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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

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Missing Comments...

Hi, everyone.

I had to delete a lot of comments pertaining to the Scottish Yes/No vote. I got a deluge of very rude, insulting comments from BOTH (?!) camps along with accusations.

Fer crying out loud -give me a break.

Anyway, to be fair and avoid any accusations of bias I've removed all Yes/No comments -even the polite ones. I should have known better than tip CBOs toe in the political waters.

Sorry, All!

The Non-First-Appearance Of Aquaman In Man Of Steel

Did you know Aquaman was in Man of Steel?  Never saw him? You wouldn't have. When Superman saves oil rig workers he is knocked unconscious into the sea.  We see him open his eyes and he sees a pod of whales. He then blacks out but wakes up on the beach.

Apparently, the whale pod rescued Superman at Aquaman's request.

I'm waiting for the Lois Lane as a naked pole-dancer deleted scene to surface.  It was there.  I swear -behind that wall you see Superman fly past.

Anyway, check out 30;00 minutes in...


Here, check it out -Aquaman's non-appearance.



Marvel Comics Back To Volume 1 Chronology

Well, the news is out.  DC comics are getting darker and darker and their movies and TV series are also going that way. However, Marvel Disney Comics has a solution.

Disney is known as a "family friendly" company -as was Marvel Comics. Archie Comics appears to have tried to take over that mantle.  Disney ain't having that.

Disney executives are quite pleased with the money quite literally spilling in from the movie franchise and all the goodies that spin out of that.  However, as the statistics show, 'Marvel' Comics are losing money. It's one reboot after another.  One number one followed by another number one.  "Gimmick" covers to try to cash in that just are not working.

Now, Germanys top weekly magazine dealing with movies and pop culture,  Großer Witz, has incurred Disney wrath by publishing an interview in its October that should not have seen print until next April.

We all know this "Eight months Later" thing is going on.  The Avengers will shoot ahead to April 2015 while all other titles continue normally.  But why? What sense does it  make?  Why are the Avengers titles months ahead of others?

Eristein Lügner of Großer Witz was one of several top journalists who were given advance interviews for what Disney calls in the interview "the enormously ground-breaking event in comics history" which is a big statement, right?

It is pointed out in the interview, which was quickly taken offline after legal threats from Disney (but the magazine is still out there),  that "April Fools Day" starts off April.  There is a bit about past Marvel April Fool gags and then it gets to the crunch.  Gag

The Avengers have been on a time-quest (anyone remember when Tony Stark went rogue in the final issues of volume 1 of The Avengers?) and this actually ties in with the Avengers Forever series and Immortus. Realising what has been going on in the Marvel Universe and the many multiple threats posed that they cannot possibly defeat, the Avengers join forces with Immortus and later Kang (who is...well you know all that stuff) and "set things right".

Disney/Marvel explain that they thought it was about time to "tidy house -get continuity set and go back to the family company Marvel was -without losing the creative edge".  So, remember all those retro "hommage" covers that have been appearing in the last year and constant talk of "Marvels proud heritage"?  It was all PART of the build up.  Hold on to  your seats.....

.....In April, 2015, the Marvel Universe as it exists now will cease.  The entire line is being rebooted back to the old 1960s/1970s volume 1 universe!


                         WHAAAAAT??!!!!!!

 Lügner notes that the movies are seen as a seperate "Marvel-film-Universum" - "Marvel movie universe" with all its spin-offs, etc., but that the comics universe will "harken back to the great House of Ideas of that (Silver Age) period"

  What is odd, to say the least, is that titles such as The Avengers, Fantastic Four, etc., will continue their numbering from where the volume 1 series' stopped.  This is also confirmed by a Japanese journalist named Tekiya who is working on a book on Marvel Comics in Japan "Marvel Okijodan"

Interesting to see how many US bloggers and comic news sites report on this -or will they, as in the past, tow the Disney line so as not to anger their "sources"?







お笑い草

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Remember: It's Not Just The BZ&CF on 4th October In Bristol!

AniMangaPop! Up-Date!

 

aniMangaPOP
 For Visitor, cosplay and Exhibitor info check out the link below:

 http://amp.keep-it-secret.co.uk/

Special Guests

The team here at aniManga POP! Love to bring you some of the most exciting & interesting guests to our show. Below are some of the guests you will be able to meet on the day!
Momoiro Otome Ensemble
Momoiro Otome Ensemble
Performers
A Meidol (Maid idol) unit! they also work as Maids at 'Maids of England', a maid cafe based in London, UK! They perform dance and song covers of Doujinshi, Anime, J-pop and idol songs!


Naomi Suzuki
Naomi Suzuki
Singer/Songwriter/Presenter/Actress
Brought to the UK by Polygram records in the late 90’s and since then has embarked on projects of both critical and commercial success. Reaching number 12 in the UK singles charts. Naomi is also a reputable events host and worked with Matsutake Kabuki and NHK broadcasting amongst others.


Himezawa
Himezawa
Actress/Model/Performer/Cosplayer
A published novelist, model, actress, cosplayer and performer, originally from Germany, now living in the United Kingdom. She started cosplaying in 2009, taking part in in German Cosplay events. Making many appearances here in the UK at events such as MCM Expo and London Anime Con and also appeared in publications such as Neo Magazine.

Dark Horse: Alley Oop: The Complete Sundays Volume 2, 1936-1938 HC



Writer/Artist/cover artist  V. T. Hamlin
Full Colour
128 pages
HC, 12” x 16”
Genre: Humor, Fantasy, Action/Adventure
Publication Date:
September 03, 2014

ISBN-10:1-61655-465-7
ISBN- 13: 978-1-61655-465-1
Price: $75.00
You can save 10% so the book costs $67.50 by ordering online here:

Presenting the second in a series that collects, in chronological order, all the full color Sunday pages of the classic newspaper strip! Go back in time to the prehistoric kingdom of Moo, and follow the strange, hilarious and outlandish Stone Age antics of V. T. Hamlin’s intrepid caveman, Alley Oop! This oversized volume collects every Alley Oop Sunday strip from 1936 through 1938!


* After over ninety years, Alley Oop is still in publication!


* The strip has been commemorated in a hit song, a comics award statue, and a US postage stamp!


Whoah! This really is a big book and the production on it is superb. Being British I never saw Alley Oop, barring the odd glimpse of a US Army newspaper while in Germany as a kid.  Of course, the song “Alley Oop!” by the Hollywood Argylles is a classic of the Rock ‘n’ Roll era…though thinking through my senility I think I may have mentioned that while reviewing volume 1!

 

This is not a super hero book and for that reason, no doubt, some are going to ask “why” they should be interested.  Well, if that’s what you are asking right now please leave.

 

As I’ve noted, I never saw these Alley Oop strips though, after my review of volume 1, I did ask a couple of people I know who are true comickers and collect newspaper strips.  They scanned (without cleaning up) pages for me so that I could see the quality of the source as it were.  Oh boy, grubby (we’re talking 1930s newsprint) and very –VERY- “brittle” I was told.  The pages were, coincidentally, the same as some of those reproduced in this book.  What a difference –crisp and clean!

 

The problem is that if you are a pop culture collector or just a newspaper strip collector getting hold of original samples is going to cost you a lot of money! If you are a comic fan/collector the same applies.  What the Dark Horse team has done is gather all the parts of the strip, cleaned them to a near new quality and put them in a big volume that ought to take pride of place in any collection.  Added to the first volume this has already become indispensible to comic culture historians and $75.00 comes to around £46.00 so it might seem a bit pricy but look at what you get!

 

Adding an extra shelf with the space to put these is at your own expense –you can argue with your wife or mum about where the shelf can go!

 

I’d highly recommend this (and volume 1) to any collector.




Bristol International Book Fair & Comic Expo -an exclusive look at the panels!

Exhibitor Tables

BCP PANEL PROG!


"What editors do, what they're looking for, and how to make their
lives so much easier."
Alternative Realities will be hosting an informal panel discussing what editors do, what they're looking for and how to make their lives so much easier. In other words, how to improve your chances of not being rejected even before they've even started reading your submission and how to rise to the top once they do.

 
"Fear, Uncertainty, and DRM"
In 2012, sales of eBooks overtook sales of physical books, but are consumers getting what they bargained for? Whether you are a publisher, writer, or reader, the new rules that govern who really owns and controls the digital content that you pay for affect us all. Join novelist, technologist, comics writer, and nerd Chris Lynch for a whistle-stop tour through the dark side of "Digital Rights Management" (DRM) and find out just how much power Apple, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft have over our books, music, games, and more in the digital millennium
Poetry workshop
Open to adults with little or no experience of writing, as well as those people who have been writing for sometime. Somerset poet Paul Tobin will be running a 90 minute poetry workshop. Paul is an experienced facilitator, who has run many workshops across the south west, and at festivals for the past six years.
Paul facilitates Taunton's popular poetry group Juncture 25, where he runs
a poetry workshop once a month.


Why not come along and let the muse speak to you.

The Changing Face of Horror

Horror, as a genre, is constantly evolving. Found-footage and torture-porn films are becoming increasingly popular, and in recent years there has been a resurgence in zombie and vampire fiction. This informal panel will look at the ever-changing face of horror. Are we becoming more difficult to scare? Whatever happened to the humble ghost story? When will the zombie trend end? What's next for horror? Featuring Adam Millard, Simon Marshall Jones, A.S. Chambers, and Scot Stanford.

http://bcpexpo.blogspot.co.uk/


Friday, 19 September 2014

Making Things Clear -and 'anonymous' flamers

For those who seem to think I'm after event freebies (thank you for the emails but have the balls to comment on CBO and give your REAL names) let me point something out.

Look to the right (that's THIS way---->) 1, 616, 997 views. Events publicised and reviews posted get a LOT of views which is why companies send me review books.   Now, for some reason Google+ views are not shown on this blog. I can tell you that as of this moment CBO postings have been viewed by 783, 666 -and I've only been posting there since May.

From CBO and Google+ most of the postings are picked up by other sites, bloggers and they in turn add extra views. 

You want better free publicity? You can look and good luck.

I have no objections to paying for tables at events.  Free entry? Yes, that is the norm in EVERY industry for people who promote or are considered "Press".

Just grow up and try to be professionals or at least pretend as best you can. Irritating 'anonymous' emailers...well, you just are not.  You really need to catch up on internet technology. 

Now go away.

NO Event Is "Exempted"

Comic Event Organisers Please Take Note!

I think the time has come to put a stop to absolute freebie advertising of events. CBO gets thousands of hits per day and comic event news are amongst the most popular items.  However, I am quite willing to sacrifice those views.

Do I get invited as a guest to these events? NO!
Do I ever get offered a table at these events for the promotional work I put in for them?  NO!
Do I ever succeed in getting a table at these events? NO!

What do I get out of all the work I put in for these UK events?  Absolutely nothing.  Organisers seem to think they are doing me a favour by deeming to grace me with their press releases.

No. It stops.  Time for me to be 'selfish' -I'm a person who publishes -biggest publisher of Independent comics in the UK.  Yes, but I don't know so-and-so.  I get invited to vote in the Harvey Awards and others -and I get invitations from outside the UK.

All my years promoting UK comics, the Small Press, my work, my publishing means nothing to a convention organiser which, let's put it mildly, is a bloody outright insult.  So why should their events mean anything to me?

From now on there are no more freebies -and please don't say you never saw this posting as its going out to you by mail also.  £20.00 a posting of a Press Release from an event organiser or you can pay £50.00 each year to have all your PRs on site rather than individual charges.

That's it.

Sad Day For Scotland

I think Stransky & Labatt were of the same opinion as myself so, when I got these yesterday they were scanned and ready.



Thursday, 18 September 2014

Machinima Lands Exclusive Animated ‘Justice League’ Series





Marc Graser
Senior Editor @marcgraser
 
Machinima, an online network that mostly targets younger males, has secured the exclusive rights to a three-part animated “Justice League” series from Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment.

“Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles” will launch in the spring of 2015.
“Chronicles” is said to revolve around a newly conceived reality in the DC universe where Justice League members Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are much darker versions of the superheroes that people know.

The digital series is based on “Justice League: Gods & Monsters,” an original animated film executive produced by Bruce Timm and co-produced by Alan Burnett that will be released by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment later in 2015. Timm and Burnett both collaborated on “Batman: The Animated Series.”

The “Chronicles” episodes will debut weeks before the launch of the film on home entertainment platforms.

The property is the first program the companies have collaborated on since Warner Bros. invested $18 million in Machinima in March.

It’s also the first project from Warner Bros.’ newly formed digital content production unit, headed up by Sam Register, president, Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Digital Series — and, of course, comes as the film studio is filming “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” for 2016, followed by a “Justice League” movie in 2018.

“Ever since we announced the Warner Bros. strategic investment, we have been looking for a new and exciting way to tap into the company’s unmatched content,” said Chad Gutstein, Machinma’s CEO.

Announcement comes just days after Machinima announced Daniel Tibbets as the first chief content officer of the online channel.

Added DC Entertainment president Diane Nelson: “We are committed to delivering DC Entertainment’s extensive line-up of world-class characters and stories to audiences across all platforms and formats. ‘Justice League: Gods and Monsters’ is an exciting opportunity to bring alternate versions of DC Comics’ iconic Justice League characters to Machinima, and we look forward to bringing this new animated shortform series to life with our partners across Warner Bros.”

Machinima is looking to bolster its original programming offerings for its core 18-34-year-old demo after scoring with scripted series like “Mortal Kombat: Legacy,” “Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist,” “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” and “Battlestar Galactica Blood & Chrome.”

Now come on –DC is killing itself with all this “darker” crap!  Can it get any “darker” at DC? Yes: the JLA go out murdering nurses, nuns, tramps and school kids “for the greater good”.

DC needs to wake up and I really do not give a feck if Bruce Timm is behind it: he’s doing this for the DC pay-cheque!