By Erik PK Blackwell


Friend of KR Nat Iwata is here with his latest project to inspire and excite those who love playing cards, pirates, and Steampunk. If you’ve checked out Nat’s previous Kickstarter projects, he’s added to the steam powered world with the wonderfully imaginative Steampunk Alphabet book  and his Cthulhu playing cards.

But Nat’s back with the new Steampunk Pirate playing card set, and like his previous card designs they’ll be printed by the world famous Bicycle Playing Card Company.

You may see what I and others at KR did, and that’s Nat’s beautiful illustrations created a sense of story, just from looking at the character cards themselves, such as the King and Queen cards. I had a brief chat with Mr. Iwata about this and if his work might lead to something more in-depth :

PK: I showed this to some friends, and one question/suggestion that came up out of it was, aside from the playing cards, do you think you would ever use these characters from the artwork to build a story?

Whether it be a book, or creating an RPG style deck of story cards, your character artwork really illicited a sense of a story going on that would probably turn into something wonderful. Be interesting to see if you go that route.

Steampunk PiratesNat: I have been thinking about doing something like this. At this point the only thing I really have planned is a back story for each of the pips as pirate artifacts with a story behind them. 
A book would be great, and I do think of backstories as I draw these characters, so I’m glad to hear that seems to come out. I don’t have enough experience with RPG games really, I’d need someone to partner with on something like that, who knows that world. 

Most of it comes down to time! I’m doing all the art and administrative work on these projects, with a little shipping help from my wife. Sometimes it’s hard to keep it all going :p

As with his prior projects, Nat has used Kickstarter to help him cover the costs of production. Launched on September 22, 2013 with an initial goal of $18,000 – the campaign quickly shot over the goal and has surpassed $21,000. And even though his Kickstarter has been successfully funded, people can still contribute and try to snag those special perks that are still left.



  • Nat Iwata’s Steampunk Pirate Playing Cards
  • Nat Iwata’s Website
  • Nat Iwata’s Outlandish Creations on Facebook


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