…and the less said about The Garbage Pail Kids Movie, truly one of the worst films in existence, the better.

From the gross and anarchic art to the relentless puns, this was a refreshingly light and daft read. Though kids are unlikely to know the characters involved, it’s not like much is needed to introduce them to the gross out antics they all bring to the table. After all, us 80s kids didn’t need lore to enjoy the brilliantly dark and twisted art of the Garbage Pail Kids trading cards or the squishy, slime ridden Madballs toys.

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    • I’m genuinely shocked that this is your first attempt at sequential art – would never have guessed that. It’s excellent work!

      Looking forward to reading the rest of the series ☺️


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