Question: The amazing opening-credit sequence of Carnivale features a rather magnificent set of tarot cards. Is this something the creators just made up, or was this tarot set actually created, say, as something I could give as a Christmas gift? John, Los Angeles
Televisionary: It is pretty darned cool, isn't it? So cool, in fact, that the folks at A52, the Los Angeles-based effects and design company that created the sequence, won an Outstanding Main Title Design Emmy for their efforts. Good news for them.
The bad news for you and the others who've asked about that deck, unfortunately, is that it isn't available for sale, according to A52 senior producer Scott Boyajan, who said it exists only in digital form and was never a real deck to begin with. For the curious who've wondered where the artwork on the deck came from, it was created by scanning in details from classic paintings (Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel work, Jean Fouquet's Battle between the Romans and the Carthaginians, depictions of St. Michael by Raphael and Ercole De' Roberti, and Josse Lieferinxe's Calvary, among others).
Worth noting, by the way: If you visit the Carnivale section of the store on HBO's website, there is a tarot deck for sale, but it is not the deck you see in that opening sequence.