The Particle Tarot                                                                                           Review by Michele Jackson

I recently moved to San Diego, home of Comic-Con. I am not a comic book fan, but I have some friends who are and they stayed with me for a couple of days during the convention. One of them is also a tarot enthusiast, and he told me that Dave McKean of Vertigo Tarot fame was there with pre-release copies of a new tarot book. I asked him to pick me up a copy the next day. From what I understand, this deck is a work-in-progress. The Major Arcana have been finished and are the subject of this book, which is due on the shelves in September. The art is excellent. The medium is photography, which appears to have been manipulated digitally. The images are non-traditional and I would place this deck in the category of "art deck." In some cases, there are two versions of a card. Perhaps McKean has not decided on the final version yet. The style is rather dark, but not as dark as the vertigo deck. The images are more open and less frenzied looking. The large size and square shape of the cards probably help. I was fortunate in getting a copy from the artist because he not only signed it, but he also did a drawing with his signature.

The images in the book measure 8 1/2 inches square. The card name in English and Italian, corresponding Hebrew letter and zodiac sign/planet are on the facing page. The facing pages are attractive as well. There is not a lot of text in this book. There is a very brief introduction by Alejandro Jodorowski, co-creator of the Camoin Marseilles deck. Some of my favorite cards are: The Fool, the Hermit, the Moon (2nd version) and the Tower

The art style is not going to be to everyone's liking and those who are drawn to "pretty" decks may even find it disturbing. Based on what I have seen so far, this deck will probably appeal to collectors and fans of Dave McKean's work. 

Particle Tarot
Artist: Dave McKean
Publisher: asfa (allen spiegel fine arts)
ISBN: 0-9642069-2-7

Images Copyright 2000 Dave McKean

Image shown above is the Wheel of Fortune

This page is Copyright 2000 by Michele Jackson