Best Yet Borealis Brolly

Have a quote (from 2014’s “Helios on the Moon“) and a shot of the best Borealis Brolly yet

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

From Tina Tormanen’s “Magical Photos

“There still wasn’t any Gypsium to do his G-string thing. Young Death, as he was best known below the larger Dome, didn’t blame the Diver. He reckoned – probably correctly – that Freespirit Nihila, whom he still regarded as Fisherwoman, must be taking it all into herself; her Borealis brolly, put better.

“She was up there all right. Was certainly no denying she was facially Fish, albeit with an extra eye and sporting more glitter in her wardrobe than even during the years she spent as Greater Godbad’s controversial queen (by marriage, not heredity). She’d somehow grown unheard of huge, bordering on ridiculously so. Those were definitely her feet to either side of Dustmound, though. Webbed toes gave that away. So the legs and all the rest of her towering above them had to be hers as well.”

Front and back artwork by Ricardo Sandoval, 2014; text and layout by Jim McPherson

Potential covers, with spine, for Helios on the Moon, the multiple character, 2014 Phantacea Mythos mosaic novel that concludes the Launch 1980 fantasy epic

Here’s a link to Tina Tormanen’s highly recommended “Magical Photos“. A photo force to be reckoned with, I reckon. Contains some spectacular shots.

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Dragon’s can get eaten, too

And, as far as we know, Hiyati Samarand (the humanized form of Yati, Byron’s Dragon) is still being digested on Incain

Byron has a dragon. Last seen in Helios on the Moon (http://www.phantacea.com/hel-moon_mainpage.html) eating Sharkczar then getting swallowed whole by All of Incain, who featured predominantly in Feeling Theocidal (http://www.phantacea.com/FeelTheoPage.htm) and showed up again in Contagion Collectors (http://www.phantacea.com/1000DazePage.htm#10SecondSyn)

Stories about dragons have always taken their inspiration from real-world animals. Does this mean dragons could feasibly exist?
bbc.com|By Josh Gabbatiss
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Phantacea Publications Some images of All can be found here (http://www.phantacea.info/term.htm#sphnxs1) and here (http://www.phantacea.info/sum14.htm#promoRow). She also appears on the cover of Helios on the Moon to Helios’s left. She’s how Freespirit Nihila escapes Sedon’s Head, howsoever temporarily. Will return as Wilderwitch’s Babies (http://www.phantacea.com/witchBabsPage.htm#logo) continues.

Phantacea Publications's photo.
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These greens aren’t edible; hopefully, they’re editable

It’s happened again. Caught it in time, this time, but still …

Artwork by Ricardo Sandoval, 2014

Helios on Moon tested at 300%. Note lack of green. That means it passed 2014 Acrobat test.

Artwork by Ricardo Sandoval, 2014

Helios on Moon cover tested at 240%. Note the green. That means it failed. Yet it’s still available from same POD printer. Go figure.

In case you were wondering why “Decimation Damnation” didn’t come out on or about Midsummer’s Day 2016, check this out.

<<==  A year and a half ago Ricardo Sandoval produced a print cover for Helios on the Moon. It passed the 300% overall coverage test on Acrobat.

==>> Times change. It wouldn’t today because the POD company I use now requires covers must first pass a 240% overall coverage test.

Collage by Jim McPherson, 2016

Note the green. First choice cover tested at 240% failed.

Cover collage by Jim McPherson, 2016

Again, note the green. Would have failed in 2014, so back to square one.

Cover collage Jim McPherson, 2016

Cover collage initially prepared for second entry in Wilderwitch’s Babies saga “Destination Damnation”

As per here, I had to abandon my first choice print cover for DecDam. Then my craftily reworked second choice <<== did not pass the Acrobat test at 240% total overall coverage.

Small conciliation, it would not have passed the 2014 test either. ==>>

<<== So I tried out the cover I initially intended for the follow-up entry in the as yet open-ended saga of Wilderwitch’s Babies.

Cover collage originally prepared for "Destination Damnation" by Jim McPherson, 2016

Even at 300% the DestDam cover was only a borderline pass.

(Likely title, in case you were wondering, “Destination Damnation”)

It was only marginally better. ==>>

Here’s the requirement:

“When the Output Preview window is open you can move your cursor over the PDF and view the CMYK values in your file.

“This is a good time to verify that the barcode used is 100% black only and that your cover does not have large areas of color that exceed 240% Total Area Coverage.

“If concerned about excessive color density you can select the box at the bottom of the window labeled “Total Area Coverage”, select a maximum limit and all offending areas will be highlighted.”

Concerned I was; concerned I still am. But I’m submitting Revision 4 anyhow. Stay tuned. If gasket blows, well, at least I’ve got comparatively affordable medical insurance.

Cover collage prepared by Jim McPherson, July 2016

The fourth revision of the cover collage for “Decimation Damnation”. Collage prepared by Jim McPherson, July 2016

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Hacienda Morelos does its best to keep town a secret

Psst .. Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, put the finishing touches on both 2013’s “Nuclear Dragons” and 2014’s “Helios on the Moon” in Puerto Morelos, Mexico.

He’d didn’t bruit this about on any of the Phantacea websites because he mistakenly thought he was keeping the town a private delight. Guess what? It didn’t work. So much so that by the time he decided to return there this year it was packed.

He ended up staying — index fingers crossed in a warding gesture of just that, a cross — at the Hacienda Morelos. Here’s his report, as first published on the booking.com website earlier this week:

Business card used by Jim McPherson when in Phantacea mode

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

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“Gorgeous setting about only good thing about Hacienda Morelos”

Situated right on a ledge above a nearly endless, soft sand, Caribbean beach that’s kept fairly clean. (Trash cans could do with more frequent dumping and the sargassum sea weed, while not as bad as last year, needs more aggressive attention.) Gorgeous view of diving and fishing boats and tenders, with the port, hence Puerto Morelos, in distance.

View from the terrace of the Hacienda Morelos after a rain storm, photo by Jim McPherson, 2016

View from the terrace of the Hacienda Morelos after a rain storm

A short walk to town square (zocala), a selection of good restaurants and a decent coffee house. One place even serves Austro-Hungarian goulash while a couple have outrageously pricey lamb. Lots of music in the bars and restaurants, though nothing at hotel, fortunately, which was quiet at night. I say fortunately because much of my stay was unfortunate.

Had to ask for towels as none were supplied at first. When I complained about the lack of hot water in shower, the desk clerk suggested I didn’t get up early enough; that everyone showers between 7 and 9 a.m., and that water containers can only heat so much.

Beach shot of Hacienda Morelos, taken by Jim McPherson, 2016

Looking up at the Hacienda Morelos as shot from the beach in February 2016 by Jim McPherson

Besides, she added, it’s usually hot, so guests don’t mind tepid shower water. (It did rain a few times and the wind was nearly constant, so not the best weather. But I was there to write and the town was down the street, so didn’t mind too much.)

Kitchen ran out of black tea after two days and never replaced stock for remaining five days. (Couldn’t find any in the local store but never checked Oxxo, the omnipresent Mexican equivalent of 7-Eleven.) The continental breakfast consisted of stale white toast, dubious pineapple marmalade, juice and either coffee or tea, read Nescafe and caffeine-free Manzanilla Chamomile. Everything else is extra.

I asked for plain yogurt and granola but they never had any granola, so they didn’t charge me. Once they substituted pink lemonade for juice and another time powdered Tang or some such. So don’t jump at offer of a free breakfast likr . Or the advertised notion that WiFi is available throughout hotel. It isn’t.

Rainbow taken at Hacienda Morelos by Jim McPherson, 2016

Shot of a rainbow taken from Hacienda Morelos terrace, image flipped horizontally.

In fact, it’s only available in the lobby or on the terrace and even then you need two separate sign-ins. Fortunately (again) I was assigned a terrace room, which was actually on the pool deck. Scuba lessons started at 8 a.m. but were usually done by 10. The doors had no screens and the room had no overhead fans. The air conditioning was so loud I shut it off. Something of a blessing, the windows that opened did have screens.

Perhaps worst of all were the pillows. They were so stuffed with foam they had no give. Instead of cushioning your head they more like bruised it. I asked for down pillows but they didn’t have any. Gave me a couple of pillows with some of the foam removed, which was better. Except one of them hadn’t been sewn up properly and I ended up with foam all over the bed, floor and me, until I noticed it. Rather than replacing it they doubled up the pillow casing.

Won’t be returning to Hacienda Morelos anytime soon. Even without the to me shocking add-on of 19% tax, it’s an overpriced shell of what once, twenty or thirty years ago, might have been a fabulous place to stay.

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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Top of the Solstice Season, Saturnalia Salutations and/or Merry Mithramas

 Happy Xmas from deities born on or around December 25!

(Introductory Note: Xmas may come from the Greek letter X, pronounced Chi, as in the first letters of Christ. However, in the Phantacea Mythos, it comes from Xuthros Hor, the Biblical Noah. Who, on account of the Noh Theatre, looks Japanese on the cover of “Forever & 40 Days — the Genesis of Phantacea”, a graphic novel that came out in 1990.)

Got this graphic off the web after it appeared somewhere on Facebook.

Image of coins containing heads of 16 gods taken from Web.

Sixteen “mythological” gods who celebrated their birthday around the Winter Solstice

Quite a lot of these fellows (no goddesses on list), or variations thereof, appear during the course of the Phantacea Mythos.

Photo by Jim McPherson, taken in Sintra Portugal in 2008

The All-Seeing Eye of Providence, not Horus, as shot by Jim McPherson, 2008, within the chapel of the highly recommended Quinta da Regaleira (where it’s called “The Flaming Triangle” for some reason) in Sintra Portugal

For example …

  1. The All-Seeing Eye of Providence, not Horus, shows up a bunch of places on the main website. Here’s one (http://www.phantacea.com/MasDevs1.htm#PyrRow); here’s another (http://www.phantacea.com/postTheo.html).
  2. Tammuz and Osiraq are the names of the Idiot or Atomic Twins who figure so devastatingly in end-game of “The Death’s Head Hellion” mini-novel (http://www.phantacea.com/pre1000.html#1idjits).
  3. Arguably, given Phantacea has always been ‘Anheroic Fantasy’, Chrysaor Attis is the central protagonist (http://www.phantacea.info/summer07.htm#AttisDescribed) in “Feeling Theocidal“. 
  4. His Great God of a devic half-father, Thyrgragos Varuna Mithras (http://www.phantacea.com/dEvilGods.htm#ThryagMith), might be considered the novel’s main antagonist. Phantacea‘s Mithras even mocks Zoroastrian tradition here (http://www.phantacea.com/dEvilGods.htm#SpermAcrack).
  5. Tvasitar Smithmonger is considered the devic Prometheus. He lives in the huge, as well as hugely impressive, cyclopean structure known as the Prometheum. Also as per  “The Death’s Head Hellion“, it stands atop the cliffs overlooking the molten Brainrock, lava lake in the caldera of Sedon’s Peak (http://www.phantacea.com/1000characters.html#1tavy).
  6. Finally, for now, Lazareme’s female messenger is known as Irisiel Mercherm (http://www.phantacea.com/1000characters.html#1speedy); her last name being half Hermes.
E-book cover for "Feeling Theocidal", artwork by Verne Andru, 2008

E-book cover for “Feeling Theocidal”, artwork by Verne Andru, 2008; Feel Theo’s web page is here:
http://www.phantacea.com/FeelTheoPage.htm#BlownUpCover

Additionally seems to me Adonis was mentioned during the course of ‘Feel Theo’ as one of Attis’s aspects during the 500-year era of the Goddess Culture on the Outer Earth (ca 2000 – 1500 BC).

Certainly Krishna’s girlfriend Lakshmi, even if she wasn’t nominally considered that in ancient times due to the prevalence of avatars, contributed her name to a surviving leader of D-Brig’s boo-hiss meter in the aftermath of “The War of the Apocalyptics“.

While on the topic of goddesses, Dionysus’s mother was Semele, daughter of Cadmus and Harmonia, variations of whom appear in the upcoming “Wilderwitch’s Babies” storyline.

Cover for E-Versions of "The War of the Apocalyptics", artwork by Ian Bateson

E-Pox now available on the Kindle platform

His Cretan consort contributed her name to a character,  Ariadne Atreides, who appeared during ‘The Volsung Variations‘ web-serials of the early 2000s on pH-Webworld.

Further to this and Point 2 above, being Master Devas, Tammuz and Osiraq weren’t just twins. They were two of three. Their triplet came to be called Novadev.

Artwork from front cover of "Helios on the Moon" by Ricardo Sandoval; promo prepared by Jim McPherson, 2014

Helios, with his ‘holocaster’, and the She-Sphinx (All of Incain) , with Thunder and Lightning Lord Yajur (Lord Order) sneaking up on them; artwork by Ricardo Sandoval taken from front cover of print version of Helios on the Moon

As per Feeling Theocidal, he was atomized (cathonitized, become a star in the night’s sky above the Hidden Headworld) circa 1500 BC. Did so while drinking with Phantacea  versions of that Cadmus (called Kadmon) and that Harmonia (the incomparable Harmony Unity).

Just in case you missed it in “Helios on the Moon“, or way back in 1977’s Phantacea One, Colonel Avatar Sol exploded near the moon. Miracle Memory (at least partially based on that Harmony) tells Heliosophos (who may have been that Kadmon in his second lifetime) that Sol was possessed of that Novadev.

One of the first postings on pHantaBlog was entitled “Make that Merry Mithramas“. If you need any more lynx on any of the above try the search engine atop most of the pages throughout www.phantacea.com.

Oh, yes, one of the subplots in the upcoming “Wilderwitch’s Babies” storyline has to do with efforts by the aforementioned Pyrame (Providence) Silverstar seeking to entice her forever lover, the Moloch Sedon — none other than the Mighty Eye-Mouth in the Sky that was featured on the wraparound cover reprinted immediately below — into undoing the damage done by the Idiot Twins as per the aforementioned mini-novel “The Death’s Head Hellion“.

Wraparound cover for Phantacea Phase One #1, artwork by Ian Bateson, ca 1985

Wraparound cover for Phantacea Phase One #1, artwork by Ian Bateson, ca 1985

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La Marseillaise is a woman, Mr Webmeister

Here’s a funny story, sort of.

After the events in Paris on Friday the 13th of November 2015, an article appeared on the BBC Online that contains the lyrics to La Marseillaise. Some of the lyrics, albeit just in English, are also reprinted elsewhere on pHantaBlog.

Image taken from BBC Online of part of Francois Rude's sculpture for the Arc de Triomphe in Paris

Up-shot image taken from BBC Online of part of Francois Rude’s sculpture for l’Arc de Triomphe in Paris

As is rather obvious from this photo taken from that article, the Marseillaise figure on l’Arc de Triomphe (The Triumphant Arch) in Paris is Lady Liberty. However, as below, a different take on it, as shot in the famous train station museum across the river from the Louvre, has been showing up on pH-Webworld since the mid-2000s, if not before.

Bust spotted in the Muses d'Orsay ca mid-90s, shot by Jim McPherson while in Paris

Bust spotted in the Muses d’Orsay, shot by Jim McPherson while in Paris. At the time he believed it reminiscent of Heliosophos and All of Incain, a couple of major players in his Phantacea Mythos

An iteration is here <==; another is just up the page (down on this one). Or you could just have a peek at the shots to the side of these paragraphs.

Point being they were used to emphasize the master-servant (more like creator-created) relationship between Heliosophos and All the invincible She-Sphinx of Incain. And Helios is resolutely male.

Bust spotted in the Muses d'Orsay ca mid-90s, shot by Jim McPherson while in Paris

Bust spotted in the Muses d’Orsay, shot by Jim McPherson while in Paris. At the time he believed it reminiscent of Heliosophos and All of Incain, a couple of major players in his Phantacea Mythos

Sad-sack excuse for a Webmeister didn’t even note that La Marseillaise figure was female until someone pointed it out to him years later.

Here’s bust full on ==>. The artist’s name was Francois Rude. The former railway station’s name is Musee d’Orsay. L’Arc de Triomphe googles but here’s a link to the real deal: “The Departure of the volunteers of 1792″

In fairness to oft-maligned Webmeister Oz, the sculpture shot in the museum was a bust, as in a figure from the head up. Rude apparently used it as a study before he got around to adding the full version to L’Arc de Triomphe.

The photographer didn’t make it that far up the preposterously, not to mention ostentatiously, wide boulevard from the Louvre until years later. Whereupon said error became manifest, resulting in a decidedly red face … for about minute.

The Departure of the Volunteers as it appears on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris

The Departure of the Volunteers as it appears on l’Arc de Triomphe in Paris; Rude’s study bust looked more male than female

No instructions ever came to remove bust shots from website, so there they remain. As does the Summer 2014 Serendipity entry on the same subject. Understandably entitled ‘Shelios on the Moon‘ it’s at least as funny as this blog spot.

BTW, not only is Helios determinedly male; as Ricardo Sandoval demonstrated on his brilliant 2014 cover for “Helios on the Moon“, All of Incain, shown to Helios’s left, is much better looking than Rude’s version of her.

Artwork from front cover of "Helios on the Moon" by Ricardo Sandoval; promo prepared by Jim McPherson, 2014

Helios, with his ‘holocaster’, and the She-Sphinx (All of Incain) , with Thunder and Lightning Lord Yajur (Lord Order) sneaking up on them; artwork by Ricardo Sandoval taken from front cover of print version of “Helios on the Moon”

 

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Second Comings

Coming this Sunday, Jim McPherson returns to Heritage Hall for another Vancouver Comicon: http://www.vancouvercomiccon.com/

Collage prepared by JIm McPherson, 2014, utilizing artwork by Verne Andru and Ricardo Sandoval

Collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2015, made up of Ricardo Sandoval space backdrop and female sphinx from the cover of “Helios on the Moon”, plus Verne Andru’s Freespirit Nihila, 2012, and old King Cold, 1980

Coming this winter: “Helios on the Moon” finally gets digital. Watch for more here: http://www.phantacea.com/#greetings

Front and back artwork by Ricardo Sandoval, 2014; text and layout by Jim McPherson

Potential covers, with spine, for Helios on the Moon, the multiple character, 2014 Phantacea Mythos mosaic novel that concludes the Launch 1980 fantasy epic

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Meanwhile, on the Outer Earth of October 2015 — Harvesting Collectibles at a pHanta-pHall pHlea Market

Collage prepared by JIm McPherson, 2014, utilizing artwork by Verne Andru and Ricardo Sandoval

Collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2015, made up of Ricardo Sandoval space backdrop and female sphinx from the cover of “Helios on the Moon”, 2014, plus Verne Andru’s Freespirit Nihila, 2012, and old King Cold, 1980

The Vancouver Collectibles Fair happens tomorrow, Saturday, the 3rd of October 2015, at the Scottish Cultural Centre, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, shall be there under-manning, not undermining, the Phantacea Publications table. More here and here:

Scottish Cultural Centre
8886 Hudson Street
Vancouver, B.C.
Admission: $3.00

– Click here for directions to Scottish Cultural Centre –

From comics to novels, artwork by Ian Bateson and Verne Andru

From comics to novels, artwork by Ian Bateson and Verne Andru

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Helios on the Moon comes down to Earth — again

Vancouver Comic Show promo for 7 June 2014

Jim McPherson will be attending the 4th show this Sunday, 7 June 2015

Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, will be a guest at this Sunday’s VANCOUVER COMIC & TOY SHOW #4: http://canadiancomics.net/.

Being a guest has its privileges so he’ll also be manning a full table containing just about everything still available for purchase from Phantacea Publications.

Artwork from front cover of "Helios on the Moon" by Ricardo Sandoval; promo prepared by Jim McPherson, 2014

Helios, with his ‘holocaster’, and the She-Sphinx (All of Incain) , with Thunder and Lightning Lord Yajur (Lord Order) sneaking up on them; artwork by Ricardo Sandoval taken from front cover of print version of Helios on the Moon

Some showy prices, too. $10.00 each for many of the full-length novels and all three graphic novels, $5.00 (bags included) for original comics from the 1970s (Phantacea 1-4 only), $5.00 for a couple of the mini-novels. Not to be beaten with a stick … or anything else, por favor.

It’s at Vancouver’s Croatian Cultural Centre, 16th and Commercial, from 11 a.m to 5 p.m. Admission is $5.00. Go to the Canadian comics site and scroll down for, surprise, surprise, an authorized shot of, um, the author.

In order to avoid offending the eye, and thus necessitating it having to be plucked out, it’s about the only photo he allows to be seen in public places besides the bottom of one of his sandals on his personal Facebook page.

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.

Cover artwork for “Helios on the Moon” (the full-length, multiple character, mosaic novel that in effect marks the culmination of Phantacea Phase One) is by Ricardo Sandoval, 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, 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

In the Launch 1980 promo, artwork from the cover of the graphic novel, “Phantacea Revisited 1: The Damnation Brigade“, is by Ian Bateson, 2012, whereas artwork from the latest graphic novel, “Phantacea Revisited 2: Cataclysm Catalyst“, is by Verne Andru, 2014.

Jim McPherson prepared the graphic, the full version of which also features cover art from “The War of the Apocalyptics” and “Nuclear Dragons” by Ian Bateson as well as a reiteration of the front cover art for “Helios on the Moon” by Ricardo Sandoval.

The graphic below was prepared by Jim McPherson from a photo he took of the Sun (Helios called Sophos the Wise) and Moon (Miracle Memory) kissing in 2012 in Puerto Morelos, Mexico. They’re two of the Cornerstone Characters in the Phantacea Mythos.

Phantacea Publications logo utilizing a Sun-Moon wooden Carving spotted and shot by Jim McPherson, 2014

Phantacea Publications logo utilizing a Sun-Moon-Kissing wood carving spotted and shot by Jim McPherson, 2012; taken to represent the time-tumbling Dual Entities during happy times

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PVR Perversions — Grimdark Supercreeps

pHantaBlog NOTE: Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, doesn’t do confessionals. He does McPhersonals. Sometimes they’re rants. Fortunately those are few and far between. That said, here’s another one.

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Grimdark – NRA-approved Fantasy Genre

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

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

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

Phantacea Publications logo utilizing a Sun-Moon wooden Carving spotted and shot by Jim McPherson, 2014

Phantacea Publications logo utilizing a Sun-Moon wood carving spotted and shot by Jim McPherson, 2014; taken to represent the Dual Entities during happy times

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Poster to accompany Helios on the Moon press release; utilizes cover from both Phantacea Revisited graphic novels and the three full-length novels making up the Launch 1980 story cycle, prepared by Jim McPherson, 2014

Poster to accompany Helios on the Moon press release; utilizes cover from both Phantacea Revisited graphic novels and the three full-length novels making up the Launch 1980 story cycle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which is mostly mockery.

8 collages against the back drop of the Louvre's Dual Entities

The Dual Entities are two thousand years old. The ‘Launch 1980’ collages were prepared in 2014.

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