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...
THAT IS NOT CHRISTMAS.
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 |