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Comicbook: Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose
Tarot, somewhat overdressed by her own standards.

Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose is a bi-monthly comic written and drawn by Jim Balent, coloured and lettered by his partner Holly Golightly, and published by BroadSword Comics.

It's the story of an impossibly-proportioned Action Girl witch named Tarot (Rowan by birth), living — inevitably — in Salem, Massachusetts, who is sworn to uphold the balance between the mortal world and the magical world and all that good stuff, usually while naked. Her on-again, off-again rival is her sister, Raven Hex, who occasionally wants to punish the mortal world for persecuting witch-kind (and causing the death of their father). Tarot's male love interest is Jon Webb, a cemetery caretaker who can communicate with the dead and uses the Secret Identity of "The Skeleton Man." Her female love interest is Boo Cat, a were-cat Genki Girl, who's also in love with vampire Licorice Dust.

The series is a mixture of action, tits, magic, tits, neopagan propaganda, tits, author rants, and tits.

This comic provides examples of:

  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Tarot does it at the drop of a hat, and has spent a large number of pages doing so in several issues.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The robots created by the TSA (issue #72) swiftly become Omnicidal Maniacs without any outside aid.
  • An Aesop: Generally on having tolerance and a positive body image.
    • Issue #25 is basically one huge Anvilicious Aesop rant about treating everyone equally.
  • All Abusers Are Male: Averted: Females are just as likely to sexually assault/enslave Tarot or Jon as men.
  • Attempted Rape: Boo Cat and Tarot are on the receiving of this.
  • Author Appeal: Jim Balent seems to admire Wicca and women with the Most Common Super Power, as well bondage and restraints.
  • Author Filibuster: There have been entire issues devoted to these.
  • Babies Ever After: A possible future has Tarot and Raven each having a child fathered by Jon. As Tarot is unable to have children, the possibility of this future is in the air.
  • Badass Normal: The werewolf hunter from issue #63.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Raven has something of a penchant for changing her enemies into various animals, including frogs and crows.
  • Beach Episode: The "Hawaiian Holiday" two-parter.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: In the Tarot Universe every President we've had, including our current one was an Expy of Iron Man. Turns out it was Washington's Powered Armor that was wood, not his teeth.
  • Bullying a Dragon: You'd think that people wouldn't bullying/persecute witches who have actual actual magic powers. You'd be wrong.
  • Burn the Witch!: The townies want to do it, and the fact that it happened in the past drives Raven's hatred.
  • Chosen Conception Partner: Jon, on a few occasions.
    • In issue #14, a Troll Queen and her female followers have their way with him for a good long while until he impregnates all of them.
    • In issue #39, a possible future reveals that Jon and Tarot are married and have a child, and then she and Raven ask him to father Raven's child as well. As seen on the trope image, it turns out well.
  • Clothing Damage: Tarot will lose some, if not all of her clothes every other issue; it's reached the point where one wonders why she even bothers to wear anything.
  • Comic Book Time: Averted. Time passes normally between issues and arcs. Because it's a bi-monthly comic, this can sometimes feel a little strange.
  • Crossover: "Witches and Kittens" has Tarot meet the "3 Little Kittens", from a 3-issue BroadSword-published miniseries, also by Jim & Holly. The next crossover with the kittens is "Hex and the City".
  • Cute Monster Girl: A whole lot of cute monster girls.
  • Dark Age: The series was created in the Aughties, but is basically an extension of Balent's 90s Catwoman run, where Selina was a stock 90s Bad Girl in an impossible costume.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Licorice Dust and her friends were rejected for the cheerleader squad, and made fun of behind their backs. After they become vampires, they murder them via rat swarm.
  • Double Entendre: Boo Cat loves to torment Jon with these.
  • Double Standard: See Scenery Censor, below. One scene in "Holiday Witches" shows all six of the series' main characters — Tarot, her sister and mother, Boo Cat, Licorice and Jon — fully nude. Guess who's the only one who isn't completely exposed for the readers' enjoyment?
    • Hilariously enough, the only time a man is vaguely exposed, it's the Talking Fountain, who is completely made of stone. Also, a giant.
  • Easily Forgiven: Tarot almost immediately forgives the mermaid witch in issues #70-71 for chaining her above the water to be eaten by sharks.
  • Evil Counterpart: Thornwic to Tarot. He's the 'Sword of the God', doesn't hesitate to torture and murder, and wears clothing. He's also a much better fighter then Tarot, managing to strip her naked over the course of their fight.
  • Eye Scream: In an early issue Raven uses the spikes on her nipples to put out a man's eyes for commenting on her breasts.
  • Fanservice: Damn near every subtrope. Much like the costumes, the term doesn't even begin to cover the characters in this series.
    • In a more meta example Balent has written/drawn fans and colleagues into the series, most noticeably in issue #47 where he draws a staggering 44 fans as witches fighting alongside Tarot.
  • Fan Disservice: Balent infuses every issue with fan service, and it's inevitable that he'll draw something repulsive to others:
    • The permanently naked Gingerbread-Woman-Slash-Sex-Doll who butchers and consumes the man who made her...
    • The doll woman reconstructed from cadaver part.
    • The nurses involved in the 'haunted vagina' issue.
  • A Fate Worse Than Death: Willowry turns into a tree when she uses a spell without saying the Witch Goddess' name.
    • Tarot cuts Azure's head off and seals it in a box at the end of the Shadow Witch arc.
  • Fractured Fairy Tale: Issue #54.
  • Gag Boobs: Numerous characters, but Rave stands out as the most prominent (no pun intended) recurring character- her breasts probably outweigh the rest of her torso.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: In Issue #63 Jon comes across a female Werewolf who is acting as bait for a Werewolf Hunter. Both sides are out for blood for the killings the other has done. While the hunter save Jon a couple of times she's willing knock him out if he gets in her way. The she-wolf on the other hand, while out to kill the hunter, stops her fellows from killing Jon as he was just there to help her and apologizes for dragging him into a private war.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Raven.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Done to Tarot constantly.
    • Jon gets on the receiving end a few times with various female monsters, as well.
  • Impossibly Cool Weapon: The werewolf hunter has gun katana; the gun part forms roughly half the hilt and guard of her katana, but fires horizontal to the blade.
    • The Presidential battlesuits, including one post-Revolutionary War era one made of wood.
  • Impossibly Tacky Clothes: Kitty Pop of the 3 Little Kittens, featuring pink hair and pink-blue-black polka-dotted outfits. The Satanic School Girls have worn bikinis made out of teddy bears.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: The Three Little Kittens are the worst offenders.
  • Love at First Sight: Tarot and Jon almost instantly fall in love with each other in the first issue and official couple at the end of issue #4.
  • Mermaid Problem: Averted. It doesn't matter what kind of female you are: Whether it be half-woman/half-spider or mermaid, if it is shown naked it will have a vagina.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Tarot, and more female characters then can be summed up in this entry
  • Monster Of The Arc: Almost no enemy makes a reappearance after their introduction and inevitable defeat, essentially making the series follow this format exactly.
  • Moral Dissonance: At the conclusion of issue #71, Tarot convinces the mermaid witch to allow the thieving witches to be 'tested by the sea' which consists of chaining someone over shark-infested waters to be eaten; if you live, you're not guilty. This punishment is a classic example of and 'eye-for-eye' punishment... the sort of thing she condemned Thornwic for carrying out in an earlier issue.
    • Then again, she didn't have that much choice in the matter since if she hadn't suggested this, the mermaid would have killed them on the spot and seeing as Tarot escaped the same punishment in the same issue they would have a slim chance of escaping as well. Unfortunately, a horrible painful death is far more likely, which is what ended up happening.
      • Considering Tarot escaped via picking up a shark with her legs and having it bite down on her manacles, it's pretty clear that there was no chance for them.
  • Most Common Superpower: Present in Tarot's family and many of the other females that pop up.
  • Naked First Impression: The first time Jon meets Tarot's mother. (He's the one naked, not her).
  • Narrating the Obvious: There are several issues that are practically all narration, and only serve to describe the action. Special mention goes to issue #47, when Tarot narrates a large battle while fighting someone in a different area.
  • No Bisexuals: Averted. Both Tarot and Boo Cat are bi, as well as many of the other females in the series.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The Medusa Queen looks an awful lot like Angelina Jolie, and the four "Hollywood Witches" look exactly like Megan Fox, Tara Reid, Pamela Anderson, and Paris Hilton.
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: The Dragon Witches. In Tarot, everyone has tits.
    • Only in their humanish form, though. It's not too unreasonable when roughly approximating humans.
  • Once per Episode: There will be a naked woman in nearly every issue.
  • Only Six Faces: Every woman has the same body and face and mainly only differ in terms of what kind of "body paint" they're wearing. Guys don't even get that much and are largely nondescript. It gets really obvious in an issue where reader-submitted pictures are drawn in for a Wiccan army battle.
    • Always very obvious with Boo Cat and Licorice Dust who strike identical poses in some frames.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: "Dragon witches" have the usual giant-lizard form, but also possess a par-for-the-course stacked babe form in the same colors as their dragon forms.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: There are apparently female werewolves who have the head and tail of a wolf, and a human body. The result is rather... disjointed.
  • Physical God: The Norse Gods from their arc. They easily outstrip every character in the series (the possible exception being the Goddess), and Hel is a Reality Warper to the degree of being able to invoke a world-wide Reset Button at the end of the arc.
  • Please Put Some Clothes On: Between Jon and Raven in "No Rest For The Witchy."
  • Porn Without Plot: Sex and near-naked women were common in the earlier issues, but it could still have a plot independent of them (relatively). Over the course of the series, it's been adding more and more explicit nudity and sex, to the point where removing them would result in entire issues being cut.
  • Power Nullifier: Many villains have objects/enchantments to nullify Tarot's magic.
  • Religion is Magic
  • Reset Button: Mashed hard at the end of the Norse Gods arc.
  • Rule of Cool: In Tarot's world, each President of the United States is expected to wear Powered Armor and fight evil in the name of the country, making every one since the founding of the country an expy of Iron Man (or, in the case of George Washington and his battlesuit, Wood Man?).
  • Rule of Three: A rule of magic that is inconsistently applied, and often acts as Magic Guided Karma.
  • Scenery Censor / Censor Steam: Played straight (more or less) until issue 17, and then they're averted wholeheartedly. The only female character who doesn't get full frontal nudity is recurring character Crypt Chick and celebrity guest Fiona Horne in "The Witch Queen." Still played straight when it comes to Jon's dangly bits.
    • For some reason, it comes back into play for a few isses around 60-67, but then the series goes back to averting it.
  • Secret Diary: A couple of fairies discover Tarot, Raven, and Boo Cat's diaries in "Diary of a Witch."
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains: Stretches this trope to the limit with the heroes.
  • Stripperiffic: On the rare occasions when Tarot and her friends actually wear clothing, it almost always belongs in this category. Most of it could honestly be called "two strings and a wish". The majority of female characters aren't wearing much more then her.
  • Start of Darkness: While it was the death of their father during a black magic ritual that put Raven Hex over the edge, it was being bullied in her teens for having H-Cup breasts that caused her to start picking up on the dark path of witchery.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: Partially inverted; Tarot will oftentimes be weakened enough or lose her magic in order to provide Fetish Fuel for the reader.
  • Take That: towards Twilight.
    Jon: "Don't you have a Twilight movie line to stand in somewhere?"
    Licorice Dust: "SHUT UP! I hate those movies! Fucking worst thing that ever happened to vampires."
  • Taken for Granite: Medusa have appeared in the comic; Tarot was turned to stone by one.
  • Tarot Motifs: Tarot named herself after it, and they pop up from time to time; they're usually pretty accurate about the predictions.
  • The End... Or Is It?: Averted; despite a few hints dropped (such as the Frankenstein nurse and ginger bread woman), there's virtually no follow-up on any of the potential story lines.
  • The Fair Folk: Pop up from time to time, although the miniature pixies/goblins are more common. They appear to lack (or aren't shown) the traditional weaknesses associated with them. This being Tarot, almost all of the them are female and naked.
  • To Hell and Back: Jon does this in issue #36 in order to save Crypt Chick. As this is Tarot, Hell is full of naked women in various states of torment.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Crops up a few times, but Latex Red gets the prize; she called in a missile strike on her exact location.
  • Too Soon: Averts 9/11 taboos in "Hex in the City," when the ghosts of FDNY members deactivate a nuke in New York City. Yes, really.
  • Weird Moon: Seems to be full ALL the time.
    • Possibly justified in that the comic progresses more or less in real time, though, and is published every 2 months, with most adventures taking place over a single night. In the "Mists of Darkness", which took place over two nights, it was only a full moon for the first night, so Boo-Cat was in her human form for the second. But almost every other time she is in the comic, she spends at least some time as a were-cat due to the full moon.
  • Wham Episode / Like You Would Really Do It: The Norse God arc.
  • Whip It Good: Latex Red's Satanic Schoolgirls use electrified taser towels, and Tonya Kay (a real-life person drawn into the comic) uses a whip.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Despite being at the mercy of villains dozens of times, none of them ever think to kill Tarot until it's too late.

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alternative title(s): Tarot Witch Of The Black Rose
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