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


Chimera Book 1 / Chapter 14 – The Souvenir Society


It’s time to keep your next appointment with the weird and wonderful world of Chimera, the realm of lost things…


Last time in Chimera Book 1:

To the two boys, the carousel stallion said, ‘You’re not welcome here. Go, and do so quickly.’

‘Go where exactly?’ asked Jamie.

‘I don’t care.  Just leave before you’re seen.’     

‘Too late,’ said Kyp.

The cave was filled with movement.  Hat stands that moved like stick-insects dropped down from above to investigate the two boys with inquisitive prods. A grubby armchair-ape shuffled forwards to sniff them.  A plump, pink soffalo with tiny pointed feet blinked at them from beneath tassel-like eyelashes.  Knitted glove squids shimmied above their heads, propelling their colourful bodies through the air in fits and starts.  Comb centipedes scuttled between their feet.  

Kyp looked down to see a small knitted clown holding his hand. 

‘Give it to me!’ the clown implored, tugging Kyp’s fingers. ‘Just a little piece, that’s all.  The Picaroon Widows will do the rest.’

A yellow glove squid grabbed Kyp’s other hand, its short stubby tentacles enveloping his fingers.

‘Don’t be selfish,’ it squealed. ‘Give it to me! Give it to me!’ 

‘I asked first!’ snarled the clown. ‘It’s mine.  Mine!

The carousel stallion reared up on his hind legs, scattering the crush of creatures to the edge of the cave.  

‘Silence!  You have forgotten yourselves!’

‘Then tell them to leave,’ demanded the clown.  ‘Their presence here mocks the Jetsamelite Decree!’

 The crowd jeered in agreement and Kyp began to fear the metamorphs would attack.  

Suddenly, the whole cavern shook.  The ceiling slumped. Squirts of smelly water gouted from the walls.

‘Heap-quake!’ cried the metamorphs.

‘The shovelisks have returned to the Plummet Pit,’ said the carousel stallion. ‘To the safety of Flotsam Potshole.  Quickly!

Chapter 14 – The Souvenir Society

Listen to all previous chapters at anchor.fm/chimerabook1


Keep your eyes peeled for the next instalment, Chapter 15 – Whirlitzer – coming soon to Red’s Kingdom!


Phil Cooper / Painting Chimera #9

Phil CooperThe Shovelisk, 40cm x 40cm, acrylic on paper

“A new noise assailed their ears, the piercing wail of sirens. The chamber lit up with an array of revolving lights, as out of the tunnels appeared dinosaur-like creatures with yellow skin, and massive jaws supported on long necks. Their eyes were as large and bright as headlamps and instead of legs, they propelled themselves forwards on one black rubbery foot. The yellow monsters began to scale the rubbish heap, taking great scoops of debris into their mouths. The heap quaked violently.”

Chimera Book 1 / Chapter 13 – The Plummet Pit


“I moved to Berlin a couple of years ago and one of the things Berlin is very good for is second-hand bookshops. My favourite one is just up the road from where we live and one of my recent purchases is a book about the British artist Graham Sutherland. During the second world war Sutherland was an official war artist and some of the images he made from this period were included in the book. They really chimed with ideas that were springing to mind whilst I re-read Chapter 13 of Chimera last week; dark pits and claustrophobic tunnels, grinding machinery throwing up sparks, and a glowing, molten-hot colour palette. Kyp finds himself in a nightmarish place in this chapter, it seems to be a case of ‘out of the frying pan into the fire’!”

Phil Cooper, December, 2020


Phil Cooper’s The Shovelisk painting on his art table in his Berlin studio, December 2020