Magic and card collecting are two sides of the same prism through which we can find fascinating stories. Many collectors I know have come to cards through their love for magic. I myself got there because of my clumsiness with card tricks that, despite the frustration, gave me awesome moments, some of which I have been able to share with magicians from all over the world.
The best thing about this job is that I discover every day new and interesting human beings who bring a little more passion to this world of playing card design (that, by the way, sometimes gets lazy and a bit boring). An example of passion, good vibes and high doses of humor is Bizau Christian (Biz), a Bucharest-based magician, restless traveler, artistic creator of games and magic effects and tireless worker that has collaborated with important companies such as Penguin Magic, Theory 11, BBM or Fontaine. After much dedication, he has just launched one of the most original decks this year: THE MAGICIANS.
Inspired by old magicians posters, Biz has been working for two years on the designs of these cards with Hendi Herdianto, a Malaysian designer who has illustrated the deck and helped with the game creation. Thus, they wanted to pay homage to classical magic, to the golden decades of this great show that were the essential germ and an inexhaustible source of knowledge and research for modern magic. The designs have gone through many phases, with up to three different design styles and eight back versions.
At first glance, the large amount of vintage-style artwork displayed on the cards is striking. But this deck needs a much closer inspection in order to squeeze out its secrets.
The court cards, the aces and the tens, make a journey through the history of magic and its protagonists. Inspired by posters from the Golden Age of Magic, each face features a famous magical effect illustrated with scenes and portraits of well-known illusionists. Hidden in these cards you can find small puzzle-like challenges that link the illustrations to famous magical-themed movies.
The numbered cards are little magic lessons in which traditional (yet completely custom) faces share space with images of magicians performing well-known classic tricks along with small close-up scenes of the effect sequence.
The back is an elaborate symmetrical composition with a stage full of classic details and elements, and two of the most universal effects in the history of magic, levitation and the woman cut in half.
The jokers show two scenes that also serve for another interesting use of the deck…
… and it is that the cards have not only been created to play, perform and learn magic effects or discover small puzzles. In addition to all this, creators have designed a complete set of instructions to turn the cards into a tool that allows magicians to share their tricks and even compete with each other with a series of rules and restrictions. In this way, communication between magicians is encouraged as the backbone of the survival and evolution of this beautiful art. The idea is to even be able to hold tournaments at magicians’ conventions and gatherings using this deck as a gaming instrument. You can download the booklet directly from the campaign.
The tuck case is inspired by illustrations from the Victorian Era and shows a magician playing cards with the devil on a stage, surrounded by magical objects flying around him. In addition, thanks to a stretch goal already reached, the inside of the box will be decorated with a composition that displays the names of all those who have backed the campaign.
The printing, made with sustainable papers and vegetable inks, will be done by TWPCC (Taiwan Playing Card Co.) using their new “Luxury” paper. Some improvements such as a numbered seal, uncut sheets or a magnetic tuck case will be unlocked as stretch goals.
The campaign is already funded, so you can get this beautiful and interesting creation by visiting the project website and raising your pledge.