Thursday, 28 August 2014

Penny Dreadful Overview + Giveaway

Ah, the joys of buying a deck pretty much sight unseen!  I had high hopes for the Penny Dreadful Tarot (Showtime), and the first few cards (the Majors) didn't disappoint.  Simple line drawings on a purple background, a creepy take on tradition.  Like the skeleton roaming free under a spiky Sun, the images are clear, spooky, and work very well both intuitively and archetypally.

The Courts, too, are surprisingly good.  For instance, in this King of Pentacles we have a mature man in a crown and draping cape.  He holds an antlered skull on a wand, with an inverted pentacle etched into its forehead.  Grounded, perhaps too materialistic, as well as domineering, he is a strong figure.

Even the Aces are interesting, if not totally traditional.  In this Ace of Wands we have a panther licking a big wand.  Very phallic, with all the pent-up energy of a great cat to boot!  Something appealing, that energises and inspires us, that we can't stay away from, even if it isn't always good for us :D

However, then we come to the bulk of the Minors, all the cards 2-10.  These generally have a central "theme" or image.  So, the Seven of Wands builds up from the two of wands, which had the foregrounded wand with a skull and one other wand on it, to what you see in the image.  At least they show the correct number of suit objects.  Other than that, though, I find them very disappointing.

It's strange, for me these cards are worse than non-illustrated pips.  For instance, if we look at the Six and the Nine of Cups, the central image is the same, and catches the eye.  The difference between the number of cups and their placement seems minimal.  The situation gets worse the higher up each suit we go.  As you can imagine, the Ten of Cups has nothing of family or joy to it, just even more cups and the still-hooded figure. 

Imagine if you got a number of cards from the same suit in a spread.  There is no colour variation, and little image variation.  These are the worst of both illustrated and non-illustrated pips: a central image which attracts attention, yet has nothing to say; and then suit objects that you cannot easily count or distinguish.  The image distracts me from straight-up numerological and other traditional readings, while not adding anything useful to an intuitive interpretation.

All that being said, I am sure there is someone somewhere who would get on with these cards.  With that hope, I offer an unopened deck as a giveaway - postage paid to anywhere in the world.  I bought two decks, as I have a friend who loves purple, and loves the Bohemian Gothic Tarot, so I thought this might please her.  Looking through my own copy, though, I realised it wouldn't (partly as there are spiders on a lot of the Majors, of which she is terrified, and partly because of the pip problem).  So, if anyone is interested, just leave a comment.  I will announce the winner (if there's more than one person interested) next Friday, 5th September :)

19 comments:

  1. LOL That is the worst review I have ever read from you, Miss Diplomacy. It almost makes me want to enter just so I can get a look at them, and then pass them on myself. In fact, I would like to do that. Could I please be entered into the draw? :D

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    1. Well, as I said, the Majors, Courts and Aces are nice... You're in, Carla :D

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  2. It really is one of the worst decks I've ever seen. But apparently producing it changed the life of the artist -- http://irio.deviantart.com/art/Penny-Dreadful-Tarot-Cards-449642001

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    1. Well, good on them, but I still don't like the Minors!

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  3. Hello, Chloe.

    Thank you for this wonderful giveaway.

    I´d love to win this deck. I´m a great fan of Eva Green, and love her character Vanessa Ives. Enjoying a lot of Penny Dreadful.

    Wishing you and all your family health blessings (I want to let you know that I and my mother are praying for all of you)

    Ravenna Rose

    https://www.facebook.com/ravenna.rose.90

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    1. Hiya Ravenna,

      Maybe if I'd watched the show I'd be more into the deck... Ah well, you're in the draw :)

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  4. Just want to tell you I can relate to your feelings about this deck and I don't want to enter the draw :D

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  5. Thank you for this very generous giveaway, I enjoyed the show and I would love to win these! They're so different from any cards I have and despite the bad reviews I've read, I'm intrigued!

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    1. Hi Crimson Moon, and good luck in the draw. Hope you don't regret it if you win :)

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  6. I quite like them in a perverse kind of way... though I am quite partial to a minimalist deck... I'd be more than happy for you to toss my name into the hat! :) Thanks ;)

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  7. As I watched the series and loved it, I'd also be happy to own a copy of the deck. ^_^

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    1. Hmm, maybe I'll bond with my copy if I watch the series... seeing as you recommend it :) You're in the hat!

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  8. Hi Chloe. I'd love this deck. Just got to the end of the series and loved it. Nothing like some traditional good vs evil in the evening lol.

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    1. Hi Claudia Joelle, glad to hear another positive review of the series. Okay, will pop your name in the hat, too :)

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  9. Haha!!! I am gonna pass on this one but I love giveaways in general. I haven't had one in a long time. I really should. Maybe after the move for my blogoversary!
    Xxxooo

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    1. Haha, yes, I'd wait - you have more than enough to be getting on with for the moment. Though I guess it would do a teeny bit to help with decluttering :D
      Cxxx

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