Bad Breath Seth, Jack Splat, Bony Tony — the Garbage Pail Kids were beloved by kids and loathed by parents in the 1980s. And soon, they’ll be back to gross us out once again, thanks to “Goosebumps” creator R.L. Stine.
Entertainment Weekly has the scoop on a new series of books about the creepy kiddos, written by Stine. The first installment, titled “Welcome to Smellville,” is due out on October 6. In it, a ragtag band of kids — Adam Bomb, Junkfood John, Brainy Janie and others — live together in a ramshackle house. They have fun, go to school and fight against their nemeses, The Perfects, and other naysayers.
Here’s the book’s cover, drawn by original Garbage Pail Kids artist Joe Simko:
Very excited to announce my cover artwork for R.L STINE's all new series of GARBAGE PAIL KIDS books coming out this fall! Written by the Goosebumps King! @EW article here: https://t.co/RgTvbtL9Wu @RL_Stine #garbagepailkids #goosebumps #welcometosmellville pic.twitter.com/5P3k0VKlxg
— Joe Simko (@JoeSimko) February 21, 2020
Yup. Looks just like the Kids I remember from back in the day, when my parents forbade me from owning any Garbage Pail Kids merchandise. (I got a sticker once and put it on my bike. They didn’t notice!)
If you’re not familiar with this ’80s phenomenon, you may notice that they’re a satirical and comical play on another iconic pop culture item from the era: Cabbage Patch Kids. The sticker trading card line from The Topps Company debuted in 1985 and expanded to include other merch. There was even a movie and a TV show at one point, but the one-season series was shelved by CBS before it aired in the U.S. in part because of parent complaints.
“The Garbage Pail Kids are ghastly, loud, messy, out of control … in other words, MY kind of kids!” Stine said in a statement to Entertainment Weekly. “I’m hoping to create a book series that captures all the loopy slapstick fun of these uniquely awful characters, to get all middle-grade kids reading — and laughing.”
Stine also took to Twitter with the big news. He showed off a Simko drawing of himself as a Garbage Pail Kid. Yes, that’s Stine’s brain exploding with a bunch of creepy, yucky stuff:
— R.L. Stine (@RL_Stine) February 21, 2020
Right now Stine is signed on for three installments of the Garbage Pail Kids series, targeted to readers age 8 to 12. If these go over as well as some of Stine’s other series, he may well be writing a lot more than three GPK books: His spooky “Goosebumps” series boasts more than 200 titles, and “Fear Street,” his other big-hit series and my personal fave, clocks in at more than 150 books.
Don’t tell mom and dad!