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THE UKs LARGEST INDEPENDENT COMICS PUBLISHER Between 1984-1994 I worked freelance as a writer/artist/editor/agent in comics as well as comics journalism for MU Press,Blue Comet Press,Fantagraphic Books,Eros Comics,Dorne,Fleetway,IPC and others in the United States,UK and Europe. During this period I also produced large numbers of single panel gag cartoons for agencies in Germany such as Boiselle-Lohmann and Baaske Agency –these going to magazines and publications around Europe. I also worked as a freelance editor in comics and publications ranging from wildlife,astronomy and science fiction magazines. From 1984 to present I've been self publishing comics as well as publications on a wide variety of subjects under the Black Tower banner. I have also produced packages of work for companies in India,Hong Kong and China. I have also been working as an industry advisor for smaller companies in countries such as India,Canada,Singapore,China,Europe and the US. hoopercomicsuk@yahoo.com

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Saturday, 29 August 2015

Perhaps More Later But For Now Google+

I just went on Google+ for the first time in a week.  Views stand at just under 2 million.  What surprised me was the fact that the only comic related posts on there were from....me.

Normally, the site was chocked full of comic book or comic book related movie news and I'd wade through them all. As I pointed out a week or two ago, things had gotten quiet.  But this!

People on comic forums are talking about the lack of activity, too.

Meanwhile, Star Wars and even Jurassic Park are big topics.  Interesting to see how figures go for the next super hero movie.

Friday, 28 August 2015

There I was About To Promote A Couple Artists...

Yes, I like their work and known them a few years but part way through the post I realised something. I have repeatedly, over 25-30 years, promoted and pushed their work and posted links for them.  I double-checked and, yep, every single time I asked them to just mention a book or share a link they flat-out refused.

So, and you know who you are, there will be no post, no links and no promoting your work.  Trying to get around me don't work no more.  Everybody has been getting a free ride while I pay double fare.

In the meantime I shall be organising Europe 2015 since it seems that unless you are a student or have an "in" with the people who own exhibition venues comic events are not wanted.  Someone did ask about the old Bristol Comic Expo venue at Temple Meads Train Station.  As Mike Allwood pointed out recently: they want £2,500 PER DAY.  If I had that kind of money....!

Netherlands ought to see my books first so I'll let you know when that happens.

Straight Outta Ashton Vale

Just continuing the gangsta theme.  Mind you, I am currently listening to the fantastic Christine and the Queens, from France.

I ramble in the bramble while others scramble. Kah-chaaa!

Only problem cosplaying Tarzan when you walk to the shops or sit on a bus is the willy tends to pop out a lot.

Ahhhh.  Yes, scarily, not in a great deal of pain at the moment but I'm sure that will change when I wake up properly.


ah. There we go.

So, before anyone calls the police and tells them I'm sitting naked on the roof singing let's get to the point.  Hang on.....YES!  Yes got the postman with a piece of the chimney.
above; 54mm Britain's hollow lead

Anyway, it has been pretty grim on the comics front for a while and so I've been relaxing by painting up some old toy soldiers and finding out what makes they were -I've had some of these things 40 years and last night I spent three hours trying to identify cowboys.  My old hollow lead ones are, of course, Britain's.  I also have a couple of the 1960s plastic Crescent cowboys.

below 1960s Crescent 60mm
But the biggest pain-in-the-arsch was a set of seven figures (one without a horse but I have that in a box).  I looked for every make and type of plastic cowboy from the 1950s to the 1960s made in the UK. Nothing.

There was, however, a distinctive look.  With most cowboy figures the neckerchief has the main part usually at the front or to the side (figures 4 and 6 above).  However, with the tie-knot and 'tails' at the front is a mainly European look such as from Elastolin (and, no, I do not have these!):
Europeans seem to like this more formal look -even tewart Granger, actor and man of style displayed this -here Winnetou has a chat with Old Surehand (oo-er!) Stewart Granger who has his knot and 'tails' proudly on show!

But these were not Elastolin.  Then I had this idea: "Terry, why not turn them over and look at their bases?"  and I then banged my head repeatedly on the table -that might explain why this post started the way it did.  Bugger.

So, the blue plastic cowboy (the paint hardly existent on it now) base had "W. Germany" stamped on it.  d'uh!  The others, in a cream plastic, had numbers -1, 3 and 5 (I know there are others here "somewhere"!).  And "Made in Hong Kong" which confused me.  However, with "made in W. Germany" stamped on them I had a clue -I've written books on things that started out with less!

Jean Höfler.  A German manufacturer of Burghaslach in "Middle Franconia". Renamed BIG in 1962.  1960s and it seems some production may -well, obviously!- have gone to Hong Kong though I am not sure if this was legit the figures WERE sold in Germany in the 1960s and that would not have been allowed (legally) without BIG permission.

Miniatures.de has some info on these: http://www.miniatures.de/jean-hoefler-421-cowboys.html

So, I have figures from Set 1 (below) and here is the Winnetou link because the second figure (blue) in row two was rumoured to be based on Granger -it's stated that a lot of figures seem based on stills from Western movies so......?

And set 2 -brother Mike did a nice paint job on my version of the first figure in row one  -with checked shirt (cowboy not Mike).
You want to grovel to me then send me Höfler  (one US site writes it "Hoeffler") figures!  I also have a few other figures including knights that seem to be Höfler.

But you sit there asking what this has to do with comics?

Well, in the photo I uploaded to Army Men Home Page, I have my (re-issued) Timpo Cowboys on a shelf next to my Charbens 60mm "Ancient Romans" and next to those are 1990s 50mm astronauts and behind them is the Deluxe Edition of Winnetou starring Pierre Brice and Stewart Granger and that was sent to me by German blogging supremo Subzero!

You see? Synchronicity, man.  Synchronicity (and I don't mean that 1980s album by The Police).

Off for a coffee....then finish off the zombies...toy zombies obviously.


Yes, I AM Terry Hooper and I Live In Ashton Vale -Gangsta's Paradise!

"What are you going to do now?" asked the postman.

I turned to him and gave a creepy smile and said:

"As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
I take a look at my life and realize there's nothin' left
'Cause I've been blasting and laughing so long,
That even my mama thinks that my mind is gone
But I ain't never crossed a man that didn't deserve it
Me be treated like a punk you know that's unheard of
You better watch how you're talking and where you're walking
Or you and your homies might be lined in chalk
I really hate to trip but I gotta loc
As they croak, I see myself in the pistol smoke, fool
I'm the kinda G the little homies wanna be like
On my knees in the night saying prayers in the streetlight"

He backed up. "Yes, but are you going to get a pen to sign for the package cus mine's broken!"

Thursday, 27 August 2015

It Was A Historic Day For Comic Fans

Monday, 1st November, 2010.  That was the date of the first ever posting on the Blogger CBO after I decided that the constant problems with WordPress might eventually see the site vanish -with no back-up or posts archive.

What was that first post?  A posting about the up-dated edition of Reverend Merriwether -God's Demon-Thumper, which had first been published in 2009.

The site got a few postings so I had back-up and when the WordPress CBO was snatched from me (long story) this became the permanent home that over 2 million views proves people have grown to know and love!

As I've posted before, when this became CBOs permanent home there had only been 80+ views but that climbed up, up and away.

So THANK YOU for dropping by and even though 99.99% of you are unknown to me -I love you all (except the "usual suspects")!

Toshiro Mifune to get a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Whoa.  This one took me by surprise. 

Toshiro Mifune as Yojimbo
Actor Toshirō Mifune (1920-1997) will be honoured with a star bearing his name on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The star will be added by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce in 2016, together with new stars in the motion picture category for Quentin Tarantino, Michael Keaton, Steve Carell, Bradley Cooper, Ashley Judd and Kurt Russell.

A veteran of sixteen films directed by Akira Kurosawa as well as many other Japanese and international classics, Mifune is probably the best known Japanese actor of all time and should therefore need no introductions on this website. http://akirakurosawa.info/2015/06/25/toshiro-mifune-to-a-get-star-on-hollywood-walk-of-fame/

The Hollywood Walk of Fame celebrates achievements in entertainment and despite its location is not only for film stars and directors. For instance, next year will also see names like LL Cool J, Cyndi Lauper, Shirley Caesar, Joseph B. “Joe” Smith, Itzhak Perlman, Adam Levine, and Bruno Mars added in the music category.

While Akira Kurosawa has not yet received his Hollywood star, Japanese actor Sessue Hayakawa (1886-1973) and the fictional monster Godzilla have previously been honoured.

I Am NOT Retired. Please Read Posts Properly

Now I have to explain what I have written in posts!

just explained to a publisher that I am STILL reviewing books after the query "You aren't running CBO any more?" and a comment about my retiring.  I JOKED that it looked like my retirement had come early.  I NEVER wrote that I was now officially retired and not reviewing or doing anything comic-wise.


But then I hear from two people who ask whether I am going to some convention in Bournemouth this weekend.  First I've heard of it.  These people are on -let's now write WERE- on my Face Book friends lists so surely they saw my posts?  No, because they are only interested in their own or my page when it suits them.  THIS is what I mean by non-existing community.

At the moment I am just throwing my hands in the air.  I give up.  The UK is no place for any REAL comickers.

Comics.de: EIN SOMMER AM SEE – Von Nostalgie keine Spur


Dass die Jugend eine unbeschwerte Angelegenheit sei, ein Lebensabschnitt voller Freiheit, die so später niemals wiederkehren werde, ist natürlich eine blanke Lüge, vom vermeintlich unabhängigen Leben der Erwachsenen gar nicht erst zu reden. Schlechte Coming-of-Age-Erzählungen inszenieren Jugend als melancholischen Abschied: Etwas Gutes geht vorbei, und was sich stattdessen am Horizont auftut, ist zwar ungewiss, aber deswegen nicht weniger aufregend.

Die u.a. mit dem Ignatz- und Eisner-Award, dem Printz Honor und dem Caldecott Honor für besondere Bilderbuchkunst ausgezeichnete Graphic Novel „Ein Sommer am See“ der kanadischen Cousinen Mariko und Jillian Tamaki hebt sich von solchen Mythen ab. Denn der titelgebende (und, so steht zu vermuten, letzte) Sommer am See entlässt seine beiden Hauptfiguren, die Freundinnen Rose und Windy vor allen Dingen ratlos. Alljährlich sehen sich die zwei beim Familienurlaub am Avago Beach. Aber zu den einst sorglosen Spielen am Strand treten nun neue Komponenten: Rose himmelt insgeheim den jugendlichen Drugstore-Verkäufer des kleinen Nests an, und die eineinhalb Jahre jüngere Windy spricht womöglich etwas zu oft über ihre wachsenden Brüste. Weder erwachsen noch kindlich üben sie sich in Initiationsritualen, wie sie diese neue Parallelwelt zu verlangen scheint: Man trainiert die diffuse Furcht in den eigenen vier Ferienhauswänden beim Schauen von Splatterklassikern wie „Texas Chainsaw Massacre“ oder „Freitag der 13.“ und versucht sie draußen in der Begegnung mit Gleichaltrigen durch leidlich ausgestellte Coolness zu überspielen.

Mehr auf Comics.de: http://www.comic.de/2015/08/ein-sommer-am-see/

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Status Update....wow. that sounds REALLY important, doesn't it?

Right, I can now be officially listed as unemployed.

No work has been coming in for four months and as I cannot get (buy) a table at Small Press or Comic events (been turned down again) in the UK to sell my books and earn a living I needed to update my status.

I announced this on Face Book yesterday and here today.  Yeah, 40 years of promoting the comics industry and Small Press in the UK you might think there might be appreciation but no.  I'm too old to be seen at events apparently because "old guys" don't do comics.

My retirement seems to have gotten here early.  At times I wish I HAD moved to the US or Europe where comics and creators are appreciated.

I'd like to 'thank' all the people in comics who I helped without asking for anything over the last three decades for their diligent ignoring of my asking if they could pass the word around that I was open to work offers.

I said I'd be honest with everyone and though I hear, after yesterday's FB announcement, certain people are literally wetting themselves with joy, it's fact.

Black Tower Books online store is still there but I'm not depending on that to earn a living.  Looks like I'll get to read more books and study.


The Flash Casts Newcomer as Heroine Speedster Jesse Quick

According to TVLine http://tvline.com/2015/08/25/the-flash-violent-beane-season-2-cast-jesse-quick/

The Flash is adding a little girl power to its expanding company of Speedsters.

Newcomer Violett Beane has been tapped to join Season 2 as DC Comics accelerator Jesse Quick, TVLine has learned exclusively.

Beane’s Jesse — who will appear in multiple episodes of the CW smash — is characterized as a brilliant but quirky college student who gets caught up in the battle between The Flash and Season 2 Big Bad (the not-yet-cast) Zoom.

DC Wiki, meanwhile, describes Jesse Quick as “the alter-ego of Jesse Chambers, a heroine with super-speed powers. Chambers is the daughter of Golden Age heroes Johnny Quick and Liberty Belle; she would later go on to adopt her mother’s name. Her speed powers are accessed by speaking a special formula, although she also has her mother’s abilities.”

Beane recently finished shooting a role opposite Michael Ian Black in the indie comedy Slash.
The Flash returns Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 8/7c on The CW.
Hmm. I wonder WHICH costume she'll wear?   Will she "pull a Supergirl" by not revealing so much leg to keep things family friendly?