Call Of Cthulu to Deck your Gaming Night


Cthulu is all the rage at conventions these days. Whether he’s cute and cuddly or dark and sinister, we just can’t get enough! That’s why I was thrilled to hear that one of my favorite artists, Shane Tyree, was tackling a Playing Card Deck and Tarot project inspired by the LoveCraft critter we adore! I chatted with him about his new project and the Cthulu Craze.

NR: Cthulu seems to be everywhere at cons. What do you think is the draw for fans?

Shane Tyree: If I were to try and put finger on it there are 3 really key points that pull people in. First, Call of Cthulhu itself is kind of like if Indiana Jones had a baby with Godzilla. You have ruins, ancient cults, murder, treasure and a giant flipping monster. So just on the vibrancy it’s got a lot going. Second, Lovecraft really does touch on some horrifying stuff, that if it’s true doesn’t just scare you superficially, it lingers with you. Finally, it is in the public domain now, and so since anyone can reference him, he has become his own parody essentially.

NR: Are you a Lovecraft fan?

ST: Yes definitely. Lovecraft isn’t quite as high on my otaku list as say Tolkien but I definitely love his work. It was and is really unsettling. If you get past the funny word choices he used (using mock Victorian grammar) he touches on some really dark and fundamentally unsettling points. Like what a human’s place in the universe really is, the truth of the beings that exist above us, and our limited understanding of those things.


NR: What made you want to delve into the this project?

ST: Call of Cthulhu was the first deck of cards I designed. It was Albino Dragon games first meaningful success after 2 other lackluster projects, and it was something I really felt proud of at the time. That said, I knew nothing at all about playing card design. I wanted to come back and take what I’d learned and use it to make a better deck, and this time to expand dramatically on interacting with the community.

NR: What can fans look forward to seeing in this project?

ST: Well, fans of Lovecraft will get to see very cool, very dark interpretations of some of the characters from Lovecraft’s fiction, as well as some other cool odds and ends. They will be able to contribute by submitting short stories for our anthology, or by following along with our Alternate Reality Game. Not to mention heckle me in the occasional Google hangout.

NR: Are you a fan of the sweeter depictions of Cthulu? The cute and cuddly types?

ST: Sure! I have a knitted Cthulhu a fan sent me on my shelf, as well as a cool Cthulhu bobble-head. I am definitely in the camp though that you have to understand the dark and horrific Cthulhu, to find all those Cthulhu Chibis adorable.

NR: Are you going cute and cuddly or traditional?

ST: For the core offerings in this project, definitely more traditional. That’s not to say that Cute cthulhu won’t rise to make an appearance here or there.

GAME4NR: What other projects can we look forward to from you?

ST: I am working on some illustrations for some pretty big games at the moment, trying to get things wrapped up to make room for my project to finish. In addition I have another project in the works along the same lines as this one. Cool core offerings, community contributions, and interactive events lined up to begin early next year. This time featuring contemporary, horror, and sci-fi re-imaginings of Fairy Tales called Tale: Warp, Weft and Way. It’s going to be a lot of fun because I plan on working in a lighter more accessible style for that project.


This project is stunning, and I can’t wait to get the deck for my next game night! Be sure to check out the project and spread the word. And cuddle the Cthulu Doll. He may be sinister, but he’s so cute!


Facebook Comments