Written by: Elinor Owens
I was just about to complete an order with a certain high street bookshop when I noticed that they’d increased their tarot card range. The Zombie tarot deck proved hard to resist and I was drawn to it because on the card box sits a picture of Zoltar the great fortune teller. I have a thing about Zoltar yet know little about him, I’m just happy to spend hours watching him sitting in fortune telling machines on YouTube.
When my deck arrived I loved the compact yet sturdy box and realised that it was a definite choice for the front of my display shelf.
On opening the box my wonder continued, sitting within a black flocked tray is a small but very attractive booklet, once again I see Zoltar staring at me and this time realise that he’s actually a Zombie, the included information for each card is brief and with plenty of dark humour. The pages are a nice aged retro colour and it’s an easy book to flip through and get card information quickly without being bogged down in loads of text. To make certain you are looking at the right card there are small quirky illustrations and I feel that I’ve found my new favourite deck. The actual cards lie under the booklet bound by a belt of cellophane it’s a bit awkward to remove but I’m well practiced at these things!
The deck itself is a great size to work with and the card stock is good quality, I note that the pentacles suit has been replaced by a suit of Hazards. There isn’t a glossy coating on them but I think it adds to a nice vintage feel. The backs are matt black with Zoltar on each one and he looks great in black and white though obviously quite dead.
It’s a treat to see the imagery on this deck and you’ll pause many times before you’ve looked at them all. Dark, comical and intriguing are the words that come to mind as I inspect the readability of my purchase. I’d like to use them as my regular though of course I’m not sure how people would react to the idea of them.
Now we get to the important part which is judging the cards that are particularly notable to me though. At first glance I’m loving them all, I can’t see any signs or symbols as such but the detail is, nevertheless, very rich in these cards.
The Two of Cups looks like an illustration from an old cookery book, there are two dinners on a table and I know the one I’d rather eat. On the Six of Swords we see a lady in a rowing boat, she’s firing a machine gun with great enthusiasm and accompanied by a man who’s leaning towards her having a quiet word as you do, they both seem to be oblivious to what’s in the water below.
Now on to the Queen of Swords and this shows a grandma who knows how to take care of herself. I am instantly drawn to her pretty dressing gown and comfortable slippers. Judging by the rather menacing fire arm she’s holding I’d say she’s expecting a visitor but not before a couple of cans to calm her nerves. The cutest card has to be the Page of Wands as we see a zombie baby in a highchair, he seems to be enjoying some body parts but I’d hate to think what’s in his feeder cup.
This deck is hard to put away, I think even the most basic learner could read these cards intuitively and for more advanced readers it offers lots of detailed information. The Zombie tarot’s a must for all those who love quirky yet dark decks; those who stick to convention however may feel they’ve reached a dead end (Sorry about the awful pun).
Name: Zombie Tarot
Creators: Paul Kepple
Publisher: Quirk Books 2012