Kickstarter: Whispering Imps Playing Cards by Chris Chelko

16 Jun

A deck of playing cards inspired by Harry Kellar’s famous Whispering Imps, hand drawn by illustrator Mark Stutzman. These are planned to be printed by USPCC.


In 1894, “America’s Greatest Magician” Harry Kellar released a poster with the now famous Whispering Imps. It featured Kellar in a profile portrait with two little red Imps, one peeking over his shoulder and the other whispering secrets into his ear. By this time, Kellar was already famous—so famous in fact that he merely needed his name and his portrait to sell out theaters across the globe. To this day, this is the poster most often imitated by magicians. Kellar made Imps the symbol of magic, mystery, and secrets.


The idea behind the Whispering Imps™ Playing Cards is to combine two very iconic brands, Harry Kellar’s Whispering Imps and the Bicycle Rider Backs, into one classic and elegant deck

Imps are tiny mythological beings that were often seen as mischievous and playful rather than evil or harmful and are commonly associated with magicians.

The deck is planned to be printed on Bicycle stock with an Embossed Magic finish using Pantone color inks.

Much thought has gone into the design of the tuck box. It’s intended to look clean, simple and mysterious while keeping the “secrets” of the Whispering Imps locked inside. The tuck box will be fashioned from Intense Black Premium Vellum paper and does not contain any printed inks; the text, design & logo is created entirely from Red Hot Stamped Foil.

My goal is to create something that preserves the art and history of magic into a deck of beautifully hand-crafted playing cards. I designed this deck to be something magicians, playing card enthusiasts, collectors and the art community can appreciate. ” ~ Chris Chelko


You could pledge here: [FUNDED on Jun 30, 2013]

Court cards are standard but vintage (early 1900’s).

Whispering_Imps_Playing_Cards_The_King_of_Hearts Whispering_Imps_Playing_Cards_The_Ace_of_Spades

Imps instead of Jokers 🙂


Back Design

Whispering_Imps_Playing_Cards_Back Whispering_Imps_Playing_Cards_Back_2 Whispering_Imps_Playing_Cards_Back_3

Ad Card – the Kellar “Whispering Imps” poster, complete with the story behind the Whispering Imps™ playing cards.


Mark Stutzman: Mark’s artwork has appeared on the covers of Stephen King novels, Mad Magazine, Billboard Magazine, Broadway posters, The New Yorker and most famously the “Elvis Presley” Postage Stamp for the U.S. Postal Service. Also, Mark is no stranger to designing playing cards. His work includes: the David Blaine “Split Spades” & “White Lions” Series and recently Lawrence Sullivan’s “Legend” Playing Cards.

Whispering_Imps_Playing_Cards Whispering_Imps_Playing_Cards_Seal Whispering_Imps_Playing_Cards_Red_Box


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: