Tarot of Vampyres by Ian Daniels

Tarot of Vampyres by Ian Daniels – September 2010 release from Llewellyn.

Oh my gawth, you guys!

This piece of delicious, flounced-as-all-get-out, over the top, Gothic high camp is the Tarot of Vampyres due for September 2010 release from Llewellyn. The artwork is by Ian Daniels, a prolific fantasy artist & illustrator. He specialises in high romance, approaching his favourite themes in a way similar to what I think the Pre-Raphaelites would have done in a post-Lestat world.

Surprisingly – for someone with a wardrobe that’s 80% dramatically black, and very low standards in vampire fiction (though I draw the line at ~*sparkles*~) – I don’t own a single “gothic” deck. No Bohemian Gothic, no Eternal Night, no Archeon. I don’t even own the Deviant Moon (although I cherish my DM art prints). I’ve just never felt drawn to any of these types of decks.

Brandon Lee as The Crow 1994

Brandon Lee as The Crow (1994), or The Fool from Tarot of Vampyres?

But this. Ohhhhh this! This speaks directly to the me who watched “The Crow” 4 times at the cinema and then overcountable times afterwards on VHS and DVD and TV; who had her choice in college finalised by an encounter with a boy dressed all in black, crouched outside a classroom; who gets giddy at the opportunity to wear a birdcage hat and leather gloves in the daylight hours; and the me who gets decidedly weak and wobbly at the sound of Peter Steele’s voice (RIP).

This me doesn’t take herself very seriously, but boy, does she like to play dress-up! And isn’t this just the perfect accessory? Oh my, oh my, yes it is. It drips equal parts stage blood and melodrama and would fit very nicely in a little coffin-shaped purse. It’s like the Tarot Favole, only better, because this one has illustrated Minors (a couple of which can be seen on the artist’s website). The Majors are all viewable in Llewellyn’s Facebook Album, but I’ve posted some of my favourites below:

Tarot of Vampyres by Ian Daniels. September 2010 release from Llewellyn.

The Fool, The High Priestess and Temperance from Tarot of Vampyres by Ian Daniels. September 2010 release from Llewellyn.

This High Priestess and her levitating grimoire look like they stepped right out of a Gothic Beauty wedding photo-shoot, and if wrist-to-forehead Temperance doesn’t make your snake be-ringed finger twitch to pre-order and cast spells at the dance floor, then you’re obviously more UV-resistant than I.

Or maybe I just need to put down the fishnets and step way from the costume trunk, slowly… ;)


15 thoughts on “Tarot of Vampyres by Ian Daniels

  1. Digital Dame says:

    I just can’t decide about this one. It’s almost a little too cartoony on some of the cards. I suppose in the end I’ll have to add it to my collection. I’ve got almost everything else with “goth” in the title, or vampire-themed.


    • submerina says:

      I think it’s hard to pick an art style when designing a deck that has fantasy subject matter, but is based in an essentially human world. If it’s too real, then you risk alienating people because it’s too gory or unsettling. Going with a cartoony feel, you still communicate the subject matter but keep it just distant enough (fantasy) to remain appealing. It’s important that the viewer wants to be part of the world that’s portrayed.

      I’m thinking of the reactions to “Vampires… Eternal Night” deck. Even though I’m not a fan of obviously computer-generate figures, I think the cards are very interesting, but many people find the “realism” unsettling. It’s the uncanny valley effect, I think.

      You know what “goth” deck the world needs now? An Addams Family deck. Right? RIGHT??


      • Digital Dame says:

        BWAHAHA! Good luck with that ;)

        Eternal Night is one of my fav decks. It’s bloody and dark, but there is a sense of desire in the cards. I think the images in his Tarot of the Elves deck look far more computer-generated, I can’t look at that one.

        I so wish someone could get the license to produce an Addams Family deck, that would be fabulous! :D


        • submerina says:

          Oh, those Elves… they are beyond wooden and unsettling :(
          Eternal Night is the meatiest – in more ways than one! – of the Vampire decks; definitely the closest to “real”. It seethes…

          (And related to nothing: we could be twins, esp. me circa 2000!)


  2. erishilton says:

    If that isn’t Gawth as Fuque… I don’t know what is! I’m kind of surprised that you don’t have at least one goth-icky deck in your stash! For shame… Madam! For shame! ;)

    It’s beautifully done, but it’s far too fantasy-schmantasy for me.


    • submerina says:

      Oh crappity! That’s the one phrase I forgot to use – Gawth as Fuque” :D What reads and what doesn’t is a constant source of amaze- and amusement. I think if I get too caught up in the pretty-pretty, I don’t get sucked in in the right direction. Or something. Then again, the Thoth should count for being the Darquest of the Darque, shouldn’t it? ;)

      I think this deck would simply *have* to be housed in a cheap crushed velour bag trimmed with the nas-asstiest scratchy lace, preferably a recycled Hot Topic item MUAHAHAHAHAAAA!!


    • submerina says:

      Yep. As much people might be tired of the vampire et al decks, that T-light “book” is keeping it at the forefront of pop culture and the manufacturers are going to cash in on the trend. Watch for this one at Chapters/Borders, for sure.


    • submerina says:

      Hello! Yes, I’m especially interested to see more from the Minors. One of the cards on the artist’s website looks like it could be the Ace or Queen of Cups and it is quite lovely. It’s just a really fun deck, to my mind :)


  3. Helen says:

    The artwork is really nice, but you know I don’t think it would speak to me the same way as say the Deviant Moon. I look at the cards you have posted and I love looking at them, to me they are more pieces of art than tarot.


  4. woley says:

    I found myself surprised to be ordering this deck as I’m not a goth type at all and don’t have any of the usual decks in the genre. The closest I come might be the Diary of a Broken Soul which I don’t find dark at all, simply inspiring, but an inspiring person.

    Something about this Tarot of Vampyres just grabbed me, I think it was the comments about the high quality of Ian’s writing in the book that made me buy it. I am not interested in vampire movies or books, but I’ve read a few.

    Although I find some of the art rather kitschy, I like Ian Daniels’ artwork generally so I think I’m going to enjoy using the deck on my card blog. The Six of Knives is my favourite card in the deck. Very nice artistic effort and unusual write-up for that.

    I always figure that if something leaps out at you that is not to your usual taste, you should buy it and work with it and see what comes up.

    This will be interesting.


Marks will be awarded for participation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s