One of the many great sequences in Book Three, Ozma of Oz, involves The Giant with The Hammer. It's certainly one of the more dramatic bits, and yet the only really interesting illustration that John R. Neill did for the sequence is the one that appears on the chapter page... and that's quite small.
Simply put, Ozma's army of rescue must get from point A to point B, and to do this they need to pass under a giant metal man pounding the ground with a giant metal hammer. Time your passage right, and you'll get through safely... but if you DON'T get the timing right, you end up as a giant pancake on the ground.
I toyed with how to use this veritable Sword of Damocles -- quoth Wikipedia, "an allusion to imminent and ever-present peril faced by those in positions of power." There were a number of ways that I could have gone, but in the end it seemed right to me that in this instance, timing is everything. In red, I included two alchemical symbols for "pulverizing."
It's been a big, productive day here at the DuckHaus -- I'm so close to finishing this deck now, that I set aside work on my latest novel to move this along. I not only designed two cards, but I finalized the concepts for the remaining ones, selected the art, blocked them out ... oh, and, as threatened, I did indeed remove card #20. It will now be "Indecision," featuring Princess Languedere, and it has swapped places with card #54, "Apprehension." Sounds more complicated than it is. The deck has a satisfying shape, the light is showing at the end of the tunnel, and I expect to be ordering up a proof copy of the deck no later than Tuesday!
Oh, and, earlier in the day, this happened:
Check it out at http://circustarot.blogspot.com !