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:

Recall this from pH-Webworld: 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:

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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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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SFC chimes in on D-Brig

This just in. (Just got permission to print it as is as well):

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:

Subject: Re: SFCrowsnest ignores the weather when there’s February reviews to announce

Here’s the review we’re running on the website this month.
Actually, the way the new website links in to Facebook and Twitter, I now have to put them in over a longer period, so it actually starts about the middle of the month. If you want to know precisely when, hook into our newsletter which gets triggered every time there is something new on the site.

Many thanks
Geoff Willmetts

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

The Damnation Brigade by Jim McPherson & various artists
(pub: Phantacea Publications. 116 pages graphic novel paperback. Price: $15.00 (US). ISBN: 978-0-98786-834-3)
check out website:
Tired of the same old tights and capes in your comicbooks? Looking to get your teeth into a series that is a bit different? Then ‘The Damnation Brigade’ might be the book for you.
Spanning issues one to five of the ‘Phantacea’ series that were initially published in the late seventies and early eighties, this collection deals with the adventures of the eponymous group. Starting out as an Avengers-type group who fought the Nazis in the Second World War, they were betrayed by the very people they had sworn to protect and decided to exile themselves rather than fight back.
The group is awoken during a battle between the Whirling Dervish Vayu Maelstrom and some of the Deadly Devas. Back in corporeal form after 25 years, the group seeks to do what they do best, fight evil, no matter what form it comes in.
The story is written by Jim McPherson, who created the ‘Phantacea’ universe, blending ‘Eagle’ comic-style pacing and words with some godly notions. There’s quite a bit going on in this book and simply skimming the pages just won’t do. Characters are introduced early on with already determined histories that don’t forgive anyone who isn’t giving it full attention. For anyone willing to give this collection a go, I personally would suggest a couple of reads to take in everything that happens. Although I would question if today’s reader has the patience to do that.
The origin story of the Damnation Brigade group does give the book a nice grounding and the reader finds themselves seeing through the three eyes of Maelstrom as he first meets the group, which certainly helped me enjoy and accept the character more. McPherson works with around eight different artists across the 116 pages of the volume, mostly Ian Bateson, who is a regular contributor to the series. Bateson has some interesting illustration styles that are a little different on every page he works on that challenge more later on, as if he gains in confidence as the book progresses. Other noteworthy artists included in this volume are Verne Andrusiek and Vincent Marchesano who offer up some crisp seventies-style comic art as part of their contribution.
This collection is certainly very different to most graphic novels out there and while the years may not have been kind to it, it’s worth a read to at least try something new.
Aidan Fortune

Tad disappointed Aidan felt need to add this at the end: “the years may not have been kind to it”,

Also wondered about this statement(s): “Although I would question if today’s reader has the patience to … [give this collection a] couple of reads to take in everything that happens.’

Guess he knows something I don’t about today’s readers. I used to read my comics two or three times back in the day.

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