It's been a long time coming. When I started this satirical series of Nintendo Nudes three years ago I had no idea what kind of monster I had created- nor how massive an undertaking it would become. Sure I had the goal of 52 paintings from the get-go, but little did I know how much effort, iteration, and energy it would take to complete. In the end I look at the wall of shadow boxes holding my tiny embarrassed creations and I have to say it's extremely satisfying.
So here we are! After a couple years of hearing requests for a playing card set of these characters (in addition to the Trading Cards already available) I have decided to go all-out in a sort of celebration of the completion of this project. And boy did I go a little overboard with the final product!
First of all lets get into the card faces a little bit. When I first set out to convert my paintings into playing cards my initial idea was to just slap the poor naked guys and gals onto a card (similar to the Trading Cards), give it a suit, a number and call it a day. But something about it didn't feel special enough. If a person wanted a simple portrait of the figures they could easily purchase the Trading Cards at a fraction of the cost. I needed something different. Something special.
Something that eventually turned into a monster all its own.
I grabbed a character at random from the pile- which turned out to be Mega Man- and started playing with executions. This is ultimately what I came up with:
In the time-honored tradition of Poker Playing Cards I decided to make the design a 180 degree mirror, with each character weaving in and out of its flipped doppelgänger. But unlike most Face Cards I had to make use of the entire body (not just the waist up) or else I would lose the idea and message behind the series. All dongs and lady bits had to be accountable in the final face card for each character. And so that's what I did. In addition I designed new artwork and props, as well as cut existing pieces apart and mesh them back together to create an entirely new composition for each character. To add to this mountain of work I wasn't just creating twelve Face Cards- this whole deck would be Face Cards for every character in the series. It was a massive undertaking I wasn't planning on- but the result is something that I'm extremely proud of.
I then went ahead and created four brand new suits. Hearts, Clubs, Spades and Diamonds wouldn't cut it for this playing card deck. The suits had to be iconic, as symbolic of Nintendo's storied history as the characters I was portraying. I eventually settle on Icons from four of the most beloved series in the Nintendo Universe: Mushrooms for Mario, Rupees for Zelda, Metroids for Metroid, and Barrels for Donkey Kong:
But where to put each character? And what number should each one receive? I sat at my work table with the full set of trading cards, laying them out in various orders and combinations. Some were easier to place than others. Of course Mario and Peach would be King and Queen of Mushrooms, Link and Zelda King and Queen of Rupees, Donkey Kong King of Barrels, and Samus Queen of Metroids- but what of all the other characters- many of whom do not come from any suit? After a bit of experimenting I came up with a system: Mario Universe characters would go into Mushrooms (with a couple exceptions since there were more than 13 Mario Universe characters in the series), medieval/fantasy characters would go into Rupees, anthropomorphic/creature characters would go into Barrels, and Space/Science Fiction/other would wind up in Metroids. This wasn't a full-proof system (I had to make some tough choices of where to place characters that would fit in more than one suit) but in the end I'm satisfied with the placement of each character.
The last step has been by far the hardest: getting these into production. I had grandiose plans for this deck: limited edition, the very best materials, special box, gold foil. All of this made for a complicated, pricey object that not just any printer would be willing or able to accommodate. Luckily in the time since Dragon Con (where I first debuted the prototype deck and began taking pre-orders) I have found an excellent printer willing to accommodate my laundry list of incredibly picky desires.
I am hoping to get them into production this coming week and get the decks out to those who pre-ordered them by the end of the month!
FOR THOSE WHO ARE INTERESTED IN PURCHASING THIS LIMITED EDITION DECK OF CARDS:
• There will be around 300-400 decks of cards (depending on the minimum I'm allowed to create), each signed and numbered by me. Once they are all sold that is it. I want these to be as much a collectors item as a fully playable set of poker cards (they will be both).
• Each deck comes in its own high-quality, shiny gold box.
• Each card will have a Gold Foil back.
• The current price for pre-orders is $50.00. I'll be putting up a shop item for this soon.
If you are interested in ore-ordering email me at AedanCRoberts@gmail.com and we can work out a paypal. Otherwise stay tuned to my website- once they are made I will be creating a Shop Page where you can order them directly from the site!