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MAGICAL TAROT CARDS, FOR THE READING OF YOUR LIFE!

Action… Magic… Romance… And…
Political intrigue?! It’s in the Cards!

Snarky, go-getting junior athlete and school newspaper editor Rin thought she’d outgrown her childhood imaginary friend Yomo, but it turns out he’s beyond real: He’s an ancient ghost who has been cursed to haunt her until she saves the world.

But between the paper, exams, and baseball practice — and a love life badly in need of resuscitation — how can she find the time?

A tarot-themed magical girl story
for magical grownups!


Playing the Fool Part I: Forbidden Magic, the debut first issue featuring art by the creator of the web comic Altar Girl, is available now!

Read | Buy: Print ($4.99) | Digital ($4.99)

His father’s kingdom in ruins, Prince Yomotsuchi yearns to turn back the clock and prevent the destruction of his people. However, he finds himself on a path to hell as his good intentions irrevocably change the course of history.


Playing the Fool Part II: Pressed for Time coming soon!

Read | Buy: Print ($4.99) | Digital ($4.99)

Yomo seeks to reawaken our heroine’s powers, but skeptical Rin will be hard to convince… If — between her attention whore best friend, disgruntled boyfriend, and full course-load — he can even manage to get her attention!

Houses of Cards Issue 1 Cover

Created, Written & Produced by Natasha Lau. Original Design, Concept Art, Storyboards, Logos, Lettering, Effects, Graphics & Editing by Natasha Lau. Art by Kata Kane. Additional Art, Editing, Cleanup & Other Support by Benjamin Lau, Misha D. Nova, Rex Witzel. Guest Art by Alyse Sugahara. Tarot Consulting by Madhavi Ghare.

 


 
 

THE WORLD OF HOUSES OF CARDS

 

Rise of Arcana

Long ago, a shamanic chieftain emerged from obscurity to unite the four warring kingdoms of ancient Arcana – the Kingdoms of Wands, Cups, Swords, and Coins – against a greater, outside threat. He led the charge against these marauders, delivering the people from invasion through his wisdom and might, his courage and leadership.

Upon victory, these disparate peoples entered into an alliance as noble Houses, the Kings and Queens of the four realms rewarding their savior with the title of Emperor. Taking an Empress to help him rule wisely and fairly, the new High King created a fifth House, the House of Crowns, appointing to his court a Knight with the skill of a magician, and a Page with the faith of a fool.

Fall of Arcana

Centuries later, this once-prosperous culture was wiped out by civil war waged by the calculating and ambitious Queen of Swords. Its people and its artifacts obliterated, today all but a trace of Arcana’s influence remains in the history books of Japan. The rest… is the “true” history of Japan (in our alternate universe).

A New, Old Threat

The ancient civilization of Arcana was lost to a cataclysm, erasing its mark from history. But now, in present-day Japan, someone from that lost era threatens to reawaken a long-dead power struggle and destroy their small, peaceful lives — the very threat that brought Arcana to its knees:

The Queen of Swords.

 
 
 

Erin (“Rin”)

Rin’s friends might call her Lois Lane, but she’s about to become her own superhero: the Page of Crowns.

Focused and ambitious, 15-year-old middle schooler Rin is an A-student, star hitter on her girls’ baseball team, and editor-in-chief of her school newspaper. She’s also snarky, retentive, and potty-mouthed, with poor social skills, constantly putting her best friend and her boyfriend on the back burner to put more responsibilities onto her plate than she has time for.

A die-hard skeptic, she’s about to have her world turned upside-down: Not only is her old childhood imaginary friend Yomo real, he’s a ghost. And she’s the reincarnation of the Page of Crowns, the magic-wielding psychic from Yomo’s day? And she has to save the world?!

…And learn tarot? Now you’ve gone too far!

 
 
 
 
 

Misaki

Barely a month older than Rin, attention whore Misaki has been Rin’s best friend and classmate since elementary school.

Misaki’s mother is an African-American soldier who was stationed in Japan when she met and married Misaki’s father, a Japanese lawyer. Half-black in an “all Japanese, all the time” town, Misaki’s used to being noticed, and, frankly, loves the attention. Misaki is a big flirt, a love-’em-and-leave-’em type, whose loud, girly, fashionista personality embarrasses serious Rin to no end, but their friendship is strong enough to withstand their opposing natures.

On the inside, while every bit as fabulous, Misaki is more bluster than experience, having broken most of her hearts before they got past first base. She has spent a lot of time and effort cultivating her slutty, outgoing persona, and Rin is one of the few who ever gets to see her vulnerable side.

Despite her image, Misaki is every bit as studious as Rin, and competitive about it to boot. Misaki and Rin have always had a friendly academic rivalry, where bets on test scores and report cards are paid for in ice cream and movie tickets.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Hijimaro

Rin and Misaki’s classmate, Hijimaro is a pocket protector and a calculator away from being a nerd. Lucky for him he wears contacts and is just cute enough to escape that fate.

About a year ago, Rin and Hijimaro began dating, but the truth is, she hasn’t really looked at him since. The problem is that Rin’s long-suffering boyfriend is in desperate need of a pulse. Like the proverbial slow and steady tortoise, Hijimaro is about as exciting as watching paint dry, but just the kind of stable guy Rin (thinks she) wants in a boyfriend.

Rin has prioritized everything in her life over him, but they are the only two people left on earth who don’t see that.

 
 
 

Prince Yomotsuchi (“Yomo”)

Rin’s literal spirit guide, a subversion of the cute animal advisor or the elderly mentor who dies, as he is fairly young and already dead.

A ghost who died in his late teens, Yomo seems much older due to all that he saw during his lifetime. His was a fallen kingdom whose destruction was so complete that it’s not even a footnote in any history book. Alerted to the return of the evil forces that caused his civilization’s ruin, Yomotsuchi now seeks to find someone with the power to stop it from happening again. Unfortunately for him, that someone is Rin, a dyed-in-the-wool Scully who’s got better things to do than save the world.

Amaterasu (“Teri”)

The psychic Amaterasu. Page of Crowns during Yomo’s time.