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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Lovely Lily — Lethal Lilith

In “Decimation Damnation“, the first mini-novel extracted the open-ended saga of ‘Wilderwitch’s Babies‘, we met Miss Murk, Mad for Mud Magpies. She had a number of other names or designations, possibly even Queen Gomorrah, of Sodom and Gomorrah fame.

A Hiawatha Tiger Lily, photo by Jim McPherson, 2017

Hiawatha Tiger Lily shot in the pHantaGarden, July 2017, double-click for surprise head looking at you

Her real name, though it takes awhile to confirm during “Hidden Headgames” (mostly because Pyrame Silverstar, who wants her back, denies she really is who she really is), is Lilith, as in Primeval Lilith, the Demon Queen of the Night.

As per “Helios on Moon“, she was Miracle Memory’s rival for the affections of Heliosophos, the Male Entity, when he was the second biblical Adam, also known as Alorus Ptah in the Phantacea Mythos. That made her the mother of Cain, Slaver of Abel.

Montage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2015; lettering reads "Lovely Lily -- Lethal Lilith"

Montage that reads “Lovely Lily — Lethal Lilith” is meant to be representative of Demon Queen Lilith, who appears, howsoever-briefly, in the final two parts of “Hidden Headgames”

Also made her the Lovely Lily to, in all likelihood, the real King Sodom

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Does that make today Midwinter’s Eve?

Jim McPherson, the  creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, readily admits to being confused once in awhile. Not with aforesaid Phantacea Mythos, which he claims is perfectly straightforward, but with many vagaries of the modern world.

As he’s remarked frequently, and also in writing (most recently in Serendipity and …), he’s never quite understood why almost everyone seems to accept that winter begins on the solstice when, equally so, it’s traditionally known as Yule or Midwinter’s Day.

Wheel of the Year graphic taken from the Web

Wheel clearly shows the Summer Solstice is Midsummer’s Day, meaning the Winter Solstice (Yule) should be Midwinter’s Day

Unless it’s the Iliad, which starts ‘in media res’, in the middle of things, one doesn’t usually start much of anything on its middle day. To that end — albeit only mid-blog — here is something cribbed from his Facebook site (not to be confused with pHantacea on pHacebook) on the 19th of December 2015.

Today’s editorial in the [Vancouver] Sun didn’t exactly state that Monday doesn’t mark the first day of Winter but implies as much. In fact a letter to the Editor from Megan Schram dated 17 December makes clear the Solstice is more correctly thought of as Midwinter’s Day, Yule or only the fourth day of the eight day celebration of Saturnalia. Which in turn culminates on Mithramas, what only later became Christmas.

“Christmas is a tradition that has evolved over centuries. Roman Pagans introduced the holiday of Saturnalia, which was celebrated from December 17-25. Christianity tried to import Saturnalia to convert the Pagan masses. Because there was nothing Christian about it, they decided to name December 25 as Christ’s birthday and call it Christmas. Despite the takeover, Christmas continued to be celebrated with much food, drinking and hedonistic pleasure. Today’s customs of the tree, mistletoe, and exchanging gifts are Pagan in origin and were usurped by Christians …”

[Hit here and scroll down slightly for the complete letter to the editor as it appears online.]

The editorial referred to above is here. Have a couple of direct, howsoever florid, quotes that may or may not prove the point.

“In truth, the frosty boots of winter have been on the march toward Tuesday’s seasonal coronation for some time now …

“Yet if Tuesday’s solstice marks the official start of winter, it also marks the beginning of its unofficial end … In a scant six weeks or so, it will be spring that begins its march up the river valleys and mountain slopes, melting the cornices of blown snow that now adorn our glittering peaks.”

While that should settle that, it doesn’t because, you know, it’s just too damn complicated a re-think. Halloween is not the last day of Autumn. Imbolc Day (February the First or Second) is not the first day of Spring and Summer doesn’t start on Beltane (the beginning of May). Winter starts on the solstice, period, end entry.

As for today, if the time of the solstice is 11:48 EST tonight, which my calendar says it is, how can today be Midwinter’s Day? Might it not more correctly be considered Midwinter’s Night? Or, better yet, Midwinter’s Eve, making tomorrow Midwinter’s Day?

End rant. Until next year anyhow.

Business card for Phantacea Publications, prepared by Jim McPherson, 2008

Anheroic Fantasy since 1977

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Nuclear Non-Dragons

Page Lynx

Top of Page; Onwards

 No, it wasn’t either a bad dream or a false memory; it happened

On 23 January 1961 an American “B-52 plane went into an uncontrolled spin over North Carolina” and dropped not one, but two Hydrogen Bombs!

Image taken from BBC article online re the North Carolina dropped H-Bomb

Image taken from BBC article online re the North Carolina dropped H-Bomb

Evidently, “one fell to the ground unarmed. But the second “assumed it was being deliberately released over an enemy target – and went through all its arming mechanisms save one, and very nearly detonated over North Carolina … Only the failure of a single low-voltage switch prevented disaster.”

Webpage: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-24183879

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Front Cover Ad for "Nuclear Dragons", art by Ian Bateson, 2013, text and ad preparation by Jim McPherson, 2013

Front Cover Ad for “Nuclear Dragons”, art by Ian Bateson, 2013, text and ad preparation by Jim McPherson, 2013

An H-Bomb that went off 8 years earlier on Salvation Island in the South Pacific figures in the back-story of both Launch 1980 full length novels: “The War of the Apocalyptics” and, as one might expect, “Nuclear Dragons“.

Here’s one such reference:

A Summoning Child like so many eventual supranormals, he was killed on Christmas Day 1953, during an unannounced explosion of a hydro­gen bomb on a South Sea lump of land howsoever presciently named Salvation Island by grateful, 16th Century, Portuguese missionaries to Micronesia (presumably because the natives never tried to eat them). Being thus vapourized was, to be put it mildly, a hell of way to celebrate one’s 33rd birthday.

This particular Summoning Child was one of number born on Christmas Day 1920. His name was Jesus Mandam. He’s definitely dead but there is some suggestion that his Callion-Clone is still with us in 1980.

Significantly the designs Jess or Jesse, as everyone except his even longer gone mother (Mary Magdalene born Ryne, Abe Ryne’s hence equally born-with-the-century twin sister), called him on a daily basis, made while he was still alive were left in the Soviet Supracity after his death.

They formed the basis for, among many other things, a good percentage of the technology that went into the Cosmic Express. And, as per the book’s back cover text here, its launch and subsequent (apparent) destruction are finally, if as yet perhaps not fully, described in the latest Phantacea Mythos entry in the Launch 1980 story cycle as released by Phantacea Publications.

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

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

pH-Webworld character lynx

Do we know who was born with Nergal Vetala, the once again Vampire Queen of the Dead in Tantalar 5980, inside her on Christmas Day 1920?

In pHantacea-pHact, we do as of “Goddess Gambit“.  (Truth told, those who followed the Phantacea Web Serials knew that a long time ago.) It’s

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Marketing Muddle


Here’s a line from “Feeling Theocidal“, the first book in ‘The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories’ epic trilogy that ended last year with the release of “Goddess Gambit“.

5 collages prepared for the Goddess Gambit web page

A variety of collages prepared by Jim McPherson for the Goddess Gambit web page

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The speaker is Tralalorn, the demon child (at least according to Mithras, whom she’s addressing in 4376 YD). As becomes clear in “Nuclear Dragons“, she’s the one who ‘devolved’ Pandora Mannering and Augustus Nauroz in 5920 YD.

She thereby rendered them the perpetual children, Hush ‘n’ Gush (among many other names and nicknames), they still were in 19/5980 when ‘Gambit’ and the ‘Launch 1980’ story cycle are set:

“Muddle the puddle, daddy, that unkind of hurt the squirt.”

Hush and Gush, art by Ian Fry ca 1989

The faerie tricksters also known as Young Life and Young Death, as sketched out by Ian Fry circa 1989

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There’s also this, from the same source:

The third eye in the Steg’s forehead bulged, whereupon it tore out of the Sari Witch and into the Master’s prison pod. Which promptly detonated, hurtling Helena onto her backside. Despite the dampness of the garden’s ground, the Master was more muddled than muddied.

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Which (finally) brings us to a link sent in by an off-blog correspondent: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/aug/27/self-publishing-showcase-tasha-harrison/print

Not sure what to make of her experiences. I for one think she’s underselling her output. All the years and all the time she put into writing her books and she’s reduced to selling them as e-books for 99p a pop.

Even if she sold 2000 of them at 35%, as she claims in the article, that doesn’t amount to much, maybe 700 pounds sterling. (Not a bad return on nothing, I suppose, if you consider writing and ancillary tasks nothing.)

She does make a couple of good points, though. As a fellow marketing muggle (pardon the reference to Harry Potter movies), I certainly appreciate this one: “Overall, finding the time to market my books and write the next one is the biggest challenge – there just aren’t enough hours in the day.”
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Yet it has to be done. Or as I say to myself over and over again as I try to figure out how best to market “Nuclear Dragons”:

‘One way or another I shall muddle through.’

Potential b/w ad for Nuclear Dragons, prepared by Jim McPherson, artwork by Ian Bateson 2013

Potential b/w ad for “Nuclear Dragons”, artwork by Ian Bateson, 2013, rendered grey for b/w reproductions

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Except Nihila’s last name is not Tikels

That’s true enough. Then again, I’m not sure Freespirit Nihila has a surname. Could be Nemesis I suppose.

It’s equally true that a synonym for ‘nihilartikels’, namely ‘mountweazels’, has to qualify for word of the week. It rivals ‘omnishambles’, which appears here (http://phantacea.com/blog/), and ‘catasterize’, which is referred to here (http://phantacea.com/blog/?p=441#cata).

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

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

While she is fictitious, to some, and does appear in “Goddess Gambit” (http://www.phantacea.com/gambit_page.htm), the third entry in ‘The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories’ epic trilogy, she isn’t a fictitious entry as defined in the article found here: http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/fictitious+entry

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Sandoval Sighting

It happened again, this time at the Vancouver Comicon on Sunday 19 May. (See McPhersonal Appearances for May here.)

Helios on the Moon, front cover of Phantacea Three, art by Richard Sandoval, 1978

Artwork from the Helios on the Moon side of pH-3, which was a flip book; Richard Sandoval, 1978

Jim McPherson writes:

 

So here I am behind the Phantacea Publications table watching attendees at the latest comicon flip through all the big white boxes full of Marvels and DC comics instead stopping by to have a boo and a spiel from eminently more interesting me.

 

This fellow comes by, along with a couple of friends. Might be about my age, maybe younger, certainly slimmer. Says something to the effect of “I once worked for a ‘Fantastica’ or some such.”

 

I look at him. He’s staring hard at the Damnation Brigade flip cover for pH-3, which is here. I say something like: “Could it have been Phantacea?” and flip it over. He gasps: “Yep, that’s me!”

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

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

It was Richard (Ricardo) Sandoval. Thirty-five years ago (gasp!) he did half of the Helios on the Moon sequence and the front cover for the comic.

 

And, yes, he did sign a page in the comic he was looking at for me. Gave him a different copy as keepsake. (Still got some left, as per here.)

 

I recollect looking for him years and years ago when I was considering putting out pH-7 despite losing the anticipated artist to that aforementioned Marvel of a devil, unless it’s devil of a Marvel. No luck. Still no pH-7 either.

 

So where’s he been, back to Chile maybe? Moving around, he tells me, working in the movie business, which is big in BC.

 

More to the point, where’s his website? I’ll leave that to him to detail as he pleases.

 

Does make me wonder who I’ll run into next.

Maybe it’ll be you!

 

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1/16th Mi’kmaq to 1/2 Ojibway

Here’s an exchange taken from “Helios on the Moon“, a full-length mosaic novel Phantacea Publications will probably release in early 2014. (Most of the covers for the Phantacea Comic Books can be found here.)

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

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

It’s between the Dual Entities, re whom many more links can be found starting here.

“Her!” Memory indicated Nidaba Starrus, lying immobile on a table. “And them.” She motioned to her five fellow cosmicompani­ons. “They’ve something to do with us, her in particular.”

“What do you mean something? Access your data banks. You’re supposed to know everything that has happened to us in all of our previous lifetimes. Hell’s Teeth, lady, you won’t even let me wake up after another death before draining memories of my last life into your storage system.”

“Maybe I’m malfunctioning …”

Evidently Helios’s Machine-Memory isn’t the only one.

JIm McPherson writes:

So here I am at Van Expo (Vancouver Fan Expo 2013) at the Vancouver Convention Centre (the joint with the pseudo-sails on the waterfront downtown). I’m in front of the Phantacea booth straightening out the mess when a likely looking fellow comes by.

I buttonhole him, start yapping about Phantacea Publications and give him my card. He retaliates by giving me his card. Name’s Dan Daulby, of www.daulby.com fame, no doubt among many another place.

Somewhere in back of my mind I know the name so we get to talking. Turns out he’s a half-Ojibway graphic artist from Manitoba. (I’m a 1/16th Mi’kmaq from the Nova Scotia branch of the McPherson clan; hence the entry’s title.)

I ask him if he knows George Freeman, a Winnipeg-based  pH-artist who worked on pH-5 with Verne Andrusiek (Verne Andru). Yep, they went to college together.

covers for Damnation Brigade graphic novel

Front and back covers for the upcoming Damnation Brigade graphic novel; artwork by Ian Bateson, 2012; touch-up by Chris Chuckry, 2012; prepared by Jim McPherson, 2013

I pull out a (rejected) proof of Damnation Brigade graphic novel and show him Freeman’s stuff. He puts on his glasses and flips through it. I did, too, not that I wear glasses.

Good stuff, he says (or words to that effect). Don’t make a sale and still haven’t figured out why his name is so familiar.

This is what I showed him. (Double-click to enlarge.) Note the letterer’s name.

credits page from Apocalyptic Nucleus, pH-5 1980

Page taken from Damnation Brigade graphic novel; original artwork by George Freeman and Verne Andrusiek, 1979/80; note the letterer’s name; pH-5 came out in 1980

Didn’t make the connection until that night. Could there be two Dan Daulbys of Winnipeg, Manitoba circa 1979, when lettering must have been done?

Next day we exchanged emails. Answer was not to the best of his knowledge.

We have now exchanged lynx. Have a boo: http://www.phantacea.info/biblio~1.htm#daulbySites

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