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The Fool

The Fool card is one of the only ones in which there is an obvious difference between Pamela-A and the USGS deck. This is the edge of the bluish highlighting on the background mountains. A close comparison reveals some other minor differences between the two cards, for instance the little touch of white at the top of the mountain under the edge of the cliff that is not seen in the USGS version.

If the cards were recolored at some point in time, and the artist was working systematically, this might have been the first one that they worked on; it is possible that it took a card or two before the recolorist got their bearings. Another, more sinister, interpretation is that this was introduced deliberately so that there would be at least one difference between US Games deck and the original. However, it is dubious whether this minor change would be sufficient to claim a new copyright. In general, small alterations to a work, such as fixing punctuation or spelling errors in a public domain book, do not create a new copyrighted work.

On a less paranoid note, if someone was attempting to suggest that the cards were different, they weren't trying very hard. There are glitches in the line art which are the same on both cards, for instance the sketchy left border of the satchel, and the tiny dot on the edge of the (skirt?), directly above the Fool's right calf. These would be obvious places to clean up if a professional artist was trying to 'improve' the artwork for whatever reason.

Pamela A (1909)

US Games (1970)

courtesy of H. Voley


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