Jan 082017

Who is the mysterious mystic of the Coven? What strange powers does she possess? Where does she come from? What happened to her clothes?

This card is from Tropical_Artist on ebay who makes endless sketch cards featuring Asian women. I have several of his pieces but this one really jumped out at me. It feels like something from a Robert E. Howard story. I doubt he intended her to be a witch but I certainly feel something magical about her.

Dec 112016

Today’s coven member is a new sketch card from Anastasia Catris. This witch is from the Island Dreams series but I was able to get it direct from the artist.

There is so much to love about this card. I love the fact that she is actually doing magic. Most witch cards are just pinups in witch clothing. I love the detail on the jewelry and I love the clothing. She has an island feel which appeals to my pirate interests. Also, she is not white which is always a plus.

Let me tell you, it is rare to ever find sketch cards with non-Caucasian women.  You would think the rarity would make them expensive but sadly there is a lack of demand. It annoys me that the market is this way but that just means more gorgeous ethnic art for me.

Dec 042016

001Today’s piece is a bookmark custom made for me from Betty Munich. I was a fan of Munich’s work on the Occult Activity Book and I knew I wanted her to draw me a personal bookmark.

Bookmarks are one of my favorite kinds of art.  It is my tendency to anthropomorphize just about everything and bookmarks are no exception. Bookmarks becomes steady companions on the journey of reading a book.

I used to get frustrated with the range of bookmarks available for purchase until I realized that hey, a bookmark is just a bigger sketch card. I commission bookmarks now and I pretty much have a specific bookmark for every subject I read.

When it comes to magic books though, I tend to use a lot of bookmarks. On average I will bookmark a particular three or four times for easy reference later. This means I need a lot of bookmarks and when it comes to the occult, it feels right to have a bunch of unique bookmarks rather than a dozen of the same kind.

Munich has a pretty strong occult sensibility so when I commissioned her, I think I just requested that there be a lot of purple. Everything else was her choice and her choice was fantastic. It is a lovely bookmark and a treasured member of my paper coven.

Nov 272016


Today’s Coven Member is a Purple Witch Sketch Card I commissioned from Jim8Ball. When it comes to witch commissions, I give very vague requests to the artists so that they can draw whatever a witch means to them. In this case, I requested that the color purple be a dominant color and as you can see, he took that to heart.

Long ago I didn’t have a strong preference for a particular color. When you are a boy playing with other boys, you play a lot of board games and war games. Picking a color to represent your side is important and boys usually want black, blue or red. I started to pick green, not because I liked it but because it was always available. Over time, it did become a favorite color because it was a color I associated with me. It was a favorite color by default.

Then I had my first girlfriend and her favorite color was purple. I came to associate purple with all the things wonderful about femininity: breasts, hips, long hair, soft skin, cute noses, dresses, perfume etc. Green stopped being my favorite color and I started picking purple in the games that I played.

When she broke up with me, it wasn’t music or favorite books that we shared that now felt weird to me, but it was the color purple. I felt like I had been cut off from my favorite color even though it only became my favorite color through her. It took me awhile, but I was able to decide that fuck it, purple was my favorite color now and there was no such thing as a color ‘belonging’ to anyone except yourself.

These are the dramas that seem so important when you are seventeen. Over the years, I have made other associations. Purple is the super-science mind-altering erotic color in the movie, From Beyond. Purple is the color of kings and queens. Purple is the color of a spanked ass, bruising. Purple is the color of the Saints from Saint’s Row.

Purple is the color of a special kind of witch.

Nov 202016


This week’s Coven member is a sketch card of Madame Xanadu by Robert R. Smith. She is a DC comics character who has been around since 1978. At first she was a mysterious wise woman who helped people who came to her fortune teller shop. She was a part time character in her own series as the story would focus more on the people who come for help. The reader knew little about her which was typical for magic characters in the 70’s.

That changed with Matt Wagner’s wonderful Madame Xanadu series in 2008. Running only 29 issues, Madame Xanadu is revealed to be a fairy woman who survived the Fall of Camelot and traveled the world trying to find her place. She has amazing divination abilities but knowing the future rarely helps you prevent the future from happening. The series takes place over centuries, allowing for some neat historical stories. By the end of the series, she realized that she best she can do is try to help others.  It is easily one of my favorite comic series.

In pop culture magic, I find Madame Xanadu to a be useful spirit when performing your own divination. Her willingness to help as well as her connections to magic that predates Merlin makes her useful. Unlike a lot of prophecy characters in fiction, Madame Xanadu doesn’t have the self-defeating baggage that a character like Cassandra does.

Nov 132016

001Lately I have been collecting witches. More specifically, I have been collecting art of magical women. I refer to them as my coven and as an anti-social writer, this will probably be the closest I get to joining an actual coven. I thought I would share a coven member every Sunday.

This one is a sketch card from Russ Platt. I don’t know if it is based on a specific character from some other media. I don’t want to know. To me she will always be Naked Cloak Woman. She specializes in Mystery, Obscuration and Flashing.