Phil Cooper / Painting Chimera #15

Phil CooperThe Ruined Temple, acrylics on paper, 40 x 40 cm

“The temple was gone, its gleaming structure of glass reduced to jagged shards.”

Chimera Book 1 / Chapter 19 – Thingopolis Under Attack!


“After the more reflective mood and quiet menace in the previous instalment, things couldn’t be more different in chapter 19, as Kyp and pals emerge into a scene of carnage and destruction. It’s been a strange exercise this week, smashing up the Temple of Miscellany I constructed earlier in the book. But there’s not much time to dwell on all the mayhem; our characters have important decision to make, and they need to move fast!”  Phil Cooper, August 2021


Phil Cooper’s The Ruined Temple painting on his art table in his Berlin studio, August 2021




Chimera Book 1 / Chapter 19 – Thingopolis Under Attack!


Good things come to those who wait… and I’m very happy to announce the latest chapter of Chimera Book 1 is here! With only two more instalments to go, Kyp’s adventures in the fantastical realm of lost properties continue apace. Huge thanks, as always, to Dan Snelgrove for finding the time, energy and vocal dexterity to bring another chapter so fulsomely to life – enjoy! It’s been a while, so you maybe in need of a refresher: you can listen again to Chapter 18 here.


Last time in Chimera Book 1:

Kyp and Jamie approached and placed their palms lightly on Circinus’s mane.  

She closed her eyes and began again to talk.

Whirlitzer and I tried to live happily in Thingopolis.  We tried to make a home for ourselves.  We struggled to embrace our new lives here. We missed the children, the embrace of their arms about our necks as we spun them in circles. We grieved for our purpose. One day, Whirlitzer and I galloped far from the safety of the city. Neither of us admitted our intention.  Madame Chartreuse put us to work dragging the Tealeaf’s fodder-wagons.  We were so ashamed.’

As if unable to bear the weight of their fingers, Circinus shook her mane, forcing Kyp and Jamie to withdraw.

‘We slipped our harnesses while the Tealeaf slept. We gave ourselves up to the Oligarchy.  Whirlitzer had prepared a speech to be heard at our trial.  He planned to implore them to take steps against Madame Chartreuse.  He believed with the Oblivion Three vanquished, we might come to value this world as our own, seeing it as a place in which to belong contentedly, a world of which we could be proud.  They sentenced us immediately without petition or plea.  Sir Regulus saved us.  He brought us to Flotsam Pothole, took care of us.  We quickly became inseparable.  We made plans, devised strategies.  We would tell each other stories from our pasts, drawing strength from our memories. We vowed we would make Chimera a safe place.  We could never again return to the Elsewhere World, but we would ensure others could without fear or injury.’

‘We decided to leave Flotsam Pothole,’ continued Sir Regulus, ‘to escape Oddznbodz.  We made it as far as the tunnels, then the shovelisks attacked. It all happened so fast.’  Sir Regulus was talking directly to Circinus now. ‘I tried to get you out. I tried to open its jaws.  It took my arm.’ 

I’m so sorry,’ said Circinus.

I’m the one who should be apologising! I could have tried harder, thought of something, done something. When Whirlitzer saw you were gone, he tried giving himself to the shovelisk too. He said he couldn’t bear to be parted from you but I couldn’t let him.  Flotsam Pothole needed him, someone to inspire them.  Whirlitzer accused me of betraying him – and of killing you.  He swore no one else would ever be lost to the Abattoir.’

A siren sounded.

‘We have to get you out of there,’ Sir Regulus told Circinus, pulling away the sheets of metal covering her. 

‘I can’t leave,’ she said.

Of course you can,’ said Bertram. ‘We’ll all help.’ 

‘Yes,’ agreed Kyp, dragging more of the corrugated sheets to the floor. 

‘You don’t understand.  I can’t leave,’ and now Kyp, and everyone else, saw why.

The hindquarters of the carousel horse were gone.

Chapter 19 – Thingopolis Under Attack!

Listen to all previous chapters at anchor.fm/chimerabook1

Coming Soon to Red’s Kingdom: Chapter 20 – The Flamingo & The Dummy



Phil Cooper / Painting Chimera #14

Phil CooperInside The Auxillary acrylics on paper, 40 x 40 cm

After much squeezing through vents, climbing over pallets and navigating chambers filled with pulleys, chains and butchers’ hooks, they arrived in an emptier space dominated by a large u-shape of narrow railway track.

Chimera Book 1 / Chapter 18 – The Other Carousel Horse


“After Kyp manages to escape the full-on horror show of the Dismantlers, there’s a definite change of atmosphere as we emerge into Chapter 18; it’s more subdued, quieter, but still bristling with menace. I’ve tried to depict this sense of threat with an empty warehouse space, full of shadows and places for enemies to hide, adorned with chains and hooks, and with a labyrinth of interconnected passages to get lost in, or trapped. Aesthetically, the interior of the warehouse is pure 1920’s Fritz Lang, as the frenzied expressionism of those film sets perfectly conveys the brittle tension in this chapter. Against this backdrop, important conversations are had, before another horrible reveal in the final line of the chapter. Whatever’s coming in Chapter 19, I’m guessing it’s not good news!”

Phil Cooper, April 2021


Phil Cooper’s Inside The Auxillary painting on his art table in his Berlin studio, April 2021




Chimera Book 1 / Chapter 18 – The Other Carousel Horse


Dan Snelgrove and I rather left things dangling on a bit of a cliffhanger at the end of Chapter 17, what with Kyp, Jamie, Bertram Fusby and Sir Regulus Ferric hurtling towards certain doom… so it’s with great pleasure I can announce the arrival of the next thrilling instalment of Chimera Book 1 – brought to you, as ever, courtesy of Dan’s vocal pyrotechnics. Enjoy!


Last time in Chimera Book 1:

The dismantler holding Kyp now targeted Bertram. With a hiss of pistons, it swung about, before descending speedily towards the skateboarding pig.  It discarded Kyp, who dropped from its open claw and fell heavily onto the conveyor belt. Jamie pulled him to his feet and shouted at him to keep moving. They ducked, rolled and dived their way past drill-bits, scythes and wrecking balls as more dismantlers sprang up to converge on Bertram.  

Bertram was enjoying himself. He out-smarted the machines, performing daring jumps and complicated stunts.  In their confusion, the dismantlers attacked each other, the hammer of one smashing the drill of another. More dismantlers clashed, their claws, hooks and hydraulics entangled. A chainsaw sliced through the arm of the dismantler wielding the circular saw.  Now severed, the whirling disc decapitated machines on both sides of the conveyor.  The fallen dismantlers collapsed into the pits below.  Pillars of flame erupted.  Rivets fell like hailstones.  Kyp, Jamie and Sir Regulus drew together protectively as more of the dismantlers tore into each other and fell to ruin.  Bertram wheeled towards them out of the smoke.    

‘Wow!’ he said, as more explosions boomed.  He hopped off the skateboard.  ‘That was amazing!’

‘What were you thinking?’ yelled Sir Regulus. ‘You could have been killed!’

‘Bertram saved us, Sir Regulus,’ said Jamie.  

An explosion shook the conveyor, an entire section falling into the burning pits below.

‘We’re not out of danger yet,’ said Sir Regulus.

They ran to the very end of the conveyor belt, looking down to see a large metal basket positioned below it.  At their backs, fires burned more fiercely.  Sparks fizzed.  Smoke thickened.  Another explosion set the conveyor quaking.

‘What now?’ panicked Jamie.

‘Into the basket,’ ordered Sir Regulus. ‘Quickly.’ The four of them leapt from the conveyor into the basket. For a moment nothing happened, then, with a violent jolt and revving of machinery, the basket rocketed towards the chamber roof.

Chapter 18 – The Other Carousel Horse

Listen to all previous chapters at anchor.fm/chimerabook1

Coming Soon to Red’s Kingdom: Chapter 19 – Thingopolis Under Attack!


Phil Cooper / Painting Chimera #13

Phil CooperDismantler! acrylics on paper, 40 x 40 cm

“Kyp looked about for his friends; Sir Regulus remained on the conveyor belt, jumping backwards and forwards to avoid a dismantler’s hammer. Jamie was hanging upside down from a dismantler on the other side of the conveyor belt, a second mechanical claw taking hold of his arms and pulling him taut. A third dismantler took an interest, its circular saw slicing through the air towards him.”

Chimera Book 1 / Chapter 17 – The Dismantlers


“There are some very scary things in Chimera, but Chapter 17 takes us to a truly hellish place. Running the gauntlet of the dismantlers is something from our worst nightmares, and Kyp seems to be caught between various horrible ways to die. The idea of being taken apart taps into some very deep seated fears in most of us, I think, but the dismantlers don’t care, they only have one job – well several really; they drill, grind, wrench, saw, cut, burn….argh, I hope Kyp, Jamie and Sir Regulus get out of there!” Phil Cooper, February, 2021





Chimera Book 1 / Chapter 17 – The Dismantlers


And we’re back! It’s time to rejoin Kyp Finnegan, Jamie Bean and Sir Regulus Ferric in the fantastical and perilous realm of Chimera, the world of lost things. It’s been a wee while I know, so listen again to Chapter 16 to remind yourself of all the most recent daring do! Many thanks as always to Dan Snelgrove, for finding the time to continue this adventure with me and all the other denizens of Chimera.


Last time in Chimera Book 1:

Sir Regulus confronted the first shovelisk, drawing his sword. The creature’s eyes blazed, snorts of exhaust gusting from its nostrils.  It lunged, butting Sir Regulus in the chest with its head, knocking him flat.  With a triumphant roar, the shovelisk dragged itself towards Jamie and Kyp, its rubbery foot splintering wood and smashing china.  With an awful crushing sound, it flattened the body of Czar Samovar and then rolled over Sir Regulus.  The shovelisk was above the two boys now, who coughed inside a cloud of its breath. It sniffed them, opened its jaws – and then froze.  The shovelisk spasmed, before toppling sideways with a loud crash.  His sword dripping sticky black fluid, Sir Regulus stood up and rested his foot on the dead shovelisk’s neck

‘The old ‘sword in the belly’ manoeuvre!  I got Firemingus, the self same way!’

His jubilation was short-lived. The second shovelisk reared up behind Sir Regulus, snatched him off his feet, tossed him in the air and caught him in his mouth.  Its sights now fixed on Kyp and Jamie, the shovelisk snorted hungrily and scooped them up too. 

Chapter 17 – The Dismantlers

Listen to all previous chapters at anchor.fm/chimerabook1


Coming Soon to Red’s Kingdom: Chapter 18 – The Other Carousel Horse


Phil Cooper / Painting Chimera #12

Phil Cooper, Washing Machine, mixed media on paper, 30 x 30 cm

‘Kyp waited for the terrible rush of air, the awful smashing sound, but when nothing happened, he risked an upward glance to see the washing machine dangling from a single cable.’ 

Chimera Book 1 / Chapter 16 – Return To The Plummet Pit


“There seem to be perils on every side for Kyp in Chimera at the moment, and it’s never clear who he can really trust. Lots of new information coming at him thick and fast, but who to believe? As well as various characters who might want to do him harm there are also numerous physical dangers in the world of Chimera – like old washing machines falling on his head! It’s a health and safety officer’s nightmare!” Phil Cooper, January 2021


Phil Cooper’s Washing Machine painting on his art table in his Berlin studio, January 2021




Chimera Book 1 / Chapter 16 – Return To The Plummet Pit


It’s been a while coming, but Chapter 16 of Chimera Book 1 has landed at Red’s Kingdom! The prodigiously talented Dan Snelgrove – the voice of Chimera – has had other acting commitments in the real world (wherever that may be!) and his diary continues to look busy for the next few weeks. Needless to say, we’ll bring you the next instalment of Chimera as and when Dan’s schedule allows. But onto the action…


Last time in Chimera Book 1:

‘Kyp, tell him about the moppet-drover!’ said Bertram.

‘It is a remarkable story,’ suggested Doctor Ossifer.

‘All this time, Atticus Weft has been working against Madame Chartreuse,’ said Clarissa. ‘He escorted these boys to Thingopolis.’

‘He fought the concrete menagerie for them,’ said Bertram. ‘Gave his life for them.’

‘I understand,’ said Kyp. ‘Atticus explained it, why things that get lost here feel the way they do, and why they might end up working for Madame Chartreuse, just to feel a bit less – useless.’

‘Silence!’ Whirlitzer whinnied, the kick of his legs sending the glass cases smashing to the ground. ‘Look at you, with your Elsewhere Light shining!  What do you know of what you speak?  What do you know of abandonment?’

‘I know what it’s like to feel alone.  I know what it’s like to know you’ve only yourself to blame.  I know what it’s like to want to forget.’

‘Then you’ll know why we live as we do.  This discussion is over.  I want this shrine shut down and this contraband destroyed.’ 

‘Come on, Jamie,’ said Kyp. ‘We’re leaving.’

‘Where do you think you’re going?’ demanded Whirlitzer.

‘To find the Sin King.’

Whirlitzer eyed Kyp pityingly. ‘You’re on your own.’

Kyp gave a hard little shrug. ‘I’m getting used to it.’

Chapter 16 – Return To The Plummet Pit

Listen to all previous chapters at anchor.fm/chimerabook1


Coming soon to Red’s Kingdom: Chapter 17 – The Dismantlers


Phil Cooper / Painting Chimera #11

Phil CooperBertram 40cm x 40cm, acrylic on paper

‘Welcome to the Museum Room,’ said Bertram proudly. ‘This is where I come to remember Gregory Gimble, who was saving up for the Speed-Steed skateboard in the window of Mrs Tiffin’s Toyshop. This is where I come to remember the promise Gregory would have me make each time he entrusted his pocket money to me; “Keep it safe for me, pig. Keep it safe”. This is where I come to hear again the conversations Gregory would share with me last thing at night, his dreams of racing wheels, of the rush of the wind, and of all the daring tricks he would one day perform in front of Muriel Proops, the girl with the blueberry bubble-gum who stood by the drinks fountain.  This is where I come to remember what it was I was meant for.’

Chimera Book 1/ Chapter 15 – Whirlitzer


“Sometimes I have an idea about what a character in Chimera Book 1 might sound like, or look like. Then I hear Dan’s narration and suddenly the voice he gives to characters is how they will then sound in my head for ever more. It’s like they really only could sound like that. The characters taking centre-stage in the book at the moment are good examples; Whirlitzer, Doctor Ossifer and Bertram have always been a joy, but Dan has brought them to life in such a delightful and thrilling way. This week I decided to try an illustration of Bertram, the cute but rather bolshy little skateboarding pig. And I LOVE his voice, ‘rules, rules rules’. How could I resist?”

Phil Cooper, January 2021


Phil Cooper’s Bertram painting on his art table in his Berlin studio, January 2021




Chimera Book 1 / Chapter 15 – Whirlitzer


Dim the lights, get comfy, it’s time for the next instalment of Kyp Finnegan’s continuing adventures in Chimera, the realm of lost things…


Last time in Chimera Book 1:

‘You’ve been very kind,’ Kyp told the members of the Souvenir Society after they’d eaten, ‘but Jamie and I can’t stay here. Madame Chartreuse has got Jamie’s brother. We need to find him.’

‘The whereabouts of her collection is a closely guarded secret,’ said Sir Regulus. He hesitated. ‘Even from her most trusted agents. Its location will be somewhere inaccessible, some remote, forbidding place.’

‘There is one who might be able to help,’ suggested Doctor Ossifer, his brain pulsing alarmingly. ‘An ancient metamorph by the name of the Sin King.’

‘Sin King?’ Jamie said unhappily.

‘Rumour has it he’s made his home out in the Badlands beyond Thingopolis.’

‘The Badlands,’ said Jamie. ‘Great.’

‘We’ll find him,’ said Kyp confidently. ‘But first we have to find our way out of here.’

‘Find your way out?’ snorted Whirlitzer, as he entered the Museum Room. ‘There is no way out of Oddznbodz.’

Chapter 15 – Whirlitzer

Listen to all previous chapters at anchor.fm/chimerabook1


Coming soon to Red’s Kingdom: Chapter 16 – Return To The Plummet Pit