Hermenautic Tarot (13)

By: Joshua Glenn
November 3, 2015

John Hilgart has asked 54 friends of HiLobrow to contribute to the Hermenautic Tarot — a comic-book rorschach creative writing experiment in symbol-making and oracular speechifying. Each contributor was randomly assigned a card from the 4 COLOR PRINTING CMYK deck, which was created by Tom Hart — using images from Hilgart’s own 4CP archive — to fundraise for the Sequential Artists Workshop. This series of posts will eventually become a booklet. UPDATE: In 2018, we are adding an additional 24 cards to the deck, in order to arrive at a cartomantically correct 78 in total.

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tarot sell out

THE SELL-OUT

A faceless, yet somehow handsome man poses against a white background bedecked with color-smears and erratic line-forms — suggestive of a painter’s studio. Adding to this figure’s virile, nonconformist vibe is an open-necked dress shirt.

This is a card of dreams deferred, ideals perverted, vision obscured. If the Questioner is thinking about putting their fledgling career as an artist, musician, or writer on hold, in order to take a 9-to-5 job working as a “productive creative” — in a field, that is to say, where their communication skills, pro-activeness, problem-solving, curiosity, and risk-taking will actually permit them to earn a living — then this card warns them that their unique persona is in danger of being effaced.

REVERSE: Sell-out? You never bought in, in the first place!

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HERMENAUTIC TAROT SERIES: INTRODUCTION by John Hilgart | Annie Nocenti on THE KUBRICK | Deborah Wassertzug on AS YOU LIKE IT | Douglas Rushkoff on PIXELATED | Kim Cooper on THE GREAT INTEGRATION | Tom Nealon on THE MYOPIC CAPTAIN | Stephen Burt on ENTANGLEMENT | Mark Kingwell on THE WARY WATCHERS | Allegra Huston on PARANOIA | Flourish Klink on THE MULTIFACETED MAN | Jason Grote on THE UNEXPECTED | Jessamyn West on THE SHIFT | John Hilgart on THE B-MOVIE MONSTER | Josh Glenn on THE SELL-OUT | Judith Zissman on THE EXPLODING SUPERNOVAS | Mandy Keifetz on THE INVISIBLE MAN | Gary Panter on THE PASSAGE | Jordan Ellenberg on THE FALSE FACE | Jonathan Lethem on THE GRAVE ROBBERS | Douglas Wolk on DEXTERITY | John Holbo on THE HEAVIEST HEADS | Colin Dickey on KAIROS | Molly Sauter on THE GRAND EXIT | Matthew Battles on ADUMBRATION | Anindita Basu Sempere on THE DETECTIVE | Gordon Dahlquist on THE STREAMER | Jen Collins on OFF COURSE | Karinne Keithley Syers on THE HIGH BEAMS | Sara Ryan on RORSCHACH (NOT THAT ONE) | Deb Chachra on FLYING | Mimi Lipson on EUPHORIA | Cintra Wilson on FEELING CORNERED? | Alice Boone on THE FLAWS | Shelley Jackson on HESITATING HORSE | Jacob Covey on THE PANE | Claire Lehmann on THE APPARITION | Kio Stark on THE FLIGHT RISK | Joanne McNeil on THE RELUCTANT COMMUTER | Lynn Peril on THE WAITING MAN | Jenny Offill on THE VALLEY OF UNREST | Luc Sante on THE OLD DARK HOUSE | Erik Davis on FORBIDDEN FRUIT | Devin McKinney on THE ATOMS | Dan Fox on THE OBFUSCATOR | Patrick Cates on THE MASKED ASSESSOR | Chris Spurgeon on OVERWHELMING TEMPTATION | Jenny Davidson on THE ALL-SEEING EYE | Lauren Oliver on THE HERO COMPLEX | Brian Berger on THE WHITE VISITATION | Tim Spencer on DISILLUSIONMENT | Chelsey Johnson on THE BEARD OF SHADOWS | Alix Lambert on THE EYE FLOATER | Ed Park on THE TWINS | James Parker on THE NO-NO-NOBOT | Amy Thielen on VELOCITY | Lisa Jane Persky on EXPECTATIONS | Veda Hille on THE DUSTY REVEAL | Wayne Chambliss on THE RIDE-ALONG | Kenya (Robinson) on BALANCE BEAM | Ken Layne on THE DOPPELGÄNGER | David Levine on THE GROOVY | Joe Alterio on THE DROP-OFF | Jennifer Krasinski on PREDATORY VIGILANCE | Libi Rose on ELECTROMAGNETISM | Carl Wilson on THE TRACKER | Mimi Zeiger on THE RED MOON | Vanessa Berry on DARK MATTER | Peter Doyle on THE CHAIN OF FOOLS | Joy Press on THE WAYLAYER | Alexandra Molotkow on TBD | Stephanie De Gooyer on THE INVASION | Melissa Gira Grant on TBD | Sarah Weinman on IN THE CORNER | James Hannaham on THE URBAN HAWK | Jace Clayton on TBD | Annalee Newitz on THE PUBLIC CHARIOT | L.A. Kauffman on TBD | Chenjerai Kumanyika on TBD | Mike Watt on TBD.

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MORE HILOBROW/4CP SERIES: BLOW UP YOUR COMICS — John Hilgart glosses 30 favorite 4CP images | The HERMENAUTIC TAROT: 54 Writers, on 54 4CP Tarot Cards | The Art of 4CP | SUBSUPERMEN — Golden Age heroes who didn’t make the grade | MASKED MAN | LIMERICKANIA | MEET THE L.I.S. — Implicit superheroes, concealed within comic-book mastheads | 4CP FRIDAY — themed comic-book detail galleries, curated by 4CP fans

MORE COMICS-RELATED SERIES: KIRB YOUR ENTHUSIASM — 25 writers on 25 Jack Kirby panels | ANNOTATED GIF — Kerry Callen brings comic book covers to life | COMICALLY VINTAGE — that’s-what-she-said vintage comic panels | DC — THE NEW 52 — an 11-year-old reviews DC’s new lineup | SECRET PANEL — Silver Age comics’ double entendres | SKRULLICISM — they lurk among us

CLICK HERE for more comics and cartoon-related posts on HiLobrow.

CLICK HERE to read HiLobrow’s Erik Davis on the origins of the Rider-Waite Tarot.

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