Heliodromi in Vancouver

We’ll start this with the opening paragraphs of “Feeling Theocidal“. (Which, as per here and here, you can look inside online for free.)

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:


“Arise, Gorgon ‘Q for Quisling’ Tethys,” intoned the Mithrant praetor.


When the chained, and badly beaten, deposed governor had done so, the adjudicator began reading off his personally prepared script. “You freely admit to committing crimes of mass murder, including parricide, uxoricide, filicide and effective fratricide; this last with respect to your underlings within the Mithrant Brotherhood, who were attempting to take you into lawful custody.

“You also admit to secreting about yourself, undeclared, a number of Utopian eyeorbs, what they sometimes refer to as prison pods. Compounding your crimes in this regard, you used one of them to capture and hold onto the Master Deva intending  to invest you into the sixth rung of our brotherhood’s seven steps to exaltation, that of the Heliodromus.”

He paused to allow the crowd’s murmurings of mostly outrage die down. “Your name shall assuredly survive within the annals of infamy for you are guilty on all counts …”


Jim McPherson writes:

So here I am driving downtown to work the Phantacea Publications’ table on the Sunday (no pun intended) of this year’s Van Expo (Vancouver Fan Expo — 2013 April 20-21). What’s this? My nearest bridge is blocked by vast numbers of horribly fit-looking joggers.

Old Buggery, I think to myself, it’s the Sun Run. (Thus the unintended pun.)

I detour, find another bridge and make my way to the Convention Centre where Van Expo’s being held. All the way I’m muttering to myself: “Darn Heliodromi”. Added to my (minor) annoyance, I arrive late for re-opening of show; hence no doubt missing dozens of sales.

I’m still mumbling about Darn Heliodromi when this fellow stops at my table. “Nice costume,” I say to him. He’s wearing shorts, a number vest, a sweaty tee-shirt, sneakers, a sunhat and a Green Lantern dressing gown.

(There were plenty of fine costumes on display throughout weekend. Funnily enough, when men and women are wearing masks, or heavy makeup, they don’t seem to care what else is on display. Ask me body painters must be made of sterner stuff than those who have their bodies painted then strut about the convention floor inviting boggle-eyes and flashing cameras.)

“This isn’t a costume,” he says to me. “I’ve just come from the Sun Run.”

Darn Heliodromus didn’t buy anything either.

(Heliodromus means Sun-Runner. Its plural I’m assuming would be Heliodromi. In Phantacea I take it to mean a messenger to or from the gods a la Hermes, Thoth or Mercury. Devilish Heliodromi are referred to as Sky Magicians. However, in Roman Mithraism, a Sun Runner is the sixth rung up the ladder to enlightenment.

(Interestingly, to me anyhow, the seventh and top rung is Pater Patrum or simply the Father. When Christianity supplanted Mithraism amongst the Roman soldiery in the 4th Century AD, its headman gained that very title; hence the Pope.

(Along more than a few devilish Heliodromi have appeared during the course of chronicling the Phantacea Mythos, the Sky Magician who appears most often, at least in the printed books, is the very Master Deva referred to in the quote above: Djinn Domitian, the lion-headed Heliodromus of Mithras, aka the Masochist, of whom more is here.)

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1/16th Mi’kmaq to 1/2 Ojibway

Here’s an exchange taken from “Helios on the Moon“, a full-length mosaic novel Phantacea Publications will probably release in early 2014. (Most of the covers for the Phantacea Comic Books can be found here.)

Helios on the Moon - comic book cover; art by Richard Sandoval 1978

Helios on the Moon – comic book cover; art by Richard Sandoval 1978

It’s between the Dual Entities, re whom many more links can be found starting here.

“Her!” Memory indicated Nidaba Starrus, lying immobile on a table. “And them.” She motioned to her five fellow cosmicompani­ons. “They’ve something to do with us, her in particular.”

“What do you mean something? Access your data banks. You’re supposed to know everything that has happened to us in all of our previous lifetimes. Hell’s Teeth, lady, you won’t even let me wake up after another death before draining memories of my last life into your storage system.”

“Maybe I’m malfunctioning …”

Evidently Helios’s Machine-Memory isn’t the only one.

JIm McPherson writes:

So here I am at Van Expo (Vancouver Fan Expo 2013) at the Vancouver Convention Centre (the joint with the pseudo-sails on the waterfront downtown). I’m in front of the Phantacea booth straightening out the mess when a likely looking fellow comes by.

I buttonhole him, start yapping about Phantacea Publications and give him my card. He retaliates by giving me his card. Name’s Dan Daulby, of www.daulby.com fame, no doubt among many another place.

Somewhere in back of my mind I know the name so we get to talking. Turns out he’s a half-Ojibway graphic artist from Manitoba. (I’m a 1/16th Mi’kmaq from the Nova Scotia branch of the McPherson clan; hence the entry’s title.)

I ask him if he knows George Freeman, a Winnipeg-based  pH-artist who worked on pH-5 with Verne Andrusiek (Verne Andru). Yep, they went to college together.

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

I pull out a (rejected) proof of Damnation Brigade graphic novel and show him Freeman’s stuff. He puts on his glasses and flips through it. I did, too, not that I wear glasses.

Good stuff, he says (or words to that effect). Don’t make a sale and still haven’t figured out why his name is so familiar.

This is what I showed him. (Double-click to enlarge.) Note the letterer’s name.

credits page from Apocalyptic Nucleus, pH-5 1980

Page taken from Damnation Brigade graphic novel; original artwork by George Freeman and Verne Andrusiek, 1979/80; note the letterer’s name; pH-5 came out in 1980

Didn’t make the connection until that night. Could there be two Dan Daulbys of Winnipeg, Manitoba circa 1979, when lettering must have been done?

Next day we exchanged emails. Answer was not to the best of his knowledge.

We have now exchanged lynx. Have a boo: http://www.phantacea.info/biblio~1.htm#daulbySites

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Phantacea pHree Online

Seems over the years enterprising characters have scanned in various pages from the comic book series. These, I suppose, could be googled, though wouldn’t recommend it. A couple did contact Jim McPherson via www.phantacea.com, sought and got his permission to scan and mount not just a few pages but entire issues.

As near as I can make out only 1 is still online: http://comicattack.net/2011/12/is-36-phantacea-1-2/

Five covers from Phantacea comics or graphic novels, artwork by Ian Bateson except for pH-5 which Ian finished over Verne Andru's original black and white cover

Plenty more on the Phantacea Comic Book series and graphic novels can be found here: http://www.phantacea.com/one2six1.htm#logo

However, and please note the situation may change as the months and years pass, you can look inside “Feeling Theocidal” anytime you please. The link is here: http://www.amazon.com/Feeling-Theocidal-Jim-McPherson/dp/0978134206/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1366652578&sr=1-1&keywords=Feeling+Theocidal

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:


One hopes the lynx not only work but you take advantage of their availability. Once you’ve looked inside the book(s), you could, should you feel the urge, either provide your review(s) on amazon.com or else come back to this entry and add it (or them) to the comments below.

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This should knock them dead in Atlantis — Clothing Sea Goddess

It certainly will knock them dead in Atlantis. Except they’re already dead in Atlantis — dead and drowned and turned into … hagfish.

Huh? All right I made that last bit up but consider first the source.

Ian Bateson artwork circa 1979 for pH-4, modified by Jim McPherson, 2013 4sea_hagfish

Page excepted from pHRv1:DB; Sea Goddess finds something more suitable to wear after 25 years in Limbo

Now consider this from BBC’s online magazine: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21954779

Hagfish slime: The clothing of the future?


Shot of someone holding up translucent slime from a hagfish from an article in BBC Magazine 1 April 2013 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21954779)

By Anna Rothschild PRI’s The World, Ontario, Canada

The jawless, spineless hagfish is a primitive creature that lives at the bottom of the ocean and dates back as far as 500 million years – but it exudes a very special slime, which could provide the clothing of the future.

,,, Scientists believe hagfish slime or similar proteins could be turned into tights or breathable athletic wear, or even bullet-proof vests.

Shot of a woman holding up hagfish with translucent slime, taken from BBC Magazine online 1 April 2013

Shot of a woman holding up hagfish with translucent slime from BBC Magazine 1 April 2013 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21954779)

There might need to be a little re-branding first though.

“Hagfish – it would probably scare people off a little bit!” laughs Tim Winegard.

“I think the name might be a bit of a deterrent,” he says. Not to mention the word “slime”.

But one day this ancient slime from the depths of the ocean could be woven into the very shirt on your back.

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