Jim Balent and Holly Golightly talk about TAROT #100…

jim-and-hollyFirst Comics News; Wow it’s 100 issues, I remember when Holly emailed me and talked about launching issue #1.

What has it been like to see your baby reach 100 issues?

Jim: We feel Proud! Excited! Not only have Holly and I reached issue 100 with TAROT: WITCH OF THE BLACK ROSE (Coming out this Sept 2016)
but we did it without missing a Publishing Deadline in 16 years! Many store owners have told us that this is RARE in the comic industry today!
It is with the support of our Readers, Store Owners and Distributors that has made our hard work reach this mountain top!

tarot100-cover-a1st: You had been working as a freelancer at DC since 1984 and doing some indy projects on the side.
At the time you launched Tarot did you feel it was a big risk to give up the security of a paycheck from DC to launch your own company?

Jim: I’ve always said “Feed your Dreams because some day your Dreams will Feed you.”
Whether you are working in Comics for the big 2 or working on private projects , there will always be

1st: For new readers who haven’t been reading Tarot yet, who are Tarot and Skeleton Man?

Jim: Tarot is a voluptuous redheaded Witch who is the Swordmaiden to the Goddess and is charged with keeping the balance between Man and Magick in the modern day world.
She uses her spells and enchanted sword to battle the Dark Forces from the Realm Beyond the Mist that seek to usurp the realm of mankind!

The Skeleton Man , Guardian of the Graveyards, is a cemetery caretaker who through a near death experience can communicate with the dead.
With his spiked fists and his ghost dog by his side, He has vowed to keep the cemeteries at peace and to avenge the Dead !

These two are part of the main characters in the series along with Raven Hex, Tarot’s sister who is also a Witch but follows a Darker Path in Magick!

tarot100-cover-b1st: What is their relationship like between Tarot and The Skeleton Man?

Jim: They love each other and by issue 100 they will be getting Handfasted (Married)! Or so they hope!
All the forces of Evil or the Underworld could not weaken their bond to one another.

1st: What is a Wiccan Handfasting ceremony?

Jim: There are many Traditions and many Witches have different ways of celebrating the marriage between the couple.

Hands of the two are bound together by Cords, Ribbons or anything the Bride and Groom may please.
A sword, broom or rod is also jumped over to represent the start of their new life together.

1st: We have this spectacular 100th issue event and the solicitation says “Today is Tarot’s wedding day.
But it’s her Doppelganger that is about to get Handfasted to her Beloved Jon”(The Skeleton Man) So I have questions.

Who is the doppelganger?

Jim: HAHA! Well you will have to read issue 100 to find out! All I can say is that yes there will be a Handfast (Wedding) between Tarot and The Skeleton Man but…
Will the Witch Bride really be Human or A Doppelganger? And who conjured up this shape shifting creature and why?!

tarot100-studio-edition1st: Raven Hex ,(Tarot’s older Sister who follows a Darker path with her magick) is a Witch and their Mother is the High Witch of the Black Rose… how can a glamour spell keep the two of them from recognizing the Doppelganger as Tarot?

Jim: Once again you will have to read issue 100. But The rule I follow in my comic is, Yes, Tarot, Raven Hex and their Mother are powerful Witches…But!
Beings from the Faery Realm are much more powerful than any Human Being , thus their Magick will be stronger and can easily bewitch humans with their spells as we
read in Folklore. This is not to say that the Faery Realm creatures can not be defeated or detected. It’s just a lot harder to do so.

1st: How does Tarot get captured and chained up in the fairy realm!

Jim: That answer is in issue 99. Tarot is invited to the Faery Realm by the Faery Folk to celebrate her upcoming Marriage.

Gifts are presented to her , there is dancing and merriment. But Not all the Faery Realm Denizens are happy about this event and plan to

curse the wedding with a Doppelganger. That’s the start of the issue. How it ends up… you will have to pick up the book.

1st: Is there any hope for a happy ending to this 100th issue spectacular, or is this the start of the next major story arc?

: A Happy Ending all depends on your point of view. If the curse of the Doppelganger is successful than yes it is a Happy Ending for the forces of Darkness.

If the Real Tarot gets married than yes, it’s a Happy Ending for our Heroes ,Tarot and The Skeleton Man. Either way I see issue 100 as an ending of the main Characters being single. So in a sense from issue 1 to 100 I would say this is the end of a GIANT story Arc. But the Adventure will continue in issue 101!

1st: What should comic fans know about Tarot if they are picking up issue 100 as their introduction to Tarot?

Jim: This is a great issue for new readers to jump on board! It is a NEW BEGINNING as our heroes start their lives together as Man and Wife. (As I said… “They Hope”!)
Will TAROT continue on after issue 100 starting with 101? Yes! Each issue will be filled with Magick, Witchcraft and Hauntings as well as High Adventure just like in the first one hundred issues.
Plus this BEGINNING is NOT A REBOOT that disregards the older issues, so Readers who have followed their beloved characters for 16 years wont feel abandoned!

Practicing Witches and Non-Witches enjoy the series for it’s escapism , it’s values of Paganism / the Craft and it’s sense of humor at times.

tarot100-deluxe-editionIt is a MATURE READERS book and does have nudity in most of the issues. The stories revolve around strong female characters who are comfortable with their sexuality. All these elements I believe sets TAROT:WITCH OF THE BLACK ROSE apart from other comics and have contribute to its success.

Our comic appeals to the Superhero reader as well as the Fantasy reader. (Both Male and Female alike.)
Readers can look forward to more tales of our Heroes battling Malevolent Forces, Magical Beasts and scheming Dark Fairies, all while balancing their lives as man and wife.
More surprises await in the coming years that have made this series fun and exciting to read.

1st: The back up is Tarot the Teen-Aged Witch. What are Tarot’s Teen Years like?

Holly: They are Unique & Relatable… I usually draw from my own childhood.

1st: So no hanging out at the malt shop?

Holly: uh, no. I grew up in NYC- so I don’t think we had one. I went to a Pizza pallor, does that count?

1st: So Tarot and Raven are home schooled by their Mother. Does she hang out with a group of friends?

Holly: She has friends from the Fairy realm.

1st: How was her life different from other kids?

tarot100-photocover-editionHolly: Gosh, my life was so different from other kids, so not having much to base ’Normal’ on- other than being Magickal and a Witch and a comic book character- I’d say that Tarot’s life is uber different but her inner core as a female may be similar to a lot of gals.

1st: Did she resent being different or embrace it?

Holly: I’d say that Tarot is very Hermione-ish. She likes to study and is a bit on the serious side.

1st: Being in line to be the Sword Maiden of the Goddess is a heavy burden for a teen how does she handle it?

Holly: Well, that isn’t something I’m going to examine- that’s a bit too serious and my plans are to look at the lighter side of being a Teen Witch.

1st: How does Raven feel about not being in line to be Sword Maiden of the Goddess?

Holly: Actually she was First in line- That is all in Jim’s History of the girls throughout the now reaching 100 issues of Tarot.

teen-tarot1st: How does this affect their relationship?

Holly: I’ve never seen that be an issue in Jim’s work and if I do deal with that ever- I’d make it funny.

1st: Tarot is being schooled in the ways of magick, how is her magick at this stage?

Holly: Again, very Hermione – she’s a serious student.

1st: Is Teen Tarot just going to be in issue 100 or will we be seeing more of her in the future?

Holly: I do have many many responsibilities with our company, if I can steal away time , you bet I will create another fun story!

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