Nina Bunjevac’s Tarot

This summer I was surprised by several out-of-the blue, generous gifts. One of them was from illustrator Nina Bunjevac, with whom I communicate occasionally on social media – we have a little Mutual Admiration Society going. She sent me a set of beautiful French tarot cards, which I received last week and promptly stared at for several hours.

Although we share a first name, I promise that doesn’t bias me. Bunjevac’s line art epitomizes what I’ve always thought line art should be. She’s a direct creative heir to one of my all-time favorite illustrators, Virgil Finlay, and maybe a more distant cousin of Gustave Doré. Her lines go all the right ways, in intricate, mesmerizing patterns, without getting “busy.” Meanwhile she has a brilliant sense of overall design, so her drawings satisfy my eyes on both macro and micro views.

On a long bike ride recently, I contemplated animating one of her cards. I chose the Wheel of Fortune, La Roue, because it looked like Nina had already animated the eyes opening and closing, and I wanted to see them blink.

The animation itself is pretty simple, a 16-frame cycle at 12 fps. On the other hand, cutting pieces of illustration out of their backgrounds in GIMP is a time-consuming PITA, but sometimes I just gotta see what it’ll look like.

Speaking of the Tarot, many of its images derive from the Apocalypse (the Book of Revelation). The Wheel card, for example, depicts the 4 Heavenly Beasts or Living Creatures, which are also essentially the Seraphim of Ezekiel. Here’s my version from my stalled Apocalypse project:

It’s stalled because I’m just not feeling apocalyptic right now. The weather’s still decent, and I’m healthy and biking in the beautiful outdoors and getting swell gifts like Nina’s tarot cards. Life is good! Of course, this can and will change; the wheel of fortune keeps on turning. When it does, I’ll be back to animating the End of the World.

An 18-frame version that allows the eyes to rotate in the opposite direction of the rest of the wheel. I added movement to the clouds too.



Angel o’ the Lord

There are a lot of angels in the Book o’ Revelation, and I’ve been dithering about how to depict them. But they mostly seem like they can be represented like this, except for the one that has legs of fire (I’ll figure out what to do about him/her/it/them/zir later). Flying-hands-with-eyes should be able to handle most apocalyptic angel duties, such as hurling fiery censers, dumping bowls of plagues, blowing horns, and whatnot.


Protective Bicycle Amulets

Available now at

I originally created these for my bike Titania, but got enough stuff to make extras, because selling merch is what made-up religion is all about. Comes with a signed & dated, hand-stapled, 8-page Velosophical prayer book so you can conduct your own bike exorcisms, call for supernatural help on the road, sing hymns, and more.

With this, I think I’m finally done with this obsessive bike side-project, and can get back to animating the Apocalypse.



Exorcise Bike, Part 3: Prayer for Exorcism


(A ritual prayer for Titania’s exorcism, to be performed next week after she comes back from a thorough cleaning and parts replacement.)

In the name of Velocipe Cycladia,
Goddess of bicycles and protector of riders,
Muse of mechanics and engineers,
Who hast inspired and brought forth the greatest achievement of human technology: the Bicycle;

We confidently undertake to repulse the attacks and deceits of poor maintenance.

Cast out from this Bicycle all corrosion and corroding agents.
Defend her components from gungeing up, her metal parts from bending and snapping, her chain from stretching.
From cracks and gouges, we beg You, Great Goddess, preserve the structural integrity of her frame.
Let not her sprockets wear down, nor her bearings become pitted.
O Lady Liberator, keep forever lubricated and freely moving her chain, bearings, sprockets, cables, pulleys, and pivot points.
Protect her tires, that they not be pierced or punctured with road debris, nor worn to the casing; and keep her tubes free of leaks and tears. Grant that her struts and spokes be strong, and her wheels true.
May her bolts remain bolted,
her fasteners fast,
her clamps clamped,
her loctite tite,
and her nylocs locked.

May any mistreatment, abuse, weirdness, improper maintenance, and sadness instilled in this machine by previous handlers, be cast out now and forever.

We drive you from this bicycle:
all unclean spirits,
all corrosive powers,
all cracks and abrasives,
all incorrect lubricants, solvents, and salts.

The sacred sign of the Wheel commands you, as does also the power of the mysteries of Velosophy.

Deign, O Goddess Cycladia,
to grant this Bicycle’s rider the foresight to maintain her,
to clean her as needed, and occasionally lube her chain;
to check tire pressure and brakes before each ride;
to replace parts as they wear out;
to apply grease before bolting.
Grant this rider the strength, courage, and humility to bring forth this Bicycle unto a qualified Mechanic when necessary.

Fill this rider with the spirit of love and dedication worthy of Your blessed Bicycle, that together they glorify Thy creation.

May Velocipe Cycladia be with this bicycle,
and with thy spirit.



Exorcise Bike, Part 2: Velocipe Cycladia

Velocipe Cycladia is the Goddess of bicycles and cyclists.

I had to make her up, because Madonna del Ghisallo just wan’t cutting it: not enough imagery, not enough paraphernalia, and no exorcisms I could find.

My new-to-me bike Titania needs an exorcism. Sometimes, if you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself, so I am writing it. (On the other hand, if I want bike repair done right, I take it to the shop. That’s the mechanic’s expertise; mine is art and making up new religions.)

Although not before named – or perhaps under many names – Cycladia has appeared with the bicycle almost from its beginnings. Evidence is in numerous vintage posters:

























I removed some of these figures from their backgrounds, for possible future use:

But the Lady Liberator, at the top of this post, is my favorite. The bat-winged helmet especially inspires awe. So she will appear again in my next post, accompanying the exorcism prayer I composed today.