D-Brig gets five stars and an asterisk on Goodreads

Phantacea  Revisited 1:  The Damnation Brigade (Phantacea Revisited, #1)Phantacea Revisited 1: The Damnation Brigade by Jim McPherson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Damnation Brigade is the first Phantacea Revisited graphic novel.

The cover is by Ian Bateson, who also contributed a good percentage of the interior illustrations. Until now Ian’s Damnation Island sequence has never seen print.

Flyer for Phantacea books, 2012

Giveaway flyer prepared by Jim McPherson, 2012; artwork by Ian Bateson for Phantacea Phase 1 #1, 1986, derived from Dave Sim for Phantacea One, 1977

Of additional interest to aficionados of independent comic books, Dave Sim drew most of the Launching of the Cosmic Express sequence shortly before he began Cerebus the Aardvark in late ’77/early ’78.

Other featured illustrators include Gordon Parker, Verne Andrusiek (later Verne Andru), Carl Muecke, Vince Marchesano, Tim Hammell and George Freeman (Captain Canuck).

The book, whose dedicated webpage is here, begins with the launch sequence from Phantacea One (1977), as redone for Phantacea Phase One #1 (1987).

Flyer prepared by Jim McPherson, 2912

Giveaway flyer prepared by Jim McPherson, 2012; artwork by Ian Bateson for Phantacea Phase 1 #1, 1986, derived from Dave Sim for Phantacea One, 1977

It carries on with the titular struggles of an ultimately ill-named, 10-member band of supranormals from their re-embodiment on Damnation Island (the original version appeared in Phantacea Two, 1978), through their battles with the Byronic Nucleus, the Primary Apocalyptics and their allies, on both sides of the Whole Earth.

It ends with their inevitable reckoning as it first appeared in Phantacea Five (1980), which has been out-of-print since the very early 1980s.

Ian Bateson's full colour, wraparound cover for The War of the Apocalyptics, 2009

Ian Bateson’s full colour, wraparound cover for The War of the Apocalyptics, 2009

Jim McPherson adapted and expanded on the material presented in this ambitious graphic novel with 2009’s “The War of the Apocalyptics“, a full-length Phantacea Mythos mosaic novel that commences the ‘Launch 1980’ epic trilogy.

Front and back cover mockups for "Helios on the Moon", prepared by Jim McPherson, 2013

Mockup sent to potential cover illustrators for “Helios on the Moon”, the next scheduled Phantacea Mythos mosaic novel

It also includes parts of the Centauri Island and UNES Liberty storylines that  continue (“Nuclear Dragons“, 2013) and will conclude (“Helios on the Moon”, 2014) the latest blockbuster fantasy from Phantacea Publications.

Overall this a delightful complement to the ongoing Phantacea Mythos catalogue of novels, mini-novels, comics and graphic novels; highly recommended.

BTW, it gets an asterisk because Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, wrote the review.

View all my reviews

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Routes not to take to VCON

As per also here and here, Jim McPherson will be signing copies of "Nuclear Dragons" at this year’s VCON. The big event takes place on Friday, 4 October 2013, starting at 7 p.m.

Free entry for the book signing event Friday evening. Vendor’s Room is open to the public all weekend, 4-6 Oct. Website is here.

Two pirate women, artwork by Melissa Mary Duncan, 2013

Image Courtesy of Melissa Mary Duncan www.melissaduncan.ca. Melissa is one of VCON38’s attending artists. We invite you to join her in the art gallery on Saturday (5 October 2013) to watch her at work and enjoy her process.

Event address: Delta Vancouver Airport Hotel, 3500 Cessna Drive, Richmond, BC. Important information follows.

Note #5 in particular. Evidently cosplay (which apparently is a word; a portmanteau, no less) has a drawback. Folks get caught up in character so random acts of piracy may be expected.


1) DO NOT ATTEMPT to walk to Templeton Skytrain station.  It is a very dangerous route across marshy land and strangely looped roads, the nearest station side is blocked off, and Skytrain service does not run past 1:00 a.m.

2) DO NOT CROSS Sea Island Way or Bridgeport Road, except at the lighted intersections at No. 3 Road.  There is a very tempting disused railway crossing at the east (Richmond) end of each bridge. However, traffic is very fast, very frequent, and knows it has the right of way. Sea Island Way is extremely bad: the one-way traffic is coming fast over the hump of the Moray Channel Bridge, and WILL NOT SEE YOU IN TIME.  Traffic on Bridgeport Road is one-way toward Airport Connector Bridge, and has long clear sightlines, but the crossing is still not legal and still not recommenced.

3) DO NOT ATTEMPT to use the north side of Sea Island Way AT ALL, unless you work in the hut at the west end.of the Moray Channel Bridge.  There is a crosswalk on the north side of the bridge, but it is marked “closed”, and strongly fenced off at both ends..Only bridge service staff are allowed to use it, and only when they’re actually turning aside the center of the bridge to let tall river traffic through.

4) DO NOT use the bridge at Bridgeport Road (Airport Connector Bridge) to get to the hotel,. Cars must go this way, but it is a longer route among the tangled roads.  If you use this bridge by mistake, there is a bicycle path, west of the bridge, that leads back under the bridges’ ends and connects up right across from the hotel..  It has “subject to flooding” warning signage on it..  Hope it is not a very high tide!.

5) (For over-enthusiastic pirates) If the Moray Channel Bridge crossing is held up for a passing tall ship, DO NOT ATTEMPT to board said ship.  It will not let you off anywhere you actually want to go, and your outfit and gear will be ruined in the process.

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Last Week’s Rant

Jim McPherson advises that in the early ’60s the Clancy Brothers put out a song called “McPherson’s Lament”. When Chopper (Ray Cooper), the bass and cello player for Oysterband, put out a solo record a few years ago he called much the same song: “McPherson’s Rant”.

Ergo, he’s just carrying on the family tradition with this sort of thing, which began with a correspondent asking him for comments on a business card he was working for none other than Captain C:

Potential Business Card for  "Captain Cannabis", art by Verne Andru

Potential Business Card for “Captain Cannabis” sent to Jim McPherson for comment

Jim McPherson writes:

I assume they go back-to-back in standard wallet size. Captain C colours good, background brown very earthy, not sure about the shining front of panties. Recall also men have bulges down there, especially stoners looking for a date.

The shield’s good. Will tap into Josh Whelan’s Agents of SHIELD, which is hyped to be the TV hit of the season. (Haven’t seen it yet but programmed PVR to copy.)

From a writer’s perspective, the text on backside needs either an ‘and’ or a gerund to read right. Unless, that is, my English is too Twentieth Century for today’s (lack of) readers (teens, twenty and thirty-somethings, what used to be Generation Pick-A-Letter but now seem to be called Millennials in MSM (mainstream media).

Backside of potential Captain Cannabis Business Card

Backside of potential Captain Cannabis Business Card

Ordinarily ‘godlike’ or ‘godly’ are preferred to God, especially when capitalized. Never forget they’re out there. Not the aliens, the Evangelicals. And they’d like nothing better than to bring the Apocalypse crashing down upon your pagan headstone.

Gerund = “using“; the ‘and‘ between date & is. A ‘whereupon’ instead of an ‘and’ would work except, um, you know, it’s got three syllables. (Always wanted to put a warning on my books: “Millennials beware: Contains words with more than two syllables.” Then again millennials has 4 syllables.)

Maybe *“Love-obsessed stoner finds alien marijuana; gains godlike powers only to be sucked into battle from hell. Yawn! But does he get a date?”*

Here’s a recommendation from one of those Book Baby blurbs (more here & here):

“You must be able to explain your book and its main benefit in a single sentence.”

I think that’s nonsense but it is the prevailing wisdom — the elevator pitch preposterously pint-sized (‘reductio ad absurdum’). As near as I can make out no one has time to read, let alone buy a book, in the Twittering Twerp age, unless it’s the Twerking Twit age. Hell, they hardly ever buy CDs anymore.

Still, graphic novels are big – don’t need to read when you can look at pretty pictures – and movie makers love them if only because they’re self-contained storyboards.

End rant.

That said, should point out that there is an elevator pitch on the backside of many business cards and handouts produced for Phantacea Publications. Some of them are here. The same thing is here.

The message side of a business card used by Jim McPherson when out and about on behalf of Phantacea Publications

The message side of a business card used by Jim McPherson when out and about on behalf of Phantacea Publications

It reads:

The gods and goddesses, the demons and monsters, of ancient mythologies have been trivialized, their worship proscribed and the entities themselves mostly confined to another realm.

Jim McPherson’s PHANTACEA Mythos chronicles their ongoing striving for a return to paramountcy.

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D-Print(s) of D-Brig now available via D-Thru

It’s D-Truth.

Covers for Phantacea Revisited 1: The Damnation Brigade

Graphic novel compiles the complete Damnation Brigade story sequence from pH 1-5 as well as pHz1 #s 1 & 2; for more on the Phantacea comics hit here: http://www.phantacea.com/one2six1.htm#logo

After something like 6 months of unavailability for ordering online (with credit cards), print copies  of the graphic novel “Phantacea Revisited 1: The Damnation Brigade” are once again just a click and a few days’ wait away from your residence or mail box.

Here’s the link: http://comics.drivethrustuff.com/product/114985/Phantacea-Revisited-1-The-Damnation-Brigade. Comments welcome either here or there.

Good reading. And viewing.

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McPhersonal Appearances at VCON in early October

It’s almost official:

Jim McPherson, creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, will be attending the Book Launch event opening night at Vcon 2013

Book Launch

VCON’s annual multi-author Book Launch event will be held the evening of Friday October 4, starting at 7p.

Attendees will be able to mingle and chat with a variety of science fiction and fantasy authors, editors and publishers from throughout BC, Canada and the US who have released new publications since the previous year’s VCON or who will be releasing new publications before the end of the calendar year. In addition to the opportunity to schmooze with these authors and publishers there will be a period of readings from some of the attending authors.

VCON’s Book Launch event is OPEN TO THE PUBLIC! So please feel free to bring out your convention-shy friends and give them a brief taste of what we’re about.

That’s of course always assuming there is one: http://www.vcon.ca/vcon-38/special-events/book-launch.

If there is, then he’ll have with him copies of some of his earlier novels as published by Phantacea Publications:

B/w covers of all the novels, mini-novels and graphic novels to date released by Phantacea Publications,  prepared by Jim McPherson, 2013

B/w covers of all the novels, mini-novels and graphic novels to date released by Phantacea Publications

Notwithstanding in-house floods and slow-to-deliver POD producers in the States (why aren’t there any here in Vancouver?), he should also have with him copies of the latest Phantacea Mythos full-length novel “Nuclear Dragons“, the second entry of the ‘Launch 1980’ story cycle.

Front and Back Covers for "Nuclear Dragons"; artwork by Ian Bateson, 1980/2013; text by Jim McPherson

Front and Back Covers for “Nuclear Dragons”; artwork by Ian Bateson, 1980/2013; text by Jim McPherson

And if the newest novel hasn’t arrived up here in backwards Canada by then, well, he’ll happily read from and/or sign some of earlier books; assuming Vcon will let him.

More on “Nuclear Dragons” can be found here, here and here. It’s auctorial preamble is here and here.

The first entry in the ‘Launch 1980’ story cycle was 2009’s “The War of the Apocalyptics“. A note re the dreaded letter ‘D’ and the spoiler alert that goes with it are here and here. Both apply to “Nuclear Dragons” and both were taken from 2011’s “Janna Fangfingers“.

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Marketing Muddle

Here’s a line from “Feeling Theocidal“, the first book in ‘The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories’ epic trilogy that ended last year with the release of “Goddess Gambit“.

5 collages prepared for the Goddess Gambit web page

A variety of collages prepared by Jim McPherson for the Goddess Gambit web page

Top of Muddle Page

The speaker is Tralalorn, the demon child (at least according to Mithras, whom she’s addressing in 4376 YD). As becomes clear in “Nuclear Dragons“, she’s the one who ‘devolved’ Pandora Mannering and Augustus Nauroz in 5920 YD.

She thereby rendered them the perpetual children, Hush ‘n’ Gush (among many other names and nicknames), they still were in 19/5980 when ‘Gambit’ and the ‘Launch 1980’ story cycle are set:

“Muddle the puddle, daddy, that unkind of hurt the squirt.”

Hush and Gush, art by Ian Fry ca 1989

The faerie tricksters also known as Young Life and Young Death, as sketched out by Ian Fry circa 1989

Top of Muddle Page

There’s also this, from the same source:

The third eye in the Steg’s forehead bulged, whereupon it tore out of the Sari Witch and into the Master’s prison pod. Which promptly detonated, hurtling Helena onto her backside. Despite the dampness of the garden’s ground, the Master was more muddled than muddied.

Top of Muddle Page

Which (finally) brings us to a link sent in by an off-blog correspondent: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/aug/27/self-publishing-showcase-tasha-harrison/print

Not sure what to make of her experiences. I for one think she’s underselling her output. All the years and all the time she put into writing her books and she’s reduced to selling them as e-books for 99p a pop.

Even if she sold 2000 of them at 35%, as she claims in the article, that doesn’t amount to much, maybe 700 pounds sterling. (Not a bad return on nothing, I suppose, if you consider writing and ancillary tasks nothing.)

She does make a couple of good points, though. As a fellow marketing muggle (pardon the reference to Harry Potter movies), I certainly appreciate this one: “Overall, finding the time to market my books and write the next one is the biggest challenge – there just aren’t enough hours in the day.”
Top of Muddle Page

Yet it has to be done. Or as I say to myself over and over again as I try to figure out how best to market “Nuclear Dragons”:

‘One way or another I shall muddle through.’

Potential b/w ad for Nuclear Dragons, prepared by Jim McPherson, artwork by Ian Bateson 2013

Potential b/w ad for “Nuclear Dragons”, artwork by Ian Bateson, 2013, rendered grey for b/w reproductions

Top of Muddle Page

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These Nucks You Can’t Duck

Reckon it needs just a couple more tweaks and we’re good to go. Comments appreciated.

Draft covers for Nuclear Dragons, artwork by Ian Bateson 2013

Tentative front and back cover for 2013 Phantacea Mythos print publication; artwork and layout by Ian Bateson, text by Jim McPherson

Print first then e-book I reckon. Might set up a downloadable PDF too, while I’m at it.

BTW, the back cover text hasn’t changed. It just looks way better now:  http://phantacea.com/blog/?p=422#bcovTxt

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Phantacea Phree Reads

As per my ever-so-mysterious correspondent blog_me, I did miss listing a few pHree-Bees here.

At the bottom of every Phantacea Publications web page (http://www.phantacea.com/#pageUpdate), as well as at the bottom of most of the web pages making up pH-Webworld (http://www.phantacea.info/index.htm#update), there are lynx to amazon.com web pages where from you can buy the books or download the e-books on the Kindle format.

You can now click on those lynx and, once you reach where you’re going, you can look inside any of the books that say you can. (For example, here and here.)

As of today you also google up most of the Phantacea Publications books by title on, yes, Google Books and do the same. For example, the link for “The War of the Apocalyptics” is here.

Coming as soon as I get to it, I’ll put lynx to the read-for-free Google Books page for each of the Phantacea Mythos print publications currently available from Phantacea Publications on their dedicated web pages.

Of course you could go ahead and order them directly from the publisher as per here. (Certified cheques and/or money orders only, please include shipping cost listed on order form.)

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The Damnation Brigade graphic novel is now available from Phantacea Publications

PRESS RELEASE                                                    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The entire Damnation Brigade storyline compiled at long last

VANCOUVER, BC: Phantacea Publications is delighted to announce the release of its second full-length graphic novel: “Phantacea Revisited 1: The Damnation Brigade”.

A rip-roaring outburst of creativity featuring Jim McPherson’s taut storytelling and spectacular artwork gleaned from the pages of Phantacea 1-5 (1977-1980), Phantacea Phase One #1 (1987) and #2 (unpublished), it presents the stirring saga of extraterrestrial Shining Ones and the doomed but unyielding Damnation Brigade.

Anheroic Fantasy Illustrated, with a wraparound cover by Phantacea’s master colourist Ian Bateson and 120 pages of interior artwork in glorious black and white by a wide variety of exceptional artists often at the very beginning of their careers, the two-part Phantacea Revisited series reveals how Jim McPherson’s ongoing Phantacea Mythos really got underway.

Artists featured in the graphic novel include Dave Sim (from just before he began to publish Cerebus the Aardvark), the aforementioned Ian Bateson, Verne Andru (creator of ‘420’), Vince Marchesano, various Day brothers and George Freeman (‘Captain Canuck’). Ordering information is here.

Covers for Phantacea Revisited 1: The Damnation Brigade

Graphic novel compiles the complete Damnation Brigade story sequence from pH 1-5 as well as pHz1 #s 1 & 2; for more on the Phantacea comics hit here: http://www.phantacea.com/one2six1.htm#logo

For more information contact:

Phantacea Publications
James H McPherson, Publisher
74689 Kitsilano RPO,
2768 West Broadway, Vancouver BC, V6K 4P4

Primary website: http://www.phantacea.com
Order directly from the publisher: http://www.phantacea.info/phorder1.htm#dbrigGN


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