Written by Jonathan Wojcik
Content provided by Astronit!
Germs are just about my favorite thing anyone ever draws into weird, cartoonish monsters, especially when Worlds of Wonder did so for one of my favorite toy lines, so I was probably more excited than any rational human being when my friend Astronit shared with me the wonderful Basuritas del Cuerpo, a Spanish sticker series we can sort of get away with translating as "Germs of the Body," though Basuritas is apparently also what they called the Garbage Pail Kids, and sort of approximates something like "garbage guys."
There are 153 stickers in the complete set, featuring over sixty different microbial monsters and a number of scenes telling the simple story of a filthy, repugnant, disease-ridden family. Cute. The artwork has a beautifully scribbly, grungy watercolor sort of look to it, and the design style is remarkably similar to the WoW Germs already mentioned, in some cases perhaps a bit too similar to be coincidence. Just contrast and compare:
Did the two series share a concept artist? Or just their influence? It's tough to say. You can check out the entire sticker album below, and then we'll start looking at the germs one by one!
Unfortunately, the twenty four holographic stickers don't lend themselves too well to scanning or photography; feel free to squint at them to your heart's content, but I'll have to be skipping them over while we review the remaining germs. That still leaves us with quite a bit of ground to cover, so let's start!
Since English is my first and only language to date, I can only deduce anything about these things from the art and google translate, which might not always be perfect. Their names are mostly fictional, and like the WoW germs, a lot of them seem to symbolize bodily functions that aren't necessarily "diseases." This one, for instance, is apparently a "bootlicking" germ. Huh. I guess this is the microorganism responsible for being a suck-up.
This guy with the glasses, giant head and neat, hairy back tentacles looks like some sort of brainiac, but apparently pertains to swallowing, or something. There's probably a figure of speech here I'm not getting.
The first few cards demonstrate different combinations between germs, so bootlicker and nerd-swallower become some sort of dangly-tongued microscopic pipefish with rad specs. Cute, but I miss the back tentacles. This one's text says it's a good student, so, I guess this is the germ that makes you into a teacher's pet.
Next we get this fat, gluttonous ball whose most interesting feature is what he's eating. A bone and a human hand?? How? I thought these were microscopic! Did a researcher meet some hideous fate after testing his shrink-ray? We may never know. If you haven't guessed, this is a germ associated with fat buildup and gluttony.
This stripey, oddly reptilian germ doesn't seem to have much going for it besides a grotesquely swollen belly, but google translate says, and I quote, "tummy grows potatoes."
Yep, these two germs fused and they're still chewing on that same mangled body, or at least storing it in some kind of new digestive pouch.
Koffing! Koffiiiing! I'm going a little out of order here, really just to show you the stinkers on the first page. It's pretty obvious what this germ does from its design and name. I've always enjoyed creatures that look like craterous meteors or naval mines.
It's apparent later in the set that this grumpy amoeba represents stinky sweat, a rhyme I didn't intend to make but am going to leave be. I guess scientifically, this would be just some sort of skin bacteria. When you squint, he looks like a decorated pine tree. I wish they really were just amoebae with hairy pits. That's my kind of festive.
This one, of course, causes foot odor, and is part of a three-way morph with the last two. Ooh. That can't be pleasant!
Really combining the best features of all three stench-germs, this is definitely my favorite fusion, the ultimate rancid, gaseous, sweaty, funky stinker, merilly hopping through your bodily orifices as it leaves a sticky trail of its malodorous excretions. We're going to stop here, and split the rest of these filthy fiends across several pages: