Still no sign of Psycho — except on the Simpsons

Well, it worked last time up, so let’s try another …

Haven’t watched anything on Fox, not even football, for decades. Still this really is Psycho. Which is also the name of a Phantacea Mythos character, albeit as a brain in a box, last seen in “Nuclear Dragons“.

Having, thanks to his sister, Aranyani Nightingale, who first appeared nearly forty years ago in Phantacea 1 (September 1977, see back cover shot of Aran and a few others as drawn by Dave Sim way back then) avoided becoming a light snack, he’ll be back in quest of the rest of his body whenever “Destination Damnation” gets published.

“Hidden Headgames” will come out before it, though, later in year.

Seems there isn’t a handy shot of Psycho Saul Ryne from the PHANTACEA comic book series readily available. Remind with a comment below and there soon will be.

 

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Cathead Coming

Kind of nifty. Like the three eyes. Not so sure about the cat’s head, though there is a Cathead in the Phantacea Mythos, hence why it’s on pHantaBlog.

Goes by the Illuminary given name of Cathune Bubastis. She’s the Apocalyptic of Drought and, yes, she does have three eyes. She’s also the brood sister of Pyrame Silverstar and the devil child Tralalorn, who might actually be a self-determinedly never-aging demon child.

Based on an Egyptian Goddess from the second millennia BC, if not earlier, Drought  has a linchpin role in “The Forgotten Fiend”. (Hit here if you’ve forgotten who he is,) Or does she? Hmm …

Fiend’s a story sequence originally written to lead into “The War of the Apocalyptics“.
It’s one of the three now interlinked ‘preludes’ or extended vignettes that conspired to form “Hidden Headgames”. In its case that’s mostly because it got tired hunkering down inside PHANTACEA computers with nowhere else to go since the early 90s.

BTW, the other two sequences are “Pyrame’s Progress” and “Acquiring Nihila”. The latter’s titular character appeared throughout “Goddess Gambit“. Plus, somewhat less pivotally, showed up ‘bigly’ in “Helios on the Moon“.

The titular character in the former mainly features in “Feeling Theocidal“, where Tralalorn also struts her stuff. And her Chimera.  Pyrame also has fairly significant roles in both “The Death’s Head Hellion” and “Contagion Collectors“.

Headgames is coming in late Spring, early Summer 2017 from Phantacea Publications.

Not sure how well this will work if you’re not also on Facebook, but hit the play button and see for yourself. If it doesn’t click into psychedelic action immediately, the ‘https’ link beneath image should get you to the ‘woo’ animation.

 

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Not what you’d want to see on Boxing Day … even in a little lacquered box

Not what I’d want to see, that’s for sure.

Image of a disembodied brain superimposed on a computer circuit board taken from the web

Image of a disembodied brain superimposed on a computer circuit board; taken from the web where it was used to illustrate story of Google’s AIs communicating with each other in their own, thus far indecipherable language

As per “Decimation Damnation“, it was Boxing Day, albeit on the Inner Earth of Sedon’s Head, the 26th of Tantalar 5980, in the Weirdom of Cabalarkon, to be precise, that tiny Tina (Athena Zeross), age 6, asked the question that delayed, if perhaps not permanently prevented, Blind Sundown killing Wilderwitch:

BTW, the Percy Sundown thinks about in this quote is Tina’s eldest sister, Persephone, who’s just recently turned 16. He didn’t kill her either … yet.

“Where’s your pretty little box, skinny Auntie Wildie?” wondered Tina, tears under control now that she felt, howsoever erroneously, safe in her mother’s arms.
Sundown let Wilderwitch go. Thought better of it immediately, picked her up bodily just as she started to swoon and carried her over to the nearest available sofa. Whereupon he laid her down, stepped back and let Mel deal with redressing the seepage-drenched bandage around her right thigh.
He didn’t feel bad about her. Didn’t fell bad about what he’d been intending to do to her ever since Percy begged for her life by blaming the Witch. He felt bad for them, all of them, for himself as much as for her and everyone else, what was left of the Family Zeross and their just-this-morning, four lost fellows in D-Brig.
He knew what fit into a little lacquered box. The remnants of Psycho’s brain!

Guess that means Crystallion and her atomic firedrake didn’t kill Magnifico in “Nuclear Dragons” after all.

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

Hit here to reach online article entitled: “Google’s AI Are Sending Encrypted Messages to One Another That No One Can Decipher”

Final cover for print edition of "Decimation Damnation", collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2016

Final cover for print edition of “Decimation Damnation”

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Best Yet Borealis Brolly

Have a quote (from 2014’s “Helios on the Moon“) and a shot of the best Borealis Brolly yet

Northern lights with distinctive umbrella shape; photo attributed to Tina Tormanen, taken from Web

From Tina Tormanen’s “Magical Photos

“There still wasn’t any Gypsium to do his G-string thing. Young Death, as he was best known below the larger Dome, didn’t blame the Diver. He reckoned – probably correctly – that Freespirit Nihila, whom he still regarded as Fisherwoman, must be taking it all into herself; her Borealis brolly, put better.

“She was up there all right. Was certainly no denying she was facially Fish, albeit with an extra eye and sporting more glitter in her wardrobe than even during the years she spent as Greater Godbad’s controversial queen (by marriage, not heredity). She’d somehow grown unheard of huge, bordering on ridiculously so. Those were definitely her feet to either side of Dustmound, though. Webbed toes gave that away. So the legs and all the rest of her towering above them had to be hers as well.”

Front and back artwork by Ricardo Sandoval, 2014; text and layout by Jim McPherson

Potential covers, with spine, for Helios on the Moon, the multiple character, 2014 Phantacea Mythos mosaic novel that concludes the Launch 1980 fantasy epic

Here’s a link to Tina Tormanen’s highly recommended “Magical Photos“. A photo force to be reckoned with, I reckon. Contains some spectacular shots.

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Good Cover, Bad Cover, Final Cover(s)

Final cover collage for the print edition of “Decimation Damnation”

Final cover for print edition of "Decimation Damnation", collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2016

Final cover for print edition of “Decimation Damnation”

Made mention of cover controversy surrounding the various collages prepared for “Decimation Damnation — Wilderwitch’s Babies 1” a number of times out here in Cyberia. (See also here and here.)

Lately it’s got so bad I’ve had to eject an entire row from the graphics section on the Witch Babs page.

It had to go somewhere so …

Source of Viennese Photo Montage

Front cover picture of Sharbat Gula as it appeared on National Geographic cover in June 1985

Though shot in 2010 at a public gallery in Vienna, Austria, it turns out that the otherwise unidentified photo montage used in the cover collage in this row began as a photo taken for the National Geographic’s June 1984 issue and as such can’t be pHanta-used as is.

The subject’s name is Sharbat Gula, at the time (1984) age 12. More on pH-Webworld‘s Summer 2016 entry of Serendipity and …

Rejected full cover for "Decimation Damnation" mini-novel

Full tentative cover for Decimation Damnation mini-novel, prepared by Jim McPherson, 2016

Background image is a sunset taken at Jericho Beach in Vancouver, July 2015; Easter Island Moai taken from the Web then solarized

Rejected front cover for DecDam

Main shot taken in Vienna, Austria, gallery, uncredited art, photo by Jim McPherson, 2010; used on tentative front cover for 2016 mini-novel, prepared by Jim McPherson

Wilderwitch representative spotted and shot in a Vienna, Austria, city gallery in 2010; Moai used to represent between-space stone gnomes reputed to exist in the Weirdom of Cabalarkon

Did manage to retain the darker version of the cover for use on one or the other of the mini-novel’s digital editions (PDF or e-pub). So hardly a wasted effort.

Tentative full cover for "Decimation Damnation"

Took out the face, save for the hair and eyes, of the Afghan Girl and filled in space with Daemonic Desperation graphics. Like result a lot … but may not use it for print to blackness issues. Should be okay for digital editions, though.

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Duelling coverage

Collage entitled Daemonic Desperation, prepared by Jim McPherson, June 2016

Right centre: colourized version of Dancing Witch from the Legend of Tam O’Shanter, artwork by John Faed, 1819-1902; Ancient Night by Henry Fuseli, 1741-1825; revenant between them by Pieter Pourbus, 1523-1584, shot in Bruges 201`2; cameo Sedon shot in Bruges, 2012, same as statue of hooded woman in middle of image; other images taken from Web

As per Serendipity and … here, finally learned where the girlish face featured in the otherwise unidentified photo montage on the last post came from. It’s purloined from a National Geographic cover from June 1985. The girl photographed by Steve McCurry in 1984 was Sharbut Gula, then 12. More on that here.

Tentative cover for "Decimation Damnation", graphic prepared by Jim McPherson, June 2016

Daemonic Desperation graphics transposed to tentative cover for “Decimation Damnation” mini-novel

The photo montage used was shot in a public gallery in Vienna, Austria, in 2010 but didn’t shoot the information plaque. Result? Had to rework the tentative cover and poster at bottom of page painstakingly prepared for DecDam over a month ago. Hence delay.

Still like the eyes, as per immediately, but  can’t decide if cover collage is usable. Maybe make up mind tomorrow.

Tentative full cover for "Decimation Damnation"

Took out the face, save for the hair and eyes, of the Afghan Girl and filled in space with Daemonic Desperation graphics. Like result a lot … but may not use it.

So what do you think? Comments appreciated below.

Black & white version of revised poster for Wilderwitch's Babies, prepared by Jim McPherson mostly using his own images, 2016

Black & white version of revised poster for “Wilderwitch’s Babies” as used on the print version of “Decimation Damnation”, the first mini-novel taken from that as yet open-ended saga. More notes here: http://www.phantacea.com/witchBabsPage.htm#graphics

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ISBN must mean … yep, it’s officially “Decimation Damnation”

One thing about living in Canada, ISBNs cost zilch. Now if only the Canadian dollar would reach a sensible level, Wilderwitch’s Babies 1 could begin to see the printed page:

Hello Mr. McPherson,
I have assigned to your novel :
Decimation Damnation (book) = ISBN 978-1-927844-15-1
Decimation Damnation (digital) = ISBN 978-1-927844-16-8
Decimation Damnation (pdf) (electronic book) = ISBN 978-1-927844-17-5
Since you are a Canadian author/publisher, you are required to send copies of your publications to Library & Archives Canada. This is the Legal Deposit process.
Here is information on Legal Deposit:
http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/…/legal-d…/Pages/legal-deposit.aspx
Thank you,

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Potential Dust Cover for "Wilderwitch's Babies 1", collage prepared by Jim McPherson ca 2008

2008 version of cover for “Wilderwitch’s Babies 1 — Decimation Damnation”

2005 working cover for Wilderwitch’s Babies. Thinking it might be too dark. Still fond of eye-stave gargoyles on back and the angry house-head on front.

Statue shot by Jim McPherson in backyard of Leighton House, London, England, late 1990s

Sundown type with spear and snake but on a horse, not Raven’s Head, statue shot in backyard of Leighton House in London, England, late 1990s

Cut-out of the eyeless face used in the cover collage; taken from a wooden plaque shot in Montreal in April 2000 by Jim McPherson

Cut-out of the eyeless face used in the cover collage; taken from a wooden plaque shot in Montreal in April 2000 by Jim McPherson

1. Wilderwitch with fearsome soul-self extracted from a wooden plaque spotted and shot in Montreal in April 2000;
2. house-head spotted and shot in Hasankeyf Turkey in 2003 then given blue eyes (also here: http://www.phantacea.info/fallof03.htm#logo);
3. Sundown figure on corner of house-head is a statue spotted and shot in backyard of Leighton House in London sometime in late 1990s;
4. gargoyles and caduceus on back from, I believe, Paris circa 2004;
5. Tuareg figure scanned in from the Vancouver Sun at some point. Even if this guy appears white, it’s reminiscent of Trinondevs of Weir.

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More cliffheads link from here
; more on the cover collages here.

Hasankeyf House Head Given Eyes by Jim McPherson in 2008; shot taken in Turkey, 2003

Hasankeyf House Head Given Eyes by Jim McPherson in 2008; shot taken in Turkey, 2003

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“Decimation Damnation” cover collages

Cover collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2005

Variation of a cover collage prepared for what’s now called “Decimation Damnation” ca 2005

Here’s another take on the cover for “Decimation Damnation“, a web-serial that appeared in its entirety on pH-Webworld (aka Phantacea on the Web) starting around twelve years ago. (Might have been called “The Weirdness of Cabalarkon” then, at least for awhile.) New version won’t be the same, though.

BTW, it came in at 170 pages but an as yet unwritten Auctorial Preamble and a Character Companion (some of which is here) will enlarge that.

Potential Dust Cover for "Wilderwitch's Babies 1", collage prepared by Jim McPherson ca 2008

2008 version of cover for “Wilderwitch’s Babies 1 — Decimation Damnation”

Might go back to it if I go with a collage cover along the lines of the 1000 Days mini-novels.

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Wooden plaques spotted and shot by Jim McPherson in Montreal, 2000

Wooden plaques spotted and shot by Jim McPherson in Montreal, 2000; no information on the artist’s name

Isolation shot of the wooden plaque used in cover collage, photo manipulation by Jim McPherson

Isolation shot of the wooden plaque used in cover collage

Both parts of the Wilderwitch figure were taken from a snap shot in Montreal in April 2000. The wood plaques are all by the same guy; unfortunately there are no names I can find on them.

Her “fearsome” soul-self is in foreground; not looking very fearsome I’m sorry to say, but the lack of eyes does make it kind of spooky.

As an aside, and hopefully without giving too much away, what happens to Blind Sundown when he is given crablike, ommatophorous eye-stalks is anything but ducky. It’s truly beyond either fearsome or spooky.

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Caduceus with gargoyles collage prepared by Jim McPherson

Utopian Warriors of Weir manifest gargoyles atop their eye-staves; Mel-Illuminatus manifests a healer’s caduceus; graphic combines both

A hairpin shaped like a caduceus, image taken from web

A hairpin shaped like a caduceus like the one Mel-Illuminatus manifests atop her dinky eye-stave in the mini-novel

Two gargoyles atop Notre Dame, photos by Jim McPherson, 2004

Two gargoyles shot atop Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral in 2004 by Jim McPherson

The caduceus is actually a hairpin. Not sure where it came from but the gargoyles are definitely from the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. They were taken in 2004, when you could still walk up steep — I’d call them precipitous — stairs to the gargoyle level. Not sure sure whether you can do that anymore.

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Hasankyef House Head Given Eyes by Jim McPherson in 2008; shot taken in Turkey, 2003

Hasankeyf House Head Given Eyes by Jim McPherson in 2008; shot taken in Turkey, 2003

Part of the Hasankeyf ruins, shot in Turkey by Jim McPherson, 2003

Part of the Hasankeyf ruins in Turkey, 2003; suggestive of a House Head; also seen here: http://www.phantacea.info/fallof03.htm

Early version of DecDam front cover, prepared by Jim McPherson, ca 2003/4

Possibly the earliest version of DecDam’s front cover

Giving the stone, house-head ruin from Hasankeyf eyeballs must have been fun.

Can’t recall whose they were but flipping the shot does make it look almost human.

Not sure I like the text name at top of page on the tentative front covers shown but might keep it just for variety.

However, compared to the second cover at top of page, do prefer the pink background to Mythos area and the vaguely purplish overall background in first graphic.

Similar images are used on the related Serendipity and … entry as well as the entry for Mel-Illuminatus in Witches page on pH-Webworld..

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A couple more aspects of the covers at top of page are highlighted here.

Welcoming portal for pH-Webworld as of Spring 2015

Entry port for pH-Webworld, first appeared in the 2015 Spring update

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A good review, considering McPherson didn’t write the book

The Apocalypse Codex (Laundry Files, #4)The Apocalypse Codex by Charles Stross
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think I’ve now read all of the Laundry Files novels. They all have their quirks, including a few excellent lines, but I think this one works best, though I’m still a tad shaky on the whole notion of an Eater of Souls and the True Religion. It does have one of those annoying splits, however: partially written in first person and partially in third. Stross has done this before but seems to have a better grasp on how to handle mixed POVs now than he did before. It’s actually conceivable that he (his first person narrator) could have known enough about what the third person characters are thinking and doing to have written about them with a large degree of, um, believability if that’s a word, credibility if it isn’t. Harkens back to the first book in the series in a few respects, though some of the grotty bits strike me as more David Cronenberg than HP Lovecraft. Don’t want to give anything away but here’s a Brit writing about American evangelists as if they’re evil incarnate. Take that for what it’s worth.

View all my reviews

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pHantaBlog pHilches phrom pHacebook

Well, it isn’t exactly filching when it’s your own; rather, when it belongs to Phantacea Publications (James H McPherson, Publisher). So have a bunch of shots previously displayed on pHantacea on pHacebook as well as google+phantacea.

Card prepared by Jim McPherson, 2013

Anheroic Fantasy Illustrated since 1978

Text is by Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos. He took the pictures in Mexico City while he was there in January 2016.

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Dyana the Huntress, shot by Jim McPherson in Mexico City, January 2016

This fountain is right on the Paseo del Reforma, one of the main thoroughfares in Mexico City. Suggestive of Wilderwitch, except she usually wears clothes

‘Wilderwitch’s Babies’ will probably turn out to be two or three mini-novels long, with “Tsishah’s Twilight” either the last installment or, if expanded upon, as I’m currently leaning, a standalone novel.

Here are some Mexico City shots along with a bit of a plot summary for the first book. I’d call it ‘Decimation Damnation’ except for one thing. It gives away the whole story.

Statue of a faun groping a nymph, shot in Soumaya Museum by Jim McPherson, January 2016

Not sure who this is by but its in the Rodin area of the free Soumaya Museum in Mexico City; subtitled ‘Everyone know what fauns are good at’ by Jim McPherson, it’s a reminder that Wildman Devish Furie appears to be turning into a faun or satyr after D-Brig 4’s escape from Hadd in December 1980 (Tantalar 5980)

First of all, the titular Witch (#1) did not fare very well in “The War of the Apocalyptics“. Won’t be akin to Dyana the Huntress again for months, if ever. She’s still alive at the outset of new series, though. Has already had one child, Fey Woman, who was mentioned in that novel.

The series title is plural, not singular. Dervish Furie is infertile so that rules him out as father. He also seems to be transforming into a faun and we all know what fauns are good at. That’s #2, though that wouldn’t be the Witch pictured.

Mayan god called the Tulum Diver, photo taken in Mexico City's superb National Museum of Archaeology by JIm McPherson, January 2016

Spotted and shot in Mexico’ City superb Archaeological Museum, this statue is called the Diver. It’s originally from Tulum on the Mexican Caribbean where the deity is also known as the Descending God

She spends virtually all of the opening book either on her back being operated on in order to save her leg or in a wheelchair. Not saying if the operation’s successful, who performs it or where it’s done.

Statue of Mnemosyne, the Mother of the Muses, shot outside and up at the Palacio del Bellas Artes in Mexico City by Jim McPherson, 2016

Figure spotted and shot on the veranda out the Bellas Artes Palace in Mexico City; taken to represent Miracle Memory, the Female Entity, in the Phantacea Mythos

As recorded in “Helios on the Moon“, the Untouchable Diver disappeared during the final battle for Diminished Dustmound. #3 is actually called the Diver, though I’ve seen the same or a similar Mayan deity referred to as the Descending God.

Besides it being kind of neat, I scanned it in because he disappeared in Hadd/Iraxas and that’s where Native Americans go when they die according to one theory. Not saying if he’s back, please note.

Siqueiros Nueva Democracia, shot inside the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City by JIm McPherson, January 2016

Mural spotted and shot inside Mexico City’s Palacio de Bellas Artes. It’s by Siqueiros and taken to represent Freespirit Nihila

Right side of Camarena's Humanity Freeing Itself spotted and shot inside the Palacio de Bellas Artes by Jim McPherson, January 2016

Right side of Camarena’s Humanity Freeing Itself spotted and shot inside the Palacio de Bellas Artes; taken to represent Pyrame Silverstar with a human head and only two eyes

We already know that Wilderwitch had a mother, Miracle Memory (#4), and that she needs to be possessed in order to become human. Wilderwitch is supposed to a reincarnation of Harmony, who’s now Freespirit Nihila (#5). Guess who’s vying for Memory, along with Pyrame Silverstar (#6). Harmony and Pyrame appeared together most notably in “The Death’s Head Hellion“.

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BTW, all of these places Google, as do the murals found in the Palacio de Bella Artes. pHanta-pHans may already be familiar with some of them from the Afterword for “Feeling Theocidal“, Book One of The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories epic fantasy.

It concluded in 2012 with “Goddess Gambit“, though there was a perhaps unexpected addendum incorporated within 2014’s “Helios on the Moon“, which concluded the follow up trilogy, Launch 1980.

Didn’t conclude Jim McPherson’s Phantacea Mythos obviously.

Three collages prepared by Jim McPherson using images taken from the Phantacea comic books and Mythos covers

Three collages prepared by Jim McPherson using images taken from the Phantacea comic books and Mythos covers

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