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Published February 12, 2023 Updated May 04, 2023

The Cartoonists' Pack

Semi-transformation pack created by four famous British cartoonists.

1980 United Kingdom Cartamundi Bernard Cookson Keith Waite Michael Heath Cartoon Humour Transformation Add to Collection

Most of the humour in this pack is derived from the clever use of the suit-signs in the designs. The appropriate numbers of pips are incorporated into the designs but the pips have been moved from their normal positions, hence this is a semi-transformation pack and not a full transformation pack. The four cartoonists involved designed one suit each: Bernard Cookson the suit of Hearts, Mac the Clubs, Michael Heath the Diamonds, and Keith Waite the Spades. The suit of Diamonds tells the story of an ever-expanding family – and the consequences!

At the time when this pack was produced (1980), the four cartoonists were (variously) working for newspapers and magazines including Punch, London Evening News, Daily Sketch, Daily Mail, Sunday Times, Spectator, Private Eye, Evening Standard, Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror. Red and black are the only colours used – to great effect. On the back is a house of cards in white on black at one end, with a reverse or mirror image at the opposite end. Biographical details about the four cartoonists (many of them tongue in cheek) are given on the back of the tuck box

The Cartoonists' Pack made by Carta Mundi, Turnhout, Belgium, 1980 The Cartoonists' Pack made by Carta Mundi, Turnhout, Belgium, 1980 The Cartoonists' Pack made by Carta Mundi, Turnhout, Belgium, 1980 The Cartoonists' Pack made by Carta Mundi, Turnhout, Belgium, 1980

Above: The Cartoonists' Pack made by Carta Mundi, Turnhout, Belgium, 1980. 52 cards + 4 Jokers (1 by each cartoonist) in tuck box. Size: 56 x 87 mm.


References and Notes

Field, Albert. Transformation Playing Cards. Stamford, CT, USA: U.S. Games Systems, Inc.; 1987. #65.

NOTE: I attended the launch of this pack in London in 1980 and was able to get the four cartoonists to sign the back of a tuck box. The packs sold or offered at the launch were numbered: my signed pack carries the number 000023 on the bottom flap of the tuck box. Unfortunately, I have no idea how many packs were numbered in this way. See the signed box

A special edition of this pack was also produced for Pepsi-Cola, with the Pepsi-Cola logo on the back (double-ended) and a tuck box printed in red, purple and blue instead of red and black. See the Pepsi box and back

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By Roddy Somerville

Member since May 31, 2022

Roddy started collecting stamps on his 8th birthday. In 1977 he joined the newly formed playing-card department at Stanley Gibbons in London before setting up his own business in Edinburgh four years later. His collecting interests include playing cards, postcards, stamps (especially playing cards on stamps) and sugar wrappers. He is a Past President of the Scottish Philatelic Society, a former Chairman of the IPCS, a Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards and Curator of the WCMPC’s collection of playing cards. He lives near Toulouse in France.


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