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What might have been, will be for sure in 2014
Cover(s) by Verne Andru, 1980-2013; text by Jim McPherson, 2014
BTW, pHz-1 #12 only exists in script form; Kitty-Clysm is pH-Webworld shorthand for "Cataclysm Catalyst";
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Phantacea Revisited 2: Cataclysm Catalyst
Coming in the Spring of 2014, the third graphic novel from Phantacea Publications extracts another complete story sequence from Phantacea 1-7 and Phantacea Phase One #1. Artwork by Dave Sim, Ian Fry, Sean Newton, Verne Andrusiek, and Ian Bateson
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What was once, will be again
Thirty-six years after its original release, Jim McPherson completes his Launch 1980 project to novelize all the Phantacea comic books with the release of
pH-3 artwork by Richard Sandoval, 1978; rollover adjustments made by Jim McPherson, 2013
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- The unpublished comic now novelized -
At long last, the second entry in the Launch 1980 epic fantasy has arrived
Check out the expanded Availability Listings for places you can order or buy Phantacea Publications in person
Images in this row double-click to enlarge here
Jim McPherson continues his ongoing project to novelize the entire Phantacea comic book series
Dedicated webpage can be found here; back cover text here; lynx to excerpts from the book start here and here; check out material that didn't make it here and related excerpts from its scheduled follow-up, 2014's
- The web-serial enlarged radically -
Ian Bateson's unpublished artwork from Phantacea Seven provides the basis for the first full-length phantacea Mythos Mosaic Novel since
Phantacea Revisited 1
Check out the expanded Availability Listings for places you can order or buy Phantacea Publications in person
NEW: Read most of the mini-novels making up "The Thousand Days of Disbelief" today on Google Books
Hit here to see what else is currently available there
Guess what isn't coming soon any more?
A Watermarked PDF of the graphic novel can be ordered from Drive Thru Comics here
The Damnation Brigade Graphic Novel
Artwork never seen before in print; almost all of pH-5 available for the first time since 1980
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No wonder they call themselves the Damnation Brigade
Now available from Phantacea Publications
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The 2006 PDF of Mythos Mag, with its updated 2012 lynx, can be downloaded here.
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The Phantacea Revisited Project
This will be the first time in the better part of 30 years that material from pH-5 has been available except from online traders.
Search all the Phantacea Sites
"Goddess Gambit"– Now available from Phantacea Publications –
If they're not, kindly direct local librarians and neighbourhood booksellers to www.phantacea.com in order to start rectifying that sad situation. Either that or, if you're feeling even more proactive, click here, copy the link, paste it into an email and send it to them, along with everyone else you reckon could use a double dose of anheroic fantasy. It will certainly be appreciated.
Help build the buzz. The more books sell, the faster the PHANTACEA Mythos spreads.
Individual copies of
Libraries, bookstores and bookseller collectives can place bulk orders through Ingram Books, Ingram International, Baker & Taylor, Coutts Information Services, and a large number of other distributors worldwide.
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BookFinder.com lists the latest releases from Phantacea Publications along with a goodly number of additional booksellers carrying them. Also listed therein are almost all of the PHANTACEA Mythos print and e-publications, including the graphic novel and some of the comic books.
Another interesting option for the curious is Chegg, which has a rent-a-book program. Thus far its search engine shows no results for phantacea (any style or permutation thereof) but it does recognize Jim McPherson (a variety of them) and the titles of many releases from Phantacea Publications.
As for the Whole Earth (other than the Hidden Continent of Sedon's Head, at least as far as I can say and always assuming it's still around in what be its 61st century), well, this page contains a list of a few other websites where you can probably order the novels in a variety of currencies and with credit cards.
Of course you can always email or send me your order(s) via surface mail. No matter where you live or what currency you prefer to use, I'll figure out a way to fill your order(s) myself. Just be aware that I can only accept certified cheques or money orders. Plus, I'll have to charge an additional 12% to cover Canadian and provincial goods and sales taxes as well as Canada Post rates for shipping.
I do use bubble mailers, though.
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Tentative Cover for "The Moloch Manoeuvres - Part One"
Jim McPherson's PHANTACEA Mythos
An Overview of
'The Moloch Manoeuvres'
- Spring 2002 Revision-
Thanks in large measure to monotheistic religions the Gods and Goddesses, the Demons and Monsters, of Antique Mythology have been trivialized, their worship proscribed and the entities themselves confined to another realm. This realm is known by various names. In some folk traditions it is called the 'Otherworld', in others 'Shadowland', and in places like Tibet it is known as the Inner Earth. In the PHANTACEA Mythos it is known by all these names and a number of others, most prominently Big Shelter and the Hidden Continent of Sedon's Head. (In the PHANTACEA long run, Satanic Sedon will prove to be the titular Moloch.)
As for the supernatural entities themselves, there are a great many of them. A distinction is made between 'Cathonic' or skyborn and 'Chthonic' or earthborn beings. The latter include such familiar creatures of folklore as faeries and demons while the former are the Fallen Angels or devils of the Bible. With respect to devils, because they are described as fallen I take that to mean they are extraterrestrial in origin. To a number of the Earth-centric, Mother Goddess worshipping characters in PHANTACEA that makes them less supernatural than unnatural and, hence, their enemy.
I also refer to devils as the 'devazur' race since, to simplify matters somewhat, devas or devs in Indian or Kurdish tradition are gods whilst azuras or 'asuras' are demons. Yet, in the Zoroastrian tradition of the neighbouring Persians, the opposite holds true. (In fact I've been given to understand that the word 'ahura', from whence come azura and asura, just means lord or lady, depending on the context.) All in all, then, it just made sense to combine the two into devazur.
It is my contention that the Sanskrit word 'deva' is the root for English words such as devil, deity, divine, diva, and the Indian honourific, devi. It seems to me that the Latin word for God, 'Deus', is just a variation of 'dev'. This appears self-evident when you consider that in English the plural of 'dev' is 'devs' and the Romans wrote 'Deus' as 'devs'.
Big Shelter is referred to throughout Manoeuvres. However, it is only toward the end of the novel that it becomes apparent it is a Hidden Continent that has existed since the Great Flood, or 'Genesea', in a Shadowland Dimension between-spatially situated contiguous to the North Pacific Ocean. In other words the Inner Earth is fabled Mu, the Archipelago of Lemuria, only as floodwaters swamped the rest of the world it filled in as it was drying up.
Virtually all of the novel's action sequences, of which there are aplenty, take place on the Outer Earth; specifically in Rome Italy on January 12, 13 and 14, 1938. The occasion is the First Assembly of Man. It has been convened by the Alliance of Man to consider the educational future of the Summoning Children, all of whom have just turned or are turning 17 years old.
Over the long term some of them, their parents, friends, relations, teachers and, in a few cases, their children may become central characters in the PHANTACEA Mythos. These Summoning Children may already be incarnations of the aforementioned Gods and Goddesses, Demons and Monsters, of Antique Mythology. It is likely they are their offspring and if they are then the correct term for them is 'deviants', -- though the polite term, the one their elders use for them, is 'supranormals' or 'supras'.
Manoeuvres tells how some of these extraordinary young people begin to realize their Summoning Heritage; how they begin to gain an awareness of their supranormal attributes and start using their supra talents for better and for worse. Their impetus for doing so is twofold.
The first is the rediscovery of the Twin Tantaluses. These magically-sealed treasuries look to be transparent display cases like something found in a museum. In the late Fourth Century AD they were taken from the main Mithraic Cave Temple in Rome, where in fact the Vatican currently stands. They apparently contain the goods and glories of pagan gods and goddesses, specifically those from the familiar Olympian and Aesgardian Pantheons.
These talismans or power focuses can only be wielded by, respectively, those of Greek or Cretan descent and those of German or Nordic ancestry. A number of Summoning Children in Rome meet one or the other of these requirements. Some meet them both.
The second is that some of the Summoning-Aged females, those that are still maidens and whose mothers died giving them birth in late December 1920 or early January 1921, are being stalked by a Vampire Maker. He is a gypsy-born Black King or Blood Beast Prime who wants to impregnate them with the seed of his son-to-be such that, afterwards, whenever he desires, he can turn himself into an actual vampire. (As already noted, although often referred to as a Moloch, a word that means king, he is not necessarily the titular Moloch.)
It should further be noted that, while male and female vampires are capable of having sexual relations, they are infertile. In PHANTACEA male Vampire Makers, the Black Kings, are only fertile on the night of a Full Moon once every hundred moons. The mothers of Vampire Makers, the Black Queens, die having them. As for female Vampire Makers they share the same fertility cycle as an ordinary woman.
Other than your mother dying having you the one proviso to successfully having a genetically empowered Male Vampire Maker is that the woman is supposed to be a maiden when she is impregnated. As one of the characters observed in Manoeuvres, this virgin bride bit seems awfully gothic. To which one of the other characters responded: "What isn't gothic about vamps?" Or words to that effect.
This Blood Beast Prime, whose stage name is Count Molech and whose real name is Etzel Sangati, believes he is the last male of his unkind kind; the last man on the Whole Earth who carries the necessary wherewithal to beget more male Vampire Makers. Since there are no vampires on the Outer Earth he feels it incumbent upon himself to pass on his genetic heritage before he risks turning himself into a vamp. In this he is supported by a couple of his stepsisters and one of them has brought him a manservant to act as his assistant. His name is Djinn, -- and he is a jinn, a genie, a devil, the Heliodromus of Lazareme.
A Heliodromus, sun-runner or Sky Magician, is the sixth of seven steps up the ladder of Roman or 'Cave' Mithraism, the prevailing belief system of the Imperial Roman Soldiery and an early, albeit exclusively male, rival of Christianity. Roman Catholicism eventually either meshed with or supplanted Mithraism as the Imperial Religion.
Mithraism itself goes back at least to Hittite-Egyptian times; a peace treaty between the post-Exodus Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses II and the Hittite King Muwatallis in the 13th Century BC cites Mithras as it guarantor. It's called the Treaty of Kadesh. I've seen it in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum and a copy of it is in the foyer of the United Nations building in New York. Mithraism goes back in time much farther than that, however. The first recorded, all-male Trinity I know about was found in the pre-Hindu Vedas. The Trinity was that of the VAM Entity, Varuna-Ahriman-Mithras, all of whom, individually and collectively, are accounted for within the PHANTACEA Mythos.
Part of the reason for setting Manoeuvres in 1938 was that the Nazis attempted to revive Mithraic Mysteries in their rituals. It occurred to me that since Mithraism, or Mithrantism, was exclusively male then there would be an exclusively female equivalent. In PHANTACEA it is called Korantism, named after the Greek Persephone, who on Crete was called Kore the Maiden. Korants also have a Trinity of Goddesses, the traditional Maiden, Mother and Crone.
Another reason for setting the novel in 1938 is that the Spanish Civil War was still raging. Anarchists fought on the Republican side of that conflict against the fascist Falangists, who were supported by the Nazis. Crete has, to this day, a tradition of shotguns, black roses and black flag anarchism.
So it is, in the novel, the gypsies and Greeks, the Minoan Malantheans ('Malantheus' = Black Rose) or Etocretan Extremists ('Etocretan' = True Cretan) who desire the Olympian Tantalus and its contents are mostly anarchists. The majority of the Germans, not all of whom are Aryans (the aforementioned Ahriman was also called Aryaman in the Vedas), who desire the Aesgardian Tantalus and its contents have to varying degrees Nazi sympathies.
As one might expect from the above, both the Greeks and the Germans have in their midst a number of Summoning Children. We learn most of the German teenagers have been initiated into the second level of either Mithrantism or Korantism, the nymphos (groom) or nymphet (bride) stage. While we never discover the totality of what this involves for the girls, for the boys it definitely involves a Taurobolium Ceremony. For both the boys and the girls it also appears to involve some degree of presumably heterosexual intimacy, though not a wedding as such.
The Germans, and not just the German Summoning Children, have allowed themselves to be initiated in anticipation of eventually getting hold of the Aesgardian talismans. It is never made clear if the Cretans have undergone similar rituals but, not as ironically as it may seem, it is made clear the Upper Level Mithrants and Korants who perform the initiation ceremonies are the Cretan and gypsy elders, including Count Molech's blood brother, Agenor Heliopolis, and his two surviving stepsisters, Mata Avar and Medea Annulis.
The vast majority of Summoning Children, rather their parents and supporters, are neither anarchists nor fascists. Nor are they Mithrants or Korants. In fact most have probably never even heard of Mithrantism and Korantism. They come from many countries and one thing the Summoning Children, including those of German and Cretan extraction, have in common, besides their age, is their parents or guardians belong to the panhumanist Alliance of Man. The Alliance's motto is "For the Good of All and the Greater Glory of Mankind". As such, its immediate goal is averting another Great War.
Operating somewhat behind the scenes within the Alliance are a couple of not very secret societies. They are the all-male Illuminated Faith of Xuthros Hor and its distaff equivalent, the all-female Antediluvian Sisterhood of Flowery Anthea. In Biblical terms Xuthros Hor is Noah whereas Flowery Anthea is his wife, who was never named in the Bible.
These Xuthrodites and Antheans trace their origins to the Golden Age of Humankind, when a succession of ten extraordinarily long-lived Patriarchs, beginning with the Biblical Adam and ending with the Biblical Noah, ruled the Whole Earth. This was before the Great Flood of Genesis, which in PHANTACEA is called the 'Genesea'. With some justification, the Deluge is accepted to have occurred in the year 4000 BC and, as was also detailed in '4-ever' (which can still be ordered), the Biblical Methuselah, the Eighth Patriarch of Golden Age Humanity, died in the same year it took place.
Together the Xuthrodites and Antheans, who seek out and marry each other, have over the millennia been the main movers behind monotheism. Somewhat controversially, in PHANTACEA monotheism was less divinely inspired than it was manmade. It was designed to prevent folks worshipping the Gods and Goddesses, Demons and Monsters, of Antique Mythology.
(Around this time, the late 30s, Sigmund Freud published his theory that Moses, he of the Exodus and he who, like Abraham, is not recorded anywhere except in the Old Testament, was a follower of the Pharaoh Akhenaten or Ikhnaton, King Tut's father or father-in-law, or both. A later theory has it that Moses and Akhenaten, the first monotheistic religious reformer in recorded history, were one and the same person.)
One thing to note about Xuthrodites is that, for the most part, they are ardent believers in good old-fashioned, good-for-everyone capitalism. Another thing to note is that virtually none of them know the truth about Big Shelter, that it is a Hidden Continent shielded from the Great Flood due to the intervention of the very devils Xuthros Hor was attempting to extirpate when he, according to Xuthrodism, caused it. The same is true of the majority of their spouses and female relations, the life-loving Antheans or 'Ants', as they sometimes style themselves.
A very few of these Ants not only know the truth about Big Shelter, they were born, brought up, live or have lived there. These are the true Witches of Weir, the ones who called the Summoning of 1920 and who have taken upon themselves the upbringing and future educational training of the Summoning Children. They believe, among other things, that these teenagers amount to the genetic furtherance of humanity's inevitable, evolutionary progress toward eventual Godhood.
are other Witch Sisterhoods whose motivations are nowhere near as altruistic
as that of Flowery Anthea. They include the
militant Athenan War Witch Sisterhood (named after the Olympian goddess
of both war and wisdom), who were and are suffragettes, carry weapons,
and generally take a dim view of vampires and devils both. Another
Witch Sisterhood is that of the Hecate-Hellions (simultaneously named
after both the non-Olympian Witch Goddess Hecate
and the Nordic Hel — a Hellion named Hecate also played an important role in
Then there are the Ophirants (as in the Biblical Ophir, of King Solomon and Balkis, the Queen of Sheba, fame). They are snake-worshippers. In Manoeuvres one uses snake-haired lamia, dragon-like winged worms (wyrms) who were once human, to pull her silver chariot between-space. Another, her half-sister, turns herself into a similarly snake-haired, be-horned and be-winged chelonian basilisk complete with shell.
Not only are they in favour of devils and demons, they are the chief allies and supporters of Count Molech, brought him Djinn the jinn and, even though having his son will kill her, seem to thinks it is fine for him to go in search of a virgin bride, a Black Queen whose mother died having her, to preserve his vampiric genes. After all vampires beat Aeson's Bath (from Ovid's 'Metamorphoses') when it comes to preserving one's existence. Too bad vampirism does not provide for youth reversion to go along with ever-after unaging existence.
Two of the novel's central characters besides Count Molech and Djinn the Whim, as someone calls him, are Hush Mannering and Mnemosyne D'Angelo. They are affiliated with two of the other Witch Sisterhoods that appear throughout the PHANTACEA Mythos. These are the Mariamnics and the Afrites.
The former are named after Mariamne Dawnstar, whom we are given to understand is the devic Queen of Faeries. The latter are named after Aphrodite, the Olympian Goddess of Love. Afrites, who are also called Lovely Ladies, offer their lovemaking to the Great Goddess Herself. Hush has a Mariamnic as well as an Anthean background while Mnemosyne, whom most folks call Memory, is very much an active, lovemaking-loving, Lovely Lady.
Neither are Summoning Children. The latter, whose name does mean Memory, is one of the few characters who recalls, howsoever imperfectly, some of what went on during the Summoning of 1920. As for the former, she is the main reason the Witches of Weir called it. Hush is also the person who has ostensibly been put in charge of training the Summoning Children.
She is a multiple-named (myrionymous), apparent faerie trickster. However, she believes she was born Pandora Mannering in the early 1900s, that she was deva-cursed some 17 years earlier and that, thereafter, she became a perpetual 7-year old. Believes further that, before she was effectively devolved indefinitely, she had two children, the younger of whom is a Summoning Girl.
The PHANTACEA Mythos is a mosaic piece. That is to say, as in real life, no single character is more important than any other character. It is also 'anheroic' in the sense that no one character can be considered its hero or primary protagonist. Every installment of the Mythos will have its dominant or featured characters. In this regard, in addition to Count Molech, Djinn, Hush and Memory, two other characters deserve to be mentioned by name.
The first is Virginia (Ginny) Mannering. Ginny is the Summoning Child Count Molech was promised years earlier; the one he still intends to make his Black Queen come the night of the Hundredth Full Moon. She has other ideas. If she does not manage to become a non-Virginia in time to avoid his lustful attentions then she has every intention of cutting off his lustful appendages on their wedding night. (By the way, despite her last name, she is probably not Hush's Summoning Daughter.)
The second character that deserves to be spotlighted is Celeste Mannering, who went by the name of Celestine D'Angelo on the Outer Earth. She is the Ants' Celestial Superior. Is Memory's older sister, one of two. (They also have a brother, an ex-priest who plays a pivotal role in the novel.) Might also be Ginny's mother, although that is unlikely. The Celestial certainly did not die having her. There is even a possibility she is Hush's mother. (Most Mannerings do not know who their parents were and witches regard all women as sisters, even their own daughters.)
Celestial is out to kill Count Molech too. Killed his uncle Azrael, a previous Vampire Maker, in 1895, when she was all of seven years old herself. Might have killed his father, Bleda Sangati, another Vampire Maker, during the Summoning of 1920 and was the one most responsible for killing his maybe-mother, a Hecate-Hellion if ever there was one, a couple of years after it. Consequently, even though Count Molech cannot kill for fear of losing his potency, when it comes to the Celestial he might be prepared to make an exception.
So, besides the fact she has apparently gone mad -- and mad witches are by far the worst witches -- why would a life-loving Ant kill anyone? Well, she has an excuse. In addition to likely killing hers and Memory's presumed parents during the Summoning, Count Molech's presumed stepmother killed her!
For the record, albeit for different reasons, Djinn cannot kill either. For fear of losing potential worshippers no devil is allowed to kill. One does, though, and she is the other devil on the Outer Earth in January 1938. Her name is Marut Kanin, Kore-Eris, Kore-Discord, Strife. In the prologue to Homer's Iliad she is the one who tossed in the Golden Apple of Discord and thereby provoked the Judgement of Paris, what led to the Trojan War.
That was 1500 years before the Christian Era began and, as it began, she lost her demonic body. She is just a Spirit Being nowadays. Has to possess folks in order to do any damage. And damage she does, though mostly to her own host-shells. Which is about as far as this introductory installment of the PHANTACEA Mythos goes. In terms of Manoeuvres that is hardly where it ends.
Besides Ginny there are many other Summoning Child Maidens available for Count Molech. It is known that the mothers of a number of them died giving them birth. However, even that might not matter. Given the way the Witches of Weir were mixing up babies after the Summoning there really is no guarantee that all of those whose mothers survived giving them birth were their actual mother. (As to why witches were mixing up babies born as a result of the Summoning, that too is explained in Manoeuvres.)
Him the Whim, Djinn the Genie, can get the Mountebank Moloch to these teenage, potential Black Queens. Can get him anywhere he wants to go between-space on the Outer Earth. There are ways to imprison, otherwise neutralize and even kill devils, though, and it is not just the Witches of Weir who are aware of them. Certain Wayfarers of the Weird know how as well and, unlike Ants, the Vampire Maker and his cartoon-loving, devilish familiar, they would have no compunctions about killing.
These Wayfarers have Summoning Children of their own; ones who share their willingness to kill and at least one of whom has proven abilities in that lack-of-respect regard. Were he not so nearly omnipotent Djinn could be in deep whaledreck. So could Count Molech.
The genie and the Counterfeit Count have one of the Twin Tantaluses, that of Aesgard. Djinn being a devil he can get hold of the other one, that of Olympus, anytime he bloody well pleases. Are they overconfident? Might be. Likely are, because Count Molech proposes to arm his anarchistic relations, the Etocretan Extremists, and a selection of the Germanic Mithrant and Korant Initiates with the goods and glories of their antique, ethnic deities.
Setting them against each other, which would not take much effort given they were on opposite sides in Spain, he will thereupon instigate an old-time, no-holds-barred, damn-the-torpedoes melee. Might even invite the likes of Roosevelt, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini and the Pope himself to come watch. Djinn could bring them here; he has that ability. Count Molech would, too. Get Djinn to do just that. Were he not going to be so busy passing on his genes come midnight. Has the perfect place for it.
The Roman Colosseum!
Page Pictures Redux
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