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You say book. Does it come with a book? Not LWB, I presume.
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There's a review up on YouTube and yes it does come with a book.
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I'm on the fence with this one. I may end up picking it up cheaper off an amazon seller or something in the future, but not racing to buy right now. Something is holding me back.

Funny how - increasingly - renamed cards annoy me - am I right in thinking why bother? Surely someone who turns over a card like The Drowned or The Stranger of Tides just has to do a mental recalculation - er yes, that's the Knight of Cups -and it's just a complete waste of time and thinking power.

Does anybody really internalise these invented meanings? Just call a spade a spade and be done with it!
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I don't like the suit name changes either. It's one of the things that held me back from buying it for so long. But there is just something about the artwork that really appeals to me.

The book is quite good -- it's small, but its 172 pages. Each card is there in full color.
Top   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Le Fanu View Post
I'm on the fence with this one. I may end up picking it up cheaper off an amazon seller or something in the future, but not racing to buy right now. Something is holding me back.

Funny how - increasingly - renamed cards annoy me - am I right in thinking why bother? Surely someone who turns over a card like The Drowned or The Stranger of Tides just has to do a mental recalculation - er yes, that's the Knight of Cups -and it's just a complete waste of time and thinking power.

Does anybody really internalise these invented meanings? Just call a spade a spade and be done with it!
Generally speaking, I'd agree. However I do find there are some exceptions. Like the Halloween Tarot which morphs Swords into Bats, Pentacles into Pumpkins, and so on. But that works because it's playing along with a theme and having fun with it. What you're talking about seems more akin to name changing for the sake of just that - which I find occasionally distracting and seldom inspired.
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They aren't MEANINGS as such, and no - but they don't bother me.
Top   #46
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I ordered this on a whim as it's not very expensive, and I'm really pleased with it. When I looked through it the first time I enjoyed the imagery but thought I wouldn't use it much. I figured I'd be happy to have it as part of my art deck collection. I tried it out with a few spreads this morning & have discovered that it reads wonderfully! The imagery is strange but literal enough that it conveys the traditional card meanings, but the surrealism sparks some very interesting thoughts & insights. It's brilliant in spreads, if you loke to read in a storytelling style. Have a look at these 2 together... you can't help but feel interested in what might have happened here...
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Wintergreen, that one simple image has enabled me more than anything else I've read or seen so far.

I've been on the fence with this deck since I saw it a couple of months ago; I just don't want to buy another deck I'll never read with.

But your image is tantalizing.... Thank you!
Top   #48
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I do have some criticism about the actual physical package, but the more I look at the deck, the more I love it. Despite some inconsequential shortfalls, it's well worth having, as it seems to me to be a highly personal expression of the archetypes and symbolism of tarot, while remaining a very usable deck. I love the courts and the minors: lots of insight has been channeled into these. Some won't like the renaming thing, but for me, it works. I already have lots of decks with the same old, so it's interesting to depart slightly from the norm, and the elemental correspondences remain the same. The Emperor is renamed War, which threw me at first, but it works. It's a less personal interpretation of this archetype, but adds a modern & universal dimension to the deck that feels appropriate in these times.

Japaridze's work is fabulous: she's a highly skilled artist with a masterful command of her materials. She's used acrylic, gouache, ink & collage, & the deck images are all quite varied but the whole thing holds together well in a recognizable style. I think it will be interesting to compare it to the Dali Universal, but IMHO the Japaridze reads way better.

The packaging is good: a gorgeous sturdy box & compact full-colour book. You couldn't say the book is extensive, but it does tell you a bit about the artist & how the deck came to be. Each card is reproduced as a full page in colour and is accompanied by a short interpretation linking the symbolism & meaning.

I'd have loved to see it include a scholarly essay about the artist, as well as something from Japaridze herself on her process of creating the paintings, and her thoughts on tarot in general. It seems to me that publishers miss the boat on things like this that would elevate the book to something special, rather than a run-of-the-mill repetition of things we've read elsewhere.

As for the cards themselves... The cardstock is sturdy but disappointing. I realize that US Games is going for volume sales and the affordable price is a plus, but I'd have loved to see it printed on a linen-type stock... something like the second edition VR with gilding would have been perfect. Don't get me wrong... it's not horrible by any means, but this gorgeous art deserved a better quality of stock. The lamination is just right though, with a very slight gloss that allows the cards to fan perfectly.

The printing is crisp and sharp, but my deck is printed a bit pale. Comparing the cards to the images in the book, it could be darker & have better contrast, which is really too bad considering how vibrant the paintings are.

I hate the backs. Personal opinion for sure, but they could have done something more original than this blah ugly pseudo art deco infinity thing over a generic computer generated texture. It's entirely disconnected from the imagery of the deck.

The noncommittal white border treatment, thin black outline & grey title box choke the images, so I plan on trimming, gilding & discretely adding the titles in gold pen.

Publishers take note (experienced art director speaking here): mediocre graphic design interference really takes away from the beauty of the artist's hard work!!! What looks best on the computer screen doesn't always translate to reality in the same way. Borderless, with the titles at the bottom in a small black band would have been more discrete overall despite seeming like a bolder choice. And don't start telling me that you can't have full-bleed images due to technical specs, bleed requirements etc. That's a lazy cop-out: all you need to do is have a good photoshop tech add image if you don't have enough image. Or else you feel that you have to compensate because your printer is a lazy sob who can't be bothered to do a good print run.

It would have added to the exoticism to have kept the french titles too. I don't think it's necessary to dumb things down for the typical tarot consumer.

I'm really picky about creative direction & printing quality: I was in this business for a long time, so these things tend to bug me because I can see how this could have been a spectacular set. It is really a decent package though. The deck itself is truly original, challenging, inspiring and I can see it holding my interest for a long time to come.
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Wintergreen, that's a fabulous and extremely useful review. Thanks! The art direction stuff you point out is so smart. To toss in my loose change on the title renaming; not really bothered, which is odd b.c. usually i would be. I consider it such a lucky coincidence that i stumbled on this in an actual local shop, where i never find anything but always want to because it's independent (not a chain) and i want to support it. I dont know if i would have leaped otherwise; though, after your review, quite possible. Thanks.
Top   #50


 


 


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