Database Flies with Icarus and Silenus

This is one of my favourite decks. I like comics, and Mike Indovina has several featuring his character Silenus as well as this wonderful tarot deck packed with mythology and interesting scenes.

I owned a red car for a year which we called “Hector” after the famous Trojan hero killed by Achilles. The day I received this deck in August 2009, we were on holidays and went out, but some guy in a Dodge Ram truck smashed us to smithereens, and I remember my hesitation in wanting to go out on a different day, and that I should stay in and explore my new deck.

Always listen to your feelings. Silenus knows.


I have enjoyed many draws with this, and the cards are small at 89 x 64 mm but they have lots of details. Silenus was a learned satyr in Greek mythology, and people often tried to capture him to force him to impart his wisdom; even the famous King Midas did that. Silenus might have tutored Dionysus and helped the gods in a fight against giants, he is everywhere, which makes him an apt narrator for the tarot journey.

Each card has a scene from Greek mythology that Mike paired with Rider-Waite meanings but he aimed for a visual echo of the Rider-Waite cards too. I don’t often think of it like this but it’s there is you compare. (Click to enlarge.)


I am fond of any deck that deals with mythology, but I wonder if this deck became ghettoized as a Comic-Con gimmick? Tarot people will often be disdainful of any deck resembling a comic. Not so, it is a fine deck with lots of depth and research. It would make a meaningful contribution to anyone serious about tarot and history, mythology and folklore. Here are some draws I made with it.

Ah, the Golden Fleece, Daedalus and his wings, and those centaurs having a bit too much to drink. Fearsome folk.

Mike Indovina has a B.A. in Fine Art (as do many comic artists) and you can still buy the deck directly from him. He has a guidebook for it too which I must buy at some point. He is another artist and thinker who deserves a much wider audience. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with a deck that has this much research and depth.




4 thoughts on “Database Flies with Icarus and Silenus

  1. Oh, I didn’t know he now has a guidebook out, too. I love this deck! As you say, plenty of meat to it. And I really enjoy the playful artwork, must be due to a childhood of reading comics like Asterix and Obelix 😀

    • I grew up on Marvel et al. Family friends had 3 boys and they all had comics–huge collection of all the best ones. I liked Thor.

      Comics and graphic novels have stunning art, really talented people.

      Okay it’s settled, we have to order the guidebook! next time I have $12, Mike’s my man.

  2. I don’t have it but I love the artwork, admiring it many times on your blog. I think many people think of comics as throwaway and trivial. A bit like cartoons. It’s a shame, but the loss Of those who don’t give decks like this a proper look. It’s ironic really, since there are so many decks out there which are not in a comic book style, appearing sophisticated but have very little to say.

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