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Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose

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Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose is an American comic book, written and drawn by Jim Balent 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, which have grown progressively stronger as the series has gone on. Most current issues have the characters nude for at least a part of the issue.

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 branded with the Tarot name.

Characters Edit

TarotEdit

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. She is drawn with extremely large breasts and often nude.

Raven HexEdit

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 chalk-white, due to her allegiance with dark magic, and black thorn tattoos cover her body. For a short time, she had an apprentice named Willowry, who quit after stealing a necromancy scroll and overhearing Raven's plans for the human race. 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 then Tarot's own outsize pair, a fact she was very sensitive about in her younger days before she learned to accept her body. She has stated she does not like wearing clothes.

Jon WebbEdit

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 has had sex with Raven, although she was not pleased with the idea and he has no memory of the ordeal. 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 charactersEdit

Crypt ChickEdit

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. She is the only female in the comic to have never been nude in the series.

Boo CatEdit

A female werecat who is Tarot's ex-girlfriend 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 retains her cat form only as long as she stands in direct full moonlight, and is quite the exhibitionist (ie extremely so, when you consider the general approach of this comic...). 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 an affair with Tarot, which she has since resumed. How this has affected Tarot's relationship with Jon is unclear. Unlike most females in Tarot, Boo is drawn with moderate sized breasts.

Licorice DustEdit

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. Like Boo Cat, she too once had an affair with Tarot, possibly at the same time as Boo was. However, it ended when Licorice (or "Licky", as she is sometimes known) mesmerized Tarot and tried to drink her blood. Since the dissolution of that relationship, however, Licorice and Boo have become quite committed to each other, while she and Tarot remain friends. Licky has the smallest breasts of any Tarot character[citation needed].

MotherEdit

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, but once freed took charge of the battle against Azure. Tarot's Mother is rarely show nude. She is generally drawn to be slightly heavy-set and has an extremely large pair of breasts.

AzureEdit

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 ensorceling his 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, and paraded them around in front of his army. The witches were rescued and fought and defeated Azure (while they were all still nude).

Shortly afterwards, Azure enacted his revenge against the witches, seriously wounding Tarot's mother, and stabbing Tarot through the torso. 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 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 it's 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 WitchEdit

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 aide, 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 ManEdit

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. Tarot resists, and is wounded in battle and left for dead; she eventually catches her second wind and frees her 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.

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