CardBoy and The Cloud is an illustrated book about an ordinary boy. When something unexpected happens, trips him up and knocks him off course, he finds that things are different, his life has changed and it alters the way he views the world. He doesn't understand what's happening to him and why his brain doesn't work the same as it did before.
This is the story about how he deals with, and learns to cope with a cold of the soul.
Over time CardBoy realises that he is constantly being followed by a dark cloud. Sometimes the cloud is big, sometimes small, but it’s always there. And sometimes it can get too much to bear and he doesn’t know how to cope. On the outside he seems ‘fine’, but inside he’s falling apart.
He can’t sleep, and the less he sleeps, the more anxious he gets. And the more anxious he gets, the less he sleeps, and the more he is haunted and stalked by The Gloom. Mysterious demon like figures who appear lurking in the shadows, behind trees, at the end of his bed. But eventually he can take it no more, and after talking to his companion, he realises that he’s not actually losing his mind, and that he is not alone. And that tomorrow is a new day. Over time he embraces the cloud, and learns how to live and cope with it. And eventually he realises that his brain just needed time to heal.
CardBoy is a boy hiding in a metaphorical box. Withdrawn from society, living within his own bizarre, tormented world. The Fragile stamp on his head refers to how delicate the brain is.
A brief history of CardBoy:
In 2002 Mark James developed a character called CardBoy. He was originally homeless living in Cardboard City. This was intended to raises awareness of homelessness. 2003 saw the release of the first series of CardBoy toy figures, and were released to critical acclaim, soon becoming a must-have designer toy. The concept utilised the cardboard packaging to form the head of the character, with the body attached inside. The first edition of CardBoy had a dark cloud floating above his head. A theme that was to continue. The second series 'Sneakers', with the packaging based on old school sneaker boxes, which also gained a huge following worldwide. The third series, Cartridges, was a set of four figures, C, M, Y and K. The design resembling ink jet printer cartridges. These were chosen by MoMA as part of their Colour Chart exhibition in 2007 and sold in their stores in NYC and Tokyo.
In 2016, Mark revisited the original concept. Working with his initial ideas, and drawing on personal experience, he tells the story of CardBoy and the Cloud.
“CardBoy is part vinyl and part cardboard, a sort of paper-craft ahead of its time. The packaging of the toy would fold apart, revealing the body and legs of the figure. The collector would then re-fold the packaging to form the head. The first CardBoy series featured shipping container themes, while the second series took the shape of sneaker boxes, riﬃng oﬀ of adidas and Nike designs. Exhibited by MoMA, the third and final CardBoy series was inspired by printer ink cartridges, coming in cyan, magenta, yellow, and black colorways.”
Clutter Magazine 2016
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