All-American Gun Porn – Shot in Vancouver

pHantaBlog NOTE: Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, doesn’t do confessionals. He does McPhersonals. Sometimes they’re rants. Fortunately those are few and far between.
That said, here’s another:


 Screen Psychos Purportedly of the Superhero Persuasion

Have to admit that, with the exception of a few Green Lantern collections, it’s going on a quarter century since I last bought a superhero comic book. Sooth additionally said, though I’ve produced a couple of my own latterly, albeit of the anheroic variety and not always supranormally populated, I’ve purchased only a couple of dozen, if that, graphic novels in that time and them mostly to give away as presents.

I still love the comic book medium, do most of my shows at comicons, and spend most of my fiction-reading time immersed in the fantasy genre. However, like most folks, I get the majority of my superhero fix watching television. And most of that is on what we in Canada know as the CW network, a couple of which also show up on MuchMusic, SPACE and Showcase.

CW combines the first letters of CBS and Warner in its logo; they’re the network’s corporate backers. I gather it targets a mostly male audience, though its predecessors, WB and UPN, did manage to produce Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Star Trek: Voyager, which weren’t just for nerdy men IMHO.

I first came across CW because it showed Smallville and Supernatural. Since both series were made in and around Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, I got an extra visceral kick out of identifying the locales of various scenes. I gave up on Supernatural once it got religion a number of years ago, but have often started watching a series just because it shot locally.

Some didn’t last, mostly because they weren’t very good. (No names please, we’re Canadian.) Then again some did last despite the fact they weren’t very good. (Ditto.) To my mind a few successes or semi-successes that came and went include the aforementioned Smallville, Battlestar Galactica, Sanctuary, Continuum and the various Stargate incarnations.

Three that are with us today are Arrow, The Flash and The 100. Ask me, each and every one of these last are gun porn.

So the Arrow has turned over a new leaf. He’s not going to kill anymore. Rather, he’s not going to kill anyone anymore with arrows. Send him to some Caribbean hot spot — more opportunities for even more skin — and he’ll happily kill with a gun, though, and by the dozen.

He jokes(?) about it: “I never said I couldn’t use guns, just that I didn’t.” Then, since today’s heroes have to be NRA-approved killers at heart, there are flashback sequences wherein he’s some sort of assassin working for the Suicide Squad’s head honcho, unless it’s honchess.

Over in The Flash, Weather Wizard and Multiple Man get shot dead, both casualties of lazy writing. How else can you end a TV show featuring superheroes except biblically? Can’t put them in jail on account of they’re so awfully powerful they’ll just escape and that would never do.

And I do mean awfully, as in awful. Captain Cold is a heartless, mass murderous, career criminal. He seemingly uses regular guns, as well as a gadget gun, for no other reason that super-villains in the USA have to be, you know, irredeemably evil in order to qualify for our hero’s invariably reluctant attention.

Heat-Wave, or whatever his name is going to be, is no doubt on the way. Maybe he won’t use a gun but, boy, I bet you can CGI some truly gruesome burns these days. My only hope is he melts bullets so the producers will have to come up with a better way to dispose of him.

A flash flood, perhaps, ha-ha. Make that a tsunami. Should provide a super-spectacular, season (if maybe not series) ending finale. Look out, Downtown Vancouver. You may have survived the end of Arrow’s first season – or was that Chinatown? – but The Flash promises to fix you up good and proper this time.

Hopefully it’ll cost him a couple of his (not so) terrific team members. But, hey, that’s what’s bound to happen to loyal, howsoever good-looking, not to mention goody-two-shoes, cannon fodder. There’s always more where they came from; ones cut from the same mould, too, from the looks of them.

Got to find work for a few visible minorities in this enlightened day and age don’t you know.

Speaking of a second Great Flood, how about The 100? True, its ending was nuclear, not watery; rather, its beginning was nuclear. But its setting is post Apocalypse. So is that of Falling Skies, which is also shot in Vancouver: post-apocalyptic, though its end-beginning is/was alien invasion.

Their characters – if that isn’t a misnomer – aren’t superheroes per se, at least not yet, but their antics are definitely intended to be super-heroic. Plus, there’s a superfluity of gun porn common to both … and gratuitous torture … and untrustworthy adults, baby baby-boomers for the most part … and beautifully buff, young people who wear tatters very stylishly.

Over-wear tatters, put better, since their underwear always appears very well, um, maintained; not to mention uplifting, designed to flatter. Very impressive in the mud and blood, tats and persistent scarring departments, too. Quality makeup, if nothing else.

Which is also what they are character-wise — nothing else, least of all interesting. Or, to be less dismissive, how about wooden, humourless, and oh, ever so sincere. Which means they hug a lot, either before of after they go on a killing spree, fancy weaponry blazing loud and rapidly.

Good thing there’s no more shortage of ammunition in post-apocalyptic times than there is of supportive smalls, to use a strange George RR Martin word I’d never come across before Game of Thrones. Must make the NRA as happy as End-of-Days Evangelicals.

No time to get going on Hellraiser or Dominion or Gotham or Grimm, though the latter two are still on my PVR list. They’re not shot in Vancouver but that won’t stop me from rave, rage, ranting about them at some other time should the urge hit.

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Helios on the Moon Press Release

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

PRESS RELEASE                                                   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jim McPherson’s long term project to novelize the Phantacea comic book series culminates with “Helios on the Moon”

VANCOUVER, BC: “Helios on the Moon”, the climactic entry in the ‘Launch 1980’ story cycle, doesn’t just pick up where its predecessors, “The War of the Apocalyptics” and “Nuclear Dragons”, left off. It fills in the blanks they left behind, then blazes onto its own startling conclusion of Phantacea Phase One.

A multi-character extravaganza that’s cosmic in scope, yet very much earth-centric, it takes off with the Cosmic Express on the Thirtieth of November 1980, veers to the far-off planetary Utopia of Weir then, finally, rages back to both sides of the Whole Earth ten days and many lost lives later.

This is the rest of the stunning storyline only touched on during the two Phantacea Revisited graphic novels: “The Damnation Brigade” and “Cataclysm Catalyst”. With a surprise addendum to “Goddess Gambit”, Book Three of ‘The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories’ epic trilogy, this is the rest of the story as it happens on the Moon, beyond and, indeed, below it.

And if you think Jim McPherson’s Phantacea Mythos is only going through a phase, you’re right. But what a fantastic phase it is.

For more information contact:

Phantacea Publications
74689 Kitsilano RPO, 2768 West Broadway, Vancouver BC, V6K 4P4
Primary website:

Phantacea Publications logo utilizing a Sun-Moon wooden Carving spotted and shot by Jim McPherson, 2014

Phantacea Publications logo utilizing a Sun-Moon wood carving spotted and shot by Jim McPherson, 2014; taken to represent the Dual Entities during happy times

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Nothing incrementally enjoyable about The Incrementalists — so far

The IncrementalistsThe Incrementalists by Steven Brust
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Unfortunately this book seems to go nowhere … slowly. The idea has promise, sure, but you have to make something of a promise or it remains unfulfilled; the book less and less noteworthy, more and more of a plod. Plus, it’s told in the first person, usually a no-no for me. Rather, it’s told in the first person alternatively, by two different characters; presumably also by its two authors alternating either with or without consultation. If that makes it a jam, fine, but the results, at least so far, are awfully bland. It’s set in Vegas but other than it’s hot and one of the characters likes to play poker it could be set in Anytown USA. Maybe it gets better incrementally, but if I had insomnia it’d cure it.

View all my reviews

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Sunday’s McPhersonal adds a Sandovalian

Ricardo Sandoval, the covers artist for “Helios on the Moon“, will be joining Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, at this Sunday’s Vancouver comicon,

And, yes, that means a cover decision has finally been made. Rather, two decisions have been made — one for the upcoming print release of the climactic entry in the ‘Launch 1980’ story cycle; the other for dot-ditto digital versions of same, unless you’d prefer to refer to them as Hel-Moon PDFs and e-books.

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.

That graphic isn’t it (them). This is — better make these are.

And, while you’re there, check these out:

8 collages against the back drop of the Louvre's Dual Entities

The Dual Entities are two thousand years old. The ‘Launch 1980’ collages were prepared in 2014.

C>U Sunday at Heritage Hall, (16th and Main in Vancouver).

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Modern mythology meshed with the ancient

Recall this fellow ( 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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