Bad bogie derails Kitty Clysm

Yep, as reported on pHantacea on pHacebook a couple of weeks ago the release date for “Cataclysm Catalyst”, the second graphic novel under the Phantacea Revisited byline, has been pushed back rather rudely.

Black and white rendition of Kitty Clysm cover, art by Verne Andru, 2013

Bad Rhad’s at it again in this black and white rendition of the wraparound cover  intended for “Phantacea Revisited 2: Cataclysm Catalyst”; artwork by Verne Andru, 2013

It isn’t a total train wreck. It just looks like one.

Output Prieview of failed tiff

PDF of cover tiff showing Output Preview on Acrobat; green indicates unacceptable colour saturation

Screen shot showing levels

Tiff supplied for Cataclysm Catalyst with text and logos removed; levels read fine on Photoshop

Problem seems to be high density colour. And if anyone knows how to correct it, please advise forthwith.

I’m still hopeful it’ll be ready by Beltane Day 2014 (the morning after Walpurgisnacht, the start of Witch Week). That would make it Mayday — the First of May 2014 for those not up on howsoever pagan celebrations.

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Found but not Forgotten

From the archives. Don’t know about Bible-thumping background but it’s pretty clear the writer of this disappointing review of the first Phantacea Mythos graphic novel just doesn’t get it.

Still, in the spirit of any publicity is good publicity, have a boo and a comment, if you’re registered.

Forever & Forty Days by Jim McPherson and Ian Fry

01/07/2012. Contributed by Aidan Fortune

author pic

pub: Phantacea Mythos. 84 page softcover graphic novel. Price: $ 9.95 (US), $11.95 (CAN). ISBN: 978-0-97813-423-5.

check out website:

Initially released in 1990, this collection covers the genesis of his Phantacea gods in Jim McPherson’s mythological series.

In the sixties, acting as a backlash against the bible-thumping upbringing, McPherson creates a ‘new’ mythology loosely based on characters and events from the Old Testament. It lay unpublished in his basement for years until he decided to distribute it himself.

This book was supposed to act as a foundation for the ‘Phantacea’ series, to help readers get a better understanding of what McPherson was trying to achieve. However, I shudder to think what the rest of the series is like if this is the case. There is more to be gleaned from the author’s foreword about the Phantacea universe than the following eighty pages.

It’s all bit disjointed, flitting all over time and space with The Devil being the only constant character. Ironic that he should be the one reassuring element of the collection.

I found it difficult to read the text for the first few pages, as the font was too tight, making it hard on the eyes. In fairness, it improves after the first ten pages or so but someone new to the Phantacea universe may not be so willing to persevere with it.

Confusion and migraine-inducing text aside, the book has some merits. The art, while a bit sketchy at times, has a nice look to it and conveys a mythological atmosphere, plus the dialogue is wonderfully ridiculous with fun narrative text boxes to hammer home the plot points at various interludes.

Ultimately, while I didn’t enjoy ‘Forever & Forty Days’, I’m actually more annoyed at myself for not doing so. What McPherson created in ‘Phantacea’ was ambitious and bold and deserves more credit than it probably receives here. I would be interested in trying the rest of the series but I don’t think this particular collection is the best introduction to it and it may turn more people away than leave them clamouring for more.

My advice would be to try other books in the ‘Phantacea’ series before this one and see if it’s right for you.

Aidan Fortune

As noted above, not sure about this review. So, in an effort to slightly clear the air, as taken from the Phantacea Publications website, here‘s what the graphic novel’s all about:

Forever & 40 Days - the Genesis of PHANTACEA

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.

Culminating in the Genesea (aka the Great Flood of Genesis), the graphic novel, "Forever & 40 Days - the Genesis of PHANTACEA", recounts many of the challenges these then only eventual gods and goddesses faced prior to their apotheosis. Of them, about half take place pre-Earth.

Nothing less than the PHANTACEA version of the origin of the Devil himself highlights this 1990 collection of short featurettes drawn by Ian Fry and initially intended for the phantacea Phase One project.

(Secular Note 1: According to some faiths, fallen angels became devils. They had to have fallen from somewhere, which in Phantacea Mythos books makes them extraterrestrials. Are the heavens not outer space? Of course they are.)

(Pun Alert: As for why Hor looks Japanese on the cover of pH-4Ever, when Jim McPherson first heard about Japan’s famous Noh theatre as a kid, he decided it had to be named after Noah. The notion never left whatever else is left of his peabrain.)


Plenty more here

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VCON Attendees — Remember Russia

As per also per here, Jim McPherson will be signing copies of "Nuclear Dragons" at this year’s VCON. Its theme is …

Pirates and Piracy:  Sea, Space and Web

Swashbuckling rogues, desperate space battles, the future of intellectual property rights, grizzled old seamen following ancient treasure maps, the basics of Ferengi business practices, peer to peer file sharing, and maybe even a little Captain Morgan…

I’ve been advised that cosplay is a word; a portmanteau, no less. Apparently it also has a drawback. Folks get caught up in character so random acts of piracy may be expected.

What’s scary is what happened to Greenpeace activists this week in RussiaRussia levels piracy charges at whole Greenpeace crew. Evidently Vladimir Putin is not a costume-player.

Two pirate women, artwork by Melissa Mary Duncan, 2013

Image Courtesy of Melissa Mary Duncan 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.

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.

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


about every 20 to 30 minutes.  The “unusual” part is because the hotel is directly on a Night Bus route.

Friday:  c. 1:30 am to c. 4:30 am, N10 Downtown/ Richmond – Brighouse Stn
c. 6:25 am to c. 7:25 pm, C92 Bridgeport/Airport South

Saturday c. 1:30 am to c. 4:30 am, N10 Downtown/ Richmond – Brighouse Stn
c. 8:10 am to c. 7:05 pm, C92 Bridgeport/Airport South

Sunday c. 1:30 am to c. 4:30 am, N10 Downtown/ Richmond – Brighouse Stn

Monday  c. 1:30 am to c. 4:30 am, N10 Downtown/ Richmond – Brighouse Stn
c. 6:25 am to 7:25 pm, C92 Bridgeport/Airport South

The C92 stops by the hotel on its way out (Stop #58061, on Russ Baker Way) from Bridgeport (Canada Line) Skytrain station to Airport South, and again on its way back (Stop #58058, on Miller Road). Contact Transit at 604-953-3333 and reference these stop #s to get precise service details.
The N10 Night Bus between downtown Vancouver and Richmond center also stops right by the hotel, at the same stops It makes 6 trips each way, half-hourly, late every night. The first 3 trips each way make a side run to the Vancouver Airport and Bridgeport Skytrain station. The bus winds up stopping by the hotel at least twice each way on these trips.

More travel info to VCON here

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Nuclear Non-Dragons

Page Lynx

Top of Page; Onwards

 No, it wasn’t either a bad dream or a false memory; it happened

On 23 January 1961 an American “B-52 plane went into an uncontrolled spin over North Carolina” and dropped not one, but two Hydrogen Bombs!

Image taken from BBC article online re the North Carolina dropped H-Bomb

Image taken from BBC article online re the North Carolina dropped H-Bomb

Evidently, “one fell to the ground unarmed. But the second “assumed it was being deliberately released over an enemy target – and went through all its arming mechanisms save one, and very nearly detonated over North Carolina … Only the failure of a single low-voltage switch prevented disaster.”


Top of Page; Onwards
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

An H-Bomb that went off 8 years earlier on Salvation Island in the South Pacific figures in the back-story of both Launch 1980 full length novels: “The War of the Apocalyptics” and, as one might expect, “Nuclear Dragons“.

Here’s one such reference:

A Summoning Child like so many eventual supranormals, he was killed on Christmas Day 1953, during an unannounced explosion of a hydro­gen bomb on a South Sea lump of land howsoever presciently named Salvation Island by grateful, 16th Century, Portuguese missionaries to Micronesia (presumably because the natives never tried to eat them). Being thus vapourized was, to be put it mildly, a hell of way to celebrate one’s 33rd birthday.

This particular Summoning Child was one of number born on Christmas Day 1920. His name was Jesus Mandam. He’s definitely dead but there is some suggestion that his Callion-Clone is still with us in 1980.

Significantly the designs Jess or Jesse, as everyone except his even longer gone mother (Mary Magdalene born Ryne, Abe Ryne’s hence equally born-with-the-century twin sister), called him on a daily basis, made while he was still alive were left in the Soviet Supracity after his death.

They formed the basis for, among many other things, a good percentage of the technology that went into the Cosmic Express. And, as per the book’s back cover text here, its launch and subsequent (apparent) destruction are finally, if as yet perhaps not fully, described in the latest Phantacea Mythos entry in the Launch 1980 story cycle as released by Phantacea Publications.

Top of Page; Onwards
E-book cover for Goddess Gambit, artwork by Verne Andru

E-book cover for “Goddess Gambit” — ISBN 978-0-9878683-3-6

pH-Webworld character lynx

Do we know who was born with Nergal Vetala, the once again Vampire Queen of the Dead in Tantalar 5980, inside her on Christmas Day 1920?

In pHantacea-pHact, we do as of “Goddess Gambit“.  (Truth told, those who followed the Phantacea Web Serials knew that a long time ago.) It’s

Top of Page; Backwards
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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

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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.

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Which (finally) brings us to a link sent in by an off-blog correspondent:

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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Thanks for registering, harmful-aloofness

Thanks to your apparent colleagues at dot*.pi, too. That includes cautious-pestle, argumentative-favouritism, advisable-newcomer, muggy-zealot and so many others. Since you’re obviously not real, and whoever is really behind this continuing annoyance is ever so clever not to leave an actual email behind to be traced, you’re missing out on personalized ‘thank you for registering’ messages.

Your loss, 51dffef crew. Have a free PDF anyhow.

Phantacea Publications Price List 2013

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