It’s too early to tell, but there’s a possibility we might just get an official print run of the Dead Waite: Apocalyptic Survivor. This is a deck that we initially attempted to crowdfund back in 2019, and while we managed to fulfill all the backer rewards, we never quite reached full funding. While it was only four years ago, we’ve learned a lot since then and we’ll most likely fund this one ourselves without another crowdfunding campaign.
Its a risk of course, but one we feel confident will eventually make its initial investment back. The truth is, out of all of our non studio decks of cards* the Apocalyptic Survivor is one of our most popular, most requested and most praised for its originality. And not to boast, but I can understand why. I’ll grant you that the original Dead Waite was a clever take on the Waite, but adding the “messed up” vibe to it, the blood, the burns etc, really allowed it to take on a life all of its own. It’s a deck close to my heart mainly because I had a lot of freedeom over it. Maybe that’s not quite it. I have a lot of freedom over the others as well. I think perhaps because I had thought up the idea of the Dead Waite, how the cards should look, even designed and thought up the logo, all of that kind of thing. Christine is responsible for the Winter Waite, Trippin’ Waite, Groovy Waite, the Black light decks etc. (I’ve edited and illustrated for these projects, but concepts are about 99% Christine)
Revisiting the deck again and getting the files prepped for the printer, I really got a laugh out of some of the images. You must understand that we’ve been immersed in a combination of psychedelic imagery (Trippin Waite, Groovy Waite and their spin offs), and wintery themes (Winter Waite and its yearly updates) that to see zombies spattered in blood and guts, well, there is a morbid humor to some of it.
It’s hard to pick a favorite from the full range of images in the deck but I particularly like the 9 of Cups for the concept. It’s been a few years since i’ve looked at any of the zombie stuff i’d drawn but that one is funny to me. It’s a wish card and what more could a living dead guy wish for?
The 8 of Cups is another firm favorite of mine. You can tell that whatever he’s walking away from, it wasn’t pretty. I also like that it’s a particularly darker image literally. The Tower and Wheel of Fortune have that same hue.
Another one I particularly like, though mainly for the blood streak overlay, is the 7 of Wands. It features one of the few non infected humans in the deck and by golly is he going to keep it that way!
Of course, we are much more known now for the Trippin’ Waite Tarot, The Winter Waite and the Black Light Tarot, and for some it may even come as a shock that we’ve had a few horror decks under our belt, but that’s the thing with creativity; it manifests in all manner of ways. Over the years I think we’ve leaned more towards the psychedelic because we enjoy the trippiness of it and our customers / supporters do too, but with our wide range of decks, I like to think there’s something for everyone.
In an ideal situation I would like to create a sort of dystopian Mad Max / Fallout style deck of cards with a survivalist feel to it. By that I don’t mean using those existing characters but rather that style. Then again it might get a bit close for comfort; we’ve only just come out of a pandemic, there’s talk of WW3, cost of living crisis, it’s entirely possible that a dire miserable deck is not going to appeal to very many people at all.
If we do actually get the Apocalyptic Survivor off the ground in the next few months, and it’s a big if, then we’ll eventally have it in the store next year. It may even be our second release of the new year, following close on the heels of the Winter Waite Redux which has recently recieved full funding.
Well, as always thank you for taking the time to read this update, and may you have a great Hanukkah ,a great Christmas, or a great other holiday, and happy New Year.
* by “non studio” I mean one we sometimes sell as a Print on Demand deck from either Printer Studio or Make Playing Cards. These are decks we’ve created but didn’t have the capital to invest in a full print run of say 500 -1000 decks of cards, and so are printed on a per order basis. Sometimes it is not even the lack of funding but having doubts that if we do invest, we will see any significant return on investment. It’s an unfortunate reality in business, be it the music industry, or the film industry that some projects never receive as much publicity or funding as others.