I’m not a playing card collector, but I have just a couple of decks that a friend of mine gifted me. One of them is about Chinese posters, those strongly coloured images with propaganda scenes that years ago were very popular in China. Now maybe they are used only in North Korea. Their style is almost the same for all, a mix of comic art and realistic panting. I love these images, they are so naive even if their subjects are not so.
I choose some cards for you, reporting the scene in the brackets and under in italics the unintentionally funny legends. Left to right, obviously.
(Stalin and Mao, against the world, forgetting war between them)
Celebrating the longevity of the friendly alliance between China and the Soviet Union
(Haircuts with rifles)
The army and the people are all one family
(At school, ambushing among teaching post and desks)
Learning how to prepare for war
(Thoughts wearing military uniform)
Ruthlessly criticise the bourgeoisie
(Camouflage with leaves on a moving bike is a great weapon if used with a standing boy with a rifle on your back)
The red dawn lights up our parade ground
(The only good boy is a militarised one)
Be a good child of the Party
(Reading books is good for the apparitions of red ghosts)
Read revolutionary books, learn from revolutionaries and become an heir of the revolution
(People is red, the Mao’s red book is white)
Familiar with the life of workers, peasant and workers
(Bulling young geeks is good)
Don’t talk with him!
(Mockery and torture before a death sentence)
A bad element is publicly criticised
(Killed by a telephone pole is a great thing)
Learn from comrade Lei Feng