Saturday, May 25, 2019

Death, Mystical, Pirate Jokers

My death, devilish, pirate, and mystical section now has 65 different jokers. Here's two new ones that arrived today.

Here is the back of the seated skeleton joker above.  It's convenient that it includes the date (copyright 2008) and URL: (Sadly it's not a working site right now but I intend to check it out on the waybackmachine)

I'll list some others here but mostly, I will not repeat the other devilish and mystical joker joker post from early 2018. Go there for more detailed write-ups of my best scary jokers!

Here are the seven pages of deathly mystical jokers. 

For more info on the first image in the top left below, it is Jewish Dybbuk image  made by Arthur Szyk. He was a great American artist of the 1930s-50s, A dybbuk in Jewish or Kabalistic mythology is a malicious possessing spirit believed to be the dislocated soul of a dead person. I have an article about Arthur Szyk and his card designs on this site and more about him on the original mystical joker article.

This next two sets cover the pirate section of the collection. I can imagine a day in the not too distant future when I divide this section into subsections of pirates, skulls, mystical.

The joker in the top left of the page below is  derivative of a famous enigmatic painting by Jan Matejko in 1862.  There's an interesting section about this in the article on death and deadly jokers.

As I mentioned, for more thrills and fun, check out the early 2018 article   devilish and mystical joker jokers.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Let's Play a Game

Want to play a game? I created a unique game using jokers from my collection. And my taxonomy.

Here's how it works. Here is a PDF of 64 jokers that I created. 

Basically, I created sets of four jokers. Sixteen sets of four. So 64. The game is to figure out the sets of four so that it comes out even.

The sets were shuffled together before I created the PDF. To play, you might want to print out the PDF. The prize is bragging rights.

The question is to define the criterion that defines each of the sixteen sets. 

 I can see why they are a set.  There are probably other criterion that could be used to organize them but it's unlikely that there is any other way to create 16 sets of four.

Try to define the 16 different characteristics that I have used to organize these jokers. 

Enjoy!  You can put your answer in the comments below.

First hint: It has nothing to do with color. So you can print them out in black and white to play.
Second hint: It has everything to do with the image of what is on the joker (not size or printing style or art style)

Monday, May 6, 2019

Jokers with Three Imps

The Palmer Cox Brownies are one of my favorite joker themes. If you don't know about the Brownies, take a few minutes and learn about them. They were very popular little characters whose name lives on this third millennium as the Brownies (young girl scouts) and as the name of the fondly remembered easy to use Brownie Camera.

This first one is thrilling, I have the deck including two jokers. On each joker, I count about 17 different Brownies (some are partially buried in something). 

The deck is by the American Playing Card Co of Kalamazoo MI .

These three imps were on one of the oldest and most treasured jokers in my collection.   This joker of the three imps probably dates from 1927. It's an old US Playing Card Joker. It features the Palmer Cox Brownies. They are in the jokers about playing card section.

Three Imps on a Joker
Three Imps on a Joker

I think the one below is a more modern version again featuring  the three "Palmer Cox Brownies" who were popular cartoon characters from the late 1900s. Palmer Cox was a Canadian illustrator and author, best known for The Brownies, a series of books and comic strips about the mischievous but kindhearted fairy-like sprites. The best known of the books with the comic books in them  was The Brownies, Their Book (1887). 

Due to the popularity of Cox's Brownies, one of the first popular handheld cameras was named after them, the Eastman Kodak Brownie camera.
Palmer Cox Brownies Playing Cards
Palmer Cox Brownies Playing Cards

Here's the back of an old Bicycle joker which has the Brownies on it. Unfortunately, it was glued into a album and I haven't yet got all the glued paper off it. It feels like some sort of social commentary in that one imp is dressed like a stereotypical rich industrialist: the other like a worker. They seem to be playing cards. Is this a reference to the bourgeois further defrauding the worker? Or it it a kumbaya "It's a Small World After All"-type reference?  I dunno.

I need to update this article for a few reasons one of which is that I recently acquired a deck from the 1890s.

Four of my versions of this joker

This modern joker features the Pep Boys: Manny, Moe, and Jack. They echo or are an homage to the old Brownies.

I don't know much about this joker but it looks modern and cheap, perhaps from China. There do seem to be the Palmer Cox Brownies, or perhaps a modern reinterpretation of them.

Like these fun little imps? Perhaps you'd like some fun with some lovely pin up girl jokers and other erotic jokers

Or, if you are curious about the other US Playing Card Brands, perhaps the Bicycle Jokers would interest you. There are also the Congress Jokers and jokers featuring Betty Boop!

Lastly, many people wonder Why there are jokers in decks of cards?