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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, 27 November 2014

The Collected Merriwether: God's Demon-Thumper!

Merriwether: Gods Demon Thumper

Terry Hooper-Scharf  & Ben R. Dilworth
Black & White
 85 Pages
Price: £8.00
The complete Merriwether series, originally published in Black Tower Adventure and A Little Midnight Horror–but with three strips never before published… including the Reverend’s battle with the ultimate Evil! 
From The Horror Of Hob Street to The Village Of Demons and Varney the Vampyre to The Fallen Angel himself, see how one Church of England vicar deals hard-fisted [and various spiked objects] justice to the ungodly ...and pays the ultimate price!!! 
If you were into Charlton Horror Comics or any horror comic then this one is for you! 
At the end of Merriwether:Gods Demon-Thumper, the Reverend had been confronted by Satan and as a consequence lay fatally injured. 
Star of 1980s comics, Benjamin R. Dilworth, takes us through the fleeting seconds before death as Merriwether has flash backs showing just why he took on the career he did. 
Be prepared for horror and a little tongue-in-cheek humour. COMIC HORROR FANS WILL LOVE THIS!

Silvermaigne:Knight Ghoul Hunter

Black & White
42 Pages
Price: £7.00
The Silvermaigne line is said to go back to the time of the Ancient Britons. 
Silvermaignes ancestors were part of a druidic clan based in the great forest that is today known as Leigh Woods, overlooking the River Severn entering (today) Bristol. All the members of the tribe had white hair from birth and they were known as the mwng arian (Silver Manes). Even the druids bowed to their knowledge of demons, spirits and things of the darkness. 
But at a point several centuries ago the family split and took two paths -one embraced magik for its own fight against evil. 
For the first time Ben Dilworth looks at this branch of the family and what one of them endures to keep the fight Holy!

Before Quatermass There Was....DENE VERNON THE THING BELOW


Writer: Terry Hooper-Scharf
Artist: Gavin Stuart Ross 
 View this Author's Spotlight
Black & White
53 Pages 
Price: £5.00
It was the 1940s and he was the first British comics investigator of the supernatural. Dene Vernon -Man Of Mystery! 
Now Dene Vernon gets his first adventure in 60 years.

Set in the late 1940s, Vernon is recovering from a previous case when he is called upon to investigate mystery deaths in London dockland.

Despite the assistance of one of the Silvermaigne family - famous werewolf, demon and vampire hunters-  it looks as though the threat of Lorimed may be the Man of Mystery's last....

In Room Oblivion There Are Cupboard Doors...........................

Bored. Burnt out.  I'll repair the camera!!

These are the results.

"So How Long Before we Can Expect To See The Green Skies Book?"

Thank you for asking, Mark.  Did you buy Return?  Anyway, I need to respond to these things out of old fashioned politeness.

No idea. I have images cramming out my brain but I even think about picking up a pencil to draw -panic. This is total burn out. Can't even read comics.

When will The Green Skies appear?   meh

Chang3lings & MyExcess Feature at 2014s Edinburgh Toy & Comic Mart!

Once more, Hero Conventions are bringing their own brand of FREE COMIC & TOY MART to Edinburgh...


Chang3lings http://www.chang31ings.co.uk/

My Excess Comics/Books  http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/myexcess
Hero Comic Shop
Comic Convict
Cosmic Art
Rough Cut Comics
Planet Jimbot
City of Lost Souls
Forbidden Planet
Adamsons Attic
Keith Crawley Art
Chris Teasdale Comics
Rubber Pineapple
Lefay Engraving
Phat Cat
Da Judge
Nathan A Lyon Art
Kukuruzovic Comics
Turn Book Time
Skulls & Cross Stitches
Sands Art Glass

During the mart, there will be a performance of the Ghostbusters tribute 'STILL Ready to Believe You' by Des O'Gorman at 1pm. This will be 100% FREE*, but you can feel free to provide a donation at the end of the show as the poor blighter hasn't eaten in weeks. :p

Also, after the show the legendary Marc Farrimond will be hosting 'The Challenge of the Kingpin' geeky pub-quiz. Entry to this will be FREE, and there will be some rather lovely prizes...

YES!! David "The British Manara" Gordon WILL be at the event with his Chang3lings dolls and MyExcess books including Cosmic Oddity which was reviewed here: http://hoopercomicart.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/my-excess-dave-cosmic-oddity.html 


Dave Gordon´s Pin Up Girls Summary

Dave Gordon returns with an epic volume of new pin up material.  100 pages of beautifully detailed linework is behind an exceptionally conceived cover.
One for the collectors for sure as there will be just 100 copies of this book printed and signed by the artist.
Order yours today.

Suggested for Mature readers....and ONLY £10.00?????
Of course the Chang3ling dolls are a sight to behold but there are plenty of other figures to buy such as this one

Cyborg from Takara 1998

Cyborg from Takara 1998

If you have to visit and buy from one table this weekend then it HAS to be Chang3lings and MyExcess....otherwise you may need psychological treatment!

Yeah, We HAVE Been Here Before: ‘Ultron Forever’ assembles time-traveling Avengers team

This posting by Noelene Clark at LATimes caught my eye.http://herocomplex.latimes.com/comics/exclusive-ultron-forever-assembles-time-traveling-avengers-team/ 

 Noelene Clark  @NoeleneClark

Visit the site for more images/links
The color cover for "Avengers: Ultron Forever" No. 1, the first of three oversized comic issues written by Al Ewing and illustrated by Alan Davis. (Marvel Entertainment)
The color cover for “Avengers: Ultron Forever” No. 1, the first of three oversized comic issues written by Al Ewing and illustrated by Alan Davis. (Marvel Entertainment)

Marvel is assembling a team of time-traveling Avengers from the past, present and future to fight mega-villain Ultron in three oversized comics, slated for release just in time for the much anticipated Marvel Studios blockbuster “Avengers: Age of Ultron” next spring.

The 90-page “Ultron Forever” story, which will unfold in “Avengers: Ultron Forever” No. 1, “New Avengers: Ultron Forever” No. 1 and “Uncanny Avengers: Ultron Forever” No. 1, aims to introduce casual readers to the robot baddie in addition to appealing to devoted fans’ nostalgia. And since comic book newcomers are more familiar with the big-screen incarnations of Marvel’s mightiest than the African American Captain America and female Thor currently in the pages of comics, time travel seemed a clever way to bring more familiar versions of the superheroes to the story, said Tom Brevoort, Marvel senior vice president of publishing and executive editor.

The “Ultron Forever” books, to be penned by Al Ewing (“Loki: Agent of Asgard,” “Mighty Avengers”) and illustrated by comics veteran Alan Davis, will gather the current iterations of Black Widow, the Vision and the female Thor as well as classic versions of Thor and the Hulk, James “Rhodey” Rhodes as Iron Man, and a never-before-seen future Captain America — the daughter of Netflix-bound Marvel heroes Luke Cage and Jessica Jones. They are ostensibly transported through time via Doctor Doom’s time machine in order to defeat Ultron, though there might be more to their arrival than is initially revealed, Ewing said.

The tale is set some 50 years from now in a dystopian future in which Ultron, an automaton hellbent on destroying humanity, has won. The scene was set in the recent Jonathan Hickman-written “Avengers” No. 31, tied to the “Original Sin” story line.

“It was a happy accident that Jonathan had just set that world of the future up, that Ultron-dominated world, because when we were thinking about this, it was sort of low-hanging fruit,” Brevoort said. “From what little we’ve already seen, that’s a world in which there are no heroes, so the idea that in order to face the threat of Ultron, you’d have to cast into the past and pull the great heroes of history gave us immediately a setup that fit for the kind of story we were trying to do.”

Ewing, who is still in the process of creating the plot for the “Ultron Forever” books, said the new tale will offer an explanation for Hickman’s strange future, which saw future Thor calling Ultron the “All Father” (the name usually refers to the god Odin).

“We find a bit more about why Thor is serving Ultron.… The robot, cyborg-type Avengers are serving Ultron, and we learn there’s a small cadre of human beings,” said Ewing, who got his start at Marvel writing Ultron-related stories for “Avengers Assemble” tie-ins. “Ultron is fun because you can kind of decide how human or inhuman he is. He can either be this completely soulless machine, or he can be this rambling madman who happens to be a robot. He kind of meets the needs of the story that way.”

And in this particular story, Ewing’s Ultron is more than a little mad.

“He’s achieved all his goals, and he’s kind of become this godlike figure,” Ewing said. “It’s almost like humanity is just this resource for him now, but at the same time, he’s enjoying lording it over them.… He’s enjoying pulling the wings off the fly, so to speak, and really taking his time over his final victory.”
Gathering a team of Avengers to face the robotic supervillain was a particular pleasure for Ewing, who had freedom to choose from an expansive roster of larger-than-life characters from all of Marvel’s 75-year history.

“My first thing with teams is if you put two of them in a room together, have you got a story? And I think with this bunch, it’s definitely true,” Ewing said. “There are in the story reasons why they’ve been taken from the particular times and places they have been. It turns out to have bearing on the story.”

A page from "Avengers: Ultron Forever" No. 1, the first of three oversized comic issues written by Al Ewing and illustrated by Alan Davis. (Marvel Entertainment)
A page from “Avengers: Ultron Forever” No. 1, the first of three oversized comic issues written by Al Ewing and illustrated by Alan Davis. (Marvel Entertainment)

Ewing, whose first introduction to Marvel superheroes was the landmark 1984 “Secret Wars” story line, chose the Iron Man and Thor of his childhood.

“Growing up, I didn’t particularly care who Tony Stark was — it was Jim Rhodes, this guy who was with the rest of the superheroes on this little alien planet fighting each other,” Ewing said. “So yeah, I do kind of want to have him back in the red and yellow, because it’s a nice nostalgic thing for me, and it’ll be good for a bunch of readers who remember that whole era.”

Ewing also chose the iteration of Thor popularized by writer-artist Walter “Walt” Simonson in the 1980s, with a big beard and blue and gold armor.

“It’s what I grew up with,” Ewing said. “I won’t spoil exactly which one, but it’s kind of important the particular time during the Walt Simonson run he’s been taken from.”

Walt Simonson’s Thor will come face to face with the lady Thor from Jason Aaron’s current run, though her identity will likely still be a mystery when “UItron Forever” is published, Brevoort said. And there will be at least one other Thor incarnation, Ewing said, joking, “It’s a smorgasbord of Thors.”

They will be joined by a pre-Avengers, Stan Lee version of the Hulk from the early 1960s — with three toes and a penchant for calling people “palookas,” Ewing said.

From the present are current versions of Black Widow and the Vision, two characters who have yet to interact in any meaningful way, Brevoort said.

“That’s a mismatched pair. For all that, in the comics, they’ve both been Avengers for a considerable amount of time, I can’t think of a lot of situations, circumstances or adventures that they’ve experienced together,” Brevoort said. “So here, they are sort of a strange odd couple duo.… They have a common bond that they’re both from today, and theoretically, that’s the same bond the reader has.”

And from the future comes a brand new version of Captain America, Danielle Cage — the grown-up daughter of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, who is currently an infant in the comics.

“She’s very strong, and she’s as bulletproof as her mom and dad were,” Ewing said. “She has the Captain America shield with an anti-gravity unit in it, which she can sort of control with a unit on her glove. I’m going back to the days of the ‘60s where, for about five minutes, Captain America worked his shield with magnets. She’s not throwing the shield so much as flying it out, and then it ricochets off of people and comes back to her. It’s pretty cool.”

As the team member from the future, Dani possesses knowledge of the Avengers’ futures and offers some clues throughout the story.

“She keeps calling the Black Widow ‘Madame Natasha,’ and she’s just hinting that in the future, the Black Widow’s this sort of old-school Nick Fury figure, directing the future Avengers. And the last time we would have seen her from Black Widow’s perspective was attending her first birthday.”

Brevoort said the new, half-African-American, female Captain America could stick around in comics if she is well-received.

“Whether or not that infant will grow up to be that character in the course of our stories is part of the ongoing soap opera that we tell,” he said. “What tends to happen is we’ll do a story like this, and if the character clicks with people, we tend to do more of them.… She’s a good character, and if she bounces off the page in the way that we hope she will, then we’ll be able to do more.”

And with artist Alan Davis at the helm, she won’t lack for opportunity to pop on the page.

“He’s a world-renowned comic master,” Brevoort said. “He’s been in the business long enough to illustrate some of these characters from when they were new characters from the past. He is an excellent fundamental superhero artist who’s pretty much done it all and can do it all very, very well.”

Working with Davis inspires Ewing to reach for more grandiose moments and ambitious plot elements in planning “Ultron Forever,” the writer said.

“I seem to be writing a lot more expansive vistas and big spreads and big action moments — all the things I’d like to read in an Alan Davis comic — whereas usually I’m not thinking quite so epically,” Ewing said. “I grew up reading his stuff, so it’s a massive honor for me. I’m hoping so far I’m doing all right by him. I send him the plot, and I just get back these wonderful pages of art, which I then have to dialogue in a way that does them some kind of justice, and it’s kind of a dream come true, really.”

Brevoort said the three “Ultron Forever” issues will be released between April and May, “right in the umbra of the lead up to the film,” which opens in theaters May 1, 2015.

“The tremendous success of these films means far, far more people are aware of and interested in these characters and the stories that go on with them,” Brevoort said. “So as people are getting excited and seeing the latest ‘Age of Ultron’ trailer, these comics will be coming out to whet their appetite for the film and to feed their hunger for information as to what the big robot guy with the strings is all about.”


Now, yes, I am excited that Alan Davis is working on this but to be honest it is very unlikely I will buy the book.  Brevoort....my mother always said I might live to see crap talk.  Anyway, apart from that this has to be THE most original storyline Marvel has come up with since Avengers from the past, present and future were adrift in time helping Immortus stop Kang.....oh. Avengers Forever -one of the best ever Marvel series that tied up all Avengers continuity and was very quickly shat on BY Marvel.

Oh come on -Di$ney are rechurning these ideas over and over and the cash cow Ultron is going to be milked beyond belief....I mean, what the feck was Age of Ultron about???   Guess what -there were 13 tie-ins to that four month long piece of crap (according to a lot of readers with brains it was crap and some were die-hard Marvel geeks!).  I wonder how many tie-ins there will be for this one.

This is just continuing the Science Fiction bender Marvel is on -time travel, robots, blah blah blah.

Why don't they just get it over with and do the Star Wars-Avengers cross-over?  Now, I do not normally give out too much of what I hear from people working in comics (even though I have in the past and I've been spot on every single time and months in advance of "official" announcements but what the heck) but there is a Star Wars-Avengers comic treatment at Di$ney.  But can you imagine money leeching executives at Di$ney (please there is NO "Marvel") if there was a Star Wars-Avengers/Guardians Of The Galaxy movie?  Forgive the language but even the mere thought of the cash from what would put them in hospital for the permanent erections they'd get.

You folks enabled Di$ney.  It's as bad as enabling a junkie, alcoholic or, well, insert your own choice of bad.

The House of Unoriginality cashes in again.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

I Am Away!

In my mind anyway.  Totally and utterly exhausted with comics.  Face Book tells me I've reached a new milestone -"100 Likes".  I'd much prefer 100 sales.

Might be back who knows.

Antony and the Johnsons - I Fell In Love With a Dead Boy

Used for the fan video of Torchwood when Capt Jack Harkness met the real Capt Jack Harkness in WW 2.  This is an incredible song.                

I Can Now Breath A Sigh Of Relief!

Yes, it's taken all morning but the online store has been upgraded and all books re-priced.

It's ridiculous to think people have been able to buy 50-60-70 and even 80 and 100 pagers for £6.00-£7.00 for six years or so.  That is just so ludicrously cheap and, yes, practically give-aways.  I wanted to give potential readers a bargain and a good read.

I just got a poke in the eye back.

Well, all prices have been updated to be more realistic so if you never bought that book you 'wanted' at the old price -tough.

Thinking about it, I really do think that the lack of comic education is why people are scared of even picking up Black Tower Books.  They have sturdy, glossy covers and are in the A4 format -standard European Comic Album format.  What they generally see are A5/Digest, US comic size or book style publications. Even at last Saturday's disaster, looking around, I could see nothing like my books.

But for Black Tower graphic novels, prose books and others, A4 is standard.  I'm not going to spend months re-sizing just to please the eye of the dilettante comic buyers.

I stick by quality and, despite prices changes, a very good cover price for buyers.