My name is Wylie Beckert, and I'm the lone paintbrush behind Wicked Kingdom. For the past year and a half, I've lived a double life - commercial illustrator by day, independent card artist by night. In the spare hours between working on other people's ideas, I've been bringing my own creation to life: a playing card deck set in a dark fantasy world and populated by a cast of strange and complex characters.
Wicked Kingdom is my first large-scale personal project - it's a step away from my usual commercial art, and a chance to create a body of work more in line with my own vision.
Printed by the USPCC on casino-quality Bee card stock, Wicked Kingdom is an art-rich 54-card poker deck, featuring dual-identity face cards with a narrative twist and obsessively detailed, hand-painted artwork throughout.
Hand-drawn pips, elegantly watermarked number cards, and unique not-quite-two-way backs add to the intensely illustrated flavor of the deck.
Wicked Kingdom is more than just another deck of pretty pictures (although it has those too, in spades). Each face card has a personality, a backstory... and a hidden agenda. With every card, the plot thickens...
The artwork and backstories for each card are featured in the art book, alongside process write-ups, work-in-progress snapshots, and notes from the creation of the traditionally painted images.
Want to help make this deck a reality? Click "back this project" on the right, and select a reward tier.
If you want to purchase extras or mix and match items from more than one tier, just select a single reward tier for your base pledge, then click "Manage My Pledge" and increase the dollar amount of your pledge to cover the additional items (you can find a menu of add-on items and prices below.) After the campaign ends, you'll be sent an email survey to collect information on your add-on choices.
Everything in the Wicked Kingdom deck is hand-drawn and hand-painted - the original drawings and paintings (along with limited-edition giclee prints of the card art) are available for purchase.
Limited edition print sets are listed below. You can find larger images of the available images (and purchase single prints) in the Wicked Kingdom shop.
Original drawings are listed below. You can find larger images of the available drawings in the Wicked Kingdom shop.
Original paintings are listed below. You can find larger images of the available paintings in the Wicked Kingdom shop.
$40,000 (UNLOCKED!) - BEE STOCK UPGRADE FOR ALL DECKS
Bee stock is USPCC's premium, casino-quality card stock; it's thicker, more durable, and just generally nicer than the standard card stock. Bee stock is included in each and every deck at no additional cost now that we've hit $40,000.
$50,000 (UNLOCKED!) - HIDDEN STRETCH GOAL: ART BOOK REWARD TIER
Now that we've reached the 50k mark, the hand painted artwork has finally earned itself a showcase outside the confines of the card deck!
The art book will be a 72 page softcover (6.625 x 10.25") volume featuring all of the art and writing from the Wicked Kingdom project, along with process write-ups, work-in-progress snapshots, and notes on the creation of the traditionally-painted artwork for the deck.
$60,000 (UNLOCKED!) - CUSTOM SEALS FOR ALL DECKS
A seal, for the uninitiated, is that little sticker that holds a brand new card deck closed. Normally it's a plain black sticker with a spade and USPCC brand name printed on it. If we can hit $60,000, the Wicked Kingdom Deck will get a custom-printed seal... hopefully something so breathtakingly beautiful that you'll feel a serious sense of loss when you have to cut it open to get to your cards. Like the Bee stock, the seal will be included in every deck at no additional cost.
Risks and challenges
The Wicked Kingdom deck has been in the works for the past year and a half; I've waited until this late date to launch the Kickstarter because I wanted to have all the artwork completed (and the layout & design kinks ironed out) before seeking funding.
Now, the only hurdle that remains is printing the deck and getting it into your hands. While there's always the possibility of unexpected setbacks, I've put a great deal of planning into this project to ensure everything goes smoothly. I'll be trusting the printing to the experts at the United States Playing Card Company, and I'm lucky enough to be operating with the guidance of friends and colleagues who've successfully funded & fulfilled their own creative projects.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (37 days)