Tuesday, July 5, 2011

BREAKING BAD _ Loteria Cards 01

NEWS!: You can now purchase some of these images as poster prints HERE on Society6!
UPDATE: You can see the full sheet of 16 BREAKING BAD cards HERE

AMC's BREAKING BAD is currently my favorite show on television. I was late to the game, but, after THE WIRE, it is the sort of dark, smart, narrative that demands your attention and rewards dedicated viewing. The acting, particularly by lead Brian Cranston, has been notably lauded but I'm writing today because of how it consistently inspires me with some of the medium's most poetic imagery.  With much of the action of the show occurring in and driven by the drug trade of the Mexico/US Border, Vince Gilligan and his team revel in the art of visual storytelling and utilize a picture > 1,000 words approach that lends an epic potency to the story beyond the tropes of a traditional crime drama.

As a bit of fan art, and in hot anticipation of the next season premiere on July 17th, I've set out to recognize the show by marrying some of the BREAKING BAD iconography with another applicable medium: Mexican Loteria Cards.  

Like a Mexican version of "Bingo," Loteria is a game of chance that employs a gridded board (a 4x4 tabla) and an illustrated deck of cards instead of numbered ping pong balls.  The "authentic" deck, illustrated by Don Clemente Gallo, consists of a total of 54 iconic images of people, animals, and objects.  Riddles often accompany the reading of a card and the whole set has a totemic or Tarot Card quality to it.

With BREAKING BAD, I've decided to start with 4 sets of 4 images to complete a single tabla. The images will be recognizable to fans of the show; some are fan favorites that have driven plotlines and others are those that the camera has lingered on long enough to charge with significance.  In a break from the source material, I am not merely translating the name of the subject into Spanish.  Adding a little poetry of my own, I'm choosing terms that reveal more of the item's importance to the narrative.

Below are the first four.  I have the rest planned out and ready to go but please feel free to write with any suggestions.  Also, check out the Breaking Bad Insider Podcast for some informative behind-the-scenes chatter by a tight creative team.



  1. Great illustration and strong concept. How do I see more?
    Have you considered the eyeball, or fly, or heisenberg hat?

  2. Thanks for commenting. I actually included the fly and eyeball as part of the whole first sheet (16 total cards). You can see them all here: http://mlapinski.blogspot.com/search/label/Breaking%20Bad

  3. Hey Emmanuel, sorry for the late reply. The 16 cards that I designed are available as a poster here: http://society6.com/MichaelLapinski