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Monday, December 04, 2006

Christmas Special: The Senses-Shattering Horror of Tarot #41 (Or: Yule Be Sorry!)

Much to the surprise of absolutely nobody, I'm a sucker for holiday traditions, and while we've usually got my tree up somewhere around Election Day, it's tradition in my family that nobody really thinks it's Christmas until certain conditions have been met.

For mom, it's hearing Nat King Cole's "Christmas Song" on the radio. For dad, it was catching Alastair Sim's 1951 production of A Christmas Carol. But for me, it's not really Christmas until I see a bunch of top-heavy naked Wiccans cavorting in the snow.

You know, when I actually write that down, it seems a little odd.

Yes, continuing this year's theme of celebrating the Wildly Inappropriate Christmas Special, we have this month's issue of Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose! Longtime ISB readers will recall that my peculiar fascination with Jim "The Talent" Balent's buxom sorceress actually got started when I grabbed #17 four years ago, thinking it was a holiday issue. It wasn't, and since then I've wondered how that sort of thing would actually work out. Well, to be fair, I pretty much knew how it was going to work out, but it's nice to find out that I was right.

If we're all honest with each other, this is the sort of post that could write itself with a few well-chosen panel scans, but for the sake of keeping our pretense of legitimacy, I'll sum up the plot. Such as it is, anyway.

You know what's a bad sign? When you open your story with a nine-caption history lesson on how Christmas is rooted in Pagan traditions, and then wrap that all up with a reminder that, and I quote, "now is not the time for a history lesson." These are what we call "opposing ideas." Anyway, once that's finished, we move on to Tarot's boyfriend Jon and his latest super-classy endeavor, the snow-woman, which essentially amounts to a snowman, but with two giant snow-breasts capped off by lumps of coal for nipples.

You have no idea how much I wish I was making that up.

In what passes for conflict around here, Raven Hex, Tarot's sister and a habitual top-blower whose acts of villainy are pretty much motivated entirely by low self-esteem brought on by having massive breasts, takes offense and starts a snowball fight that ends in a cheery sleigh-ride down the local hill.

And that's right about when everybody gets naked.

For those of you who haven't been experiencing the joy and majesty that is the mind of Jim Balent every two months, allow me to introduce our cast.

At left, we have Licorice Dust, the serial-murdering vampire lesbian lover of...

Boo Cat, the nymphomaniac werecat lingerie store owner who is also involved with the daughter of...

Tarot's Mom, or as you might know her, The Reubenesque Early-80s Ozzy Ozbourne, who is continually disappointed by...

Raven Hex, occasional nemesis of her sister...

Tarot, our star pretty much by default, who fights against evil with the power of highly uncomfortable nudity alongside her other lover...

Jon "The Skeleton Man" Webb, half-retarded graveyard-based vigilante and the single most easily-aroused man in the entire world. And in case you were wondering, yes: He looks a lot like Jim Balent.

All caught up? Good, back to the "plot." During the snowball fight, Tarot's running crew inadvertently pissed off a couple of faries (who, I hardly think I need to mention, are also naked), who exact their revenge by vanishing everyone's clothes and leaving them in the dangerous locale of... Well, of Tarot's back yard, really. Thus, hijinks:

Yeah, you and me both, lady. I did mention that's Tarot's mom, right?

Once that problem's identified, Tarot & Co. get into a snowball fight with the pixies, then run across the dragon from the cover of the Order of the Stick Adventure Game, who is promptly chased off by--as you might expect--a few animated twigs.

And then, unfortunately, this story has a happy ending.

And it all happens in a brisk 16 pages. The rest of the book is given over to a backup feature starring Balent's newest creation, Spellarella, which is essentially Sabrina the Teenage Witch with Tourette's. The whole thing's written in the form of a poorly-metered poem with the entirely original idea of spoofing "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," except that this one pretty much revolves our heroine almost getting date-raped by Frankenstein's Monster at a Christmas party. Charming!

That's really as far as I want to get into that six-page trainwreck, but there's one thing about that story that I have to mention, if for no other reason than to preserve my own sanity. I warn you, however, this one's not for the faint of heart, so if you must click on the following link, don't say I didn't warn you. Seriously, though, you don't want to see this.

To those of you who went against your better judgement and clicked, I have only one question: What the hell man?! That's not supposed to be like that! That's... that's...


On the off chance that you were wondering why it took me two days to get this written, that's why. Terror, Inc, you may lay down your burden. We have a new champion.

More Alleged "Fun" With Tarot!:

| ISB Christmas 2005: Tarot #17 |
| Spooktoberfest 2006: Tarot #16 |


Blogger LurkerWithout said...

I can only guess that reanimated people don't have to...eliminate anything anymore. Or the plumbing has been rearranged to work with a different orifice. Plus maybe someone is taking a vow of abstinance a little too far. And thinking up that explanation took several seconds away from my life that I'll never get back...

12/05/2006 1:26 AM

Anonymous Sparky said...

Yule Be Sorry!

That is the most clever Holiday-related pun I have ever read. Thank you.

12/05/2006 2:36 AM

Blogger Tom Foss said...

"What the heck!!! I'm naked!" is one of those lines you so rarely hear anymore. Especially with Stan Lee-esque triple-exclamation points.

Thank you for subjecting yourself to Tarot for our amusement. I can't tell you how much I love these periodic excursions into the twisted imagination of Jim Balent. For someone who ostensibly gets lots of sex from his hot model wife, he sure writes and draws like a sex-starved 13-year-old. The mind, it boggles.

Verification Word: vdbwixdd, because only a comment on a Tarot post could include both "VD" and double-d's in the verification word.

12/05/2006 2:45 AM

Anonymous wrath said...

Yarr, That'll replace the whale in my nightmares,

that is probably the most disturbing thing I have seen at 3 in the morning since I decided to do a double feature of Titus and Brazil

12/05/2006 3:19 AM

Anonymous Socraticsilence said...

I fell compelled to copmment on the first picture: While it's cerainly very opened mindewd of Balent to draw older and plumper nude chicks, I thought the whole point of a T&A comic was to draw attractive women.

12/05/2006 5:05 AM

Blogger Captain Great said...

From wikipedia:

"[Tarot] is a story of personal development and broadcasts a message of love and respect for all that lives. There is also a strong message that being a woman of any size (large or small) is a wonderful thing and not to be troubled with body image."

How wholesome and inspiring!

12/05/2006 6:32 AM

Blogger SallyP said...

Gahhh! I clicked, I clicked! Oh man, that's just...wrong. On the other hand, I did get a chance to snicker at a comic that I wouldn't read if you paid me.

12/05/2006 11:31 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! I am repulsed and yet I don't feel the need to get on my moral high horse. Is that wrong?

12/05/2006 11:38 AM

Blogger Mark Hale said...

As any of my friends can tell you, I always said Sabrina needed two things: More nipples, and more disturbingly sewn frankengirls.

12/05/2006 12:13 PM

Anonymous Dan Coyle said...

Jesus, I think after viewing that I can SEE THROUGH TIME.

12/05/2006 1:21 PM

Anonymous Jack R. said...

You know, sometimes, a thing can be so wrong as to go completely around the bend and come back as right, if only from a camp value.

This is not one of those times.

You, sir, deserve some sort of medal for subjecting yourself to this. And I need therapy after clicking on that link..

12/05/2006 2:17 PM

Blogger Richelle said...

Um...my coffee hasn't kicked in, so maybe I imagined it, but did I read something in the last panel about Jon 'squirting' his holiday cheer?

12/05/2006 2:27 PM

Anonymous http://geocities.com/soticomics/soti.html said...

Ewww, thanks, richelle! I totally missed the squirting of the holiday cheer the first time round. Gah.

And chris, how could you tease us with the description of the snow-woman but not show a panel? Scrooge!

12/05/2006 2:41 PM

Anonymous Lorene said...

Sorry, chris, in my effort to voice my displeasure at the lack of snow-woman caps ("snow caps"?), I broke your blog when I tried to enter the above post.

12/05/2006 2:43 PM

Blogger Ben said...

I'd like more comics about nude plump women please!

12/05/2006 4:40 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fair warning: I clicked that link, and I don't think I'll ever be able to have an erection again.

(Except for MODOK, of course.)

12/05/2006 5:49 PM

Blogger nenena said...

Maybe I'm going to hate myself for saying this, but if the worst that this issue has to offer is a handjob from a werecat, then in my opinion it PALES in comparison to the horror of Tarot #16 and #17. Even that stitched-up crotch can't compare to the horror of a candy-woman decorating Tarot's breasts with icing jackolanterns that she squirts out of her own nipples.

(....Yes, I actually read that comic. Because, you know, Trainwreck Syndrome.)

12/05/2006 6:26 PM

Blogger Chris Sims said...

Richelle: Yes. When I said "Happy Ending," I meant it the same way they mean it at seedy Asian massage parlors. It's... It's not good.

12/05/2006 8:44 PM

Blogger Greg said...

Jim Balent must continue to make this comic for the sole reason of you reviewing them. On a serious note, has his art gotten worse? That's weird.

12/05/2006 9:42 PM

Anonymous Dan Coyle said...

Hey, someone should post pictures of Jim Balent and Holly G!'s "theme" wedding.

You've got to admire- well, be amused by- okay, at least acknowledge- that Balent's just drawing his wife and himself running around doing stuff.

12/06/2006 12:29 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's just not Christmas unless Tarot's standing on Satan's--er Santa's nipple and yelling at him/her.

I have to say, rather than putting me in the Christmas spirit, this book makes me wonder who would win in a perv-brawl, Balent or R. Crumb?

Oh yeah, and also we definitely need an Anita Blake vs. Tarot article, except I think it might very well kill us all.

12/06/2006 12:43 PM

Anonymous WizWom said...

Well, now, that's not as distubing, as say, Cthulu in a wedding dress or Michael JJackson breeding, really.

I mean, really, who doesn't want to spread a little private parts frostbite in the name of Holiday cheer?

And the blue Franken-girl - er, zombie, I guess... well, who'd want to use those bits of a zombie anyway?

12/07/2006 12:59 PM

Blogger Wicked Juan said...

Why is Ozzy... er, Tarot's Mom, wearing Captain Boomerang's scarf?

It's all so very wrong.

12/08/2006 1:38 AM

Anonymous viagra online said...

The chistamas day's is a great opportunity to make a lot of things and this comics are so nice and sexy I think that this cartoon is good but It may be seen only for adults.

11/23/2010 9:17 AM

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5/19/2011 1:15 PM

Anonymous Quintin said...

This can't have effect in reality, that's what I think.
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11/27/2011 2:22 PM


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