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.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Presumably the original Colossus taken while still submerged

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Five covers from Phantacea comics or graphic novels, artwork by Ian Bateson except for pH-5 which Ian finished over Verne Andru's original black and white cover

Plenty more on the Phantacea Comic Book series and graphic novels can be found here: http://www.phantacea.com/one2six1.htm#logo

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

==> Something of Sea Goddess’s skinniness in Hirst’s Andromeda, too. Except D-Brig’s Sea Goddess would just state-shift into her watery element and get away instead of wasting time screaming.
As for what she could then do to either Jaws or the Kraken should she decide to come back … well, best leave that to your imagination.
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Close up of Hirst's Andromeda Screaming, part of the blue diorama based on myth of Perseus, shot by Jim McPherson, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

========

End post … for now!

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

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

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

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

Poster for Biannual Comics Show, June 2019

Poster for Biannual Comics Show, June 2019

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

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

Winter’s Gone Away

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

Welcome in the May-O. Song courtesy of Oysterband

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

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

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

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Bravura Makeup Worth Revisiting

Not about the Phantacea Revisited graphic novels (“The Damnation Brigade” & “Cataclysm Catalyst“) though they’re always worth revisiting. Once you purchase them of course.

No, this Vancouver talent is worth revisiting just to see again. Nifty work. Great photography.

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Long ago here, so no longer Coming Soon. Still like the graphic, though, so happy to revisit it too. Many more here, here and here

Promo prepared for upcoming release of Helios on the Moon by Jim McPherson, 2014

Double-click to enlarge; the better to read if you do. Artwork is from the two Phantacea Revisited graphic novels.

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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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Sea Silk for Sea Goddess

Guess what Fisherwoman is going to be wearing the next time she appears in a Phantacea Publications’ release, which may well be the next Phantacea Publications’ release?

Then again maybe this is what Sea Goddess is putting on in this detail taken from pH-4, artwork by Ian Bateson, 1979

Ian Bateson artwork circa 1979 for pH-4, modified by Jim McPherson, 2013 4sea_hagfish

Page excepted from pHRv1:DB; Sea Goddess finds something more suitable to wear after 25 years in Limbo

If it’s still online, hit the next blue highlight for the complete BBC Magazine article on Sardinian Sea Silk. Some rather interesting historical notes made therein. Here’s a sample:

Sea Silk is … “an ancient thread, known as byssus, which is mentioned on the Rosetta stone and said to have been found in the tombs of pharaohs.

“Some believe it was the cloth God told Moses to lay on the first altar. It was the finest fabric known to ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, and one of its remarkable properties is the way it shines when exposed to the sun, once it has been treated with lemon juice and spices.”

Uncredited shot of a Sardinian woman stretching sea silk, taken from the BBC Magazine online

Uncredited shot of a Sardinian woman stretching sea silk

Apparently it comes from a clam, though equally amazingly the clam is unharmed by the extraction.

Reminds me of a long ago, maybe even long lost, pHantaBlog entry that featured these shots of hagfish slime:

hagfish_66661087_2012-12-1818.25.48

Shot of someone holding up translucent slime from a hagfish from an article in BBC Magazine 1 April 2013 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21954779)

Shot of a woman holding up hagfish with translucent slime, taken from BBC Magazine online 1 April 2013

Shot of a woman holding up hagfish with translucent slime from BBC Magazine 1 April 2013 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21954779)

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Stevo gets graphic — Belatedly noted recommendation for “The Damnation Brigade”

Seems Stevo recommended “The Damnation Brigade” graphic novel way back in December 2013. Seems also pHantaJim, Blogmeister didn’t find out about it until today:

Covers for Phantacea Revisited 1: The Damnation Brigade

Graphic novel compiles the complete Damnation Brigade story sequence from pH 1-5 as well as pHz1 #s 1 & 2; for more on the Phantacea comics hit here: http://www.phantacea.com/one2six1.htm#logo


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

Phantacea Revisited Volume One: The Damnation Brigade by Jim McPherson, et al. (Phantacea Publications, $12.95

This graphic novel is a compilation of the complete Damnation Brigade story sequence from Phantacea 1-5 (1977-1980), Phantacea Phase One #1 (1987) and #2 (unpublished). The cover is by Ian Bateson, 2012, with some additional contributions by Chris Chuckry on the front cover.

Artists include Dave Sim, from just before Cerebus the Aardvark, Ian Bateson, Verne Andru (420, Captain Canuck), George Freeman (Captain Canuck) and Vince Marchesano (Orb).

Jim McPherson wrote the War of the Apocalyptics, a full-length Phantacea Mythos novel based on these stories.


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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“Infantilize”, “infantilized” and “infantilizing” are words, apparently

How do I know that? From the National Post, Canada’s argument against freedom of the press. See, to put its title succintly: “Infantilized” nature of genre fiction

I looked up “infantilize” on the Free Dictionary and got this:

in·fan·til·ize

(ĭn′fən-tl-īz′, ĭn-făn′-)

tr.v. in·fan·til·ized, in·fan·til·iz·ing, in·fan·til·iz·es

1. To treat or condescend to as if still a young child: The Victorian physician infantilized his patient” (Judith Moore).
2. To reduce to an infantile state or condition: “It creates a crisis that infantilizes them—causes grown men to squabble like kids about trivial things” (New Yorker).

in·fan′til·i·za′tion (-ĭ-zā′shən) n.
Logo reads Phantacea Anheroic Fantasy Illustrated

Anheroic Fantasy Illustrated – Phantacea logo

The article that inspired such simply scintillating research is actually, if awkwardly, entitled:

Simon Pegg is right, geeky genre fiction usually IS childish, even when it’s also something more

While I’ll admit to having heard his name before, I’d have to resort to Google to find out what movies Pegg’s appeared in. Can’t say I’ve ever heard of the article’s author, Daniel Kaszor, though.

However, a couple of his lines struck me as apropos considering some past pHantaBlog posts, notably here, here and here.

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

One that stuck out, since it seems to apply directly to the National Post’s living saint, the Tar Party’s Chief Blue Nasty, is as follows:

“… in the superhero genre … characters are very explicitly given almost god-like powers. It’s a very simple fantasy to want to just be able to punch the world better.”
Which isn’t to say the article’s about Canada’s current and, sadly, stunningly long-serving Prime Minister. It’s (nominally) about the fantasy genre, if not explicitly the grimdark aspect of it.
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

And that derives almost entirely from the celebrity celery pandered to by today’s mainstream media, genre television, video games and society’s seemingly resultant need for instant gratification to go along with a severely reduced attention span.

Here’s the Pegg quote that tops the article:
“I’m very much a self-confessed fan of science-fiction and genre cinema. But part of me looks at society as it is now and thinks we’ve been infantilized by our own taste.” — Simon Pegg
And here’s the writer’s gravy atop the article’s meat and potatoes:

“… more modern fans of genre fiction want to read … “realistic” heroes through a childish mindset.

“And that’s part of what Simon Pegg was griping about — even when presented in an adult manner, genre has a way of being pre-chewed and regurgitated back in such a way that renders much of the nuance moot — signifiers such as brutal violence and grey morals reinterpreted as being cool instead of troubling — making the end product even more childish than the sanitized basic version.”

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

Which echoes Point #4 in the pre-Mithramas Mistletoe Miscellanea posting, the reference being to two of the Gun Porn TV shows made in Vancouver that have since been renewed:

“As to using arrows as implements of torture, using arrows for anything except killing and target practise, there are such things as arteries. Pierce a Captain Boomerang where Arrow hit him, evidently just because he deserved it, and, sorry Flash, it’s not a joking matter.”

So, go to any of the lynx highlighted in blue above and spend some quiet, unhurried, but satisfying time having a read or re-read.

Ian Bateson's full colour, wraparound cover for The War of the Apocalyptics, 2009

Ian Bateson’s full colour, wraparound cover for The War of the Apocalyptics, 2009

Just don’t doubt for a minute that Jim McPherson is above infantilizing his characters, if hopefully not his readers:

In the midst of the mad, the dead, and the dying squatted Mars Bellona. His mentality reduced to that of a low-grade simpleton, the presumption of immortality manifestly did not preclude the onset of insanity. The once tremendously powerful Apocalyptic was playing toy samurai with an even more demented Lord Tornado.
“So sorry, Bellona‑sama. I killed your man first.”
“Seppuku-fie yourself, Tornado-san. I killed you before you killed me.”

… from “The War of the Apocalyptics“, 2009

Welcoming portal for pH-Webworld as of Spring 2015

Entry port for pH-Webworld, first appeared in the 2015 Spring update

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Helios on the Moon exposed at long last

Jim McPherson, the creator-writer of the Phantacea Mythos, shall be manning the Phantacea Publications​ half-table at Heritage Hall this Sunday, 22 March. It’s the first Vancouver Comic Con of the year, so how can you miss it?

Even more importantly, he’ll have with him fresh-off-the-press copies of “Helios on the Moon“, the culminating novel in the Launch 1980 story cycle, as well as the three Phantacea graphic novels and first four comics from the original series.

The Vancouver Comic Con’s website is here. The address for Heritage Hall is:

3102 Main Street
(Main & 15th Avenue)
Vancouver BC

Poster for March Comic Con at Heritage Hall

Jim McPherson shall be there with “Helios on the Moon”

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