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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Catastrophic Comedy Break

Headless man with headless monkey walk into a room, unaccredited comic panel taken from Facebook

Unattributed comic book panel taken from Facebook feed in late 2016

The above, unaccredited panel from a comic book showed up recently on a Facebook feed. Reminded instantly of this sequence from “The War of the Apocalyptics“.

Here Nakba Ramazar, the headless Apocalyptic of Sudden Disaster, is speaking to his cousin, Dand Tariqartha, Devalord of Subcranial Temporis. It’s early Tantalar 5980 (December 1980):

Ramazar pulled a flip pad out of the breast pocket of his highwayman-style overcoat. He also pulled out a pair of spectacles. After a second’s hesitation he returned the glasses to his pocket.
“Don’t know why I keep those things around.” he mumbled, flipping open the notebook. “Haven’t got a nose to perch them on nor the eyes to see through, have I?”
“So it would appear, yet you speak and have no mouth. How do manage that?”
“Promise not tell anyone, Dand the Dandy Deadbeat Dad, and I’ll let you in on our scintilla of a secret.”
“Upon my inviolable oath as a highborn son of Lazareme, mightiest of the Great Gods.”
“Two-be-headed Vultyrie’s a ventriloquist.”
“And here I thought she was just a mindless schlemiel.”
“That too.”

Sundown and Raven's Head confront Ramazar and the Vultyrie in Temporis

Artwork from pH-5, 1980, by Vince Marchesano

His fellow devils call Ramazar Catastrophe. Shown here with the Vultyrie fighting Blind Sundown and Raven’s head in a blog-familiar sequence from Phantacea 5, artwork by Vince Marchesano, 1990, he often comes up with some good lines.

In this scrap of dialogue, also from War-Pox, he’s back in the Sedon’s Sphere and railing against his fate to said sphere’s Sedon:

“It’s not fair, grandfather. Nobody told me I’d be up against cathonitizers. All I wanted was for things to get back to normal; create the occasional disaster whenever I grew low on ammunition; go to parties; make more azuras and the occasional deviant when I feel up to it; basically just have some fun.
“But, no, Murder had to have her unspeakable children and I had to protect her. Now here I am back in your dumb, depressing Dome again. I tell you, it’s just not right.”
“Don ’t fret so, Disaster. You might cause a meteor shower. Wait a mini-minute ! I’ve just had a thought.”
“Better than having a baby, I suppose.”
“Tell you what, come spring maybe we will have a party. Just for you. Shooting stars, how ’s that for a theme? Play your cards right and you might have the distinction of being the first one shot.”
“I’d rather be on the firing squad, if you don’t mind.”

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Set your calendar for Van Con … after you set your clocks back

Comicon announcement for November 2016

Comicon announcement for November 2016

Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, drags Dec-Dam (http://www.phantacea.com/#greetings) out of its boxes, no doubt kicking and screaming, in order to expose it for sale at the next Vancouver Comicon, 11-5 pm, Sunday 6 November 2016, at Heritage Hall in Vancouver (http://www.vancouvercomiccon.com/).

Final cover for print edition of "Decimation Damnation", collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2016

Final cover for print edition of “Decimation Damnation”

 

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Phantacea Phase Two — starts in prose and probably only ever will be in prose

Variation of an online promo prepared by Jim McPherson, 2016

Variation of an online promo prepared by Jim McPherson, 2016

Labour Day’s come and gone, which means “Decimation Damnation“, the first mini-novel extracted from the open-ended saga of Wilderwitch’s Babies, is finally available for ordering.

Here’s the opening sentence in Dec-Dam’s Auctorial Preamble: “Thus begins Phantacea Phase Two.” Here’s final sentence in same: “Better make it: Thus begins the open-ended saga of “Wilderwitch’s Babies”.

As for the rest of it, well, you don’t have to buy the book, in any of its editions (print, digital PDF or e-pub), in order to read it, but it would be appreciated.

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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“Decimation Damnation” cover collages

Cover collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2005

Variation of a cover collage prepared for what’s now called “Decimation Damnation” ca 2005

Here’s another take on the cover for “Decimation Damnation“, a web-serial that appeared in its entirety on pH-Webworld (aka Phantacea on the Web) starting around twelve years ago. (Might have been called “The Weirdness of Cabalarkon” then, at least for awhile.) New version won’t be the same, though.

BTW, it came in at 170 pages but an as yet unwritten Auctorial Preamble and a Character Companion (some of which is here) will enlarge that.

Potential Dust Cover for "Wilderwitch's Babies 1", collage prepared by Jim McPherson ca 2008

2008 version of cover for “Wilderwitch’s Babies 1 — Decimation Damnation”

Might go back to it if I go with a collage cover along the lines of the 1000 Days mini-novels.

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Wooden plaques spotted and shot by Jim McPherson in Montreal, 2000

Wooden plaques spotted and shot by Jim McPherson in Montreal, 2000; no information on the artist’s name

Isolation shot of the wooden plaque used in cover collage, photo manipulation by Jim McPherson

Isolation shot of the wooden plaque used in cover collage

Both parts of the Wilderwitch figure were taken from a snap shot in Montreal in April 2000. The wood plaques are all by the same guy; unfortunately there are no names I can find on them.

Her “fearsome” soul-self is in foreground; not looking very fearsome I’m sorry to say, but the lack of eyes does make it kind of spooky.

As an aside, and hopefully without giving too much away, what happens to Blind Sundown when he is given crablike, ommatophorous eye-stalks is anything but ducky. It’s truly beyond either fearsome or spooky.

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Caduceus with gargoyles collage prepared by Jim McPherson

Utopian Warriors of Weir manifest gargoyles atop their eye-staves; Mel-Illuminatus manifests a healer’s caduceus; graphic combines both

A hairpin shaped like a caduceus, image taken from web

A hairpin shaped like a caduceus like the one Mel-Illuminatus manifests atop her dinky eye-stave in the mini-novel

Two gargoyles atop Notre Dame, photos by Jim McPherson, 2004

Two gargoyles shot atop Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral in 2004 by Jim McPherson

The caduceus is actually a hairpin. Not sure where it came from but the gargoyles are definitely from the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. They were taken in 2004, when you could still walk up steep — I’d call them precipitous — stairs to the gargoyle level. Not sure sure whether you can do that anymore.

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Hasankyef House Head Given Eyes by Jim McPherson in 2008; shot taken in Turkey, 2003

Hasankeyf House Head Given Eyes by Jim McPherson in 2008; shot taken in Turkey, 2003

Part of the Hasankeyf ruins, shot in Turkey by Jim McPherson, 2003

Part of the Hasankeyf ruins in Turkey, 2003; suggestive of a House Head; also seen here: http://www.phantacea.info/fallof03.htm

Early version of DecDam front cover, prepared by Jim McPherson, ca 2003/4

Possibly the earliest version of DecDam’s front cover

Giving the stone, house-head ruin from Hasankeyf eyeballs must have been fun.

Can’t recall whose they were but flipping the shot does make it look almost human.

Not sure I like the text name at top of page on the tentative front covers shown but might keep it just for variety.

However, compared to the second cover at top of page, do prefer the pink background to Mythos area and the vaguely purplish overall background in first graphic.

Similar images are used on the related Serendipity and … entry as well as the entry for Mel-Illuminatus in Witches page on pH-Webworld..

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A couple more aspects of the covers at top of page are highlighted here.

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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“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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D-Brig gets five stars and an asterisk on Goodreads

Phantacea  Revisited 1:  The Damnation Brigade (Phantacea Revisited, #1)Phantacea Revisited 1: The Damnation Brigade by Jim McPherson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Damnation Brigade is the first Phantacea Revisited graphic novel.

The cover is by Ian Bateson, who also contributed a good percentage of the interior illustrations. Until now Ian’s Damnation Island sequence has never seen print.

Flyer for Phantacea books, 2012

Giveaway flyer prepared by Jim McPherson, 2012; artwork by Ian Bateson for Phantacea Phase 1 #1, 1986, derived from Dave Sim for Phantacea One, 1977

Of additional interest to aficionados of independent comic books, Dave Sim drew most of the Launching of the Cosmic Express sequence shortly before he began Cerebus the Aardvark in late ’77/early ’78.

Other featured illustrators include Gordon Parker, Verne Andrusiek (later Verne Andru), Carl Muecke, Vince Marchesano, Tim Hammell and George Freeman (Captain Canuck).

The book, whose dedicated webpage is here, begins with the launch sequence from Phantacea One (1977), as redone for Phantacea Phase One #1 (1987).

Flyer prepared by Jim McPherson, 2912

Giveaway flyer prepared by Jim McPherson, 2012; artwork by Ian Bateson for Phantacea Phase 1 #1, 1986, derived from Dave Sim for Phantacea One, 1977

It carries on with the titular struggles of an ultimately ill-named, 10-member band of supranormals from their re-embodiment on Damnation Island (the original version appeared in Phantacea Two, 1978), through their battles with the Byronic Nucleus, the Primary Apocalyptics and their allies, on both sides of the Whole Earth.

It ends with their inevitable reckoning as it first appeared in Phantacea Five (1980), which has been out-of-print since the very early 1980s.

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

Jim McPherson adapted and expanded on the material presented in this ambitious graphic novel with 2009’s “The War of the Apocalyptics“, a full-length Phantacea Mythos mosaic novel that commences the ‘Launch 1980’ epic trilogy.

Front and back cover mockups for "Helios on the Moon", prepared by Jim McPherson, 2013

Mockup sent to potential cover illustrators for “Helios on the Moon”, the next scheduled Phantacea Mythos mosaic novel

It also includes parts of the Centauri Island and UNES Liberty storylines that  continue (“Nuclear Dragons“, 2013) and will conclude (“Helios on the Moon”, 2014) the latest blockbuster fantasy from Phantacea Publications.

Overall this a delightful complement to the ongoing Phantacea Mythos catalogue of novels, mini-novels, comics and graphic novels; highly recommended.

BTW, it gets an asterisk because Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, wrote the review.

View all my reviews

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Lower Prices for Van Expo 2014

Phantacea Publications price list specific for this year's Vancouver Fan Expo, 18-20 April 2014

Phantacea Publications price list specific for this year’s Vancouver Fan Expo, 18-20 April 2014

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

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

Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, will be tending the Phantacea Publications table throughout this year’s Vancouver Fan Expo Easter Weekend (18-20 April 2014).

In addition to debuting “Phantacea Revisited 2: Cataclysm Catalyst“, he’ll have with him all the usual suspects for sale, most of them at reduced prices.

See you there.

Black and white rendition of Kitty Clysm cover, art by Verne Andru, 2013

Bad Rhad’s at it again in this black and white rendition of the wraparound cover Black and white preview of cover intended for “Phantacea Revisited 2: Cataclysm Catalyst”

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McPhersonal APE

Advertisement appearing the convention brochure for APE - Alternative Press Expo, features b/w versions of front covers for Nuclear Dragons and the Damnation Brigade graphic novel

Advertisement appearing in the convention brochure for APE – Alternative Press Expo, features b/w versions of front covers for Nuclear Dragons and the Damnation Brigade graphic novel, covers artwork by Ian Bateson, text by Jim McPherson

In case you missed posts on pHantacea on pHacebook (https://www.facebook.com/phantacea) or the Google +  page (https://plus.google.com/107672488573718702210/posts) for Phantacea Publications, Jim McPherson will be attending APE – The Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco a couple of weeks from now.

The dates are October 12 & 13. The place is The Concourse Exhibition Center, 835 8th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103. The website is here

And yes, it’s beginning to look like comic and cover artist Verne Andru will be joining him there for at least part of the time.

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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Beer can dragon


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Jim McPherson writes:


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

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

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

Ravenhead Logo, image taken from website

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

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

Kelowna Dragon Pils, picture of beer can taken from web

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

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

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

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

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

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