Christmas Comic Review: Tarot, Witch of the Black Rose #17
It's been December for four days already, and while I've already got two viewings of A Christmas Story under my belt (and Emmet Otter on standby), I've been keeping quiet about the Most Wonderful Time of the Year on the ISB for a while.
Well no longer! It's time to string up the lights and light up the tree once more, as we delve further into my collection of comic book holiday specials.
Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose #17
Story and Pencils: Jim "The Talent" Balent
This comic is terrible. I'm pretty sure that it'd be the worst comic I own, if I didn't have another twenty-two issues of the series sitting in a long box alongside it. It also has the dubious distinction of being the first issue of Tarot I ever bought, which stands as a testament to the fact that I'm a sucker for a Christmas comic.
Unfortunately, it's actually not a Christmas comic. It's not a Holiday special of any kind, without even a mention of Yule, the Wiccan wintertime holiday based on ancient traditions that stretch all the way back to 1954.
It is, however, very wintry. For those of you who aren't "in the know," Tarot concerns the adventures of the titular Witch of the Black Rose, who has magical powers and very large breasts. Her sister and occasional adversary Raven Hex has even larger breasts, and they hang out with a guy named Jon who can see ghosts and looks suspiciously like Jim Balent. He's also known as the Skeleton Man, and he lives in a cemetary, spending most of his time hanging out with his dead ex-girlfriend and dog, beating up the grave-robbers that show up on a nightly basis. I wasn't aware that resurrectionists were still a big problem, but in the world of Jim Balent, all bets are off.
The Skeleton Man is also the most easily aroused character in the history of comics. Believe it or not, this is actually a plot point several times in the series.
It even shows up in this issue, in which Tarot and Raven Hex kick it in a hot tub until they're molested by evil snowmen, spanked by a bondage fairy, and subsequently saved by cats having sex.
I swear to you, that's exactly what happens.
- One of the signs that Balent's work has transcended past our meager human ideals of quality is the logo he designed for Broadsword Comics: A broad with a sword. Genius.
- Aside from pages upon pages of girls getting spanked, this issues's contribution to Tarot's litany of fetishism includes Tarot's girl-scout themed bikini. She's not in it too long, and I'm not sure how I feel about that.
- Raven Hex's comes off a lot earlier, say, page three. She doesn't like being restricted, y'see. This was also my introduction to the word "skyclad," which has provided me with hours of amusement over the years.
- In between panels of groping herself, Raven Hex has time to be annoyed by a tinkerbell-esque frost fairy, responding by spanking it, dunking it in the hot tub, slingshotting it away with her bikini top, and then burning its tiny dress off. Believe it or not, this is the conflict that drives the story.
- Thus, they incur the wrath of the corset-clad Fairy Queen, who animates a pair of snowmen to rip off their clothes and stuff them inside their bodies. I feel I should note that the issue immediately preceding this one features cannibalism and grievous injury to the eye, so at this point I didn't even flinch.
- Cue the arrival of Skeleton Man, the worst superhero ever. Except Ultimate Spider-Man. So how bad is he? Well, immediately after showing up (in a dashing skull-patterned scarf), he falls facefirst down a hill into Raven Hex's vagina, is rendered unconscious, tied up, and gets a boner, inadvertently having sex with Raven Hex, who reacts with an honest-to-God "SQUAWK!" sound-effect.
- Tarot's reaction is much more subtle, considering Jon's her boyfriend: "It's not the first time we've shared a lover! Now wiggle!" Sweet Christmas!
- As I mentioned, everything works out okay due to Tarot's cat getting its swerve on, and we all learn a valuable lesson about not using our magical powers to screw with mythical fey.
I have no idea why i thought this was a Christmas comic, other than the presence of snow and an object lesson about being nice to people. It probably has something to do with the fact that this is one of the first issues of Tarot where the Talent just decided "The hell with it, I'm drawin' 'em naked." If I'm remembering right, in the previous year's winter issue, there were plenty of strategically placed snowflakes keeping things under wraps, but in this one, Our Heroines are naked, spanked, and tied up for twenty-two spine-tingling pages. Merry Frigg'n Christmas, folks.
More ISB Christmas Hilarity: Ant-Man's Big Christmas