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Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose
Tarot Witch of the Black Rose no 1.png
Cover to issue #1 of Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose (March 2000). Art by Jim Balent and colors by Holly Golightly.
Publication information
Publisher Broadsword Comics
Schedule bi-monthly
Format ongoing
Publication date 2000 to Present
Number of issues 59 as of November 2009
Main character(s) See Characters
Creative team
Writer(s) Jim Balent
Artist(s) Jim Balent
Colorist(s) Holly Golightly
Creator(s) Jim Balent

Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose is an American comic book, written and drawn by Jim Balent with coloring and lettering by Holly Golightly and published by Broadsword Comics since 1999.

It is the story of Tarot, a warrior witch, and her family, friends and lovers. The comic generally features stories of fantasy action and adventure interspersed with frequent scenes of nudity. As well as the comic narrative, each issue is backed up with interviews with "actual" witches (who are also sometimes nude and Wiccan practitioners, and advertisements for "real-life" spells and potions.




Originally called Rowan; protects her family and her craft as the Swordmaiden of the Black Rose coven. By her own admission not a master witch, yet still quite knowledgeable and capable, with both a spell and a sword. The more pacifistic of the two sisters, Tarot lives with her mother, and later her sister Raven. She takes her job very seriously, even refusing to get married because of the danger involved. She has a winged cat familiar named Pooka, who is seemingly intelligent at times, yet distinctively a cat.

Raven Hex

Tarot's older and darker sister. She longs to create a world for witches, and has gone so far as to raise up an island from the sea where only witches may set foot. Despite her militant views, she still loves her sister and mother very much, and has every intention of allowing them to live in her witches' paradise. Her skin is permanently moonlight white, due to her allegiance with dark magic, and snake skeletal tattoo cover her body. For a short time, she had an apprentice named Willowry, who quit after stealing a necromancy scroll . She is easily annoyed by fairies, and distrusts humans, giving them little leeway. It has been hinted that if she were to actually declare war on the mortal world, that she could easily raise an army from amongst the supernatural beings, though after the debacle with the Dragon Witch, this assurance remains to be seen. Her breasts are a good deal larger than Tarot's own, a fact she was very sensitive about in her younger days before she learned to accept her body. She has stated that she does not like wearing clothes.

Jon Webb

Tarot's lover and ally; a groundskeeper for an abandoned cemetery, he possesses the ability to see, summon, and make corporeal the dead, a gift he received after he was comatose following a near-fatal car-crash.

He prefers isolation, and protects his cemetery from looters, vandals and such by wearing a skeletal costume and going by aliases such as Skeleton Man, Graveyard Guardian, and Fright Knight. He seems quite capable in a fight, even being able to outrun a group of angry dragons, although he is still only human, without any overt magical talents whatsoever. As a sort of running gag, he is frequently rendered incapacitated, drunk, drugged, bewitched, or unconscious, and then taken advantage of by any number of women in his vicinity. Once while drunk on enchanted wine, he had sex with virtually every female he came across in the fairy realm. It has even been implied that he will have a child with both Tarot and Raven, in the future. He proposed to Tarot after taking her and her family to Hawaii, but she turned him down, saying it was too dangerous. Deeply arachnophobic, and has a loyal ghost-dog named Wraith.

He recently reclaimed his cemetery from a powerful wraith-like spirit, following a brutal beating by a group of demonic thralls dressed like nuns. After a brief convalescence with the Fluffy Witch Coven, Jon returned and defeated the usurper and his thralls, rescuing Crypt Chick from Hell itself.

Recurring characters

Crypt Chick

Crypt Chick, aka Brandi, is Jon's ex-girlfriend, a former singer who was killed in the crash that gave Jon his clairovoyance. Deeply resents her death and refuses to move on, going so far as to convince Raven's apprentice Willowry to steal a necromancy scroll to give her back her flesh. The attempt failed when Willowry arrogantly left the Wiccan Goddess' name out of the incantation, and was turned into a tree as punishment. Brandi, who adamantly insists on being called Crypt Chick, once even allied herself with Raven while the latter was still very much anti-mortal, but the alliance fell short when Raven refused to live up to her part of the agreement and restore Brandi to life. She has since mellowed somewhat, in large part due to Jon's having formed a band of ghosts for her to sing with.

Boo Cat

A female werecat who is Tarot's and current sexual partner. She is a salesperson in a lingerie store, which is where she first saw Tarot. Often deals with the isolationistic mindsets of less-informed lycanthropes. She is quite the exhibitionist. She apparently performed oral sex on Jon twice while he was recovering from the venom of a medusa, claiming that she was only "sucking out the poison". At one point she had a relationship with Tarot, which she has since resumed. How this has affected Tarot's relationship with Jon is unclear.

Licorice Dust

Boo Cat's lover, a vampire who dresses as a goth cheerleader. Her real name is never mentioned, but she apparently took the name Licorice because she was "sweet, and very bad for you."

Doesn't like humans because they keep trying to kill her. Licorice is quite committed to Boo but it is not reciprocated in monogamy but is with love.


Tarot's Mother, despite being a major character in several stories has consistently remained unnamed. She cares for her daughters deeply, and has joined them in several battles. Most notably in the fight against Azure. She was stripped along with her daughters ( as Boudica was with her daughters), but once freed took charge of the battle against Azure.


Azure is a dark elf whose attempts at uncovering immortality turned him into a maddened vampire-elf. He was chained for a thousand years to keep him from destroying the human world, but he escaped by ensorcelling his elven female guards and turning them into vampires. He tried to raise an army to lead against mankind, with Raven as the leader, but she refused him, forcing him to use one of his vampire slaves instead. After capturing the three witches of the Black Rose, he stripped them naked. The witches were rescued and fought and defeated Azure .

Shortly afterwards, Azure enacted his revenge against the witches, seriously wounding Tarot's mother, and stabbing Tarot through the abdomen. Although both women survived, Tarot has apparently lost the ability to have children as a result of Azure's curse. Once she has recovered, Tarot strips off her clothes and paints herself with mystic blue stripes. She sneaks into Azure's prison, and confronts him, learning that it was he who told the Dragon-Witches about Raven's gathering, and he who sent the lich that beat Jon nearly to death. He also revealed that he did not escape his cell--something had bored its way in, allowing him to cause chaos while still in chains. While Azure is still gloating, Tarot, decapitates him and puts his head in a jar of salt, effectively rendering the insane immortal brain-dead.

Mor-Meb-Dred,The Dragon Witch

A female dragon, who is able to assume the form of a humanoid female. Like most of her kind, she hates humans because they hunted dragons in the past, calling these dragonslayers "heroes" when more often than not they were merely murderers. These dragons completely embrace Raven's more militant views, and even join Azure when they believe Raven is leading his army. But when the truth is revealed, the dragons strike at Azure, although they still believe that humans should be wiped out. It is ironic that the main dragon witch featured comes to Raven's aid, when she later attacks and seemingly kills Raven for being slighted at a meeting of the covens. However, Raven is revealed alive, albeit gravely wounded, and even the Dragon-Witch is revealed to have survived, only dying momentarily before being revived in a dragon ceremony akin to a Viking funeral.

The Bleeding Man

A grotesque figure, his eyes seem to constantly seep blood, and he covers the upper half of his face with a burial shroud. He seems obsessed with locating an Object of Power called the Witch Key, and takes to abducting witches from both realms to find it. He sends out a volcanic rock henchman who finds Tarot naked communing with nature. He brutally and continuously tortures her for ten days non-stop. He consumes all of Tarot's body liquids, thinking her power may lie in them. When he does not find the witch key she is cast in an iron maiden to die; she eventually catches her second wind and frees her naked sister witches from captivity, and leads a successful assault against the Bleeding Man. Tarot, manages to dismember him by cutting off his hands during a sword duel, and traps him within the same Iron Maiden he had placed her within. As a final revenge, Tarot then casts the Iron Maiden into a lake.


Sunday, March 1, 2009 at the MegaCon convention Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose and character Raven Hex won three of the twenty-five categories in the first inaugural Project Fanboy Awards. The title Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose won the category Best Title and Best Indy Title and the character Raven Hex from the aforementioned title won the category Best Indy Villain.[1]


External links

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