February 2016



No, this isn't this months full moon either, although it comes closer than last month. February was a busy month. Miriam had a relapse, but didn't have to be hospitalized, just prednison and an antibiotic and of course a good deal of taking care of at home. So it wasn't until the last ten days that Joop could follow the offer at the different Ebay sites again and most of the decks that we won there are still in transit. So there was a short shortlist again this month.

Although there was an almost antique, beautiful designed Piatnik deck, there was one other deck that was immediately "liked" here. DXPO isn't on Facebook and has no plans in that direction either, but this deck got a thumbs-up here at arrival. But the decision to show the deck here was taken at the last moment. We had been waiting for a rare vintage German deck, hoping it would arrive in time to be shown here, but alas..... still in transit. So there was little time to get the deck presented here and even less time to do some research. Still, we hope that you'll enjoy this twisted form of the single image English pattern just as much as we do.

The deck was designed by Patrick Valenza and published by Deviant Moon Inc as "Royal Mischief" on December 1st, 2015. Patrick is a young American artist, who was born and raised in Long Island, NY, and already in his childhood began training himself as an artist to share his experiences and stories with others through pictures rather than words. He got his M.A. from S.U.N.Y Stony Brook and is currently living on Long Island with his wife and two children.
Already in his childhood he was fascinated by old tombstones and he still visits 18th century New England graveyards in search for inspirational winged death head ornaments. His first deck was a Tarot deck, that he had designed for himself, but when he submitted the designs to US Games Systems they were to his own surprise immediately accepted. The Deviant Moon Tarot was a big success when it was first published in 2008. In the meantime a second edition, borderless, was published and although we don't collect Tarot decks, we have a few artist designed ones (a.o. Dali, Maddonni) and decided to add this borderless deck, just because of the intriguing artwork. 

The artwork on the Royal Mischief deck is different in technique. The designs are done in clear line drawing, with an eye for detail, so worth more than just a glance.

The Spades suit is clearly dedicated to death.

Skulls as heads, black robes and vampire wings....

...a severed snake and wilting flowers, death is everywhere.

Only the devil can laugh it in the face.

A bloodthirsty bunch, the Hearts family.

Although he seems to get a little help, the suicide King (of Hearts) is one of the characteristic cards from the English pattern, just like the one-eyed Jack (of Clubs). But other details have been inspired by that pattern too, like the arms of the King and Jack of Diamonds and the embellished Ace of Spades.

Using an old, single imaged version of the pattern to work from and not using indices or numbers on any of the cards, it's obvious that the deck is supposed to bring an old, classic feeling. To enhance that idea the suggestion of having been used is made. The pip cards were pre-smudged in the printing process. It's done very well, as it seems that no card has the same kind of "soiling". To illustrate that, see the 4's here below.

BUT, and there's always a but somewhere, the cards must have been "used" for an unusual game, in which only the pip cards are used.
The suggestion of the deck having been used is annulled by the lack of soiling on the courts. Nice clean sides there.

There's a moon in each of the designs. With eyes gone mad and

rather strange preferences, one would say..... a bunch of lunatics.

Bloody tears they weep, a family of blind, vulnerable nobles.

The deck has 52 cards and 2 jokers.

The box.....



We had ordered 2 decks and when they arrived there were 4 single cards added to the sealed decks.
They were drawn as transformation cards and they immediately raised the question if a complete deck would exist.
That question was answered with a 'maybe' and 'in the future', so we'll just have to be patient and see what that future will bring.
Another order brought another 4 cards, but 3 of them were duplicates of those that we already had. But these 5 cards look very promising!

It seems that with each ordered deck 2 of these cards are send along as a gift, as long as stock allows.
So don't wait too long.
The deck can be purchased from Patrick at Deviant Moon Inc. It's only THIS CLICK away.
Or you can see what he has to offer on EBAY.