May 25, 2017

ILLUSTRATION

Oni Playing Cards


“Oni” Playing Cards is inspired by the twisted demons, ogres, and tricksters of Japanese mythology. It draws from the tales of legendary warrior Minamoto no Yorimitsu and his four guardian kings found in the Otogizoshi and Noh theater.

FEATURES

  • Printed by the USPCC on Bicycle® stock with a linen finish.
  • Fully custom court cards, pips, back, and tuck case.
  • Includes a thank-you card for select backers (see rewards).
  • Info card with names of all court cards and their historical origin.
French suits pips have been given a Japanese flavor. The spade has been replaced by the monk’s spade, a tool used to bury the dead found on roadways. Hearts are now two cherry blossoms in the shape of a heart. Diamonds now sport the look of a decorative yen piece. Kanabo, or iron clubs, round out the set.


Gag Order Playing Cards


“Gag Order” Playing Cards is a cyberpunk anti-espionage deck set in the year 2261, and is inspired by the 2011-2014 NSA self-spying scandals. It shows what a dystopian future of mass-surveillance would look like, and the measures that people might take to protect their privacy.

FEATURES

  • Fully custom court cards, pips, back, and tuck case.
  • Info card with an explanation of the modified suits, and a backer thank-you.
  • Robo-Ray Bradbury and Mecha-George Orwell as the Jokers.
  • Dual-actuator hard drive as the card back.
The face and number cards in Gag Order feature motifs based on countering the different types of information surveillance:
  • Spades: GEOINT (geo-spatial intelligence), symbolized by a radar screen. The courts all have means to jam GEOINT gathering, specifically tessellated, heat-dispersing cloaks.
  • Hearts: SIGINT (signal intelligence), symbolized by an e-mail envelope medallion. The courts utilize data-mining tablets and portable hacking terminals to avoid detection.
  • Diamonds: ACOUSTINT (acoustic measurement and signals intelligence), symbolized by a speaker system. The courts carry jamming devices, specifically to reduce acoustic footprint.
  • Clubs: HUMINT (human intelligence), symbolized by a camera lens in the background of the cards. Court cards hold means of visual obfuscation, such as smoke grenades.


Wiretap Playing Cards


HISTORY OF WIRETAP PLAYING CARDS’ CHARACTERS

Spades

George W. Bush (2000-2008) — Signed the USA PATRIOT Act into law in October 2001. The Act removed many obstacles to investigating domestic individuals in the name of terrorism, but has had the adverse effect of giving far too much power to government agencies.
Karen Kwiatkowski [NSA] (2004) — Primarily known for her insider essays which denounce a corrupting political influence on the course of military intelligence leading up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Edward Snowden [NSA] — Leaked classified information about the NSA in June 2013. Included in his leaks are documents pertaining to numerous global surveillance programs set up by the NSA and the Five Eyes in conjunction with various telecommunication companies and European governments.

Hearts

Barack Obama (2008-2016) — Voted for the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which grants immunity from civil liability to telecommunication companies complicit with NSA warrantless wiretapping operations. He also expanded drone use dramatically in his time as president.
Laura Poitras [NSA] — (May 2013) Gained documents from Edward Snowden and published them in the Washington Post and The Guardian. Also created a documentary called “The Program” based on William Binney’s interviews about the Stellar Wind espionage program.
Julian Assange [Wikileaks, multiple departments] (2006-2009) — Published huge amounts of material exposing government and corporate wrongdoing between 2006 and 2009. Famous documents supplied by Chelsea Manning include: the “Collateral Murder” video (2010), the Afghanistan war logs (2010), the Iraq war logs (2010), a quarter of a million diplomatic cables (2010), and the Guantanamo files (2011).

Diamonds

Richard Nixon (June 1972) — In June 1972, five men were caught breaking into the Democratic party headquarters at the Watergate complex in Washington DC. An informant, known only as “Deep Throat,” linked the men to the Nixon administration. Two years later, after court hearings and the threat of impeachment, Nixon resigned.
Katharine Gun [GCHQ] (2003) Became known for leaking top-secret information to the press concerning illegal activities by the USA in their push for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Some of these activities include the US National Security Agency’s eavesdropping operation on countries tasked with passing a second United Nations resolution on the invasion of Iraq.
Russ Tice [DIA,NSA] — Came forward with claims that the DIA and NSA were unlawfully wiretapping American citizens. Received national attention as the first NSA whistleblower in May 2005.

Clubs

Joseph McCarthy (1947-1957) — Senator who rose to national fame in 1950 after he asserted in a speech that he had a list of “members of the Communist Part and members of a spy ring” who were employed in the State Department. His name is now synonymous with reckless accusations and public attacks on the character or patriotism of political opponents.
Diane Roark [NSA] (2005) — House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence staffer who alerted the DOD’s Inspector General to the waste, fraud, and abuse of the NSA’s Trailblazer Project. After the IG reported his findings (which were 90% redacted to the public), Roark’s house was raided by armed FBI agents.
William Binney [NSA] – (October 2001, Ongoing) Highly-placed intelligence official in the NSA who retired after more than thirty years with the agency. He has testified in an affidavit that the NSA is in deliberate violation of the US Constitution.


Sultana Playing Cards


“Sultana” Playing Cards is inspired by an early, ostentatious deck of Moorish cards of Mamluk design found in a museum in Istanbul. Playing cards came into the Western world via the Strait of Gibraltar in Spain, where Western Europe meets North Africa.

FEATURES

  • Printed by the USPCC on Bicycle® stock with a linen finish.
  • Fully custom court cards, pips, back, and tuck case.
  • Includes a card explaining how to play “Kout,” a bidding game.
  • Info card with an explanation of the modified suits, and a backer thank-you.
The face cards in Sultana feature both an architectural frame and floral motif:
  • Spades: Cumin Flower motif, and the sultan holds a sword.
  • Hearts: Lotus motif, and the sultana holds a cup.
  • Diamonds: Egyptian Blue Water Lily motif, and the sultan holds coins.
  • Clubs: Poppy motif, and the sultan holds a polo stick.


Personal Projects — MTG Alters


These illustrations are fan art for Wizards of the Coasts’ famous “Magic: The Gathering” game, and are alternate art for the tokens that might appear.


H.G. Wells — Alternate Book Covers



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