The Art of Darkness

The Peanuts Deck

November 2nd, 2011 by Cobwebs

Peanuts TarotNow here is a truly wonderful repurposing of artwork.

The Peanuts Tarot is a riff on the standard Rider-Waite deck, with a lot of clever attention to detail. It’s (for obvious copyright reasons) not available for sale, but the full set of cards can be downloaded if you want to try and print them yourself.

A bit of googling turned up this 2002 BoingBoing post about the deck, where the artist is cited as someone named “Valerian.” His/her long-defunct site had a “Don’t sue me” page which offered this explanation for the project:

An absurd, heretical, really cool view of an ancient ritual of divination… This is a joke. Six-year-old suburban kids enacting adult emotions and situations, breaking them down and magnifying them into hilarious crumbs of childhood experience… ­ tragedy, pain, and measured triumph. With children as protagonists and innocent humor as the disarming tool, the emotions are simplified and magnified (as are the physical features of each cartoon drawing) and the exchanges between the children become both an ironic parody of adult emotions, and an impossibly close and meditative study of them.

Comments on a few other sites indicate that the artist’s plea against lawsuits was unsuccessful, which is a great pity. There should be some Cleverness Threshold whereby stuff like this would be permitted by reason of being really funny.

I like how well the various Peanuts characters and tropes are integrated into the deck, with baseball bats standing in for wands, Linus as the Hierophant, and Lucy as the High Priestess. (I think The Hanged Man is my favorite.)

You can download the deck from scribd if you have a Facebook account; if you don’t, there’s apparently a free trial scribd registration which allows you to download documents free for 24 hours.

(Hat tip to pdq, who finds all kinds of interesting stuff)

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