Twisted Tarot Tales

James Battersby


Our Tarot is called Twisted Tarot Tales and is based on horror comic imagery, inspired by such comics as Chamber of ChillsHouse of Mystery, and Black Magic. Along with my comic book style artwork and Christine’s extensive knowledge of both horror comics and Tarot we feel that this is going to be one epic Tarot deck. We hope you will too.

Christine originally hails from Massachusetts, while I've lived in Ireland all my life. Due to our love of art and Tarot we began working on projects together and finally we've both settled here in Ireland. Like many, we love the fall, not least of which is because we get to dress up and act like kids on Halloween. It's a great time to see all the fantastic costumes, and all the ghastly party photos. Strangely enough it was around last Halloween when we'd began this horror comic themed tarot. I was in the process of illustrating one of our cards while the kids were coming to the door trick or treating.


The Tower

We've approached illustrating the Tarot imagery as though each card were a comic book cover. In terms of visibility, one of the most important aspects to any magazine, book or comic is its cover. Comics were originally mainly aimed at kids and sometimes young teenagers which explains the very bright covers, regardless of whether the interiors are coloured or black and white. With this in mind, we're trying to use very bold bright colours and dynamic figures. Good comic book covers try to sum up usually a 22 page story, and therefore can often convey so much in one image. For this reason i feel that drawing tarots cards is similar in some ways to drawing comic book covers.

                                                                                                     5 of Cups

Since the age of 13 I’ve been illustrating probably close to every single day. I’m now 33, so that’s about 20 years illustrating all manner of things. I like to think i can tackle anything thrown at me, so if my partner Christine’s concept for a card calls for a horse, I’m going to be drawing a horse even though they may be more difficult to draw than people. Our Eight of Swords called for a giant black widow spider. I always tackle it head on, whether I feel it will be difficult or not.


While there have been many beautifully created Tarots using the aid of photo manipulation in photoshop or other computer graphic packages, I’ve made a point to keep the illustration side of things as organic as possible which is why i work in the same manner as, say, a comic artist from the “pen and pencil” era. I think i just get much more pleasure drawing with a real pen and pencil than I do digitally.


As for research, there can be no greater research of a subject than to have actually immersed yourself in it and as a child, Christine immersed herself in horror comics like The Witching HourBlack Magic, , Charleton Horror ComicsGhost Manor, , Ripley’s Believe it or NotTales of The Unexpected , and among others and loved making up her own little horror stories. During Christine’s time in Britain in the 90’s, she became good friends with the prolific comic artist and writer Dennis Gifford, and Christopher Lowder whose works include stories for the popular British comic 2000AD.


As for the Tarot side of things, Christine has been reading the cards for over 30 years and I feel her love of Horror comics as a kid is really shining through in the conceptual ideas and colour direction of the cards (we often both decide on the colour choices).

As for our progress If you like what you’ve seen here, we invite you to visit as we continue to work on each card. You can also find us on wordpress

At some point we intend to do some competitions and giveaways which will be available to those who have liked our page on Facebook or those signed up to our newsletter. We’d be glad to have you!

                                                                                                   King of Swords
Any questions can be sent to

All submissions remain the property of their respective authors. All images are used with permission. Tarot Refletions is published by the American Tarot Association - 2015  Questions? Comments? Contact us at