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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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Friday, 31 October 2014

I'm Gonna Be Rich! Honest....

Got an email this morning that means Black Tower Comics & Books WILL have the money to continue!  Seriously!!   Don't believe me? Okay, here it is -weep suckers!

Dear Friend,
 
I am Prince Fayad Bolkiah, the eldest son of Prince Jefri
 Bolkiah, former Finance Minister of Brunei , the tiny
 oil-rich sultanate on the Gulf Island . I will save your
 time by not amplifying my extended royal family history, as
 you may know from the international media; the Sultan had
 accused my father of financial mismanagement and
 impropriety. This was as a result of the Asian financial
 crisis that made my father's company Amedeo Development
 Company and government owned Brunei Investment Company to be
 declared bankrupt during his tenure in office. Visit
 webpage. 

 In addition, before my incarceration, I went ahead to
 dispatch some cash under special arrangement into the
 custody of different private security and Trustee Companies
 for safe keeping abroad. The money was splited and kept in
 the following countries in different proportions in UK,
 Canada and the balance in United States of America .
  
 Hence I seek your good assistance to invest these funds into
 profitable investment in your country to facilitate future
 survival for my family abroad. Please I count on your
 absolute confidentiality, transparency and trust, while
 looking forward to your prompt reply towards a swift
 conclusion of this transaction.
  
 Regards,
 Prince Fayad Bolkiah
 
 
Bwahahahaha -I'm gonna be rich!!!! 

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Ahmindagoreth -A Work In Progress

It was a sunny, cloudless day in Magpie Wood. Suzy and Bobby were walking through the fallen leaves whilst glancing occasionally at the variegated canopy that Autumn assumed.

Suzy had just put a Smartie in her mouth and looked up.  A big black spot the size of a bumble bee began appearing before them. "Look, Bobby!" cried Suzy.

Bit-by-bit the black spot grew until it filled the woodland path.  Then there came a colour.  Then another. The siblings looked on in wonderment at what became of this oddity.

"Golly. What on earth can it be, Bobby?" asked Suzy.

"I am the cold blackness come to wrap you in my arms" replied Ahmindagoreth.

Below: Ahmindagoreth a work in progress. Stage 1 and a variant but much, much more work to do!


Ahmindagoreth, Suzy and Bobby (whoever they are) (c) Terry Hooper-Scharf

Blogger -Google+

Interesting and proving something happened to Blogger. Yesterday 1377 views yet Google+ rose to 859, 339 -some 4,000 views. These Google+ views are not shown on blogger stats.

 Maybe everything ought to shift over to Google+ then?

Where are all the British superheroes? Here Is My Angry, Naked (its a theme -roll with it) Response


Above: Me "back in the day"  as The Red Dragon.  Honest.


I mentioned in yesterdays Where are all the British superheroes? asked The Journalist. "They All Live Here With Me" Was My Reply! that journalists who write these items have absolutely no idea what they are talking about.  Well, I hinted at that.  No so much a hint as a bottle of tabasco sauce in the eye -which the postman assures me: "Hurts mightily!" And I responded: "Well, Crispian, do not sneak up behind me and prod me when I am nude gardening then!" No come-back to that.

Uh. Wait a minute....sorry. Nude typing.

Anyway, the journalist responsible did what any journalist would do.  Research the subject for a few hours and turn in a worthy piece of light reading?  No -turn to Wikipedia.  Even admits it. sigh.

You know, he could have found my post on the subject just by googling for a while (it took me five minutes to find).  You do remember my "At Long Last! The Return Of The Improbability Of The British Super Hero" -last updated in August?  Sigh. Here:

http://hoopercomicart.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/at-long-last-return-of-improbability-of.html

Anyway, the article writer referred to Zenith -it's more-or-less obligatory to despite what Grant Morrison might demand.  So fair enough even though it is obvious the journalist hasn't read any of the series.

But then, to smear a little garlic paste into the tabasco stained eye -I really am sorry, Crispian. Just let it go- he comes up with this and all typos are his:

"Knight
Britain’s first superpowered blueblood. Created in the Fifties with his sidekick Squire as a homegrown competitor to Batman, Knight was initially the alter ego of Percy Sheldrake, Earl of 'Wordenshire', and could be summoned by ringing the bell of his local church. By the time Grant Morrison briefly revived the character at the end of the Nineties, the new Knight was seen to have piddled away his inheritance and acquired a drug habit, and had to be rescued from the gutter to restart his crimefighting career from someone’s garage. Now there’s Broken Britain for you."

Right.  Percival Sheldrake debuted as the Knight in Batman #62 (December 1950), and was created by Bill Finger and Dick Sprang. We are talking about a period when a lot of Americans, particularly kids, thought England still had knights in armour.  Yes, "armour" and not "armor".  Now, Cyril Sheldrake debuted as the Knight in JLA #26 (February 1999), and was created by Grant Morrison and Howard Porter. Or "rebooted" is probably the better term -change a first name blah blah blah.

Oh, he'd lost all his money and had a drug habit and had to be kicked out of it? Well, Morrison really is turning into Moore's rival for lack of originality.  In Zenith the Red Dragon character had to be dragged out of his alcohol addiction.  And....sigh.  I bet it really hurt Morrison not to be able to use the "C" word in JLA. Get feckin real.  I've met "landed gentry" whose families lost money and were working as aircraft and even rail engineers and even dirtier jobs.  One even threatened to kill me but, to be fair, I was skipping through his rose garden naked.

Have you noticed how I keep slipping into constructing sentences like a German?  Over 50 years ago I went to that school and it's still in my brain. As my mother once said while choking me: "You are ours, bitch!"  Funny woman.



Then we have...this:

"Captain Britain
Another super-aristo who failed to move with the times. Raised in a posh family fallen on hard times — Wikipedia amusingly describes him as “too proud to fraternise with lower classes” — Brian Braddock has the good fortune to be around when Merlin turns up brandishing a superpowered Amulet of Right. Subsequent exploits made for a wearisome parade of victories over Arthurian villains, Nazis and other gestures towards Britain’s storied past, while successive attempts to rename him as ‘Excalibur’ and ‘Brittanic’ took the franchise even farther towards swivel-eye territory."

Yes, some ass on Wikipedia did write that.  Braddock went to university and had friends and worked with colleagues who were not "landed gentry" and in the Jasper World saga CB even pops into a "commoners" house for a cup of tea and a chat.  Maybe I missed all the snobbery...or maybe it was not there?

Captain Britain, as you all ought to know by now, was created by Chris ("Primadonna") Claremont and the wondrous Herb Trimpe and first appeared in Captain Britain Weekly, #1 (October 13, 1976). The character has been used in stories -some quite bad ones- by various creative teams over the years and I last read 'his' adventures in Captain Britain And MI13.  Now, despite what they tell you, MI 13 is only a fictional version in this series.  In fact, as I know, there really WAS an MI 13(Eastern Europe) "folded into" Military Intelligence.

 INEVERSAWTHEUFOINEVERSAWTHEUFOINEVERSAWTHEUFOINEVERSAWTHEUFO

The "silly flag-wearing" well, let Alan Davis describe how he came up with the design:

"I decided to base his costume on military uniforms. If you've ever seen the mounted guards outside Buckingham Place, you'll recognize the components. The white leggings and the tall boots with the flaps over the knees were easy. The headgear took a bit more time because I wanted it to look like a helmet rather than a mask. The stripes across his chest started as two crossed sashes and underwent numerous changes."

As for taking the character into more "swivel-eye territory"...what is the ass writing about?  Super heroes fighting aliens, other dimensional beings, monsters, vampires...that's "regular"...but that is also what Captain Britain does..more swivel eyed journalism.




"Miracleman
The best homegrown superhero writing draws more on British satirical tradition than it does on Blitz-spirit cliché and poshos with funny names. Years before Watchmen and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the Northampton magus Alan Moore began sniping at superhero tropes with Miracleman, imagining a knackered freelance journalist able to swap bodies with a glittering blond super-being at the whisper of a magic word. Under Neil Gaiman’s subsequent stewardship, the series became a queasy meditation on the moral demands of supreme power in a super-utopia. Last year’s resolution of a long-running rights dispute holds out hope for a reprint, too."




  Now that is really showing total ignorance of the character that was created when Fawcett/National stopped the Captain Marvel reprints and so Mick Anglo created Marvel Man -over a decade before Timely changed its name to "Marvel".  A character to star in a childrens weekly comic. "Blitz-spirit cliché and poshos with funny names" -what an utter feckin arse -an arse that probably never grew up at a time of no internet, nothing but three TV channels, rationing (that didn't stop totally until 1959 on most things) and when kids had to entertain themselves -usually in parks or on bomb sites!

The more I think about it the more I really hate journalists who write this crap.

Anyway, Di$ney own the character now so he's dead as far as being British goes.

 

"Union Jack
Originally Lord Falsworth, military man and scourge of His Majesty’s enemies during the Second World War. Loses his legs in combat with the evil Baron Blood, so his son takes up the mantle, subsequently becoming one of the very few gay superheroes. He bites the dust in turn, however, and it falls to a working-class Mancunian to take up the cudgels in Jack’s most recent incarnation. It’s an interesting trajectory for a British character, if you overlook the temporary possession by Sir Lancelot’s ghost, but perhaps of more use as a sociological document than a Hollywood adaptation."

I really do think that there are a great many uneducated morons out there.  Some go to college to just booze, get addle-brained and study journalism.  Study "journalism"???

nakedintherosesnakedintherosesnakedintheroses.....

Erm.  Firstly, if you are going to have a secret identity of any kind then you need a good secure base that people cannot just walk in and out of. Secondly, you need cash.  Thirdly, you need to be able to have the time to dash off and do your work.  Fourthly, you need to have friends in high places who will help you cover up any potential scandal or rumours.  Police Commissioners, Home Secretary, owners of newspapers -all well off and many landed gentry or lords "back in the day".  "What we do is of no concern to the great unwashed"

I quote the great Lady Bracknell from a book entitled The Importance Of Being Earnest, by some newbie called Oscar Wilde:

Lady Bracknell:     “I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance. Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone. The whole theory of modern education is radically unsound. Fortunately in England, at any rate, education produces no effect whatsoever. If it did, it would prove a serious danger to the upper classes, and probably lead to acts of violence in Grosvenor Square.”

Why was it theorised that Jack the Ripper and Spring-heeled Jack (not to mention various others) were aristocrats?  For reasons 1-4, above, and the attitude as voiced by Lady Bracknell.  Only the rich can afford the time and money and exert the influence to go about this business.  Anyone recall some bloke who was named "The Scarlet Pimpernel"?  You don't know your social history or literature then do not write short sentenced crap.

nakedintherosesnakedintherosesnakedintheroseswithcrispiannakedintheroses....

 

The Boys.  Read it. Left me completely cold. Hate it.

Now, in 2013, a journalist cannot rummage through his sources (Wikipedia and the internet in the main) and come up with Captain Hornet, The Leopard From Lime Street, Billy and Katy the Cat, Danger Man, Thunderbolt Jaxon, Black Archer, Captain Miracle, The Cat Girl, Garth, Iron Master, Johnny Future, Tim (Kelly's Eye) Kelly, Leaping Phantom, Spring Heeled Jack (various), Fishboy, The Phantom Viking, Purple Hood, The Spider, Q Bikes, Smoke Man, Robot Archie, Naked In The Roses, The Steel Claw, Tri-Man, Thunderbolt the Avenger, The Avenger (from The Eagle)....I could go on for ages here but you are getting my point?

"Comics =movies" seems to be the writers main reference.  None of the above British characters have been in Hollywood movies therefore do not exist.  "What I found on Wikipedia and chopped up into a mess for a space filler =my facts" appears to be the case here.


Where is the mention of British creator Paul Grists marvellous Jack Staff?  Published by Grists own Dancing Elephant Press until Image grabbed it -but British created, written, drawn and BASED super hero. Then we have Grists other similar UK based character Mud Man -again published by Image but far more British in pedigree than some our journalistic friend cites as "British super heroes"!

Please do not get me wrong -I am not trying to write that the Telegraph item was a bunch of space filling, ill researched arse water. I am writing that.

How to annoy me in a short internet item.

Now, sun is out and it's a bit nippy so I'm off for some naked gardening (google it).




















































































































































































Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Where are all the British superheroes? asked The Journalist. "They All Live Here With Me" Was My Reply!

The following article is from The Telegraph -the online version of a UK national newspaper- in 2013 got a response from me.  I pointed out that counting US created 'British' heroes was not "home grown".  I cited a long list but also pointed out that Black Tower had been publishing home grown, British created, super heroes since 1984.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/10201861/Where-are-all-the-British-superheroes.html

How did the Telegraph respond -remember I was very polite and not "Angry of Bristol!"- to this?

"Sorry but your comment is not suitable"

*****!!!

So here is that article by Tim Martin -you lot out there fill in all the gaps -this is DIY know your British super heroes test no. 1!

Where are all the British superheroes?

As Wolverine opens in cinemas, Tim Martin looks at the best - and worst - of our homegrown superheroes.

Absurdly good: Zenith is a popster turned superhero
Absurdly good: Zenith is a popster turned superhero Photo: (Rebellion A/S)
Had you forgotten that the superhero Wolverine is a Canadian? I had, I confess. Not just because the grumpy old man of the X-Men exists at such distance from maple-leaf stereotype — although he does, being much more likely to blow cigar smoke in your eye or skewer you with adamantine claws than apologise or take you to a hockey game — but because one tends to assume that most superheroes are American by default. US culture has proved fertile ground for such myths since Superman’s creation in 1938, but attempts to funnel the spirit of other countries into skintight costumes and capes have been less successful. One can’t imagine the French or the Italians getting particularly exercised about the failure, but the Brits are a different matter.

No one needs reminding that the caped crusaders on today’s cinema screens owe much to British talent. Batman is played by a Welshman, Superman by a Jerseyman, and directors like Christopher Nolan and Ken Branagh lurk behind the cameras. Further back in the 1980s, it was the influx of writers such as Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Mike Carey and Grant Morrison that helped to drag American comics from the creative slough of identikit theatrics and point them towards a future of adult plotlines, snappy dialogue and ironical introspection. So where, then, are all the British superheroes?

Standard procedure here would be to mention Doctor Who, Sherlock Holmes, James Bond and other (non-super) heroes as refracted homegrown equivalents to Marvel and DC’s men in tights. But that’s just special pleading. A riffle through the archives does indeed reveal several British supes who deserve a share of the attention garnered by their louder, older, more famous counterparts across the Atlantic — as well as some perfect examples of why no one’s ever heard of the breed.

Zenith
The adventures of a lackadaisical British popster, son of two Baby Boomer superheroes, who is forced to abandon his assignations with willing groupies when neo-Nazis find a hibernating Übermensch, fill him with Lovecraftian horrors and sic him on London. Long out of print, Zenith is reissued by 2000AD later this year, and it’s brilliant: recognizably British in its sense of the absurd but with a fearsomely exciting high-stakes plot. If anyone ever wants to make a good UK superhero movie, there are many worse places to start.
Knight
Britain’s first superpowered blueblood. Created in the Fifties with his sidekick Squire as a homegrown competitor to Batman, Knight was initially the alter ego of Percy Sheldrake, Earl of 'Wordenshire', and could be summoned by ringing the bell of his local church. By the time Grant Morrison briefly revived the character at the end of the Nineties, the new Knight was seen to have piddled away his inheritance and acquired a drug habit, and had to be rescued from the gutter to restart his crimefighting career from someone’s garage. Now there’s Broken Britain for you.



Blueblooded crimefighter: 'Knight' with his sidekick 'Squire' (DC Entertainment)

 
Captain Britain
Another super-aristo who failed to move with the times. Raised in a posh family fallen on hard times — Wikipedia amusingly describes him as “too proud to fraternise with lower classes” — Brian Braddock has the good fortune to be around when Merlin turns up brandishing a superpowered Amulet of Right. Subsequent exploits made for a wearisome parade of victories over Arthurian villains, Nazis and other gestures towards Britain’s storied past, while successive attempts to rename him as ‘Excalibur’ and ‘Brittanic’ took the franchise even farther towards swivel-eye territory.


Miracleman
The best homegrown superhero writing draws more on British satirical tradition than it does on Blitz-spirit cliché and poshos with funny names. Years before Watchmen and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the Northampton magus Alan Moore began sniping at superhero tropes with Miracleman, imagining a knackered freelance journalist able to swap bodies with a glittering blond super-being at the whisper of a magic word. Under Neil Gaiman’s subsequent stewardship, the series became a queasy meditation on the moral demands of supreme power in a super-utopia. Last year’s resolution of a long-running rights dispute holds out hope for a reprint, too.


Union Jack
Originally Lord Falsworth, military man and scourge of His Majesty’s enemies during the Second World War. Loses his legs in combat with the evil Baron Blood, so his son takes up the mantle, subsequently becoming one of the very few gay superheroes. He bites the dust in turn, however, and it falls to a working-class Mancunian to take up the cudgels in Jack’s most recent incarnation. It’s an interesting trajectory for a British character, if you overlook the temporary possession by Sir Lancelot’s ghost, but perhaps of more use as a sociological document than a Hollywood adaptation.



Motley crew: 'The Boys' is laced with sex, swearing and gore (Spitfire Productions Ltd and Darick Robertson)

 
The Boys
A take on the superhero myth from a Northern Irish writer, garlanded with the kind of swearing, sex and gore that would make Tarantino blench. The Boys chronicles the efforts of a band of trenchcoated enforcers, led by a musclebound ex-SAS titan and a wimpy Scot called Hughie, to control with extreme prejudice the Spandex super-puppets of an American military-industrial complex. Both funnier and more offensive than Mark Millar's later Kick-Ass, this has a bilious charm all its own.
                                             +++++++++++++++++++++++++++

That's it. Now if you try to think of British super heroes and you do not come up with a single Black Tower character....you need to become a journalist!!

Oh. And suck on this from 2011...
http://downthetubes.net/?p=1597 

My Excess: Dave -A Cosmic Oddity


A4
Black & White
Paperback, 
106 Pages
Price: £12.99
The biography of Dave Gordon, often called the Uk's Manara. Detailing Dave's origins and relationships, this is an insight into one of UK comicdoms creators.

I got this book handed to me by the postman (mailman if you are American) at 1300 hrs and by 1500 hrs I had read it through.

This is David Gordon -the UKs very own Milo Manara- telling his story.  From his birth and adoption three days later through family life, school, university, work and later trying to contact his birth mother -the outcome of which is still currently open.

Dave takes us through his life and troubled relationships with himself (2014) narrating and flashback images and sequences of events.  The style he uses in this book, being honest here, I saw at a glance and thought "not sure about this".  However, I realised the clever way the art had been designed and drawn -photos, etc.- actually worked. Even the cartoony flashback-to-situation pages (see below).

What can I write about this?  Gritty -yes.  Factual and being brutally honest and to be equally honest here I do not think I'd have the guts to quite literally open up my chest and let some of these experiences out.  Being pushed away by his adopted family is bad enough but then having to go through his (adoption) father dying of cancer -bad enough.  But we then learn about the abusive relationships (physical and emotional).

There is still the matter of his birth mother and how that might end.  However, Dave is now happily in a relationship with Lesley (I've met her and she seems quite nice for a prison officer -not even a moustache!) and that gives us a sort of happy ending.  But, oh boy, what happened before.

Let me tell you something.  For years I was also an agent for comic creators.  You see good art, you know the writers or artists are reliable so, as an agent you put a spin on things to sell the work.  I've read and reviewed comics and graphic novels for publications and online now for over 30 years.  I see a couple hundred books of one sort or another a year -the crammed bookshelves and floors attest to that.

I cannot think of one book where a creator has taken us through his personal life and things have been so dark and gut-wrenching -even preparing for suicide- that I have said out loud "F***!" so many times. My sister even said "What are you swearing at?"

If this were an independent film it would be getting some award.  A publisher should be paying Gordon to allow them to publish this!  This is superbly written -and it must have taken a lot of thought to put this together without going over the top or exaggerating.  To make it a sequential story interspersed with illustrated text pieces....this is truly what Will Eisner described what graphic novels should be: telling a true and honest story that grabs the reader and pulls them in.

You people out there deciding who gets nominated for an Eagle Award should read this book.

This book should NOT be ignored. If you think "I'll buy just one Independent book...." then PLEASE make it this.

The book has surprised and shocked me - I have heard some snippets over the years but never the whole story.  In fact, you really need to read it yourself because nothing I write here can even adequately do it justice.









Hexagon Comics -It Might Be A French Company But You OUGHT To Be Paying Close Attention!





 Now for a while I've wondered what happened to Hexagon and Wanga comics.  If you are new here you may wish to check out my interview with Jean Marc Lofficer -naturally our French readers will want to!

http://hoopercomicart.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/jean-marc-lofficier-man-who-created.html

And on the bus home from shopping, delayed by roadworks I wondered again.  So, turn on my computer and there is an email from Jean Marc!!

Wow.  And has he been busy.  So rather that hack and slash his email I'll reproduce it here with some added artwork.

PLEASE check the links because there is some incredible stuff!

 Anyway, over to Jean-Marc:

Hi Terry,

I thought I would briefly update you on what;'s going on with Hexagon Comics.

I'll start by providing you with a "table of contents" here on our French Riviere Blanche site which lists & details pretty much all of what follows:


1) The "classic reprint" tpb line à l Marvel Essentials or DC Showcase continues monthly, and strongly. There are now 40+ volumes.

2) We've added licensed prose volumes, more specifically two novels (featuring the Hexagon Group -- our "aveners") and two short story collections, also available as e-books.

3) We've added a licensed RPG (separate link):


4) I'm afraid we've terminated the Wanga license (amicably) and regrouped all the STRANGERS titles under our own banner. This now includes three TPBs, STRANGERS 0 (a collection of prologue stories), STRANGERS Season 1 TPB and STRANGERS Season 2 TPB (ewhich collects all 7 single comics put out by Wanga + an 8th new story)

5) We've embarked on STRANGERS Season 3 in the form of 48-page, b&w, squarebound monthly "prestige format" books -- 7 issues have been released so far. Here is a link to a cover gall;erry of past & future issues:

6) Parallel to STRANGERS, we're also doing a line of color comics featuring "LE GARDE REPUBLICAIN" (in English: Guardian of the Republic) -- 3 issues so far + an Annual coming out for Xmas.

7)There are a few other odds & ends such as a DICK DEMON hardcover, a WWII story (Les Partisans) and the forthcoming Kabur color graphic novel (also hardcover).

8) Finally, we've begun uploading our vast catalog on comixology:

Our 2015 program is quite full already; let me know if you have any questions!

Best,

jm
We  do have two recent books in English, that can be ordered through our site, amazon etc. or in e-media on comixology:

-- STRANMGERS SEASON 1 #1 to 6
-- GUARDIAN OF THE REPUBLIC #1

I've had a quick look at the site and must admit I got very excited. I think I'm going to have to start saving those pennies now!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

You See WHY You Should Read What I Post Properly?



You see? You see?!!!

Now I'm getting hyper.  Note to self -do not get too hyper after working on comics.

WHY am I hyper?  Well, I could be dumbfounded or even sarcastic.  All the movie news I keep posting?  Everyone seemingly ignores it and months later everyone "finds out" and ki8ck up a big fuss.  Borrrr-ing!

So, someone says "go check out Bleeding Cool Comics!"  I do and see this headline:

Marvel Announces Phase Three From 2016 – Including Civil War, Avengers Infinity War Two Parter, Captain Marvel, Black Panther (Starring Chadwick Boseman), Inhumans, Doctor Strange And Thor: Ragnarok

 Right. But this is an "official" announcement whereas I was telling everyone based on solid information months ago.

Ignore me.  Go to Bleeding Cool Comics and read the item. Go on
http://www.bleedingcool.com/2014/10/28/marvel-announces-phase-three-from-2016-including-black-panther-and-thor-ragnarok/ 

BILBOLBUL A LUCCA COMICS & GAMES 2014

"Exquisite black and white work" no more!



I missed this story in April but that makes it even more interesting since last November I pointed out that the indications were that Di$ney were unhappy and wanted to make more money from reprints.

I was told that, back in April the freebie comics newsletter Comic Shop News confirmed this. The end of the Marvel Comics Essential line the phone book-sized volumes that reprinted classic Marvel comics in black and white.

These books reproduced the old series and in black and white many looked far better than when coloured. I used the phrase "exquisite black and white work" many times.

According to the CSN item:
“Marvel has confirmed the end of their Essentials program of black and white reprints of classic material.  Marvel has sold off almost all remaining inventory of older in-print volumes and will not be adding further books.  ‘This material needs to be in color,’ Marvel Senior VP of Sales David Gabriel said.  ‘So we’ll be replacing our Essentials program with more full-color Epic Collections.’”
Epic Collections are around $40 for 20 issues and an Essential volume might give you 25-30 or so issues for $20.

Pity but there you go.  "**** the fans!"