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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Deck the Halls » » Review: The Green Man Playing Cards (Jocu Playing Cards) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Reviewer EndersGame
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The team at Jocu Playing Cards includes Italian artist Alessandra Gagliano and Anthony Holt, and together they have produced a number of successful playing card projects. Besides their Hops & Barley decks for lovers of ales and beers, they seem to have a special fondness for themes that involve or are inspired by mythical elements, as is evident from their narrative-rich Fillide deck and the vibrant ONDA deck.

Their Green Man decks are available in two versions, Autumn and Spring, and are both celebrations of the magic and mythology of the plant world. The two decks are quite similar, but employ slightly different colour schemes: The Autumn deck uses copper foil and a brown palette, while the Spring deck uses bronze foil and a green palette.


The luxurious looking tuck box immediately impresses, with an ornate and intricate design. It is beautifully finished with embossing and rich layers of copper foil which shine against the backdrop of a matt beige. Intricate foil work is found inside the box, with full interior printing. The figure in the center of the front of the box is the Green Man himself, an iconic legendary being that is an important and old symbol of rebirth, closely connected with the cycle of nature. Many interpretations of this legend exist, but what is clear is that he's closely connected to a plant world that is full of folklore and mythology.

The Green Man himself is typically depicted as a representation of a face, composed of and/or surrounded by leaves, and this is how the motif also appears in various forms throughout this deck's artwork, including the back design. The richly decorated card backs at first give the impression of a densely detailed design, full of leaves and branches. But upon closer viewing we see none other than the Green Man peering from among the foliage as part of a symmetrical back design.


Each of the Aces represents a season, and the unique season linked to each of the four Aces is an element that recurs throughout the entire suit corresponding to that Ace.

The court cards are all fully customized as you'd expect. The characters all draw on themes closely connected with the mythology of the Green Man. This mythology was new territory for me, so I enjoyed learning something about the significance of each court card as described by the project.


Here's how the ad copy describes each of the four court cards:

● Kings = Lords of the forest: rulers of the woods from various cultures and archetypes of The Green Man himself.
● Queens = Ladies of the forest: ethereal spirits or characters from mythology connected to specific trees or plants.
● Jacks = Those consumed by the forest: those who fell foul of the rules set upon them by the wood spirits, or heroes who never returned from their quests.
● Aces = The Green Man: four interpretations of a kindly 'Father Nature' inspired by his depictions in architecture.


The number cards continue the seasonal theme of the Aces. Each of these has one or more stylized pips containing a unique plant or flower that corresponds to that suit's season. A Green Man Companion Booklet was created in combination with the project, and this booklet explains the magical properties associated each of these plants, and tells the story behind each and every card.

The pips have an old-school look which adds to the sense of legend and history. The delicate font used for the indices helps emphasize this even further.


These decks were printed by Cartamundi on their slimline cardstock with the popular B9 finish. This means that the cards handle smoothly and consistently, and the print registration and colours are spot on, with no chance of misaligned borders as sometimes happens with USPCC-printed cards.

A limited edition Green Man deck (Winter) was later added to the series by Jocu, and has some further variations, such as a blue colour scheme.

The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Deck the Halls » » Review: The Green Man Playing Cards (Jocu Playing Cards) (0 Likes)
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