Mat Groom + Kelly McMahon crowdfund a 1920s speakeasy-themed ‘Bad Blood’ card game

The campaign, which includes a comic by Groom and artist Nicoletta Baldari, launches on Kickstarter today.

When I spoke with Mat Groom a few weeks ago about the Kickstarter campaign for the second volume of Inferno Girl Red, he mentioned he was working with designer Kelly McMahon on a 1920s-themed murder mystery card game called Bad Blood. The crowdfunding campaign for the game is now live, and not only did Groom write the game, but he also wrote a tie-in comic for it.

The comic features artwork by Nicoletta Baldari and is available via one of the many tiers being offered to backers of the campaign. The comic provides some of the back story for the game, showing what life was like for Dee Dumas, the murder victim, and Joseph Field, the journalist who would wind up investigating her death (and who you play as in the card game), before the murder.

“For as long as I can remember, I’ve been enthralled by the mystery genre, be it film, television, literature or a good old fashion internet stalk, I love to be the detective!” said McMahon, a graphic designer and illustrator based in Los Angeles by way of Melbourne, Australia. “The romanticized glamor of the 1920s masquerades for the realities of the era. A ritzy elegant design, lavish lifestyles and devious underground happenings. There is a similar romance in moving your life to the otherside of the world, the dream sparkles but the reality is much less polished. All of this led to Bad Blood, my idea for a card game and murder mystery experience that harkens back to my love of the 1920s and my love for a good whodunnit.” 

Here’s the description of the game:

Acclaimed designer Kelly McMahon (Imperium) has created a deck of 54 playing cards that serve as a stylish illustrated tribute to the 1920s. But that’s just the beginning because in addition to their stunning art deco-inspired designs, the cards are also a murder mystery card game, featuring a story by rising-star comic book author Mat Groom! (Power Rangers, Ultraman, Teen Titans, Inferno Girl Red).

Each character card brings to life a different faction of the one-time solve murder mystery that can be played alongside any traditional card game.

Bad Blood invites you to fill the well-polished shoes of journalist Joseph Field in order to uncover the mystery behind Dee Dumas’ murder. Field’s journal is the key to solving this crime – read through his findings and decipher the clues across the deck of cards and you might just find yourself unraveling the threads of a diabolical conspiracy! Or, grab a drink and try your hand at a game of poker as the body count grows. It’s your call!

“I’ve collaborated with Mat to build out this sinful metropolis and its devious counterparts – a well documented investigation journal puts you in the shoes of the city’s finest detective and introduces the characters at play,” McMahon said. “Mat’s clever narrative will keep you guessing even if you don’t have the winning hand. The murder mystery is a (very fun!) one-time solve – but it’s also my hope that by spending time with these characters – understanding their motives and aspirations and context – you feel closer to them. And because of that, I hope that each game that you play with this deck of cards, no matter your game of choice, you’ll feel an investment in the characters unlike anything you’ve experienced with a deck of cards before. They won’t just be card designs – they’ll be characters you know, friends and foes!”

Some of the other pledge tiers include:

  • The Bad Blood Deck 54 Poker-size, 2.5″ x 3.5″ playing cards including 2 jokers and a “journal card,” sealed in a tuck box.
  • The Journal Publication Story by Mat Groom with illustrations and behind the scenes character development by Kelly McMahon, told in 40+ pages.
  • A limited edition 1.75” BAD BLOOD enamel pin design.

For more details, visit the Bad Blood Kickstarter campaign. And Groom’s campaign for Inferno Girl Red continues for another 30+ hours, so you still ahve time to check it out as well.

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