I’ve been a huge Grant Morrison fan for a long, long time; you can even catch a glimpse of me in the opening moments of the documentary film talk with the gods, a fact that sometimes makes me wonder if I somehow became a fictional avatar of a Grant Morrison story. Anyway: I was clearly excited when they announced they were launching a new Substack art series, and so far it hasn’t disappointed. While I was tempted to share Morrison’s wonderfully bizarre collage art showing the emotional range of mystical Arthurian sperm gods, I thought BoingBoing readers would be far more interested in their “Pop Mag!c” tarot system. . They write:
Rian Hughes is one of my longest-serving creative partners, with collaborations going back decades now.
Back in 2015, we talked about making a Tarot deck mirroring my “Pop Mag!c” system that might update and recontextualize some of the cards’ familiar imagery.
This was the proof-of-concept sample and I picked my personal favorite map.
Here’s The Magician with comments to suggest not only the visual style of the image, but also the kind of symbolic content I wanted us to incorporate into the design.
The post further details the design process for this pop-inspired Magician card, including excerpts of correspondence between Morrison and Hughes. If you like tarot or design processes, I highly recommend it. Otherwise, the finished product is still worth admiring, with an androgynous Bowie-Harry-Potter-Astronaut-Chemist-DJ at the center of it all:
As far as I can tell, the rest of this Pop Mag tarot system! it never materialized. But this example is cool enough to make me buy a tarot deck for once.
9/2 The Magician #1 [Grant Morrison’s Xanadum]