Thursday, October 15, 2009


In an earlier post, I presented some of the old Topps "Creature
Feature" humorous monster cards from 1973. They are remembered fondly by many baby-boomers. But you may not remember a series of cards that Topps produced several years later. The monster cards had been lucrative, so they decided to apply the same concept to photos of the Cramps, who were riding high at the time, with six singles in the Billboard Top 10, and a popular TV variety show. As Lux Interior infamously quipped at a press conference, "We're more popular than Fonzie." It seemed like a sure bet.

However, shortly after the cards went into production, the industry was hit with the Great Bubblegum Card Writers' Strike, probably the bloodiest chapter in American Bubblegum Card history, immortalized in song by such artists as Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie and Jim Nabors. Bottom line-- there would be no one to write captions for the new cards.

Faced with the prospect of scrapping the whole thing, and losing the billions of dollars they had sunk into the project, Topps went back to the old Creature Feature cards and recycled the captions, to which they held legal copyrights. The whole thing was a rush job, and the results were strange, as the captions-- which seem to have been assigned almost at random-- were often wildly inappropriate for the photos they accompanied. Be that as it may, the cards are an important part of Cramps history, and so I will now share a few of them with you.


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