Even Hirst at his Excessive Worst is better than …

Reviews were all but universally terrible but, being in Venice while the exhibit was running, at two locales simultaneously, proved too much for Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, to resist in September 2017.

Have three posts that first appeared on pHantacea on pHacebook, plus a couple of bonus shots. Commentary mostly taken from Phantacea Publications Facebook Page.

Scroll down for reiteration of images and comments …

Banner outside the entrance to the gallery, shot by Jim McPherson in Venice, September 2017

Shot in Venice, September 2017, the plaza is called the same as the gallery, Palazzo Grassi

Colossus somewhat unimaginatively called 'Demon with a Bowl (Exhibition Enlargement); shot in Venice Italy by Jim McPherson in September 2017

Damien Hirst’s colossal conceit is somewhat unimaginatively called ‘Demon with a Bowl (Exhibition Enlargement). Henceforth shall be referred to as Colossus

<== To the left is a shot of the banner for “Treasures from the WRECK of the Unbelievable. Damien Hirst” exhibit running in September 2017. Spotted and shot by Jim McPherson outside the Palazzo Grassi in Venice Italy.

It’s the second venue for the show but the first visited. Exhibit ran from 09/04/2017-03/12/2017

==> According to the brochure that came with admission, the image to the right (which needs a good clicking to fully appreciate its sheer, laugh-out-loud immensity) is somewhat unimaginatively called ‘Demon with a Bowl (Exhibition Enlargement).

Hirst Colossus, taken from second level of Palazzo Grassi gallery by Jim McPherson, September 2017

Colossus adjusted to bring out contours better, taken from the second level of the gallery inside the Palazzo Grassi

Sooth further said, enlargement is something of an understatement. For one thing, even in the narrative it’s just (?) an outlandish copy of a much more sensibly sized golem: “It seems … the figure served as a guardian to the home of an elite person.” In ancient Mesopotamia, also according to accompanying brochure.

<== To the left is a frontal view of the supposedly Mesopotamian Colossus as taken from the second level of the Palazzo Grassi. Some tinkering with the levels on Photoshop has brought out, for the better, the demon’s contours.

Hirst's demon taken from the gallery's third level

Back shot of Hirst’s Colossus taken from the third level of the gallery and looking downward

The squiggles and encrustations are artistic conceits perhaps left in to indicate the original lay “… submerged in the Indian Ocean for some two thousand years before the site was discovered in 2008.”

==> To the immediate right is a back shot of the colossus looking down, down, down from the 3rd level of the Palazzo Grassi. Once again the conceit of the artist, not to mention the demon’s forgers, is that the original was found underwater, hence the coral and other encrustations.

Hirst's sea monster seen through window and shot by Jim McPherson in Venice, September 2017

Sea Monster seen through the window on an upper floor of the Palazzo Grassi. It appears to be rising out of the Grand Canal

<== Looking through window on an upper floor of the Palazzo Grassi in September 2017 and what does one see but a sea monster rising out of Grand Canal. Note the Ca Rezzonico palazzo on the other side. It comes highly recommended for its massive gallery of Eighteenth Century Italian artwork.

Upshot of Colossus taken by Jim McPherson in September 2017 in Venice Italy

Shot looking up at Hurst’s Colossus from the ground level

==> To the right and again looking up, way up, from the ground level is a shot put on Facebook just to see if its censors were watching.

Supposedly the Colossus was and is anatomically correct. Or at least as proportionately correct as a 60-foot bronze behemoth could be.

(Again according to the brochure, it’s a facsimile of the original, which wasn’t at the Palazzo. Might have been at the other venue, Punta della Dogana, across the Grand Canal a few stops south of the San Samuele vaporetto dock.)

========

Encrusted Mickey Mouse, photo of a wall slide taken by Jim McPherson, September 2017

Evidently Mickey, Goofy and, yes, even a scene from Jungle Book (?) were hauled out of the depths after spending two thousand or so years submerged

<== Have to ask, if it sank nearly two thousand years ago: What’s Mickey doing on the Unbelievable? Time warp, perhaps? Could be Disney partially funded Hirst’s extravaganza and wanted some of their characters to join in the very expensive fun.

Which sounds like something only a cynical dullard would say. Sorry about that, Damien.

Shot of underwater shot of a unicorn's skull and horn, taken by Jim McPherson, September 2017

Supposedly an underwater shot of a unicorn’s skull and horn

==> As for the shot to the immediate right of his paragraph, is that really what’s become of the skull and horn of a unicorn after two thousand years?

Might it be a Raven’s Head type from the Phantacea Mythos? For comparison have lynx to the covers for Forever & Forty Days – The Genesis of PHANTACEA and Phantacea Revisited 1: The Damnation Brigade, both of which have Raven’s Head on the cover.

Underwater Colossus, shot of a shot, taken by Jim McPherson, 2017

Presumably the original Colossus taken while still submerged

<== Colossus doesn’t look quite so large in this slide. Could there be two of them? Contextually speaking it’s more likely this is the original.

Shot of a shot of an idol taken undersea with diver's bubbles, Jim McPherson, 2017

Goddess idol taken underwater complete with diver’s bubbles; suggestive of D-Brig’s Sea Goddess

In terms of the Phantacea Mythos, can’t be Catastrophe (Headless Ramazar, the Apocalyptic of Sudden Destruction, a head shot of whom shows up a cpuple of paragraphs down), from the comics and novels, notably “The War of the Apocalyptics“. Too underdressed.

==> Tempted to say the shot of a shot to the upper right represents Thalassa D’Angelo, unless it’s Thalassa Thanatos, D-Brig’s Sea Goddess, notably from the obverse cover of pH-3, artwork by Ian Bateson​ 1978.

Too bad there’s only a hint of a third eye on the sunken idol. Like the bubbles, though.

Andromeda screams as Jaws leaps out of rock to eat her, taken by Jim McPherson, 2017

Andromeda’s chained to a rock screams while Jaws leaps out of ground intent upon eating her

<== Jaws butts in on the Kraken. Andromeda doesn’t look too pleased either way.

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

Wasn’t the best shot taken so darkened the background and greyed up some of the sides in hopes of bringing out characters better.

==> Something of Sea Goddess’s skinniness in Hirst’s Andromeda, too. Except D-Brig’s Sea Goddess would just state-shift into her watery element and get away instead of wasting time screaming.
As for what she could then do to either Jaws or the Kraken should she decide to come back … well, best leave that to your imagination.
========

Close up of Hirst's Andromeda Screaming, part of the blue diorama based on myth of Perseus, shot by Jim McPherson, 2017

Andomeda is (silently) screaming so hard she turned the whole oversized diorama blue.

Diorama entitled Andromeda and the Sea Monster, shot taken by Jim McPherson, September 2017

Background darkened to bring out the three main characters of Andromeda, Jaws and the Kraken; the whole diorama really is blue for whatever reason

<== The elaborate diorama is not only huge it really is blue. As per shots later, and one put up last week, Andromeda really isn’t headless. She is chained, however, and does seem to have an extra hand in this shot.

==> Needs to do a Nihila and break loose pretty damn soon. Jaws and the Kraken look ravenous and could care less about social media.

Datong Harmonia, the Unity of Panharmonium, superimposed over Siqueiros's New Democracy, prepared by Jim McPherson, mid-200s

Datong Harmonia, the Unity of Panharmonium, superimposed over Siqueiros’s New Democracy (Nueva Democracia) as photographed in Mexico City’s Bellas Artes Palazio in mid-200s

<== Reference above is to what’s become of Datong Harmony as of Tantalar 5980. Google up Nueva Democracia for the unadulterated Siqueiros or just hit here: https://www.google.ca/search?q=nueva%20democracia&dcr=0…:

Demonic Head by Damien Hirst, shot by Jim McPherson, 2017

Severed head of a demon supposedly dredged up then cleaned prior to going on display

==> Only one mobile head in the Phantacea Mythos and that’s Bodiless Byron. He isn’t called the Unmoving One because he can’t get around — he can, by sheer force of will.

He’s called Unmoving Byron because no part of his face moves when he speaks, via a form of thought transference, through his mouthpieces … Sedona Spellbinder in The War of the Apocalyptics and APM All-Eyes in Hidden Headgames

Head supposed excavated in 1932, shot by Jim McPherson at the 'Unbelievable' exhibit in Venice,

Different shot of Damien Hirst’s demonic head. Brochure says it was excavated in the Tigris Valley back in 1932

<== Although definitely demonic I’m not sure this huge head would even fit atop the headless Colossus let alone if it really belongs there.

The accompanying brochure says it was tentatively identified as Pazuzu, a googleable Mesopotamian demon, and that it was unearthed in 1932 in the Tigris Valley. (Pazuzu had something to do with the horror movie entitled “The Exorcist”, may have even been the possessive devil who drove the girl to such head-turning extremes.)

Skull and long horn by Damien Hirst and co, shot by Jim McPherson, 2017

Dried out and scrubbed clean skull and horn might have belonged to a unicorn according to exhibit brochure

==> Also not sure if this really would pass for the skull and extended horn of a ravendeer in the Phantacea Mythos. Then again the exhibit’s claim that it belonged to an actual unicorn is arguably even more fanciful.

Skull and long horn by Damien Hirst and co, shot by Jim McPherson, 2017

Another view of a dried out and scrubbed clean skull and horn might have belonged to a unicorn according to exhibit brochure

<== Another view of the unicorn’s skull and broken horn unearthed (unwatered?) near the sunken wreckage of the Unbelievable. Skull looks like something you’d rub and expect three wishes from the genie wafting out of it.

Full wraparound cover for pH-40, artwork by Ian Fry and Ian Bateson, ca 1990

Full wraparound cover for pH-40, artwork by Ian Fry and Ian Bateson, ca 1990

NOTE:  The best in-colour, pictorial example of a ravendeer — Raven’s Head? — appears on the cover of 1990’s “Forever & 40 Days – The Genesis of PHANTACEA. Raven’s Head the character has her biggest role to date in Decimation Damnation.

In pHanta-pHact she appears in all of the 19/5980 novels and mini-novels. She even does a cameo, in her multitude, near the end of Hidden Headgames. It’s in Dec-Dam, the opening entry in Phantacea Phase Two, that she shows the petulant side of her nature.

Still encrusted 'Diver', so-called, by Damien Hirst; scanned in from a postcard bought at 'Unbelievable' exhibit in Venice, 2017

Still encrusted ‘Diver’, so-called, by Damien Hirst; scanned in from a postcard bought at ‘Unbelievable’ exhibit in Venice, 2017

<== Yehudi Cohen, D-Brig’s Untouchable Diver, is another long-serving character who reappears in Dec-Dam (after vanishing, then inexplicably, during Helios on the Moon“). He has a much more significant role than Raven in Games.

Hirst's Medusa scanned in from a postcard bought at 'Unbelievable' exhibit, September 2017

According to the brochure, among the fourteen venomous serpents represented are the African rock python, horned viper and coral snake

Have to say, though, that Hirst’s Diver, so-called, looks more female than male. Still, it’d be remiss not include it in post re treasures of the ‘Unbelievable’.

==> As for Hirst’s Medusa, the accompanying brochure claims that “fourteen of the world’s most venomous snakes … crown the Gorgon’s petrified features.”

Might have to add this one to the longtime pHanta-pHeature Medusa’s I have met.

========

End post … for now!

A Photoshop collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2017, using graphics mostly taken from Web

A Photoshop collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2017, using graphics mostly taken from Web

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Forget the Fantasy Photo, Meet Phantacea’s creator/writer on Sunday, 18 June, in Vancouver

Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, will be at the Creators Table on Sunday, 18 June 2017, selling and signing Phantacea Publications comics, graphic novels, novels and mini-novels. $8.00 admission

Poster for Biannual Comics Show, June 2019

Poster for Biannual Comics Show, June 2019

Biannual Comics Show, Croatian Hall, Vancouver: http://www.canadiancomics.net/

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Welcome in the May-O … with Jim McPherson at the Vancouver Comicon, May 14, 2017

Winter’s Gone Away

Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, will be behind the Phantacea Publications table at the Vancouver Comicon on Sunday the 14th of May 2017.

Welcome in the May-O. Song courtesy of Oysterband

Copies of the latest mini-novel, “Decimation Damnation” available for $10.00. Books and graphic novels: $10.00. Phantacea Four (1979): $5.00

Screen shot from the Welcoming Page of phantacea.com as of Saturday, August 4, 2016

Wilderwitch goes into labour with “Decimation Damnation”, the first mini-novel extracted from the open-ended saga

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Happy Xmas – Top of the Solstice Season

It being 8 December 2016, must be time to recall the tragedy of 36 years ago. Around here that generally means pulling out one of my three favourite seasonal songs. It’s called ‘Happy Xmas (War is over)’.

It also must be time to start prefacing my greetings with ‘Top of the Solstice Season’. Which of course might also be Merry Mithramas.

Solstice Season celebrations, image found on web, 2016

Image found on web re various Solstice Season celebrations

John Lennon’s song actually is called Happy Xmas. Which, in turn, bring to mind the attached graphic and this comment, as made on pHantacea on pHacebook a couple of days ago:

“To which might be added: You don’t need to be a Xuthrodite to like swimming on Xmas Day in warmer climes. (Xuthros Hor = the Biblical Noah in the Phantacea Mythos. He looks Japanese and rides a Raven’s Head according to cover of “Forever & Forty Days — the Genesis of Phantacea” — wraparound cover double-clicks there

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Back Blurb Flag-Poled

Back Cover Text for “Helios on the Moon”

Don’t expect any salutes but reckon tentative-it deserves a run-up anyhow.

Text will override Ricardo Sandoval’s bas-relief figures on Helios as Sol, All of Incain, Moon Memory as Luna, the Unity of Order, Doc Defiance, Cosmicaptain Starrus, the Indescribable Mr No Name and Mnemosyne as Strife.

Comments welcome at bottom.

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 Dual Entities return to their own timeline determined to make life for everyone not just vastly better but perfect.

Heads are sure to roll.

Scientists first detected signals coming from somewhere out in space in early 1978. Their excitement was palpable. Finally they had proof humanity wasn’t alone in the cosmos. Then, about a month after their initial detection, the source was pinpointed. Elation immediately gave way to near-panic. The beams were coming from the Earth’s moon!

In an extraordinary session of the Security Coun­cil, the United Nations agreed to meet this off-worldly intrusion aggress­ively. The result, the UNES Liberty, is already in moon orbit when, on the Thirtieth of November 1980, the launching of the Cosmic Express takes place on Centauri Island.

At the same time, on the far off Utopia of New Weir, three Great Goddess preside over the latest session of the Courtroom of the Visionary. Meanwhile, on the Hidden Continent of Sedon’s Head, the Death Gods of the Frozen Lathakra prepare to welcome home the entirety of their fragmented family, devils almost to a one.

From the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos comes the culmination of the ‘Launch 1980’ story cycle, plus a surprising addendum to “Goddess Gambit”, the final book in ‘The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories’ fantasy masterpiece.

Covers and/or splash panels reflecting action recounted in "Helios on the Moon"

Front covers for pH-2 and pH- 4Ever&40 graphic novel bracketing splash panel from pH3; artwork by Gordon Parker, 1978; Peter Lynde, 1978; and the two Ians, Fry and Bateson, 1990

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No Lunatic Preamble This

At long last moving into publication mode for “Helios on the Moon”. Here’s its Auctorial Preamble, with some lynx and a couple of new graphics:

Helios on the Moon

Ad for the last two novels in the Launch 1980 story cycle, prepared by Jim McPherson, 2014

Black and white version of an ad for the concluding books in the Launch 1980 story cycle from Phantacea Publications

– Auctorial Preamble –
********

Thus ends Phantacea Phase One.

So I intended to write on the inside front cover of Phantacea Seven in 1981. Except, it never got finished. I next reckoned on writing it about a decade later when Phantacea Phase One #15 came out. Except, this time, that project never got beyond the #1 stage; not in print anyhow.

Phase One #2, along with a number of background stories, were ready for press; as were the scripts and reprint art for a good deal of the rest. While most of these last did make it into one or another of the graphic novels subsequently released by Phantacea Publications, pre-orders didn’t warrant continuing the Phantacea Mythos at that time; especially not in that form. (Artists aren’t just temperamental, they’re costly.)

Let me repeat: ‘Thus ends Phantacea Phase One’. Sounds good, after all these years, but “Helios on the Moon” does much more than that.

It also ends the ‘Launch 1980’ story cycle, my personal project to novelize the PHANTACEA comic book series. Plus, for those who felt the ending of the last trilogy, ‘The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories’, as presented in “Goddess Gambit”, was not absolutely clear as to whether anyone survived – or anyone not explicitly done away with already didn’t – that will be sorted starting about nine chapters, or ‘moons’, from now.

3 comic book covers incorporated in ad for Phantacea Publications

Covers for pH-2 (Gordon Parker), pH-3 (Richard Sandoval), and 4-Ever&40 (Ian Fry, Ian Bateson), all of which figure in “Helios on the Moon”

Not surprisingly Ninth Moon shares commonality with “The War of the Apocalyptics”, the first book in the Launch trilogy, in that it begins winding down the stirring saga of the Damnation Brigade and their erstwhile companion in supra-doings, Kid Ringo, nowadays Ringleader.

As for the Family Thanatos and their never-remembered guest, the fiendish, always smiling fellow who speaks in bold-italics, they show up three moons prior to D-Brig et al. Of course non-devic characters didn’t just precede non-devic characters literally, in terms of literature, they preceded them chronologically.

Witness “Feeling Theocidal” and “The Thousand Days of Disbelief”, which were set in the Cathonic Dome’s Fifth and mid-Sixth Millennium respectively. Or “Forever & 40 Days”, which featured a series of graphic story snippets set before there was a Dome, let alone a Genesea necessitating one.

The previous book in this trilogy, “Nuclear Dragons”, divided into four parts. ‘Indescribable Defiance’ began it with the launching of the Cosmic Express. We saw what happened to one of its cosmicars in War-Pox, and to the cosmicompanions aboard it in Gambit. We’re about to begin finding out what becomes of one occupant of the control hub, one of the other cosmicars and the seven cosmicompanions occupying it.

Nuke’s aforementioned first part additionally brought our attention to the highly disconcerting matter of a perceived menace on the Moon, something also alluded to during War-Pox, and what governments and top dog corporations were doing about it.

For starters, they set up the United Nations SPACE Council (‘Society for the Prevention of Alien Control of Earth’) and appointed the by now 80-year old Great Man, Loxus Abraham Ryne, to run it.

He thereupon had built, and launched, the United Nations of Earth Spaceship (UNES) Liberty. Not long before Hel-Moon gets (over more so than) underway, it boldly blasted out there in order to deal with said menace, be it alien or otherwise. (Go with the otherwise.)

In terms of the titular pair who provided ‘Indescribable Defiance’ with its sectional sub-heading, did you know the Space Shuttle Columbia took off secretly in December 1980, months prior to its official inaugural flight? Returned safely as well. You do now. You’re also not too many moons away from finding out whom it was transporting towards the Liberty, which is already in lunar-synchronous orbit.

Nuke’s second section, ‘The Strife Virus’, focused our attention on, among others, a pair of (very) long lasting, inveterate nasties, Daemonicus and Strife. Both first appeared, or at least were mentioned, in Feel Theo, the initial book of the ‘Glories’ trilogy. To say the least it seems they’re extremely difficult to deal with permanently.

Until, that is, in terms of her anyhow … well, that would be telling too much for a preamble. That said, while preambles may be no place for telling all that’s to come, I would be remiss if I didn’t at least remind you of All, capitalized.

Nuke readers will recall the Phantom Freighter, whence Crystallion and Hell’s Horsemen, whence also Sharkczar. And what have they got to do with Incain’s She-Sphinx you might ask. Once again I refer you to Feel Theo, as well as “Janna Fangfingers” and Gambit. Ginny the Gynosphinx is no Andy the Androsphinx. She moves. And when she does, be smart. Stay out of her way.

Speaking yet again of Feel Theo, the time-tumbling Dual Entities featured in a number of its story snippets, if perhaps not explicitly so in its underlying narrative, the one-day saga of Thrygragon (Mithramas, Year of the Dome 4376) as told from a number of different viewpoints. As foreshadowed during the course of ‘The Strife Virus’, they do much more than feature in this book; hence its title.

In some respects remarkably, Nuke’s final two subsections, ‘Supra Survival’ and ‘Sinking and Swimming’, did leave a few tales left to tell. One who won’t be telling them is the deviant Legendarian, Jordan ‘Q for Quill’ Tethys. (The legendary 30-Year Man, aka 30-Beers, came as close as anyone in the Phantacea Mythos comes to being a protagonist throughout the ‘Glories’ trilogy.)

Collage and covers indicative of action recounted in "Nuclear Dragons"

Mr No Name collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2014; pH-7 cover, incomplete, by Ian Bateson, 1980; pHz1 #1 cover, the Mighty Eye-Mouth in the Sky by Ian Bateson, 1985

Gambit readers may recall that, for a change, Jordy’s latest lifetime did not seem to be in jeopardy once the moment of its moderately cliff-dangling dénouement arrived. Indeed, they probably assumed that either he or the improbably enormous, ever-fishifying Fisherwoman had saved everyone worth saving.

That was certainly one of the impressions left. Another was that the subheading for Gambit’s final third, ‘Endgame-Gambit’, meant endgame everyone. When it comes to the Phantacea Mythos, it’s always dangerous to make assumptions. That’s why it’s Anheroic Fantasy (anheroic = without heroes).

I do feel fairly confident in leaving you with one almost certainly accurate assumption, however: Every ending begets a new beginning. And a correction to my opening statement.

Thus begins the ending to Phantacea Phase One.

 

Jim McPherson
Creator/Writer
The PHANTACEA Mythos

 

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McPherson on Vancaf 14

Monday, 26 May 2014

Vancaf Report 2014

Greetings

Sooth said, as one might expect, it was more about comics than books. Ironically, while I sold copies of pHants two, three and four, (no #1s, unlike SF APE), the big seller was 4-ever & 40 — Noah as Japanese, combined with new Noah movie with Harry Potter girl in it, all growed up, may have hit chords.

Full wraparound cover for pH-40, artwork by Ian Fry and Ian Bateson, ca 1990

Full wraparound cover for pH-40, artwork by Ian Fry and Ian Bateson, ca 1990

I did manage to sell copies of Feel Theo (title) and Gambit (which I always recommend when asked for favourite). Pocketed roughly …. Big Whoop! Maybe sheer amount of pHantaProduct overwhelming to walkers-by.

Not Van Expo bucks but then again table not so much either. Wall space as per usual did better that centre aisles.

Judging from the amount of copies I saw folks carrying around, the USNA guys scored scads more shekels-wise. The Nelvana crew next to them (see below) also did well with their books, hard cover and soft. They went for about $20 a pop so folks were spending.

Front and back cover mockups for "Helios on the Moon", prepared by Jim McPherson, 2013

Mockup sent to potential cover illustrators for “Helios on the Moon”, the next scheduled Phantacea Mythos mosaic novel

Ricardo Sandoval came by table a couple of times. He’s trying to flog his own comic book / graphic novel so told him about Comixology, Diamond, Ingram etc.

(Comixology, btw, apparently went from association with Apple to being bought by Amazon. Haven’t managed to get either Phantacea Revisited graphic novels on it as yet. Maybe try again upon return.)

Saturday was much better for me personally, think I only sold a couple of 4-evers on Sunday. Rain didn’t keep folks away, though numbers down on non-sun day due to falling skies outside.

Overall, have to say decent attendance both days. Free admission certainly a factor in that. More cons need free entry, especially to dealers’ rooms. Might do it again despite comparatively low yield. Got to get application in by December.

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

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

Array of talent was breathtaking, as was sheer amount of product. Indy comics rule. It’s almost enough to warm the old cockles. Not enough to make me start looking around for an artist or artists to finish the “Helios on the Moon” storyline that was meant for Phantacea Seven, though. (Before the artist hired for it went over to Marvel. And some real money.)

Nevertheless a version of the script’s still in archives. Plus the novelization will come out in late July, early August. So, well … maybe someday.

Surprise, for me, hit was big book collection of Nelvana of the Northern Lights. Evidently she’s one of the world’s first female super heroes, costumed heroes at any rate, predating Wonder Woman. Had a cape, wore a mini-skirt over tights, and a Canadian to boot. Which I gather she does a lot.

Book came together thanks to a Kickstarter campaign I’m told. Wikipedia article is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelvana_of_the_Northern_Lights. I almost bought book myself; early 40s, good era-looking artwork. Its website contains her first adventure. It’s here: http://nelvanacomics.com/galleries-2/issue1/.

The Vancouver Comic Show is on Sunday 17 Aug on Commercial Drive – www.canadiancomics.net; 1-855-881-9991. Sounds like a white box con so will probably pass. VPL’s Word on the Street (http://www.thewordonthestreet.ca/wots/vancouver/about) is near end of September but didn’t do very well year I did it.

Vcon is a few weeks later but it’s in Surrey. (Should call it S-con but fans might mistake it for a convention about edible food and pass.)  I inquired about doing a Saturday in its Dealers’ Room but never heard back. They want an ad, though, so might try to trade one for access to a table if amenable. (Its website is here: http://www.vcon.ca/.)

The Rose Con in Portland is also in Sept. Heard good things about it at Vancaf, as I did Emerald Con in Seattle but that’s next March. All comics oriented, though. Am considering going to Northwestern con next April, for books, writers, and a table.

End report.

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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: www.phantacea.com

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.)

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Plenty more here

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