Tag Archives: Wax Eye

Saving the world from genre fatigue one Stupid Hero at a time!

There are a lot of really cool small independent companies making some really awesome toys, stickers and clothes these days that cater to the pop culture nostalgia addict like myself.  At times I find it hard to keep up with all of the kickstarters, announcements and product releases, but there are a handful of folks who I make a point to follow closely and always eagerly await what they’re coming out with next.  One such company is Wax Eye, headed up by Joe Simko and June Gonzales, which has been creating and releasing some seriously awesome trading cards, stickers and mobile games based on their Cereal Killers brand.  When I heard that their next project was going to branch out from their horror cereal concept into the world of super hero trading cards I was ecstatic.

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For one, I really dig Joe’s paintings and really wanted to see him (and the other great artists he recruited to assist on this new project) tackle a genre that is ripe for satire and parody.  But I was also excited because the new Stupid Heroes cards reminded me of one of my favorite 80s sticker card sets, Zero Heroes by Donruss.  I’m not sure how many folks remember those as they were pretty obscure and only had one set back in 1983…

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I loved those goofy, silly super hero parody stickers so I was really hoping that Wax Eye was going to do something similar.  Boy did they ever, and this new set of Stupid Heroes trading cards really knocked my socks off!

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The set consists of 55 character cards painted by Simko, Brent Engstrom, Neil Camera and Jeff Zapata, with bios and gags written by the four artists and June Gonzales, as well as a series of chase sketch and x-ray sketch cards.  Much like the Garbage Pails Kids (a brand all four artists have also worked on in recent years) each character has an A & B card which feature different card backs (each character gets a bio card back as well as puzzle backs) so there are 110 cards in the base set.

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I really dug the way the artists took the time to design logos for each character, and I like the addition of rough sketches, concept drawings, or alternate art on the bio backs as well.  Being based on the super hero genre there are a lot of great character parodies from DC and Marvel comics (X-Men, Superman, and Wonder Woman are some of my favorites), but the set isn’t limited to just that as there are a lot of original concepts and characters mixed in as well.  And the art is pretty damn superb across the board…

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With each pack I opened I felt like it was 1983 and I was six years old all over again.

You can order single packs or hobby boxes from the Wax Eye site.  I was able to put together a full base set with a single hobby box, but if you’re looking for something neat to put up on your wall they also have really cool uncut sheets of the complete set available as well!  If you dig Garbage Pail Kids, Wacky Packages, or Mad Magazine, I think you’ll really enjoy Wax Eye’s Stupid Heroes.  I’m crossing my fingers that we’ll see a second series that works in more comic book parodies and even more original characters!

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Also, speaking of Joe Simko, June Gonzales, and Jeff Zapata, all three are also producers on Sean Tiedeman’s new documentary centering on the phenomenon of the Garbage Pail Kids called 30 Years of Garbage!

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Though the project stalled out in its initial kickstarter campaign, the crew has been working hard behind the scenes and after launching a very successful Indiegogo campaign have finally received enough backing to make this film a reality!  You still have a few days to back it and get a copy of the film!

Brent Engstrom and Joe Simko on the set of 30 Years of Garbage

Brent Engstrom and Joe Simko

Cereal Boom is melting my brain!

So, if you’ve been following the Garbage Pail Kids countdown this month, or have read Branded for any length of time you’re sure to realize that I love collectable sticker card sets, especially gross, goofy, pop culture or horror themed.  I was super excited about Joe Simko’s Cereal Killers trading and sticker card sets, and was really happy to see Joe and Wax Eye taking this brand into the digital realm with their first mobile app game Cereal Boom!

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In the game you can pick one of three different Cereal Killer monster characters (Zomb’a Crunch is free, but to unlock Apple Drac, and the goblin from Eye Pops it costs $1.99 with an in-app purchase.)

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The object is to feed these characters as many brains, apples, or chattering teeth by flicking them into the characters cereal-chomping gullet as quickly as possible. But there are also some gross poisoned edibles that get in the way like worms, eyeballs and bat-winged cereal O’s that you want to either crush with you fingers or flick away. Each character has a series of levels where your target number of edibles increases.

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I found the game super addictive and it was a lot of fun seeing the various Cereal Killer characters brought to life. Every time you clear a level there’s a hilarious cut scene as you watch the monster explode into a milky fountain!  Though the game involves a lot of repetition, there are enough cut scene variations and levels difficulty that I found myself still engrossed in the game after a few hours playing it.

What really pushes this app over the top for me though is the ability to unlock digital versions of a bunch of the Cereal Killers trading cards!

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There are 18 cards you can unlock, and I hope there will be future updates that will enable you to unlock even more.  I really like the idea of digital trading card collecting, and I think there’s an untapped market for bringing this to the mobile platform.  Can you imagine texting friends trading cards?  Or trading rare cards with other players via the apple gamecenter leader boards?  I think this could be a really exciting way to broaden the audience of collectors for sure.

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Also, the animation for unwrapping the cards was pretty awesome.  But that may just be the love I have for opening fresh packs of trading cards (an admitted addiction I suffer from.)

All in all, I loved the Wax Eye Cereal Killers cards and stickers, and I’m pretty stoked by the game.  It’s a lot of fun and anything that advances the art of card collecting get’s a plus in my book.  You can find the game in the iTunes app store under Cereal Boom, and it’s available for iPhone, iPad, and the iPod touch.  Perfect game for the Halloween season to boot!