There's much more than meets the eye in Twisted Tarot Tales. In the form of a tarot deck we originally set out to create the greatest tribute to Horror Comics we could possibly make. When we started the deck we were focusing specifically on generic horror characters like mutants, werewolves, witches and other iconic figures of that nature, and over the course of the past few months we've been integrating both popular and cult horror movies into our tarot to give something to those who love 70's 80's horror movies too. This was my partner Christine's vision from the very beginning; among our very first card ideas was Stephen King's "Christine" as our Chariot card and the Queen Xenomorph from the movie "Aliens" for our Empress. Considering that many of the iconic movie characters we've included also have found their way into the comics over the years; through Topps , Dark Horse, Marvel or DC, and others, we feel that we're still staying true to our vision. As for themes, my partner has always had a love affair with old radio programs like Escape and Suspense among others. I think combined, this makes a perfect blend of exciting imagery, nostalgia, and something very different that you're unlikely to find anywhere else in the "Tarot-verse".
So without further ado, here are the 3 radio plays (so far) you may have missed in our Twisted Tarot Tales...
1, Three Skeleton Key: a short story by the French author George G. Toudouze and first published in January 1937, it made its way to being a radio program. Vincent Price is the actor most associated with the play, performing it in 1950 for Escape and in 1956 and 1958 for Suspense, although it was first was adapted for radio in 1949 for Escape by James Poe.
This can be seen in our Three of Wands card. The ship in the background has crashed and the horde of salivating hungry rats have with surrounded the lighthouse. In this case, our guy in the lighthouse gets a bit of a surprise while waiting for his "ship to come in".
2, The Hitch - Hiker: A radio play written by Lucille Fletcher. It was first presented on the November 17, 1941, broadcast of the Orson Welles Show on CBS Radio. The play was adapted for a notable 1960 episode of the tv series The Twilight Zone. Our hitch-hiker is an escaped convict in our Hermit card, walking along a desert road outside a gas station.
3, Leiningen Versus the Ants: A classic short story published in the December 1938 edition of Esquire. It is a
translation, probably by Stephenson himself, of "Leiningens Kampf mit den Ameisen" which was originally published in German in 1937. In 1948, the story was adapted into a radio play as part of the CBS Radio series,Escape with William Conrad providing the voice of Leiningen for the January 14th debut broadcast.
Our depiction of Leiningen Versus the Ants can be seen in our 5 of Wands card where our plantation workers battle giant ants. The original story doesn't indicate giant ants but we'd tried smaller ants and it just wasn't conveying the horror aspect visually. Giants ants seemed more of a threat visually so we went with that.
James is the artist behind the illustrations on this site, maintains the website, writes the blogs and puts together the newsletter.