The wild west is one of the USA’s greatest creations. Based on historical fact, but the legend, landscape and characters have grown into a defacto fantasy kingdom. One that is big enough to hold many kinds of stories, from simple white hat/black hat children’s adventures, to gritty period drama to out and out horror. That’s where Card Trumps enter the picture with their latest pair of card games – Weird West – a easy to play Trumps style game featuring real life personalities mixed with hideous monsters, each realised with lurid artwork from Tim Brown and droll descriptions from Rik Hoskin.
Horror and the sinister works well in the West because it is already a harsh environment, where death can be sudden, a character can be isolated away from help, and it’s believable that there are unknown regions, or even bizarre creatures like Bigfoot. A theme of horror is the modern world coming up against ancient terrors and evils that its characters are trying to put behind them. The colonisation of the west is often that classic drama of an old life fighting back against a modern European civilisation with new kinds of danger. Putting monsters from the old country like vampires and zombies into the land of Stetsons and Colt 45 Peacemakers has novelty appeal too. Most of my references are movie based and amongst notable entries in this sub-genre are the anthology Grim Prarie Tales, Dead Birds, and Ravenous. There was also DC’s western occult hero Jonah Hex, television cult series Wild Wild West (forget the movie) and many of the works of horror author Joe R Lansdale.
Long time readers of this blog will already be familiar with the work of Hoskin and Brown from their previous packs of Horror Cards, inspired by Top Trumps infamous Horror packs released in the Seventies. They’ve been extremely well received and this latest range has already achieved its Kickstarter minimum but there’s still time to pledge money and get hold of your own sets and some attractive stretch goals. I was sent some preview samples and can confidently it is well up to the standard of their previous titles.
You can learn more over at their Kickstarter page: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/terrortrumps/weird-west-terror-trumps-two-new-top-quality-horror-packs