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Jim McPherson writes:


Many moons ago I made mention as to how an inscribing, if that’s the right word, at the bottom of a beer mug that I drained many a time, throughout the early-to-mid Seventies, inspired not so much the creating as the naming of one of Phantacea’s strongest and most unique characters.

That would be Raven’s Head. (She’s the D-Brig member who isn’t even remotely human; at least she isn’t according to the back cover text for War-Pox.)

The posting is here, the specific link is here and the commercial logo referred to therein is also right here:

Ravenhead Logo, image taken from website

As per the posting, Jim McPherson’s beer mug in the early to mid 70s had the Ravenhead logo inscribed on its base

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So, did the inspiration for “Nuclear Dragons” come from a beer can?

Kelowna Dragon Pils, picture of beer can taken from web

Beer can often found on table after editing “Nuclear Dragons”

The answer to that is a resolute ‘no’. For one thing, Dragon Pils (as opposed to ‘dragon pills’) didn’t even exist when I first came up with the notion of Crystallion, Hell’s Horsemen, and their atomic firedrakes in the by then mid-to-late Seventies.

Besides, I only imbibe after the work day’s over and, anyways, the Kelowna brand Pilsener or Pilsner is only one of my one-a-day beer treats.

Note as well, contrary to speculation rampant in certain quarters, Jordan Q for Quill Tethys, an equally unique  character, one who featured throughout ‘The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories’ epic fantasy trilogy, is not my alter ego.

I might be a Legendarian but I’m no more 30-Beers than I am a legendary 30-Year Man. Not even in my own mind.

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Raven in Roman Mithraism

Should draw your attention to this article on the raven in mythology: http://www.ravenfamily.org/nascakiyetl/obs/rav1.html.

It mentions all sorts of characters and concepts that come up in the Phantacea Mythos including the Morrigan and Badb (Battle Baby) who feature in “Goddess Gambit“.

E-book cover for Goddess Gambit, artwork by Verne Andru

E-book cover for “Goddess Gambit” — ISBN 978-0-9878683-3-6

Unfortunately I didn’t realize that ravens were the choughs of the Valkyries” when I wrote “Feeling Theocidal” (but that’s only because I’d never heard the word before). As per here I did know they were connected to them, though.

E-book cover for "Feeling Theocidal", artwork by Verne Andru, 2008

E-book cover for “Feeling Theocidal”, artwork by Verne Andru, 2008

One thing the article doesn’t mention is that Corax (Raven) is the first step for initiates in Roman Mithraism. (Seen the stonework in Ostia Antica haven’t I.) More re Roman Mithraism is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mithraic_mysteries#Degrees_of_initiation

While I knew that the collective noun for crows was murder I didn’t realize it was unkindness for ravens. Then again, other than ravens are much bigger, I’m still not sure how to tell the difference.

I’d like to tell you that Phantacea’s Raven’s Head was deliberately created to connect to all these mythologies, and perhaps she was, but the name came from a Yates & Jackson, Lancaster beer mug that I still have.

Collage of images  prepared by Jim McPherson entitled Raven's Head

Raven’s Head collage prepared by Jim McPherson mostly using his own shots

Remind me to take a picture of it sometime for pHantaBlog. Ravenhead Glass may actually still exist, too. More on Raven is here: http://www.phantacea.com/deviants1.htm#secondRow.

ravenhead_logo3

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