Jokers Wild, the third volume in the Wild Cards series, covers a single day in New York City: September 15, better known as Wild Card Day. Like last month’s Memorial Day holiday in the U.S., Wild Cards Day began as one of remembrance. While Memorial Day initially arose as a patriotic Day of the Dead of sorts, when people decorated the graves of those who had died in the Civil War and later conflicts, on September 15 the Wild Cards world remembers those who gave their lives in an attempt to stop the attack, those who died in the streets, those rewritten by the virus, and those forever changed. As we see in Jokers Wild, however, the holiday is more than that. It is also a celebration of the many subcultures created by Dr. Tod’s attack, and the communities that developed in its wake. Nats might attend the parades, but foremost the day is about jokers, aces, and the victims of the black queen. The parades, parties, and memorials are put on by jokers and aces, with nats left to the sidelines. It is fitting, then, that the same can be said of the artistic representations described in the book.
In Jokers Wild, the authors include something of a meditation on images and artistic portrayals throughout the book. They provide us with a survey of four different sculptural and visual representations which exhibit wild card symbolism and meaning-making.