Finally, a front cover option for Hidden Headgames

Mock up done on Photoshop of potential front cover for "Hidden Headgames", cover collaage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2017

Mock up done on Photoshop of potential front cover for “Hidden Headgames”

Black and white version of Potential Front Cover for Hidden Headgames. prepared by Jim McPherson, 2017

Black and white version of potential front cover for “Hidden Headgames”

Took awhile to get to it, took even longer to get a presentable version of same, but here goes. Comments welcome at bottom.

As for the images that went into the cover collage, once again the background is of the Borealis Brolly spotted online and shot in Finland by Tina Tormanen,

It paired up nicely with another photo of the Northern Lights, this one shot in Iceland by Tom Mackie in 2014. The former was taken from the Web whereas the latter was scanned in from the May 2015 issue of Fortean Times.

Photograph by Tom Mackie in Iceland, 2014, scanned in from the May 2015 issue of Fortean Times; Nihila artwork by Verne Andru, 2012; banner prepared by Jim McPherson, 2015

Photograph by Tom Mackie in Iceland, 2014, scanned in from the May 2015 issue of Fortean Times; Nihila artwork by Verne Andru, 2012; banner prepared by Jim McPherson, 2015

Northern lights with distinctive umbrella shape; photo attributed to Tina Tormanen, taken from Web

From Tina Tormanen’s “Magical Photos” as spotted on the web

The main reference is to a sequence that first appeared at the end of 2012’s “Goddess Gambit“. It reappeared, and indeed carried on, in 2014’s “Helios on the Moon“. It’s back in “Hidden Headworld”, albeit this time (at least at first) from Fisherwoman’s perspective after Freespirit Nihila jettisoned her.

The female figure representing the fused duo was spotted online. It was taken at the 2015 Burning Man festival held in Death’s Valley toward the end of August every year. (At least I assume it’s still being held.) Not sure who took it, but  assume the original was entitled “The Burning Woman”.

Graphic entitled Nihila Nereid -- Borealis Brolly, prepared on Photoshop by Jim McPherson, 2017 using images taken from the Web

At the end of 2012’s “Goddess Gambit“, Freespirit Nihila took over Fisherwoman for awhile. This act of desperation came into play again during 2014’s “Helios on the Moon“. In “Hidden Headgames” we pick on their stories after they separate.

Hieronymus Bosch's Prince of Hell from the Garden of Earthly Delights

Hieronymus Bosch apparently visited Satanwyck (Sedon’s Temple) towards the end of the Headworld’s Fifty-Fifth Century. In terms of the Phantacea Mythos, this is his version of its Prime Sinistral or a surrogate sitting on the Highchair of Hell

Added a gradient to her and doubled the borealis brollies surrounding her for the text version of this collage. As for the Bosch, it’s from the Garden of Earthly Delights. It currently resides in Madrid’s Prado Museum, though it might have moved by the time you read this.

One might recall that a young man called Bosco was one of the dreadfully contagious Outer Earthlings collected during the course of “Contagion Collectors“, the second mini-novel extracted from “The 1000 Days of Disbelief“.

Apparently he visited Sedon’s Temple (Satanwyck, Hell on Earth) while he was on the Inner Earth in his mid-twenties.

The Drumheller (Alberta) T-Rex, image taken from Web

T Rex shot in Alberta’s Drumheller Bad Lands. Might be an Albertasaurus. Representative of Saurlord Klizarod Rex of Sedon’s Head’s Lake Lands, part of his left eyebrow, area sometimes called Sedon’s Sweat Glands for fay-fairly-silly reason

Highly venomous serpent with wide open mouth, image taken from Web

Wide-mouth, highly venomous serpent used, in terms of the Phantacea Mythos, to represent Daemonicus-Smiler, the Forgettable Fiend

Evidently a bird demon was occupying the Highchair of Hell at the time. Chronologically speaking, that  probably makes her Sinistral Lust (Beguiling Belialma) or one of her lackeys.

She was certainly a playful shape-shifter in her time, some of which was highlighted during the course of The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories epic trilogy. Was way beyond it, too.

As the saying often heard during the open-ended saga of “Wilderwitch’s Babies” goes, in September 1953 Lady Lust came to town (Vancouver Canada), leaving Mother Maternity behind.

As per all of the above, one therefore has to allow Bosco some degree of leeway in his depiction of her. Ordinarily Hell’s Belle was much more appealing to behold. Just ask Abe Chaos (Unholy Abaddon) and his father, the Great God Everyman (Thrygragos Lazareme), about that.

If you can find them, that is. Which, come to think of it, you probably wouldn’t want to do.

Caldera of the Kilauea volcano, image taken from Web

The lava lake filling the caldera of Sedon’s Peak is mostly made up of molten Brainrock. Anvil the Artificer uses it to make devic power foci like the Trigregos Talismans

Even though neither the Drumheller (Alberta) Tyrannosaurus (unless it’s an Albertasaurus) or the wide-mouth, highly venomous serpent have three eyes, they’re meant to represent, respectively, Saurlord Klizarod Rex (the devil-god worshipped by Saudi Tethys, the stomping Steg Sari from “Feeling Theocidal“) and none other than the Forgettable Fiend (Smiler-Daemonicus).  Both appear in “Hidden Headgames”, the latter more so than the former.

The lava lake has to be the caldera of Sedon’s Peak, filled as it is with molten Brainrock. Anvil the Artificer (Tvasitar Smithmonger, the devic Prometheus) uses it to make devils their power foci, aka Tvasitar Talismans. Its fumes are also good for debraining demons.

3-eyed Ornamental Skull from Tibet, image taken from Web

Tibetan skull with three eyes probably meant to represent Yima, King Death. Used to represent King Harvest (Yama Nergal), the Mithradites’ Grim Reaper who features in all three parts of “Hidden Headgames”

(Good for devils, who take over their subtle matter bodies; bad for the demons. Mind you, being mostly all body and no soul, they aren’t very bright to start with.)

Last heard from in “Goddess Gambit” he returns in “Hidden Headgames”. So does his erstwhile girl friend, the Mirror Mentalist (Klannit Thanatos), who goes on to make such a nuisance of herself in “Decimation Damnation“.

The fancy Tibetan skull with the three eye-holes may well be a representation of Yima, an Asian God of Death. He’ll double, almost precisely, for Yama Nergal, the Mithradites’ Grim Reaper, also known as King Harvest.

In this regard, here’s a quote taken from “Acquiring Nihila”, the third part of “Hidden Headgames”:

“Unlike the unspeakable spooks, who looked uniformly two-eyed anthropomorphic, as if they were once human or humanoid bipedal, Death’s (hooded) skull had a third eye-hole. Presumably he presented as much considerately, just in case the Diver had any doubts about his race. If devils could be considered a race, that is, and not an entirely inhuman life form.”

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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Unhiding more Heads

As “Hidden Headgames” moves closer to print, have some more interior images, colour to b/w.

Colour version of the Hidden Headgames Interior Cover, prepared by Jim McPherson, 2017

Colour version of the Acquiring Nihila graphic with Hidden Headgames title

Black and white interior cover for Hidden Headgames, prepared by Jim McPherson, 2017

As combination of long-serving graphics on pH-Webworld – Including Tsishah Twilight, Siqueiros’s ‘New Democracy” and three-eyed Pyrame type blowing on globe

The full cover version of the interior  cover featuring the overall “Hidden Headgames” title, as well as the titles for its three constituent story sequences: “The Forgotten Fiend”, “Pyrame’s Progress” and  “Acquiring Nihila”.

The images that went into these graphics have all been used previously on pH-Webworld. Most made up the tentative cover for “Tsishah’s Twilight“, which wasn’t so much abandoned as never got finished.

Current plans remain for a full-length novel of that title, although it won’t come out before “Daemonic Desperation“, the next mini-novel excerpted from the open-ended saga of “Wilderwitch’s Babies“.

Tentative Cover for "Tsishah's Twilight", prepared by Jim McPherson in 2004 using images taken from the web

Tentative Cover for “Tsishah’s Twilight”, prepared by Jim McPherson in 2004 using images taken from the web

Jim McPherson also prepared an alternative poster more so than cover for “Hidden Headgames”. It took out the two heads representing Shahiyeda and her mother, Sorciere (Solace Sunrise become Sundown), from “The Vampire Variations” web-serial.

Variation on Interior Cover for "Hidden Headgames", prepared by Jim McPherson, 2017

Variation on Interior Cover for “Hidden Headgames”, minus the overall title. It adds representations of the fauna, Pusan Wanderlust, and the Female Entity, Miracle Maenad, both of whom feature in Games

Collage made up Icelandic Northern Lights face, Venice's female faun and Mexico City's Mnemosyne stature, prepared by Jim McPherson, 2017

The Miracle Memory figure is from Mexico City’s Bellas Artes Opera House, the female faun was spotted and shot in Venice, 2008, whereas the face in the Northern Lights was shot in Iceland and taken from Web.

They were replaced with a shot reminiscent of Pusan Wanderlust taken in Venice back in 2008 and a relatively recent shot (2016) from outside Mexico City’s Bellas Artes Opera House suggestive of the Female Entity, Phantacea’s Miracle Memory.

The background in both cases were the astonishing Northern Lights Show taken in Iceland that showed up in Fortean Times 327 and formed the basis for a nifty entry in Serendipity and ...

It’s coupled with Verne Andru’s equally nifty Nihila, as taken from the cover of 2012’s “Goddess Gambit” whereas the bare-breasted Nihila figure was spotted and shot inside the aforementioned Bellas Artes opera house in Mexico City.

Page 25 from pH-5, Verne Andrusiek artwork, 1980

First appearance of Freespirit Nihila from Phantacea 5, Verne Andrusiek artwork, 1980

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

By the famed muralist, David Alfaro Siqueiros (1896-1974) it’s been representing Datong Harmonia, Freespirit Nihila’s precursor, on pH-Webworld for a number of years. (Nihila herself debuted in 1980’s Phantacea Five, as reprinted in “Phantacea Revisited 2: Cataclysm Catalyst“, artwork by Verne Andrusiek, nowadays Verne Andru.)

The three-eyed woman blowing on the globe was also taken in Mexico City during a stopover there in 2005. It’s highly suggestive of Pyrame Silverstar, a featured character in “Feeling Theocidal“, though she also appeared in “The Death’s Head Hellion“.

Black and white version of the Hidden Headgames interior cover without the title,prepared by Jim McPherson, 2017

Variation of the “Hidden Headgames” interior cover, albeit w/o the title

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pHantaBlog pHilches phrom pHacebook

Well, it isn’t exactly filching when it’s your own; rather, when it belongs to Phantacea Publications (James H McPherson, Publisher). So have a bunch of shots previously displayed on pHantacea on pHacebook as well as google+phantacea.

Card prepared by Jim McPherson, 2013

Anheroic Fantasy Illustrated since 1978

Text is by Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos. He took the pictures in Mexico City while he was there in January 2016.

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Dyana the Huntress, shot by Jim McPherson in Mexico City, January 2016

This fountain is right on the Paseo del Reforma, one of the main thoroughfares in Mexico City. Suggestive of Wilderwitch, except she usually wears clothes

‘Wilderwitch’s Babies’ will probably turn out to be two or three mini-novels long, with “Tsishah’s Twilight” either the last installment or, if expanded upon, as I’m currently leaning, a standalone novel.

Here are some Mexico City shots along with a bit of a plot summary for the first book. I’d call it ‘Decimation Damnation’ except for one thing. It gives away the whole story.

Statue of a faun groping a nymph, shot in Soumaya Museum by Jim McPherson, January 2016

Not sure who this is by but its in the Rodin area of the free Soumaya Museum in Mexico City; subtitled ‘Everyone know what fauns are good at’ by Jim McPherson, it’s a reminder that Wildman Devish Furie appears to be turning into a faun or satyr after D-Brig 4’s escape from Hadd in December 1980 (Tantalar 5980)

First of all, the titular Witch (#1) did not fare very well in “The War of the Apocalyptics“. Won’t be akin to Dyana the Huntress again for months, if ever. She’s still alive at the outset of new series, though. Has already had one child, Fey Woman, who was mentioned in that novel.

The series title is plural, not singular. Dervish Furie is infertile so that rules him out as father. He also seems to be transforming into a faun and we all know what fauns are good at. That’s #2, though that wouldn’t be the Witch pictured.

Mayan god called the Tulum Diver, photo taken in Mexico City's superb National Museum of Archaeology by JIm McPherson, January 2016

Spotted and shot in Mexico’ City superb Archaeological Museum, this statue is called the Diver. It’s originally from Tulum on the Mexican Caribbean where the deity is also known as the Descending God

She spends virtually all of the opening book either on her back being operated on in order to save her leg or in a wheelchair. Not saying if the operation’s successful, who performs it or where it’s done.

Statue of Mnemosyne, the Mother of the Muses, shot outside and up at the Palacio del Bellas Artes in Mexico City by Jim McPherson, 2016

Figure spotted and shot on the veranda out the Bellas Artes Palace in Mexico City; taken to represent Miracle Memory, the Female Entity, in the Phantacea Mythos

As recorded in “Helios on the Moon“, the Untouchable Diver disappeared during the final battle for Diminished Dustmound. #3 is actually called the Diver, though I’ve seen the same or a similar Mayan deity referred to as the Descending God.

Besides it being kind of neat, I scanned it in because he disappeared in Hadd/Iraxas and that’s where Native Americans go when they die according to one theory. Not saying if he’s back, please note.

Siqueiros Nueva Democracia, shot inside the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City by JIm McPherson, January 2016

Mural spotted and shot inside Mexico City’s Palacio de Bellas Artes. It’s by Siqueiros and taken to represent Freespirit Nihila

Right side of Camarena's Humanity Freeing Itself spotted and shot inside the Palacio de Bellas Artes by Jim McPherson, January 2016

Right side of Camarena’s Humanity Freeing Itself spotted and shot inside the Palacio de Bellas Artes; taken to represent Pyrame Silverstar with a human head and only two eyes

We already know that Wilderwitch had a mother, Miracle Memory (#4), and that she needs to be possessed in order to become human. Wilderwitch is supposed to a reincarnation of Harmony, who’s now Freespirit Nihila (#5). Guess who’s vying for Memory, along with Pyrame Silverstar (#6). Harmony and Pyrame appeared together most notably in “The Death’s Head Hellion“.

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BTW, all of these places Google, as do the murals found in the Palacio de Bella Artes. pHanta-pHans may already be familiar with some of them from the Afterword for “Feeling Theocidal“, Book One of The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories epic fantasy.

It concluded in 2012 with “Goddess Gambit“, though there was a perhaps unexpected addendum incorporated within 2014’s “Helios on the Moon“, which concluded the follow up trilogy, Launch 1980.

Didn’t conclude Jim McPherson’s Phantacea Mythos obviously.

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

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Orgasmatron — Bad Rhad’s Theme Song

Don’t know if Motorhead’s Lemmy (Ian Kilmister, 1945-2015) and band mates were writing about Bad Rhad when they wrote, and he sang, ‘Orgasmatron‘ for their 1986 album of the same name but one here-familiar writer reckoned he was: http://www.phantacea.info/summer05.htm#BadRhadWantsAll .

Phantacea Publications's photo.

“Orgasmatron”

I am the one, Orgasmatron, the outstretched grasping hand
My image is of agony, my servants rape the land
Obsequious and arrogant, clandestine and vain
Two thousand years of misery, of torture in my name
Hypocrisy made paramount, paranoia the law
My name is called religion, sadistic, sacred whore.

I twist the truth, I rule the world, my crown is called deceit
I am the emperor of lies, you grovel at my feet
I rob you and I slaughter you, your downfall is my gain
And still you play the sycophant and revel in you pain
And all my promises are lies, all my love is hate
I am the politician, and I decide your fate

I march before a martyred world, an army for the fight
I speak of great heroic days, of victory and might
I hold a banner drenched in blood, I urge you to be brave
I lead you to your destiny, I lead you to your grave
Your bones will build my palaces, your eyes will stud my crown
For I am Mars, the god of war, and I will cut you down.

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Bad Rhad was known as Rhadamanthys as well as Smiler during the initial PHANTACEA comic book series of the late Seventies, appearing on the cover for pH-6.

Flyer prepared for April 2014 launch of "Cataclysm Catalyst", the second Phantacea Revisited graphic novel

Flyer prepared for April 2014 launch of “Cataclysm Catalyst”, the second Phantacea Revisited graphic novel

Nearly thirty-five years later, Verne Andru took his original and improved on it, in almost every respect, for the cover of “Cataclysm Catalyst.”

Bad Rhad appears as a pivotal character in “Feeling Theocidal” and “Goddess Gambit“. (Verne Andru did both of those covers as well.) Therein he’s often called the Judge but, as per here, doesn’t object when he’s equated with Ahriman.

A character called Bad Rhad actually shows up in Feel Theo. He’s a panpipes-playing ne’er-do-well whom George Tethys’s mother, Master Helena Somata, she of the ages’ old Weirdom of Kanin City (after Cain, Slayer of Abel), considers a bad influence on her precious son.
(If you have to know, Georgie’s the Emperor Constantine’s half-brother in the Phantacea Mythos. He’s also an incarnation of Jordan Tethys.)
However, since Smiler can’t be remembered unless he’s standing right in front of you and wills you to see him, who’s to say if that Bad Rhad and PHANTACEA‘s Rhadamanthys are one and the same. Well, a certain here-familiar writer might be able to tell you but he probably wouldn’t.
Business card used by Jim McPherson when in Phantacea mode

Business card used by Jim McPherson when in Phantacea mode; the Pharaoh’s head is actually a parking shot on Giza Plateau as shot by Egyptian air force circa 1929/30; Sedon’s Head by Jim McPherson and Tim Hammell, ca 1978

(Or, as far as that goes, Tomcat Tattletail during the three mini-novels comprising ‘The 1000 Days of Disbelief‘. Like Bad Rhad the panpipe player, Tomcat only has two standard human eyes. Devils are of course shape-shifters.)
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NOTE 1: The Cretan Rhadamanthys was a son of Europa and Zeus. Along with brother Minos he became a Judge of the Dead. As interesting as that may be, that isn’t why Smiler’s called the Judge. It’s because it rhymes with Druj (meaning ‘The Lie’ in Zoroastrianism.)

Demonic train cover for Motorhead Orgasmatrom 1986

Cover for 1986 album by Motorhead. No art credit given; taken from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Orgasmatron.jpg

NOTE 2: The third brother was named Sarpedon. The Sarpedon Underclass of Cabalarkon’s Weirdom played minor roles in “The Death’s Head Hellion“. As pure blood Utopians, the Summoning Child twins Demios, who’s black, and Melina Sarpedon, who’s white, are members of that selfsame underclass.

NOTE 3: A coyote character named Squirrelly Tethys smiles suspiciously throughout the D-Head mini-novel. Could be he’s the then latest stolen identity of the aforementioned Tomcat Tattletail, who plays on the incomparable Harmony’s heartstrings throughout ‘The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories’ epic fantasy trilogy as released by Phantacea Publications from 2008-2010.
NOTE 4: Motorhead’s album was produced by Bill Laswell. Its front cover (above right)  features a demonic train. It’s only got two eyes, though, so probably not inspired by the never-remembered Smiling Fiend.
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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First Winter, Last Fall — A Final McPhersonal for Year

picture of Jim McPherson, taken at Van Expo 2013 by Ed Healy

Somebody likes the Mighty Eye-Mouth in the Sky; photo by Ed Healy of gamerati.com

Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, is returning to Heritage Hall on Sunday the 8th of November to do another Vancouver Comicon. More information here, eventually.

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.

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Prior to the Total Eclipse of Sunday’s Supermoon — Jim McPherson’s doing VPL’s Word Vancouver

Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the the Phantacea Mythos, will be tending the Phantacea Publications table at VPL’s Word Vancouver this Sunday. The show lasts from 11 am until 5 pm, so plenty of time to come by (buy) before total lunar eclipse of Supermoon that we get to see starting around 7pm.

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

pHantaTable is in the Alice McKay Room on the lower level inside the main VPL branch downtown at West Georgia and Homer. Website is here: www.wordvancouver.com; program guide, which contains a map of the site on pages 34 & 35, is here: issuu.com/wordvancou…/docs/word_vancouver_2013_program_guide

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 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

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Belatedly Noted: Nuck Drags Recommended (for reading, not smoking, though they are hot)

Seems Stevo recommended “Nuclear Dragons“,  the second entry in the Launch 1980 story cycle, way back in December 2013. Seems also pHantaJim, Blogmeister didn’t find out about it until today:

Front cover for Nuclear Dragons, artwork by Ian Bateson, 2013; banner at top added by Jim McPherson, 2014, for digital versions of the novel

Crystallion leads Hell’s Horsemen against Centauri Island


Stevo’s Monthly Picks (Read-Only Folder)  –  December Book Recommendations (182 views): http://forums.delphiforums.com/stevo1/messages?msg=189.1

Nuclear Dragons by Jim McPherson, creator/writer, and Ian Bateson, cover artist (Phantacea Publications, $20.00)

The Launching of the Cosmic Express took place on Centauri Island at the end of November 1980. It was destroyed … Or was it? No matter. Its destroyers thought it was. And they’re not done yet.

Who or what can stop them? The Menace on the Moon? Silver-armoured Signal System? Supra-Clones? Loxus Abraham Ryne, the eighty year old head of SPACE (‘The Society for the Prevention of Alien Control of Earth’)? A couple of middle-aged, newly-minted supranormals named Doc Defiance and Mr. No Name?

A twenty-seven year old who neither knows who his parents were nor what an Amoeba Man was? An obesity who knows far more than he should but is disinclined to share that knowledge with anyone, not even his own son? Or maybe, just maybe, a notorious little trickster who has been seven years old for something like sixty years!

Truth told: How can anyone stop Nuclear Dragons!

(Also in the series: “The War of the Apocalyptics”)


Stevo also recommended “Goddess Gambit” but pHantaJIm heard about that not all that after when it came out.

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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SereNipHity Nihila

The colour side of a postcard Jim McPherson prepared in 2012 as a handout; artwork taken from cover of "Goddess Gambit"; artwork by Verne Andru

The colour side of a postcard Jim McPherson prepared in 2012 as a handout; artwork taken from cover of “Goddess Gambit”; artwork by Verne Andru

Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, is seeing faces again. He’s not alone either. The folks behind Fortean Times are, too:. Except they cheat on the cover of FT 327: http://pics.gjovaag.com/FT/large/FT327.jpg

The Queen of England is secretly a lizard according to Fortean Times in 1999

Slightly altered cover from Fortean Times #129; more covers are here: http://www.theguardian.com/media/gallery/2013/nov/11/fortean-times-covers#img-7

Webmeister Oz has turned Borealis Brolly  (aka Auroral Nihila) into a background image whereas McPherson himself has contributed a new entry to the Serendipity page. It’s called sereNipHity (serendipity + Nihila + pHantacea + nifty).

The Serendipity entry is here: http://www.phantacea.info/seren.htm#iceNihil, whereas the background makes it first appearance here: http://www.phantacea.info/devils-described.htm#harmy. There’s even a new banner that should show up once in a while on pHantaBlog.

Photograph by Tom Mackie in Iceland, 2014, scanned in from the May 2015 issue of Fortean Times; Nihila artwork by Verne Andru, 2012; banner prepared by Jim McPherson, 2015

Photograph by Tom Mackie in Iceland, 2014, scanned in from the May 2015 issue of Fortean Times; Nihila artwork by Verne Andru, 2012; banner prepared by Jim McPherson, 2015

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PVR Perversions — Grimdark Supercreeps

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 one.

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Grimdark – NRA-approved Fantasy Genre

Some months ago (November 2014), I prepared a piece for pHantaBlog entitled “All-American Gun Porn – Shot in Vancouver”. (Revisited late last December in Mistletoe Miscellanea.)

In the original I mostly raged on about three ‘superhero’ or ‘fantastical’, albeit not particularly fantastic, TV shows filmed in Vancouver: “Arrow”, “The Flash” and “The 100”.

I’m only moderately surprised to note they’ve been renewed for another season. (Have to say that, given the grimdark death toll in the last specious specimen in particular, it might have to be renamed “The 20”.)

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

Also renewed, according to the Web, are two others I mentioned in the same essay: “Gotham” and “Grimm”. They’re gun porn, too. Except their ‘heroes’ are, for the most part, policemen.

The police, in Canada and the USA anyhow, are allowed to carry guns as well as use them; television-typically with deadly force. Unless of course the recipient of said riveting attention might be needed for subsequent episodes.

Or, in the TV-titular case of both Arrow and Flash, who seem to get shot or otherwise incapacitated a lot, albeit without much in the way of repercussions, they’re either immune to lead poisoning or supranormally gifted with a Wolverine-like knack for extremely quick recoveries.

In that regard, without recourse to the Resurrection Pit Arrow even survived Ra’s al Ghul driving a sword though his chest, and out the other side, missing both heart and spine, since the last time I wrote about the show. The explanation, besides ratings, seems to have something to do with cold air and frozen ground.

Good thing al Ghul had the common courtesy to pull out the sword before dropping him onto a cliff’s edge only a few dozen feet down from where he ‘killed’ him. (Dropped him undamaged any more than he already was, I should add. No cracking bones or snapping neck for our hero; not even a mild concussion.)

Whereupon Ra’s left him exposed to kindly elements and Himalayan vultures; ones that turned out to be human good Samaritans who just happened to be in the vicinity. (One of whom had also been thousands of miles away in Vancouver, er Starling City, in the previous scene.)

Be that as it may, back to Grimm and Gotham. According to the lazy logic of television fantasies, cops not only can get away with killing, the shows are set up such that their be-badged protagonists can do just that, get away with what amounts to murder in sensible conversations.

Killing is part of their job description, don’t you know. And, as mentioned in the previous article(s), super — not to mention invariably supercilious — villains in television are best dealt with both deservedly and biblically. (With the same proviso re subsequent episodes.)

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 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

I was prepared to let “Gotham” escape the dreaded (or not), NRA-approved, gun-porn denigration if only because I reckoned there was a lot of Chester Gould’s quirky “Dick Tracy” about it. After all, Tracy got shot a lot too, albeit usually in the left shoulder.

(As recorded in a Wikipedia article, Mad Magazine once counted up 47 times that Gould’s Dick Tracy had been shot in that very same, supposedly non-lethal place.

(In a similar vein, ha, ha, Al Capp famously ventilated Fearless Fosdick, his parody of Tracy in the Li’l Abner strip, much more, um, holistically – as in holey – on a regular basis.)

Rather, Gotham started out that way. Nowadays it seems more about lesser, as in secondary, characters and a few others invented solely for the series (as opposed to those taken from the comics).

Which is understandable given the likes of Jim Gordon, Alfred Pennyworth, Harvey thus-far-only-One-Face Dent, Detective also-Harvey Bullock, Selena Kyle, Penguin, Riddler, Poison Ivy, et al, have to live long enough to meet Batman once he gets all brave and bold big enough to don the cape and cowl.

Still, they’re a dull lot. Wouldn’t have made the DC Universe in the first place. Or wouldn’t have lasted long if they had.

BTW, Bruce Wayne appears to be 12 or 13 whereas Selena, the future Catwoman, and Ivy look to be in their slightly later teens, albeit no more than 14 or 15. The expectations, therefore, are obviously for a long series.

Good luck with that. Unless its producers, show-runners and, especially, its writers come up with some much better, as in far more original and intriguingly villainous, cannon fodder, it’ll be gone by Christmas.

The colour side of a postcard Jim McPherson prepared in 2012 as a handout; artwork taken from cover of "Goddess Gambit"; artwork by Verne Andru

The colour side of a postcard Jim McPherson prepared in 2012 as a handout; artwork taken from cover of “Goddess Gambit”; artwork by Verne Andru

(That they made 14 or 15-year old Selena a wanton killer in a recent episode should mean its renewal is cancelled with immediate effect. Should also mean, as a consequence, that its producers are put in jail for deliberate child abuse via role model perversion.

(Too bad neither is very likely to happen. Where’s the Comic Code guy – Fredric Wertham – when we need him?)

In addition to gun porn, these series sadly share what strikes me as a distinct lack of inspired storytelling. When bullets solve everything, that’s to be expected.

Cops are as craven as they are corrupt. (In both Arrow and Gotham lunatic jerks swagger imperiously into cop-shops, pull out their penile pistols, shoot the place up and simply walk away unscathed.) Except when they’re tenacious, that is.

The same batch of boys in blue who cower underneath tables when the really bad guys are popping off, bullets-wise, suddenly gain cojones in Arrow once the overarching plot demands they go after our grimdark hero for being an, um, lawless vigilante. This for the second time in the series.

(And, talk about unimaginative, in a recent Flash chest-zapping CPR is applied not once but twice in the same 40-odd minute episode. Same producer, same stories, I guess. Not hiring creative talent does save on the overhead.)

Overarching plot is Grimm’s saving grace; that, plus some genuinely interesting characters, ones who don’t just use their guns to kill monsters, though they do that too, once in a while. Grimm also has some decent makeup, this despite not much in the way of a special effects budget. Which, in its own way, is a saving grace.

Launch 1980 promo for "Helios on the Moon", artwork by Ricardo Sandoval, 2014

Promo using the cover for the print version of “Helios on the Moon” as digitally tweaked by Jim McPherson, 2014; artwork by Ricardo Sandoval, 2014; based on front cover for pH-3; that’s All of Incain (Ginny the Gynosphinx) beside Helios and Lord Order sneaking up on him from behind;

Contrast that with another superhero-type series I PVR: “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD”. It does have a decent budget, apparently, and it’s Marvel-inspired, not DC, which should make for more imaginative fare.

And for the most part it does. Plus, Joss Whedon, the guy behind Buffy, is behind SHIELD as well as the related Avengers’ movies. Yet it hasn’t been renewed for some reason.

Not enough guns and guts (spilled) perhaps? Or maybe it hasn’t got the NRA’s stamp (or stomp) of approval.

Shall have more to say re the relatively recently proclaimed Grimdark Fantasy genre in a future instalment of pHantaBlog.

In the meantime, in terms of my very own Phantacea Mythos anyhow, it doesn’t get much grimmer and darker than “Goddess Gambit”, where it could be (and has been, albeit not by me) argued that the impression’s left no one survives. (Until “Helios on the Moon“, that is.).

Doubt it’d get a stomp of approval, let alone a 21-gun salute. from gun owners, though. That’s due to the pHanta-pHact they’re given the treatment they deserve.

Which is mostly mockery.

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.

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Modern mythology meshed with the ancient

Recall this fellow (http://phantacea.com/blog/?p=695) 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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