Peculiar Perspectives: “The Canals of Venice”, Equinoctial September 2017

In the same vein as Peculiar Perspectives: “The Streets of London from a couple of weeks ago, same European trip as well, let’s take a walk along the canals of Venice.

Rialto Bridge, Venice, photo by Jim McPherson, September 2017

Most famous of the four bridges that span the Grand Canal in Venice, the Rialto Bridge even has its own Wikipedia entry

Even though it’s in Italy, and Italy is notorious for its (pretend?) piety, howsoever genuine, I can’t say walk on the canals of Venice due to fact the canals get quite deep and I lack the requisite omnipotence.

Sign that reads 'Rio de la Toletta' taken next to a canal presumably of the same name, photo taken by Jim McPherson, 2017

Even though I have no idea if this sign refers to a person or what it looks like it refers to, the canals of Venice are not the most inviting of waterways. No swimmers in sight, this despite shot being taken in mid September

They’re also not the most of inviting of waterways, which may be referred to locally as ‘rios’ or rivers. Note the name of this one ==>

(As per always on pHantaBlog, double-click to enlarge, then hit back arrow to return here.)

As a public service I googled up the word ‘Toletta’ and, yep, the word does mean ‘toilet’ in Italian. As to whether Venetians regard their canals as toilets I wouldn’t want to speculate.

Mind you, I wouldn’t want to fall into one either. Might explain why I’ve never seen anyone swimming in them. Have seen dragon boaters racing up the Grand Canal but they’re pretty well covered.

Gondola on canal ith sun in background, photo by Jim McPherson, 2017

Pretty shot with sun beneath bridge in distance at end of canal

Have swum in the Adriatic at its Lido (civic beach — off of map below to the south and west) on a small island beyond Venice. Very nice, warm, clear, but not in port area and certainly not in canals.

<== Don’t have to swim or paddle to enjoy canals. There are vaporetti aplenty using the Grand Canal as the city’s only viable (water) bus line and of course everyone knows of the gondolas.

Venice Island, taken from Google

Screen shot of a Google map of Venice Proper. Most visitors stay in Mestre to the north, at other end of causeway

Unless you really must, the cost for the latter is prohibitive whereas the former aren’t cheap either. Unless again you consider 40 Euros for a three day pass cheap, that is.

Fortunately Venice is not a big place for a city. Not even as big as downtown Vancouver, if I’m any judge. So I walked a great deal, even on the days when I did have a pass.

And, yes, I do carry an umbrella in my backpack. Have done for decades of travel. Perhaps because I’m from aforementioned Wet Coast of Canada, I attract rain even in deserts.

Two huge helping hands propping up building in Venice, photo by Jim McPherson, 2017

Sometimes buildings in Venice are so old they need helping hands to keep from crumbling into Grand Canal.

And rain it did; daily, if (happily) not all day. Which is most of the reason I didn’t make a return visit to the Lido. Besides, I was only there for five days this time so didn’t really have the time. (Nine years earlier I was there for a week.)

Rain actually started on the day I landed in Split, Croatia, a couple of weeks prior to Venice. First rain there in something like four months I heard.

Sometimes I figure parched countries should pay me to visit them. Are you listening South Africa?

Close up of one the helping hand propping up buiding, taken by Jim McPherson from underneath it in 2017

Appearances deceiving, this is not the Hand of God. Which isn’t to say it isn’t supposed to represent the Hand of God

<==> Buildings, as one might expect, are often old. At least one of them must be so old it needs helping hands to prevent it from tumbling into the Grand Canal.

These two aren’t the Hands of God. I know. I checked.

(Also the name of a character who appears in “Hidden Headgames“; except it’s spelled in the Greek or Etocretan manner as Ino, after a daughter of the perhaps mythological King Cadmus, brother of Europa, who brought the Phoenician alphabet to Greece circa 1500 BC.)

Another shot of the two Venetian hands helping to prop up building on Grand Canal, taken by Jim McPherson, 2017

Different angle of the Helping Hands probably taken from a different vaporetto

<== Got close enough beneath them to take confirmatory snaps. Then again I knew that already. As per Stellar Serendipity, have had a shot of the Hand of God on pH-Webworld for years.

Equally unsurprisingly, given it’s Italy, Venice is packed with churches. Some of them might even be world renowned, albeit not to me. Considering I write about little gods using the correct term for them, namely devils, that’s not surprising either.

Dr Peste, the Plague Doctor, standing outside Ca'Macana in mid September 2017, photo by Jim McPherson

Dr Peste, the Plague Doctor, standing outside the Ca’Macana (see map). He was in the same place in 2008, the first time I visited Venice

Which brings me  to one of the reasons I so often go walkabout in places I visit. I’m looking for Phantacea Mythos character likenesses or else character suggestiveness.

==> In this regard one of the most frequent I came across was Carcinogen the Leper, aka Plague, from “The War of the Apocalyptics” and, albeit to a much lesser degree, both “Feeling Theocidal” and “Goddess Gambit“.

In the original PHANTACEA comic book series, he, along with Mars ‘War’ Bellona appeared on the back cover of Phantacea Three.

Ca'Macana's Plague Doctor in 2017, shot taken by Jim McPherson in mid-Septembr of 2017

Dr Peste, the Plague Doctor, standing outside the Ca’Macana. He was in the same place in 2008, the first time I visited Venice

<== Carcinogen’s also on the full cover of Phase One #1 (and only), alongside Mater Mater (pHant‘s favourite Medusa), and Nakba ‘Catastrophe’ Ramazar, the Apocalyptics of (Mundane) Death and Disaster respectively.

(If you click over to link and don’t immediately spot Ramazar, that’s because he’s headless.)

Additionally, aka the Apocalyptic of Disease might have shown up in “Contagion Collectors“, howsoever briefly. The four Horsemen in that mini-novel were Thrygragos Lazareme and his three firstborn, the then Unities of Chaos, Order and Harmony.

Venetians call him Dr Peste, the Plague Doctor. He’s so well known his traditional costume has its own Wikipedia page.

Dr Peste, the Plague Doctor, shot in Venice by Jim McPherson, 2017

A different Dr Peste. The Plague Doctor shows up outside a number of mask shops in Venice. Both his black hat and beaked mask are available in just about every mask shop there

From it, have a quote:

==> The mask had glass openings in the eyes and a curved beak shaped like that of a bird with straps that held the beak in front of the doctor’s nose.[3] The mask had two small nose holes and was a type of respirator which contained aromatic items.[4]

The beak could hold dried flowers (including roses and carnations), herbs (including mint), spices, camphor, or a vinegar sponge.[5][6] The purpose of the mask was to keep away bad smells, which were thought to be the principal cause of the disease in the miasma theory of infection, before it was disproved by germ theory.[2][3]

Doctors believed the herbs would counter the “evil” smells of the plague and prevent them from becoming infected.[3]

Then there’s Pyrame Silverstar. Rather, there’s the All-Seeing Eye of Providence, which (Providence) is one of the alternative titles Pyrame uses throughout the Phantacea Mythos. The Pauper Priestess is another.

The All-Seeing Eye over top a building not far from the Venice train station, taken by Jim McPherson in 2017

The All-Seeing Eye of Providence inside a circle, a smaller circle and a triangle; taken not far below the train station

<== This All-Seeing Eye looks to have  something to do with the Freemasons. Note the triangle inside the circle inside yet another, much larger circle.

It’s on a huge building that I first took be a church. Don’t think it is … but can’t say for sure as I got no closer.

Like so many other devils (Master Devas) to appear in the Phantacea Mythos novels, mini-novels and the thus far solitary collection of novellas, Pyrame never showed up in the original comic book series.

Statue of a diver, part of Venice Bienniale of2017, spotted in a park near the port

Statue of a diver, part of Venice Biennale of 2017, spotted and shot in a park near the port

She’s big news in most of the books, though. So much so one the novellas contained in “Hidden Headgames” is called ‘Pyrame’s Progress‘.

Indeed, she’s in all three novellas. Is also a major character in “Feeling Theocidal” and remarkable by her absence throughout most of “The Death’s Head Hellion“.

==> Another character who frequently appears in the series of story sequences set in 19/5980 is Yehudi Cohen, the Damnation Brigade‘s Untouchable Diver.

Metallic rhino, spotted and shot in a park dedicated to the 2017 Venice Biennale

Metallic rhino, spotted and shot in a park dedicated to the 2017 Venice Biennale

Seemingly through no fault of his own, said Diver gets stuck into the action depicted in the Master’s Dream sequence contained near the middle of 2016’s “Decimation Damnation“, the first mini-novel excerpted from the as yet ongoing saga of “Wilderwitch’s Babies“.

Except … wait a mini-minute! As per “Acquiring Nihila“, the third novel contained in “Hidden Headgames“, it’s no dream is it.

The statue of him is part of Venice’s 2017 Biennale. <== So is that of the metallic Rhino, not far away.

Can’t say I can recollect any rhinos in the Phantacea Mythos. Unless one of the Emperor’s Mammalian’s Manimalians in the pH-Webworld‘s serials was a rhino, which he may have been.

Grate Head, a shutter window or doorway suggetive of a hea

See lots of detached heads in Venice. Since it’s a land of masks, that isn’t surprising. So have a Grate Head. Note the spelling

May have been metallic; possibly even gold. Could have been codenamed Rhinegold; not to be confused with the treasure containing the Ring of the Nibelung. (Unless you want to confuse it, that is. Which I would.)

In any case, haven’t got back to him yet. Maybe in a couple of years.

Unicorn head spotted and shot above a Venetian shop in 2017 by Jim McPherson

Unicorn head spotted while doing a Venetian walkabout. Too horsey-headed to represent Raven’s Head but Shaman Manitoulin has a changeling psychopomp in “The Vampire Variations” by the name of Horny Head. She sometimes shows up as a unicorn so this might represent her.

==>Could well get back to another (occasionally) horny character then as well.

That’d be Raven’s Head, last seen riding off into the sunset, appropriately enough with Blind Sundown on her back, in the aforementioned “Decimation Damnation“.

Raven’s only unicorn-horny when there are devils in the vicinity. Which, other than the big one, the Moloch Sedon himself, there aren’t in “Decimation Damnation“. Plenty left on the Hidden Headworld, though.

Then again, horny has other meanings … Who’s to say there aren’t other ravendeer on Sedon’s Head? Answer’s mostly me of course.

pHanta-pHact is, may have made mention of their existence in a couple of tales told already. For the future file, that.

Mannikin display in a luggage shop on St Mark's Square, Venice, taken by Jim McPherson, 2017

Vanishing Man  is actually a display for a luggage shop on St Mark’s Square, which is caught in reflections

<== Characters come and go throughout the Phantacea Mythos. Some, notably the Dual Entities, keep coming back. The Legendarian, Jordan ‘Q for Quill’ Tethys, does, too.

Goes so far as to consider himself the central protagonist of ‘The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories‘, an epic trilogy that spans somewhere in the vicinity of 1500 years.

Have one that’s only partially disappearing. it was taken in St Mark’s Square on a very rainy afternoon. Area’s usually chock-a-block with tourists so, even if I am one myself, I tend to stay away from it.

Rain was so hard I came thinking to go into the Correr Museum, which I may or may not have missed last time I was in Venice. Guess what? It was raining so hard I was hardly the only one who had that idea.

Have I mentioned I hate lineups? Have now. Still haven’t been inside the Correr Museum, where there’s supposed to be a Pieta by Cosimo Tura. Maybe next time.

Cain and Abel with leaves, shot in Venice 2017 by Jim McPherson

Cain and Abel are depicted outside this church. Nicely placed branches, with leaves, of Tree of Knowledge have to say. Note the snake head near top of tree

==> Finally, and not just because I haven’t highlighted the first PHANTACEA graphic novel, “Forever & 40 Days“, as yet, how about Cain and Abel? Actually, now that I think about it, Abel’s already dead by the time I got to Cain.

Miracle Memory does prattle on about them (and Cain’s immortal mom in not just PHANTACEA, namely Primeval Lilith) in “Helios on the Moon“, so might as well get to them here as well.

Apparently, the tree (whence the branches and the strategically placed leaves) is that of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Apparently you can tell that because there’s a snake ravelling up it. Note his head near top.

Might that be Bad Rhad as Daemonicus? Probably not. If Abel’s around then he and Lethal Lily are likely still between-space being digested by Andy and Ginny, the romping sphinxes from early pages of “Feeling Theocidal“, which overlaps somewhat with “Forever & 40 Days“.

Unless I’m confusing my mythologies, which I’d never do since they’re all from the same source, human imagination, this is the prototypical tree that bears the Golden Apples of Juvenescence.

Wish I had a tree full of them in my yard right now.


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Peculiar Perspectives: “The Streets of London, late August/September 2017”

Have some possible avian-humans doing a remarkable, considering what they’re made of, air-dance near Marble Arch. Have as well a couple of horsey heads, the complete text — with some minor additions — of the pHantacea on pHaceBook post for 27 November 2017, and a few extra scans from same trip that haven’t as yet found a permanent pHantaHome.

Pictures and text by Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos.


Complete text, with lynx and some additional notes, reads:

Statue of masked, but apparent avian-humans sun-dancing, spotted and shot in Hyde Park, on Bayswater about where it joins Oxford Street in London, next to Marble Arch, photo by Jim McPherson, late August 2017

Statue of masked, but apparent avian-humans sun-dancing, spotted and shot in Hyde Park, on Bayswater about where it joins Oxford Street in London, next to Marble Arch

<== Jim McPherson, the writer/creator of the Phantacea Mythos, has been wanting to write ‘Tsishah’s Twilight‘ for a number of years.

So he started re-reading “The Vampire Variations“, the final web-serial to appear on pH-Webworld.

He’s doing so on account of, well, the demon Tsishah wears whenever she’s appeared in the 5980/81 story sequences, notably “Decimation Damnation” and “Hidden Headgames“.

Sun dancers against sun; photo by Jim McPherson, August 2017, taken in London England

Same Sun-dancers, albeit against sky on a sunny day in London England, late August 2017

==> Even though said demon isn’t wearable as yet, it seems an abundance of hollow-boned avian-humans do appear in said serial.

(As per near bottom of post, they’re the ones who hide their perhaps daemonic feathers between-space when they’re not using them to fly about in and out of the Weird.)

Which got him thinking about some sights he spotted and shot in London, England, back in late August/September 2017.

Shot of Marble Arch taken by jim McPherson, Aug 2017

Marble Arch , London, one time site of the Tyburn Gallows

<== The first two (above) are of bird men air-dancing. They were taken near Marble Arch, the onetime location of the Tyburn Gallows.

Immediately across the street from them (below) was this incongruously enormous horse head, no body, no signage as to why it was even there.

Speakers Corner Balancing Act statue, strong man and elephant with stronger trunk, taken by Jim McPherson, 2017

Talented elephant and strong man statue standing on a traffic island in London, England, near Hyde Park Corner tube station station.

==> Down at another corner of Hyde Park, across from the Hyde Park underground station, was this talented fool one-hand-balancing an acrobatic elephant by his, unless it was her, very strong trunk.

Was on a traffic island and after a couple of feints, said photographer decided it wasn’t worth life and limb trying to dodge extremely speedy, London through-way traffic trying to get closer. Maybe next time.

Huge Horse Head beside Marble Arch, taken by Jim McPherson in late August 2017

Not sure what this huge horse’s head is doing beside Marble Arch across street from the Dancing Avians but it made for an irresistible shot

<== The huge horse head spotted on a construction site next to Marble Arch is reminiscent of a horse’s head spotted and shot in the British Museum earlier on first London stay that trip.

Horse Head in the Greeks in Italy section of the British Museum

Horse Head in the Greeks in Italy section of the British Museum

==> The one in the British Museum was up in the ‘Greeks in Italy’ display. It was marked as being made some time between 700 and 250 BC. There were a few more nifty horse heads in museum, include one of sunny Helios’s and another of loony Selene’s, both of whom are characters in the Phantacea Mythos.

Garuda-type (avian-human) spotted and shot in Regent's Park, London, England

Garuda-type (avian-human) spotted and shot in Regent’s Park, London, England

(Selene, not to be confused with Miracle Memory, is a Silver Signaller who mostly appears in “Nuclear Dragons“. Helios, on the other hand, has appeared throughout the 40 years of PHANTACEA.

Talented elephant and strong man statue standing on a traffic island in London, England, near Hyde Park Corner tube station, shot and altered by Jim McPherson, 2017

Talented elephant and strong man statue standing on a traffic island in London, England, near Hyde Park Corner tube station, with background whited-out

As the Male Entity, he’s even had a book named after him (“Helios on the Moon“) whereas the entirety of the 19/5938 web-serials are entitled: ‘Heliodyssey‘.

Perhaps surprisingly given what happened at the end of Helmoon, he shows up in Phantacea Phase Two‘s “Hidden Headgames“, albeit mostly as a vexation to Freespirit Nihila.

Cat statue about to swallow an Assyrian bust in the British Museum, taken by Jim McPherson, 2017

Fish-eye effect applied to shot taken on main floor of British Museum

Who, perhaps unsurprisingly given all she’s been through since “Goddess Gambit“, seems to be going through an extended Nemesis period.

Won’t say what condition he’s in at the beginning of Phase Two. Will say he isn’t about to have his head bit off, like this poor fellow on the main floor of the British Museum.

No need for that is there.


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Tethys Talks Tura … 500 years ago

Could have as easily been talking turkey in the sense of ‘To speak frankly about the basic facts of a matter’.

Black and white covers of the various Phantacea comics and graphic novels

Black and white covers of the various Phantacea comics and graphic novels published in 2013

Plus, it is apple-approaching Zmas Day hereabouts, or would be if the Weirdom of Cabalarkon is still around; if indeed the Hidden Continent of Sedon’s Head still is … In which case the title could read “Tethys Talks Turkey all sorts of centuries ago”.

(Double-click for enlargements.)

Jordan Tethys, aka the legendary 30-Year Man, was (is?) the self-described hero of “The Thousand Days of Disbelief”.

Cosimo Tura (c. 1430 – 1495) was an Italian early-Renaissance painter. London’s National Gallery has a bunch of his artwork. Now, so does pHantaBlog.

"The Thousand Days of Disbelief", 2010 cover collage prepared by Jim McPherson

Unpublished cover, black and white version, for “The Thousand Days of Disbelief“, 2010 collage prepared by Jim McPherson

In this excerpt, taken from “Contagion Collectors”, the Legendarian‘s talking to APM All-Eyes, a Byronic Master Deva, about Morgan Abyss, the Melusine Master of Weir, who was  occupied by Pyrame Silverstar circa 4824/5 Years of the Dome.

It kind of belies his claim to be 1000-Daze’s hero since he doesn’t make it beyond his fatal encounter with Pyrame-Morgan’s other visitor in the first chapter of “The Death’s Head Hellion”.

Tura's Caliope, painted ca 1470, shot at the National Gallery in London by Jim McPherson, August 2017

Once known as “An Allegory of Spring”, this painting appeared on the cover of “The Death’s Head Hellion

No matter, he’d obviously been around long enough prior to said encounter to have painted her:

(BTW, the worms APM is referring to are tee-tee tails.)

“I can see I opened a can of worms. And I don’t mean the ones sticking out from under your cap. What do you think she’s up to?”

“Morgan Abyss? Funnily enough I saw a picture of her the last time I was on the Outer Earth. I’ve heard it called ‘An Allegory of Spring’ but I spoke to the artist, an Italian fellow by the name of Cosimo Tura, and he said it was of Calliope, the Muse of Epic Poetry. He’d been commissioned to do a bunch of paintings of the Nine Muses and said Calliope’s quill was standard for images of her.”

Toothy fish to Calliope's right atop throne

Toothy fish to Calliope’s right on throne

“As well as images of you.”

“Too true. Anyhow, what wasn’t standard was Master Morgan’s throne, all those toothy dolphins, or whatever they are. Morg had a throne just like that; one she’d had handmade by her own fish-folks, Melusine craftsmen the lot.” She gave him one of those looks of hers – a very unsettling look given how many eyes she could manifest. “Or craftswomen of course.” This seemed to satisfy her so he felt free to carry on.

Toothy fish to Calliope's left atop throne

Toothy fish to Calliope’s left on throne

“Even weirder, it looks to me like he copied his Calliope from one of my own paintings, one that still hangs in Cabalarkon. Don’t ask me how he learned of it. He claimed it came to him in a dream, which might be the weirdest thing yet. And you don’t have to take my word for it either. Unless he bit the big one in the last few months, he’s still alive. Maybe you could get more out of him. I’m no devil.”

“So you keep insisting. But what’re the chances of any of us even bothering? We don’t visit Italy when we’re out there; isn’t in our bailiwick. Besides, that isn’t what I asked.”

“No, you asked me to what I think Morg’s up to in that painting. Except it isn’t a matter of thinking, is it? It’s a matter of historical record …

Cosimo Tura's St Jerome as shot in London's National Gallery in August 2017 by Jim McPherson

Cosimo Tura’s St Jerome as shot in London’s National Gallery in August 2017

Well, it is and isn’t.

Certainly would be if you’d read “The Death Head Hellion”, which of course you still can; purchase it, too. And “Contagion Contagion”, the second mini-novel extracted from “The 1000 Days of Disbelief”, Book Two of the epic “Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories” fantasy trilogy.

Tura's Virgin with Child as shot in London's National Gallery in August 2017 by Jim McPherson

Tura’s Virgin with Child; apparently the angels are playing a celestial organ, not a tower of power

But what’s with Tura’s toothy throne fish? Decided to have a closer look when visiting London’s National Gallery in August 2017. Now that the Nat allows pictures I decided move on up to the front of the queue and zoom right in on some of them.

Close up of throne fish near Calliope's left leg with cave behind it, shot by Jim McPherson in London's National Gallery in August 2017

One of Tura’s throne-fish; behind it is a cave with someone (Jordan Tethys?) scribbling on a slate

What did I spot behind bottom most throne fish by Calliope’s left foot but a cave or entrance way of some sort (to the Hidden Headworld?) and a man scribbling on a tablet or pad of paper.

The placard says it’s a blacksmith in a cave but surely to PHANTACEA it’s got to be Jordan Tethys scribbling away on his getaway slate.

Close up of Tura's angels playing a celestial organ, taken in London's National Gallery by Jim McPherson, 2017

Close up of Tura’s angels playing a celestial organ


While we’re here. Rather, while I was there, I took a few more Turas.  Might as well leave them here until I figure out what else to do with them.

Thumb Up on Trafalgar Square plinth,photo taken by Jim McPherson, August 2017

2017’s occupant on the changeling plinth in front of London’s National Gallery

Finally, for now, am forced to say  ‘thumb up’ for London’s National Gallery for allowing pictures inside and having a solitary thumb up statue on a massive plinth outside it in Trafalgar Square.


Golden Fish Lightpost spotted and shot in London near Thames embankment by Jim McPherson, August 2017

A threesome of not so toothy fish (dolphins?) on a light stand near the Thames embankment a few blocks away from Trafalgar Square; spotted and shot in late August 2017

Should mention that Tura’s throne fishes seem to be contagious.

Have a couple of more shots: the first of a light stand down from Trafalgar Square near the Thames embankment and the second of a flower container in Hyde Park across the street from  Lancaster Gate.

Dolphin-type grinned out of a concrete flow contained spotted and shot in Hyde Park near Lancaster Gate in late August 2017 by Jim McPherson

Dolphin-type grinning out of a concrete flower container spotted and shot in Hyde Park near Lancaster Gate in late August 2017

They don’t have Tura’s toothiness, true, but it’s hard not to argue that they were inspired by Calliope in the National Gallery a few blocks away one way or the other.

As for what else was outside the National Gallery that day in late August 2017, how about a Golden Golem and, yes, the Grim Reaper?

One of a number of 'street performers' spotted and shot outside the National Gallery on Trafalgar Square, London, in late August 2017 by Jim McPherson

One of a number of ‘street performers’ spotted and shot outside the National Gallery on Trafalgar Square, London, in late August 2017

(Perhaps not the best fellow to be visiting given what had happened to the famous fellow represented atop the big tower in the centre of Trafalgar Square in 1805.

One of a number of 'street performers' spotted and shot outside the National Gallery on Trafalgar Square, London, in late August 2017 by Jim McPherson

One of a number of ‘street performers’ spotted and shot outside the National Gallery on Trafalgar Square, London, in late August 2017

(Or what happened not all that far away thanks to an intentionally wayward lorry driven up onto a sidewalk on London Bridge a couple of months earlier in June.)

In theory if you can’t get them to move then you have to toss them a coin, minimum of a pound Sterling. Wasn’t a game I played.

Besides there were plenty of worthies outside the Nat and I wasn’t about to toss all of them a pound.

Had already donated a fiver to the gallery in order to keep it otherwise free.

A pair of not so toothy fish (dolphins?) spotted and shot on a light stand near the Thames embankment a few blocks away from Trafalgar Square as spotted and shot in late August 2017 by Jim McPherson

A pair of not so toothy fish (dolphins?) spotted and shot on a light stand near the Thames embankment a few blocks away from Trafalgar Square in late August 2017

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Zmas Day … Seasonal Sharing

Tis the season …

Here’s the rest of it:

For everyone who came by the Phantacea Publications table at Van Expo last weekend and expressed disappointment that we weren’t taking debit or credit cards, here’s the link you wanted: The automated lynx to order encrypted PDFs are built into the table proper: As per usual the email link will require verification that you’re human, but that doesn’t take more than a few seconds.

Unfortunately there’s no way to order anything with just a single click. However, there are other lynx at the bottom of every page that have that capacity. Plus, Phantacea Publications’ distribution system should work anywhere in the world. Just ask your local bookseller to call up the book by title and/or author. Won’t be able to order autographed copies anywhere else, though. Details of postage costs will come by return email within a day or two.

Oh, and this is the link to the actual eye in the sky:

What season, you might ask? At which point I might answer, well, in “Decimation Damnation” it was called Zmas Day. Might also share this:

Serendipitously enough, they were speaking about shape-shifting on Tempo (CBC Radio 2)  just as I was about to type … Plus this:

Want more? Happy to share this, too

Screen shot ordering lynx taken from

Tricky way of demonstrating fact that pH-Webworld‘s been updated for Sharing Season 2017

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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

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

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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McPhersonal Mask Wall — Then and Now

Not sure I like the embed feature on FB for this sort of thing. Best scroll down and I’ll copy and paste the rest of the original posting(s) from pHantacea on pHacebook dated October 30 & 31, 2017.

Obviously both were posted to mark Halloween as well as the imminent anniversary of All Death Day on the Hidden Continent of Sedon’s Head (assuming it’s still around).


2009 Mask Wall showing five occupants that are still there

pHant Central’s Wall mask is a lot more crowded these day but this lot (taken in 2009) are still on it, though the big fellow only half in this shot has moved to the other side of speaker on adjacent wall above book shelf

Mask bought in Mexico, mid 1990s, known as Double Mouth for reasons's obvious to look at

Mexican Double Mouth wearing Panamanian Bird Cap (for pinheads)

Date for shot to paragraph left is Sept 30, 2009. The Harpo type is an original. The Toothy fellow to his right is from Panama whereas the big blue nose is a Punchinello Comedia del Arte mask purchased in 2008 during first visit to  Venice, where he’s very popular. Has been for centuries.

Also from Sept 2009 series of snaps, Double-Mouth’s bird cap came from a heritage house on the outskirts of Panama City. Needless to say, him having two mouths there’s no point in talking out of both sides of either/or when he can do it with both mouths at the same time.

Not sure where the frond fan came from but a frond is Baaloch Hellblob, Sinistral Sloth’s power focus, even though he uses Viceroy Ibal’s Evil Eye in “Hidden Headgames

Ecuadorian Maximon Type bought in 1998 that broke in suitcase

The fellow in the rain hat came from Ecuador in 1998. Clearly didn’t fare very well in suitcase upon return

2012 mask wall in pHant Central

Mask Wall has filled out considerably since 2009. Shot taken in 2012 looks somewhat unfocused for some reason.

Main mask in 2009 shot was bought in Ecuador in the late 90s. Reckon he was originally a Maximon type, assuming Incas had a Maximon type. Clearly he didn’t fare well in suitcase on return flight. Always found it interesting that Inca is a word jumble for Cain, whom no one was allowed to kill if memory serves.

Above right: 2012 mask wall. The fellow at the very bottom is from Costa Rica. Violated $50.00 limit to buy him. Fortunately he was lacquered because Canada Customs took him out of bag to test for mites and insect larvae.

2005 Mask Wall in Jim McPherson's pHant Central

First shot found of pHant Central’s Mask Wall in Digital Library. It’s from 2005. Might be more in Photo Albums but didn’t feel like looking

They didn’t do that with coconut heads, two of which came from Puerto Vallarta whereas the little coco-head (coke-head) beside blue nose came from other side of Mexico in a different Puerto, Morales.

Date on photo to the left is Oct 5, 2005. The two masks wearing hats are originals bought in Zihuatanejo Mexico in mid 90s. The ape figure wears a hat these days whereas the goatish Furie figure with the long horns is from Guatemala.

Any wonder why Wilderwitch stays away from Jervis Murray when he’s in Dervish mode? He’s now hiding behind Double Mouth. A couple more like him are in the Fur Mask row here.


Here’s the earlier post on pHant Central’s Mask Wall, also embedded using Facebook coding. It’s dated 30 October 2017. As per 2011’s “Janna Fangfingers“, All-Death Day occurred on Maruta 1, 5494, the equivalent of our November 1, 1494.

On that date, thanks to the Unities of Chaos and Order — who, as we only found out (for sure) in “Helios on the Moon“, were doing Sedon’s bidding, hence its subtitle ‘Sedon’s Purge’ — there were more Dead Things Walking on the Inner Earth of Sedon’s Head than there were Living Beings Talking.


October 2017 Mask Wall in Jim McPherson's pHant Central, taken in October 2017

pHant Central’s Mask Wall in 2017, taken shortly after return from second time in Venice, hence the two new masks

Mask wearing a hat suggestive of Mars Bellona, pHant's Apocalyptic of War

One of the four original masks, bought in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, in early to mid 1990s

To immediate left, pHant Central’s Mask Wall encroaching on book shelf in October 2017.

Note the gargoyle photo on third shelf from bottom and the solitary eyeball above it. Many of masks wear sunglasses and hats to protect themselves from sheer brightness of computer they look at all day.

The box atop the speaker contains the manuscript for “The Moloch Manoeuvres“, which Phantacea Publications doesn’t feel like publishing for some reason. (Might it have something to do with Jim McPherson not wanting to edit something that long, let alone chop anything sizable out of it?)

Monster mask bought in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, suggestive of Count Molech

Mask bought in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, in late 90s or early 20-Noughts that’s suggestive of Count Molech near the end of “The Moloch Manoeuvres”

Mask to the upper right bought in Zihuatanejo Mexico, in mid-90s. Couldn’t resist buying because it so clearly resembled Mars Bellona, the Apocalyptic of War, from pH-3, as he first appeared in Phantacea Publications at least 15 years earlier. Mask was one of four that started the whole collection.

Maximon mask bought in Guatemala in early 2000s

Mask of Maximon, who despite looking white is a modern day Mayan deity

Mask to the upper left looks like what becomes of Count Molech near the end of ‘The Moloch Manoeuvres’. And yes, there are two different spellings … Molech refers to a highly unconventional stage magician in Rome Italy in January 1938 whereas the Moloch refers to the Moloch Sedon, who doesn’t even appear in the book.

Mask wall in late October 2017

Another shot of pHant Central’s Mask Wall as it was in late October 2017

May do in a couple of the follow-up pH-Webworld serials, however; more here.

The mask to the upper right is Maximon, the modern day Mayan deity of Conspicuous Consumption as well as Decadent Delights. Probably got his broken nose (hence the bandage) in transit from Guatemala sometime in 90s.

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:

Note the middle section of pHant Central’s Mask Wall in late October 2017. The three-faced golden mask in lower centre and the bronze, jawless mask to its right and up a row were picked up in Venice back in Sept 2017.

Finally, just in case you doubted it, here’s a shot of the obverse side of pH-3, artwork by Ian Bateson, 1978. It was a flip-floppy — a comic that contained two storylines: Helios on the Moon and, on the flip-side half, that of the Damnation Brigade as they appeared during the War of the Apocalyptics.

All of the latter has been collected in 2013’s Phantacea Revisited trade paperback.


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40th Anniversary McPhersonals for Nov 2017

Advisement for Nov 5, 2017 Comicon

Advisement for Nov 5, 2017 Comicon. Note the 4th name in red. He’ll be there manning the Phantacea Publications table

Side blurb for VanExpo 2017

Jim McPherson will be there manning the Phantacea Publications table next to Captain Cannabis in Artists Alley

To help mark the 40th Anniversary of the Phantacea Mythos in print, its creator/writer, Jim McPherson, will be manning the Phantacea Publications tables at the November 5th Vancouver Comicon and the long weekend Nov 10-12 Van Expo.

He’ll have with him copies of 1977’s Phantacea One at both cons. It features 32-pages of pre-Cerebus Dave Sim artwork, complete with a wraparound cover and an easily removed plastic bag. Cost for the complete packet is $25.00. Copies of pH-2, 3, & 4 will also be available for a cons special price of $5.00 each. Plastic bags optional.

pH-1 back cover, 1977, artwork by Dave Sim, created, written and published by Jim McPherson, September 1977

Characters include Doc Defiance, the Emperor Mammalian, Devil Wind, Mik Starrus and Dr Nightingale, artwork by Dave Sim, 1977

Front cover for pH-1, artwork by Dave Sim, 2017; created, written and published by Jim McPherson, 1977

Artwork by Dave Sim, more on pH-1 here: and here:

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Tit-Bottom — Fuseli at Tate Britain

Way back in the Winter 2005 update of pH-Webworld there appeared a few graphics re Phantacea’s Rainbow, Gloriel D’Angelo Dark.

Collage featuring Gloriel - D-Brig's Radiant Rider; prepared by Jim McPherson, 2005

An almost version of this collage, as prepared by Jim McPherson in the mid 20-Noughts has been on pH-Webworld for just as long

Fuseli's Titania and Bottom, shot at the Tate Britain by Jim McPherson, 2017

Actually called ‘Titania and Bottom’, it was done by Henry Fuseli circa 1790

Two of the collages utilized an image cut out from Henry or Heinrich Fuseli’s ‘Titania and Bottom’, the post-titular Tit-Bottom.

One of the collages and a doctored shot of said Tit-Bottom are to either side of this paragraph.

Even though she showed up, howsoever briefly, in both “Helios on the Moon” and “Decimation Damnation“, some might consider D-Brig’s Radiant Rider an underused character.

Might be right, too.

Close up of Titania from the Fuseli painting shot in Tate Britain by Jim McPherson, 2017

Faerie Queen Titania and companions to the right of dancer and ass-headed Bottom

Sooth as always said, at least out here on pHantaBlog, Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, henceforth referred to as ‘I’ or ‘me’, might agree with you as well. However, she is mentioned in “Hidden Headworld”, which might be out by the time you read this.

Talk about briefly, here’s the extent of it:

So, not Sedon: ordinary mortals, albeit ones capable of manifesting gargoyles (grotesques) off their eye-staves, daring to take on Death’s Angels and those who’d come up here with the Diver via All of Incain. Among them, much to his shock and queasy knees, were five members of what was left of his very own Damnation Brigade, including the wondrous Gloriel, Radiant Rider, arguably their most singly powerful member.

Why were they involved? Were they actually joining forces with Sed’s men? What no doubt possessive madness was making them willing to die in a futile effort to fight them off?

Then Blind Sundown and Raven’s Head split in two … dozens of times!

The date, BTW, was the 14th of Tantalar 5980, which is about as far into “Wilderwitch’s Babies” as Games goes.

Some of Fuseli's faerie children shot at the Tate Britain by Jim McPherson, 2017

Isolation shot from bottom left hand corner of Tit-Bottom (presumably) featuring some faerie children

Fuseli’s a personal favourite. ‘Great Night‘, from the front covers of “The Death’s Head Hellion” and “Decimation Damnation” is one of his. So is the ‘Night Hag‘ from pH-Webworld‘s Summer 2004 entry on Primeval Lilith, who appears a whole lot more often than Gloriel.

Close up bottom right of Titania and Bottom, taken by Jim McPherson in the Tate Britain, 2017

The faerie creatures at the right hand corner of Tit-Bottom

This is one of them.

Eggs were eminently edible. Baaloch Hellblob was only egg-shaped; was also Sinistral Sloth of Satanwyck. Then again the Highchair of Hell shouldn’t have been akin to a griddle either. It was hot; too hot for sitting. Demons were notoriously flammable. Lord Lazy had never moved so fast. Recovered, uneaten. Look up at Highchair.

“Now what?” he demanded of its occupant, a mass of darkness in a female shape.

“Ass-end of Hell?” said occupant wondered. “Does that make this its Hell-Mouth?”

Bottom? Ass-head? Guess I’ll leave it at that.

Full Cover Mockup for "Hidden Headgames", prepared by Jim McPherson, 2017,

Full Cover Mock-up for “Hidden Headgames”; proper font and background images to be added prior to publication



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Feel Theo at the Tate Britain

Well, not literally, but close.

Harryhausen's Perseus Strangling Medusa, photo taken in the Tate Britain by Jim McPherson, 2017

Perseus using his shield as a mirror in order to avoid looking directly at the Medusa. Shades, once again, of “Feeling Theocidal” , though it didn’t happen exactly that way when he, a deviant, tangled with his devic half-dad, a Great God, at the end of Feel Theo. Looks like the Amateramirror, with the Susasword on the ground . — taken at the Tate Britain by Jim McPherson in late August 2017

Harryhausen's Pegasus, taken at the Tate Britain by Jim McPherson, 2017

Chrysaor Attis, from “Feeling Theocidal“, was known as the Universal Soldier, but he was also many of the heroes of mythology, including Perseus. At least he was according to the Phantacea Mythos. He called his ride ‘Peg‘.  Not very imaginative of him but, hey, when you’re a product of imagination you can’t expect to have much of one yourself. — taken by Jim McPherson at the Tate Britain in late August 2017.

A lot of 2008’s “Feeling Theocidal“, Book One of ‘The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories epic trilogy, was at least partially inspired by the Perseus cycle of myths.

In pHantacea-pHact its deviant protagonist, Chrysaor Attis, who was born circa 2000 BCE on the Inner Earth of Sedon’s Head, was once Perseus himself.

He rode a pterippus by the name of Peg, not Pegasus. He wielded the Six Great Godly Objects including a golden sword known as the Susasword and a shield-cum-mirror known as the Amateramirror.

Like their sister object, the Crimson Corona, which causes the Untouchable Diver no end of trouble in “Hidden Headgames”, they shone with the telltale glow of Brainrock when in use.

What isn’t as well known in terms of Greek Mythology is their connection not only to each other but to Medusa herself:

Chrysaor was the brother of the winged horse Pegasus and son of Poseidon and the Gorgon Medusa. When Medusa was decapitated by Perseus, both Chrysaor and Pegasus were born at the same time. Little is known about Chrysaor; he was considered a stout-hearted warrior, and his name means “he who bears a golden sword”.

… from Chrysaor – Greek Mythology (


Another model of Medusa made by Ray Harryhausen and shot in the Tate Britain by Jim McPherson, 2017

Harryhausen’s Medusa, a model for his 1981 film ‘Clash of the Titans’. The model’s behind glass. The painting in background is John Martin’s “Great Day of his Wrath”. Phantacea’s Medusa (Mater Matare, from “Feeling Theocidal“, “The War of the Apocalyptics” and the comic books did not have a serpentine tail. More re pHant’s Medusas here: shot at Tate Britain by Jim McPherson in late August 2017.

Harryhausen's Medusa, shot by Jim McPherson at the Tate Britain, 2017

Close up of one of Harryhausen’s Medusa models. Again it was behind glass, but still looks nasty.

Don’t recall if this was mentioned in Feel Theo but do recall that Attis’s half-parents were the time-tumbling Dual Entities (Heliosophos and Miracle Memory) whereas his devic half-parents were Thrygragos Varuna Mithras and his Ewe for Aries Fitna Marutia (also Kanin Marut, Kore-Discord).

{She grew up (down?) to become none other than Strife, a possessive ‘virus’ last seen in “Nuclear Dragons“, the second entry in the epic Launch 1980 fantasy trilogy.}

One of Harryhausen's sketches of Scylla, photo by Jim McPherson, 2017

Harryhausen’s version of Scylla. As per “Hidden Headgames”, Aortic Merthetis gave the future Fisherwoman that as a first name when she found her, a newborn, in the Belly of the Beast (Island Leviathan) in 5918 Year of the Dome. In terms of our time count that’s almost a hundred years ago now. The eye-stalks are called ommatophores. John Sundown ended up wearing a pair near the end of “Decimation Damnation“. They were a trap. Rather, they were intended to be a trap for him. More here re that.

Isn’t much of an assumption to suggest Attis was named by the Entities, who being from the (then) future knew their myths. Had even lived one, his Second, as Phoenician-born Cadmus, founder and long-serving king of Grecian Thebes.

(Heliosophos, the Male Entity, believed he was in his Seventh Lifetime around 2000 Year of the Dome, our 2000 BC. His time as Cadmus, also brother of Europa, hence the continent’s name, took place 500 years later, around 2500 YD, our 1500 BC. Time-tumblers do that sort of thing.)

Somehow doubt Ray Harryhausen would have known about the Phantacea Mythos when he did ‘Clash of the Titans‘ in 1981, though Phantacea One did come out in 1977. (As boldly stated on its front cover, the release of “Hidden Headgames” marks the {gulp!} 40th anniversary of the Phantacea Mythos in print.)

Still, with these shots, it’s hard to ignore the connection. All the more so when Pyrame Silverstar, another of the main devic characters in Feel Theo is about to make a big time return to the print canon with the release, later on this month, of said “Hidden Headgames”.

Model of a skeletal warrior by Ray Harryhausen, shot in Tate Britain by Jim McPherson, 2017

Model of a skeletal warrior prepared by Ray Harryhausen for his film, 1981’s Clash of the Titans. Note the Medusa head on its shield. It’s a skeletal gorgon. Taken by Jim McPherson at the Tate Britain in August 2017

Pyrame’s hardly the only familiar pHace to pHanta-pHans who’s back in Games. Sooth as always said, at least on pHantaBlog, virtually everyone who appears in Games has done so before.

Tate Placards re Harryhausen Exhibit, taken by Jim McPherson, 2017

Placards quoting Harryhausen re his sketches of Charybdis and Scylla

That includes the fabulous, ever-fishifying Fisherwoman, whose birth name was Scylla Nereid. As also per “Goddess Gambit” and towards the end of “Decimation Damnation“, unless you’re a fan of monsters she’s vastly better looking than Harryhausen’s Scylla.

Still, yet again, when you walk into a free show at the Tate Britain, in August 2017, barely a couple of months before Games is due to go on sale, you not only have to start shooting (photographs) you have to do a pHantaBlog on a few of them.

So have a few more to finish. Have to say, as a last word, the bronze looks more like his Charybdis than his Scylla.

Harryhausen Bronze nominally of his Scylla, taken at Tate Britain, 2017

Looks more like his sketch of Charybdis. Since Arisandesam, the Conqueror Worm, once Sinistral Gluttony of Satanwyck, has a brief mention in “Hidden Headgames” might use in future to represent him/her.

Placard quoting Harryhausen, taken by Jim McPherson at the Tate Britain, 2017

Note Harryhausen’s explanation as to why ‘Force of the Trojans’ was never made

Harryhausen's sketch of Charybdis, taken by Jim McPherson at the Tate Britain, 2017

Harryhausen’s sketch of Charybdis, made as part of a pitch for a movie tentatively entitled ‘Force of the Trojans’ that never got made

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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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