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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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Thursday, 21 May 2015

Sorry? You Say Stan Lee Created The Phrase "Nuff Said"?

Well, I beg to differ and present to you covers from a 1950s UK glamour and humour mag.....


Silicon Heart 71% Funded!

 Great news for Kat and Sam.

Welcome to the Silicon Heart Kickstarter!

January is a bullied teenager who finds solace in the embrace of synthetic-being Rho. Her friends and family are unready to accept this, but when January takes a stand against the prejudice of the law, no-one is prepared for what happens next...

Silicon Heart is a 120 page graphic novel, made up of four 30 page issues, written by Sam Roads and illustrated by Kat Nicholson.

Having won a prestigious Literature Wales grant in 2014 to help complete issue 1 of Silicon Heart ('A Better Tomorrow'), we launched it in April at the Egbaston Comic Festival, to excellent reviews. (See below)

Our aim with this Kickstarter project is to raise additional funds towards the completion and quarterly publication of the remaining three parts of Silicon Heart.
  • Part 1: A Better Tomorrow - COMPLETED
  • Part 2: Tin Soldiers - Summer 2015
  • Part 3: Cycles - Autumn 2015
  • Part 4: Sympathy - Winter 2015
If we are able to exceed our target, we hope to set a stretch goal which will see Silicon Heart published as a complete graphic novel!



This might have been out of place

This might have been out of place in the last post so....

Pete, Chris and Steve: I really, really do not care. If you think Blogger and Google+ are faking stats complain.  My blog stats are not "phenomenally high" -I'm guessing you just have not been looking at other blogs.  Sigh. Go back to your own blogs which were last up-dated 6, 5 and 1 year ago. Honestly.

Warum ist es, fair, ehrlich und wahrhaftig und behandlung von menschen mit respekt bekommt man nichts als eimer scheiße?

When I Were A Lad We Had Us Our Imaginations, Books and Comics T'match


 Embedded image permalink

I think that something I wrote was miss-read.

I have always, since the 1970s and always will, promote and support independent comic creators, film and authors.  I simply do not have enough time to read a prose book but, Jeremy, if a prose book is sent to me along with PR, etc., I will mention it -fantasy, Science fiction, horror, books that encourage kids and others to learn to draw or get into crafting/modelling.

In past posts I have mentioned prose books so you must have missed those posts.  Also, books can only be mentioned if they arrive through my letter box because, again, I do not have the time to trawl the internet going "Ooh! I'll mention that one!"

 Now you may ask what those images are doing at the top of this page?  Well, as a youngster (yes, I was a youngster once) I used to love the odd, quirky books with Mrs Pepperpot who seemed to shrink at the most awkward moments or Professor Branestawm with his Heath Robinson designed contraptions (and, no, big fan of Harry Hill but that BBC adaption with him as Branestawm -AWFUL) -made young minds think and if you had imaginations they encouraged that.

I was a bit down on Grandpa In My Pocket as a publication.  However, I think I had my "comic hat" on. In fact, I think that with the free toys -as seen on the cover above- it is a good successor to Pepperpot and Branestawm.  In fact, "Grandpa" gets up to a lot of things we used to imagine as kids.


We need more to encourage creativity in kids -whether building little table top villages out of cardboard boxes or...well, take a look at The Childrens Own Wonder Book above.  It is from the mid-1950s and, amongst the illustrated stories by Enid Blyton, Eric Joysmith et al there are things like "Bird Migration" and "Talking Of Butterflies" but, most important, things could make with their own hands such as:

Simple Puppets
Bamboo Pipes
Party Games
How To Make A Model Glider
How To Make A Model Racing Car  and
Pencil and Paper Games

Seriously, it's what we used to do. I made my Plastacine figures -characters from comics of course, and when my gran offered me the tall, cardboard box that the new Hoover came in it became the Baxter Building: windows cut into it, 'floors' and so on.

 Every-so-often you might get card cut out figures or small scenes -a 'mountain' with a climber and so on.

Now parents spend £10 or more on a plastic 3 3/4" action figure of Iron Man or some other character. I understand these are more permanent in young hands but the enjoyment in making and playing with your own is something you never forget -and it's a skill.

Kids need to be encouraged to read from an early age -it's just a pity there are no comics covering pre-school to 11 years of age apart from The Dandy which does NOT cover what kids really like.  For three days in a row I have seen nursery and pre-school kids wearing Spider-Man, Batman and other super hero clothes.  One little lad with his father scootered past me today singing "Batman, Batman, Batman" and last week, same situation, he was singing Spider-Man repeatedly.

My Great Nephews are 3 and 4 years of age and are super hero mad  (Yes, I really do fear for my comic collection when they get older!) as are a great many others.  Where are the comics covering that genre for pre-school to 11 years?

Some publisher is losing out on money here!

If you don't try you never know and, sadly, magazine publishers simply do not seem to be interested these days!

When I grew up, of course, I still loved the odd and weird in books and John Creasy and his Dr Palfrey ("Sap" =Stanilaus Alexander Palfrey) of Z5, an intelligence department that, in the 1950s-1980s became a world intelligence organisation.  The Drought, The Plague Of Silence, The Flood, The Unbegotten -I could go on...why did I never just write prose?

But that's another post!

The Secret (Actually Forgotten) Origins Of The Special Globe Guard

Published by Martin Kelter Verlag, based in Duneburg, Germany (surprise!) the Checkpart series was a sub-series of futuristic thrillers. The subtitle was: World Super Crime 2000 or Checkpart Mit Dem Special Globe Guard Team.  The series itself was conceived by Kurt Brand. Published between 1970 and 1972  there were 54 of these 66 paged (double columned) prose stories.  

The series consisted of 54 booklets with the cover price of  90 Pfg, but at  issue 44 it rose 10 pfg to 1.00 DM. 

So, you might ask:"How do you have issues 151 and 153 then?"  Good question163 stories in the series -the ones I have are right toward the end of the run. A trifle brusque, but good question. You see, there were 54 issues featuring the SGG but as I mentioned, they were a sub-series that started in Kelter Krimi Nr. 57 with "Top Und Das Killer-Girl"  ("Top And The Killer Girl") by Torsten Reschke.

Got it? Good.

At the top of the posting you'll see the original title banner with World Super Crime 2000 and, below, the later banner with Mit Dem Special Globe Guard Team.


Nr. 153 "Ein Fuchs wie Aso Tokyo" ("A Fox Like Aso Tokyo")  by Konrad Schaef-another British actor but I cannot remember his name. Neither of the films these stills are taken from  have been on TV for a long time. 

I love the stills from movies used to sell the books -no doubt to attract the eye from all the other publishers' titles that used to fill news vendors shelves.  There was Richard Widmark, Adam West, Kirk Douglas, Lee Marvin, Jeff Bridges, David McCallum -you can list the movies the stills were taken from all day!

And, out of pure boredom I thought I'd check the interwebby-thing and see what I could find. Nothing. But then I thought why not use an old German publisher guide. Just a brief mention and then -SF Hefte Deutschland: BINGO!

Covers and numbers of all the books. And now you, too, can check out the covers (I know I'm going to):

Now, I can see you sat there and thinking "What has THIS got to do with the post title??"

Okay, a trifle brusque -again- and wanting things explained too quickly but, probably, a legitimate question (I need to change these tablets I'm taking).

Well, in the mid-1980s I thought that I needed a central body that a rotating team of characters could feature in. I had smaller groups of heroes -The Crime Club, Anti-Crime Squad, Crime Busters UK (a team that very nearly made it into a Fleetway comic!) and so on.  Global Guardians had featured elsewhere and I almost plumped for my old 1970s Legion of Law Enforcers -which kinda still gets used- but then I thought "Special Globe Guard" -excellent! 

As I had bought and read those two Kelter Krimis more than a decade before I had forgotten them. In fact, I have no memory of whether I thought "That's a good name I can use" or thought it was my original idea. Look, I am very, very old. But it stuck.

So when in (I think) 1987 I wrote and pencilled "Earth Scream" I used the SGG -an excellent UK artist, John P. Britton inked over my pencils (that makes him a saint!) and Ben Dilworth lettered.  It looks pretty rough now but I still love the team and story (parts 2-4 are lost thanks to a Fleetway editor).

The SGG were, of course, the vanguard in defence of Earth in Return Of The Gods: Twilight Of The Super Heroes -some giving their lives.

But this ramble would not be complete (unless I forget) withought a few of those original 1980s pages -IF blogger allows them to be shown.


ALL artwork/characters (c)2014 Terry Hooper-Scharf & Black Tower Comics & Books


Patriot Games...sort of.

They Have Come To Save The Earth....I Have No Idea Who They Are Though!

Well, yes, I do know some of them but I just lost that emotional attachment to the characters/Avengers.

I used to be able to name EVERY Avengers member or member of the Justice League of America (can't remember peoples names, though!) now I just look and sigh.  Change -okay to develop a series but change to simply try and make bigger and bigger profits?

Oddly, four movie bloggers tell me they hear strong rumours of (wait for it) a Star Wars-Marvel Universe cross-over.

Ahhh. Rumours, hey?

Captain America Civil War

These stills are all over the place but I thought they make nice comic-movie eye candy!

Above: "In to the Blue!"  (get that super hero movie reference?)
 Ms Olsen looks confused!  Ms Johanssen looks.....well....

 Wait -WHAT??? Captain America joking with Cross-Bones??? Am I imagining things????
Looks like it could be interesting.

Things HAVE Changed

I said changes were coming repeatedly on CBO and they have.  All those "regulars" visiting CBO, however, appear to have suffered from word blindness.

Firstly, I said that, unlike the old WordPress CBO where it got out of hand regarding blog links -so many blogs just closed or had no up-dates in a year or so- I said about four times that if blogs on the current list had not been up-dated in the past 4-6 months links would be deleted.  Well, blogs were on the list that had not been up-dated for 6-9 months and one even a year.


To then furiously email me asking -demanding- to know WHY....well, you got your replies. Your blogs still not up-dated and even if they were they ain't going on MY blog list again.

Only blogs I regularly check and like go on the CBO blog roll which is, after all, my blog list.

Now, we come to another matter.  The snide comments from people in the UK 'comic community'.  These people NEVER comment on the positive posts.  I checked back to their first postings. I think there is a certain amount of jealousy going on which is childish and ridiculous -constant remarks about the accuracy of my blog stats (from two different stat sources, questioning whether publishers have had increased sales or responses after posts -which they tell me about- and even "just because that many check your blog doesn't mean they read a post -I don't"....Whaat?!!

I would say "take care of your own blogs  (one not up-dated in 9 months) and keep your nose out of mine" and I mean that.  I've checked all the comments and nothing ever positive and I'm not here to massage your bruised ego or jealousy.

And regarding the over-pricing of tables at comic events I have already dealt with this in detail so I'm guessing another bout of word blindness or simply guilty conscience or being put up to making a snide comment.  Put your case politely not "oh yeah?!"


When I review or promote someone and their book or company I don't expect much -just a "thanks" is enough.  But review after review and posting and nothing -not even a link on their own site to say "our book has been reviewed on CBO"- well, more fool me.

This is my blog and I post my views and what I want.  You want to try stirring things up then do it on your own blog because I've had it with flamers and trolling half-wits.  I've obviously been too polite in the past and let me tell those I'm aiming this at: you are bloody lucky I did not write what I had planned.

CBO may criticise but based on facts.  Overall, it tries to give a positive view of comics -independent and with my own perspective.  I want people interested in comics to come hear, read and maybe enjoy and come back again.  NOT see negativity from the claimed 'comic community'.

I can guarantee a couple of blogs are about to explode.  Who cares.

Back to real fun comics now.