Non-carb noodling on Thunder Cloud Creatures

Jim McPherson, the creator-writer of the Phantacea Mythos, has been noodling of late. Please don’t mention this to his doctor who’s big on no-carbs diets (if such things are possible).

Drawing ascribed to Lakota Sioux chief Black Hawk of Wakinya Thunder Beings, c 1880; scanned in from August 2015 issue of Fortean Times

Drawing ascribed to Lakota Sioux chief Black Hawk of Wakinya Thunder Beings, c 1880; scanned in from August 2015 issue of Fortean Times

As is often the case, said noodling was provoked by an article he read in Fortean Times; this one re folks struck by lightning, sometimes more than once, who nevertheless survive.
Said noodling did result in considerable googling (though no canoodling as yet.) Reportedly he still hasn’t decided if he’s been wrong about Blind Sundown and Raven’s Head all these years (approaching forty, man and mostly boy).
Maybe, despite what they seem to believe themselves, they’re not Creatures of the Cosmos. Maybe they’re ‘Wakinyah’ Thunder Beings.

Original artwork from Phantacea Five, drawing by Vince Marchesano et al, 1980

Original artwork from Phantacea Five, drawing by Vince Marchesano et al, 1980

Hit the blue highlight for both Serendipity and PHANTACEA articles on Wakinyahs and Heyotas as found on pH-Webworld.

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“Infantilize”, “infantilized” and “infantilizing” are words, apparently

How do I know that? From the National Post, Canada’s argument against freedom of the press. See, to put its title succintly: “Infantilized” nature of genre fiction

I looked up “infantilize” on the Free Dictionary and got this:

in·fan·til·ize

(ĭn′fən-tl-īz′, ĭn-făn′-)

tr.v. in·fan·til·ized, in·fan·til·iz·ing, in·fan·til·iz·es

1. To treat or condescend to as if still a young child: The Victorian physician infantilized his patient” (Judith Moore).
2. To reduce to an infantile state or condition: “It creates a crisis that infantilizes them—causes grown men to squabble like kids about trivial things” (New Yorker).

in·fan′til·i·za′tion (-ĭ-zā′shən) n.
Logo reads Phantacea Anheroic Fantasy Illustrated

Anheroic Fantasy Illustrated – Phantacea logo

The article that inspired such simply scintillating research is actually, if awkwardly, entitled:

Simon Pegg is right, geeky genre fiction usually IS childish, even when it’s also something more

While I’ll admit to having heard his name before, I’d have to resort to Google to find out what movies Pegg’s appeared in. Can’t say I’ve ever heard of the article’s author, Daniel Kaszor, though.

However, a couple of his lines struck me as apropos considering some past pHantaBlog posts, notably here, here and here.

Flyer prepared for April 2014 launch of "Cataclysm Catalyst", the second Phantacea Revisited graphic novel

Flyer prepared for April 2014 launch of “Cataclysm Catalyst”, the second Phantacea Revisited graphic novel

One that stuck out, since it seems to apply directly to the National Post’s living saint, the Tar Party’s Chief Blue Nasty, is as follows:

“… in the superhero genre … characters are very explicitly given almost god-like powers. It’s a very simple fantasy to want to just be able to punch the world better.”
Which isn’t to say the article’s about Canada’s current and, sadly, stunningly long-serving Prime Minister. It’s (nominally) about the fantasy genre, if not explicitly the grimdark aspect of it.
covers for Damnation Brigade graphic novel

Front and back covers for the upcoming Damnation Brigade graphic novel; artwork by Ian Bateson, 2012; touch-up by Chris Chuckry, 2012; prepared by Jim McPherson, 2013

And that derives almost entirely from the celebrity celery pandered to by today’s mainstream media, genre television, video games and society’s seemingly resultant need for instant gratification to go along with a severely reduced attention span.

Here’s the Pegg quote that tops the article:
“I’m very much a self-confessed fan of science-fiction and genre cinema. But part of me looks at society as it is now and thinks we’ve been infantilized by our own taste.” — Simon Pegg
And here’s the writer’s gravy atop the article’s meat and potatoes:

“… more modern fans of genre fiction want to read … “realistic” heroes through a childish mindset.

“And that’s part of what Simon Pegg was griping about — even when presented in an adult manner, genre has a way of being pre-chewed and regurgitated back in such a way that renders much of the nuance moot — signifiers such as brutal violence and grey morals reinterpreted as being cool instead of troubling — making the end product even more childish than the sanitized basic version.”

Poster to accompany Helios on the Moon press release; utilizes cover from both Phantacea Revisited graphic novels and the three full-length novels making up the Launch 1980 story cycle, prepared by Jim McPherson, 2014

Poster to accompany Helios on the Moon press release; utilizes cover from both Phantacea Revisited graphic novels and the three full-length novels making up the Launch 1980 story cycle

Which echoes Point #4 in the pre-Mithramas Mistletoe Miscellanea posting, the reference being to two of the Gun Porn TV shows made in Vancouver that have since been renewed:

“As to using arrows as implements of torture, using arrows for anything except killing and target practise, there are such things as arteries. Pierce a Captain Boomerang where Arrow hit him, evidently just because he deserved it, and, sorry Flash, it’s not a joking matter.”

So, go to any of the lynx highlighted in blue above and spend some quiet, unhurried, but satisfying time having a read or re-read.

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

Just don’t doubt for a minute that Jim McPherson is above infantilizing his characters, if hopefully not his readers:

In the midst of the mad, the dead, and the dying squatted Mars Bellona. His mentality reduced to that of a low-grade simpleton, the presumption of immortality manifestly did not preclude the onset of insanity. The once tremendously powerful Apocalyptic was playing toy samurai with an even more demented Lord Tornado.
“So sorry, Bellona‑sama. I killed your man first.”
“Seppuku-fie yourself, Tornado-san. I killed you before you killed me.”

… from “The War of the Apocalyptics“, 2009

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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pHanta-Sites pHinally pHone pHriendly

Of course Webmeister Oz always insisted they were but Google Analytics begged to differ. Actually it didn’t beg anything. It just generated an email and sent it to Oz.

More here.

Welcoming portal for pH-Webworld as of Spring 2015

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

BTW, pH-Webworld has been online since 1996. It’s where Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, deposits most of the notes and graphics he comes up with re his characters, concepts and storylines.

The Serendipity and Phantacea entries should not be missed. Additional worthwhile lynx can be found from the Glossary page as well as, as one might expect, both the Menu and Features pages.

Happy reading, even if it is on your phone and not a big TV or computer screen.

 

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Modern mythology meshed with the ancient

Recall this fellow (http://phantacea.com/blog/?p=695) from the Louvre museum in Paris? It’s most of two thousand years old.

Mithras slays the bull, image taken from web

Mithras slays the bull, image taken from web

Unfortunately it may not be in the Louvre anymore — at least Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, couldn’t find it when he was there in June 2014. (Plenty of his shots from Paris are on pHanta-pHlickr starting here, with commentary from your faithful blog-meister.)

However, aka Generic, as opposed to geriatric, Sol and Generic Luna live on here …

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

and here …

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

The two fellows in opposite corners at the top of both collages are, yes, Helios the Sun God and Mnemosyne the Moon Goddess as they looked all those centuries ago in Imperial Roman times.

(Generic Luna is sometimes erroneously called Selene. She’s not to be confused with the Silver Signaller who uses Selene as her code name, though that’s the latter day Greek goddess where she got it from.)

In terms of the Phantacea Mythos, Helios and Mnemosyne are two of its cornerstone characters, without whom there would be no such a thing. (pH-Webworld = Modern Age Mythology.) They’re the the time-tumbling Dual Entities; of whom much, much more can be found here, with even more lynx.

As for the six internal collages themselves, more on them currently links from here; double click to enlarge in a separate window. Just bye the bye, both collages have been added to the ever-growing heading banners of, you guessed it, pHantaBlog.

You can also buy the buy “Helios on the Moon“, the climactic entry of the ‘Launch 1980’ story cycle and, indeed, of Phantacea Phase One itself. Order online, with credit card, here or direct from the publisher here.

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Phantacea pHits pHlickr like a … pHill in the _________

copy-pHlickrBanner_1000x300.jpgpHantaJim, blogmeister, has been keeping Ozymandias McPherson, webmeister, busy. pHan-J makes comments and provides lynx then complains bitterly that something here or there on one of the two main sites (http://www.phantacea.info/ph1.htm#phantanchor) isn’t up to snuff and Oz has to correct them.

Heck of a way to while away a summer morning. At least Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, got a new header and a promo for “Helios on the Moon” out of it.

Promo prepared for upcoming release of Helios on the Moon by Jim McPherson, 2014

Double-click to enlarge; the better to read if you do. Artwork is from the two Phantacea Revisited graphic novels.

– pHan-J’s latest phanta-phlickr web gallery (#4, and counting, with comments) is here.

– recent and particularly Peculiar Perspective essays on the Serendipity Now page are here and here.

– permanent placements for previous presentations on pH-Webworld are here and here.

– still waiting for offers from beta readers: http://phantacea.com/blog/?p=1045.

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Summer 2014 update of pH-Webworld now online

Promo prepared for upcoming release of Helios on the Moon by Jim McPherson, 2014

Double-click to enlarge; the better to read if you do. Artwork is from the two Phantacea Revisited graphic novels.

Did you note the html-coded headline? Somewhat surprised that it worked but just responded to some pHanta-spam that probably should have deleted and felt the need to try it out up top instead of just in blog-body.

That done … onwards.

No, this not another McPhersonal Rant (though one on that topic is here). It’s an announcement; that and a link to the pH-Webworld Welcoming Page. Quite pleased with the colour scheme. Webmeister Oz should be, too. And he is, I can assure you.

That’s not the real announcement, however. That is that Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, has finally completed his noodling on Helmoon (see cover mockups here). He now hopes to get down to a final edit of the last entry in the ‘Launch 1980’ story cycle any day now.

Or once it starts raining again. Which he further hopes won’t happen until September.

What do you think about the promo at top of page?

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Portents of Phantacea Yet to Be

Jim McPherson writes:

Here are a couple of mock-ups prepared by Ricardo Sandoval for the front and back covers for the upcoming, full length Phantacea Mythos novel entitled “Helios on the Moon“.

Potential Cover for "Helios on the Moon", artwork by Ricardo Sandoval, 2014

Potential Cover for “Helios on the Moon”, artwork by Ricardo Sandoval, 2014; based on front cover for pH-3; that’s All of Incain (Ginny the Gynosphinx) beside Helios and Lord Order sneaking up on him from behind

For those unfamiliar with the PHANTACEA comic book series, Ricardo did the front cover for pH-3. And, yep, they look somewhat similar. That’s because I liked it then and, with the addition of All of Incain instead of the cowering woman (who was supposed to be Miracle Memory), I like it even better now.

As for the back cover, with the exception of Mik Starrus (based on the back cover of pH-1), the figures will spread out onto the edges. Text and the usual pasted boxes at bottom of cover will override Starrus a la the back  cover of “Janna Fangfingers“.

Back cover, minus text, for "Helios on the Moon"; artwork by Ricardo Sandoval, 2014s

Background images for back cover of “Helios on the Moon”; text and obligatory boxes at bottom to be added; artwork by Ricardo Sandoval, 2014

The other inspiration for the back cover is the double-sided Mithraic slab that used to be in the Louvre. I was there in June 2014 but it wasn’t, at least not that I could find.

Which reminds me. A third installment of my Character Likeness shots from that trip, and blogmeister pHantaJim‘s commentary, are now on pHanta-pHlickr. More to come, I’m sure.

There’s also a rather strong suggestion as to where PHANTACEA might be headed here. Rather, since the novel concludes the ‘Launch 1980’ story cycle (my prolonged effort to novelize the comic book series), where the comic book series would have gone had I been able to keep it going all those years ago.

Business card used by Jim McPherson when in Phantacea mode

Business card used by Jim McPherson when in Phantacea mode; the Pharaoh’s head on right is actually a parking shot on Giza Plateau as shot by Egyptian air force circa 1929/30; Sedon’s Head on left by Jim McPherson and Tim Hammell, ca 1978

Comprehensible comments appreciated.

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Serendipitous Reading — The Cross of Mithras

Collage entitled Great Gods Going Crazy, prepared by Jim McPherson, ca 2007

Collage prepared by Jim McPherson for Phantacea Publications, ca 2007; for more hit here: http://www.phantacea.com/dEvilGods.htm#MitRuptNot1

Recall this from pH-Webworld: http://www.phantacea.info/summer06.htm#CrossMith1? It came out in the Summer of 2006. Even if you don’t, have a click and a boo.

While on a working vacation, supposedly to finish revising and editing “Helios on the Moon“, Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, had a read:

‘”Tell us about Mithras, Hugh …”

‘Hugh smiled. “… He was a very powerful god in his day, the Lord of Light, worshipped by most of the soldiery of the Empire as the Soldier’s God, but he was soon absorbed completely by Christianity and disappeared. Even the Cross that Christians revere today was his — the white, four-armed cross of Mithras, and it was an ancient symbol even before Mithras. It was certainly not the Cross that Jesus died on.”‘

Collage entitled Great Gods Going Crazy, prepared by Jim McPherson, ca 2007

Collage prepared by Jim McPherson for Phantacea Publications, ca 2007; for more hit here: http://www.phantacea.com/dEvilGods.htm#MitRuptNot1

The Hugh is Hugues de Payens, the main man behind the founding of the Knights Templar. The book is “Knights of the Black and White“. It’s by Jack Whyte, who was living in Kelowna, British Columbia, when he wrote his Author’s Note in 2006.

It’s a massive tome, over 750 pages, and only the first book in the Templar Trilogy. As for why it deserves a place on pHantaBlog, it just shows that Jim McPherson isn’t the only one who not only does research but comes to similar conclusions.

In the PHANTACEA Mythos, the Cross of Mithras is one of the Thrygragos Talismans. The others were the Mask of Byron and Lazareme’s Starcape, aka his Cloak of Many Colours. Mithras himself (Thrygragos Varuna Mithras) gets hold of them early on in “Feeling Theocidal“.

Google it up. Or, for images, just click here: The Cross of Mithras . You might even see one of Phantacea’s in-house graphics. Somewhat less specifically, try here: The Templar Cross.

And, oh yeah, just by the by, Whyte might be wrong about it being a sacred symbol long before Mithras. In terms of named gods, there isn’t much before Mithras. He was in the Vedas. He was also named in the world’s first peace treaty, that of Kadeah, between the Hittites and the Egyptians.

And, in Zoroastrianism, he was the sword arm Ahura Mazda (Lord Wisdom) used again his enemy Angra Mainyu, none other than Ahriman (Aryan-man). (Here’s a near contemporaneous entry on pHant‘s VAM Entity.)

If he sounds like the Archangel Michael, guess who the Christians based St Michael on? Wouldn’t be much of a guess would it.

 

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Feeling Archival

Front Cover Ad for "Nuclear Dragons", art by Ian Bateson, 2013, text and ad preparation by Jim McPherson, 2013

Front Cover Ad for “Nuclear Dragons”, art by Ian Bateson, 2013, text and ad preparation by Jim McPherson, 2013

Cover for E-Versions of "The War of the Apocalyptics", artwork by Ian Bateson

E-Pox now available on the Kindle platform

Publisher got an email from India recently. Correspondent wanted free copies of “Goddess Gambit” and the first two entries in the ‘Launch 1980’ trilogy*, “The War of the Apocalyptics” and “Nuclear Dragoons“.

(*Launch 1980 = Jim McPherson’s currently only two-thirds completed project to novelize the comic book series. The last one, “Helios on the Moon“, should be coming out this Spring.)

Promise was to review the books for Goodreads. However, having checked out cost of shipping books to India ($20.00 per book surface, meaning by boat, expected delivery 2 months), publisher declined.

Correspondent persisted so publisher agree to send off Gambit, his favourite. (Writer’s favourite as well, despite someone once saying it was for aficionados of the weird and wild, or words to that effect.

Full Cover for "Goddess Gambit", artwork by Verne Andru 2011/12

Full Cover for “Goddess Gambit”, artwork by Verne Andru 2011/12

At any rate, publisher found this in archives. It was a long-prior-to-publication blurb for “Feeling Theocidal“, the first full-length Mythos novel ever published. Have a boo.

Jim McPherson’s PHANTACEA Mythos

Devils, Demons, Dates and suchlike Diverse Details

Collage prepared by Jim McPherson for Phantacea Publications, ca 2007

Collage prepared by Jim McPherson for Phantacea Publications, ca 2007; for more hit here: http://www.phantacea.com/dEvilGods.htm#MitRuptNot1

Thanks in large measure to monotheistic religions the Gods and Goddesses, the Demons and Monsters, of Antique Mythology have been trivialized, their worship proscribed and the entities themselves confined to another realm. This realm is known by various names. In some folk traditions it is called the ‘Otherworld’, in others ‘Shadowland’, and to this day in places like Tibet it is often referred to as the Inner Earth.

In the PHANTACEA Mythos it goes by all these names and a number of others, most prominently Big Shelter and the Hidden Continent of Sedon’s Head. That it’s been hidden since the time of the Great Flood of Genesis (the ‘Genesea’), take that as a given. That it’s hidden by the Cathonic Zone or Dome, that’s reflected in how its inhabitants count time: in Years of the Dome (YD). The sub-titular Thrygragon of “Feeling Theocidal” occurs in 4376 YD. That makes it 376 AD: four thousand three hundred and seventy-six years after the Genesea subsided.

There are a great many supernatural entities living beneath, or within, the Dome. I make a distinction between ‘Cathonic’ or skyborn and ‘Chthonic’ or earthborn beings. The latter include such familiar creatures of folklore as faeries and demons while the former are the Fallen Angels or devils of the Bible. With respect to devils, because they are described as fallen I take that to mean they are extraterrestrial in origin. To a number of the Earth-centric, Mother Goddess worshipping characters in the PHANTACEA Mythos that makes them less supernatural than unnatural and, hence, their enemy.

Collage entitled Great Gods Going Crazy, prepared by Jim McPherson, ca 2007

Collage prepared by Jim McPherson for Phantacea Publications, ca 2007; for more hit here: http://www.phantacea.com/dEvilGods.htm#MitRuptNot1

I also refer to devils as being members of the ‘devazur’ race since, to simplify matters some­what, ‘devas’ or ‘devs’ in Indian or Kurdish tradition are gods whilst my azuras or their ‘asur­as’ are demons. Yet, in the Zoroastrian tradition of the neighbouring Persians, the opposite holds true. (In fact I’ve been given to understand that the word ‘ahura’, from whence come azura and asura, just means lord or lady, depending on the context.) All in all, then, it just made sense to combine the two into devazur.

It is my contention that the Sanskrit word ‘deva’ is the root for English words such as devil, deity, divine, diva, and the Indian honorific, Devi. It seems to me that the Latin word for God, ‘Deus’, is just a variation of ‘dev’. This appears self-evident when you consider that in English the plural of ‘dev’ is ‘devs’ and the Romans wrote ‘Deus’ as ‘devs’.

Three tribes constitute the devazur race. These are the Mithradites, the Byronics and the La­zar­emists. They are named after the tribes’ (nominal) male primogenitors: Thrygragos Varuna Mithras, Thrygragos Byron and Thrygragos Lazareme.

As for their three female primogenitors, they are, or were, the Trigregos Sisters: Sapiendev the Mind, Demeter the Body and Devaura the Spirit. Except in flashbacks, they don’t feature in “Feeling Theocidal”. However, their terrible talismans definitely do.

And will as the PHANTACEA Mythos progresses. That’s why the novel’s also called: “The Thrice Cursed Godly Glories – Book One”.

========

E-book cover for "Feeling Theocidal", artwork by Verne Andru, 2008
E-book cover for “Feeling Theocidal”, artwork by Verne Andru, 2008; Feel Theo’s web page is here:
http://www.phantacea.com/FeelTheoPage.htm#BlownUpCover

Note: Much of the above material was taken from the Moloch Manoeuvres webpage (http://www.phantacea.info/molmyth1.htm#contents). Lynx to tons more information on the PHANTACEA Mythos can be found on www.phantacea.com’s long-running progenitor: pH-Webworld.

Check out its features page (http://www.phantacea.info/ph1.htm#logo), main menu (http://www.phantacea.info/ph2.htm#logo) and terms pages (http://www.phantacea.info/term.htm#logo) for starters.

Written ca 2005/6 as an intro to the “Feeling Theocidal” manuscript then going through the submission process. There’s a Travels essay from 2005 re Jim McPherson’s one and only trip to India here.

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Beer can dragon


Page Lynx

 TopOnwards

 

Jim McPherson writes:


Many moons ago I made mention as to how an inscribing, if that’s the right word, at the bottom of a beer mug that I drained many a time, throughout the early-to-mid Seventies, inspired not so much the creating as the naming of one of Phantacea’s strongest and most unique characters.

That would be Raven’s Head. (She’s the D-Brig member who isn’t even remotely human; at least she isn’t according to the back cover text for War-Pox.)

The posting is here, the specific link is here and the commercial logo referred to therein is also right here:

Ravenhead Logo, image taken from website

As per the posting, Jim McPherson’s beer mug in the early to mid 70s had the Ravenhead logo inscribed on its base

 TopOnwards


So, did the inspiration for “Nuclear Dragons” come from a beer can?

Kelowna Dragon Pils, picture of beer can taken from web

Beer can often found on table after editing “Nuclear Dragons”

The answer to that is a resolute ‘no’. For one thing, Dragon Pils (as opposed to ‘dragon pills’) didn’t even exist when I first came up with the notion of Crystallion, Hell’s Horsemen, and their atomic firedrakes in the by then mid-to-late Seventies.

Besides, I only imbibe after the work day’s over and, anyways, the Kelowna brand Pilsener or Pilsner is only one of my one-a-day beer treats.

Note as well, contrary to speculation rampant in certain quarters, Jordan Q for Quill Tethys, an equally unique  character, one who featured throughout ‘The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories’ epic fantasy trilogy, is not my alter ego.

I might be a Legendarian but I’m no more 30-Beers than I am a legendary 30-Year Man. Not even in my own mind.

TopBackwards

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