Disclaimer: If you become uneasy at the thought of 52 cigar smoking, beard growing, fire fighting, guns blazing, balls to the wall bad asses then this project might be too hardcore for you.
For those that can handle the 'tude, BADASS: Spades and Grendades playing card project was launched in the middle of July (7/16 to be exact) by Manny Vega and Ben Thompson, the guys behind BadAssOfTheWeek.com and BadAssConCarne.com. The project pays homage and respect to one of history's most beloved (and sometimes hated) characters - the Badass! Manny and Ben wanted to be so true to the name of this deck that they dropped every suit except the Spades and created new suits to replace the traditional - diamonds become ninja stars, hearts become grenades and the clubs become skulls with each suit representing a different region:
- The Spades feature European badasses like Vlad the Impaler, Napoleon and Julius Ceaser.
- The grenades represent the Americas, which features George Washington, George S Patton and Blackbeard.
- Understandably, the ninja stars take on Asia by featuring Genghis Khan, Cao Cao and Babur.
- Last but not least, the skulls represent Africa and Middle East badasses like Saladin, Hannibal and Darius the Great.
If that isn't enough, the project doesn't just focus on "badass" court cards and suits. As alluded to in the disclaimer of this post, the deck features 52 badasses throughout history. That means that each of the 13 cards in each suit features a badass from the suit's represented region.
The deck was designed by many talented artists including one of the project's founders, Manny Vega. Artists Henry Yamada took on the grenade suit design and Ricardo Boronat designed the Spades. The ninja stars and skulls artists will be coming on board soon! Manny completed the rest of the deck including the back design, tuck case, logo and other design elements. Manny has also done game design work for Midway and EA. If you are wondering what Ben's role in the project is? Ben is the writer and conceptualizes many of the ideas the artists bring to life. He has actually provided his talent for many publications including Fangoria and Penthouse. Ben breathes truth into the statement "behind every badass is a great idea."
TuckCase.com spoke with Manny regarding the project, which ceases funding on August 15. Manny shared with us two concept sketches and early designs.
The first concept is that of George Washington, which was designed by Henry Yamada. You will notice in this early piece that there is a boom-box. Manny mentioned that the "Badass" team opted to leave out the boom box/stereo, with reason being "we figured some people might just want the deck for kick ass reference images." Keep it simple, but badass. We like it!
The project has already reached the funding goal of $10,000. In fact, the project is close to doubling that with a current pledge amount just over $19,000. The project will be in funding for another 9 days and is expected to ship in December of this year to over 500 backers. The deck will be printed by USPCC.
Be sure to check out the project on Kickstarter to see the rest of the 52 Badasses!