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Tuesday, 24 January 2017

The Next Stage In Comic Collecting -- The Comic Art Con!!!

It seems that the fact that comic books and collections will NOT make you rich has developed a new Greed niche.  $15,000 for a piece of Brian Bolland art that he would never have been paid half that for. It's greed. It is also why some comic artists going to conventions now charge for a sketch or illo because most of it ends upon Ebay the same evening.

You get to see comic art -as close as the vendor lets you get!- and buy lots of pages to make the vendor rich -listen to the "speak" used its the same used to milk people of money with those "investment comics".  Basically, these events have people who will put what price they want on a piece of art and it's all very closed shop as an industry.

Will these pieces of art make you rich in 50-60 years time?  Who knows but maybe one artist out of every 50 will be "sellable".

Bottom line: it's just a new way to fleece...this...."friendly hobby".

Monday, 23 January 2017

Gorden Kaye: 'Allo 'Allo!'s Rene Artois dies aged 75

BBC News

Gorden Kaye
Image captionGorden Kaye with onscreen wife Edith, played by Carmen Silvera, in 'Allo 'Allo!
Actor Gorden Kaye, who was best known for his role in the long-running BBC sitcom 'Allo 'Allo!, has died aged 75.
The star's former agency confirmed to BBC News he died at a care home on Monday morning.
Kaye played cafe owner Rene Artois on the hit show, which centred on the fictional exploits of resistance fighters in World War Two in German-occupied France.
He appeared in all 84 episodes of the sitcom, as well as a stage version.

'Witty and amusing'

Tributes have been paid to the "terrific comic actor".
Vicki Michelle, who co-starred opposite Kaye as waitress Yvette, praised him as a "brilliantly talented actor, consummate professional, loved the world over".
Su Pollard, who appeared with Kaye in four series of BBC Radio 4 comedy For Better or for Worse, told the BBC the actor was "very clever, witty and amusing".
"He was quite private, but he was very amiable and was more than happy to chat to his fans.
"He was very pleased he was able to turn his passion into his working life," she said.
Born in Huddersfield, Kaye revealed in his autobiography the unusual spelling of his first name was due to a spelling error by the acting union Equity, which he decided to adopt.
The actor got his first big TV break in ITV soap Coronation Street, playing Elsie Tanner's nephew Bernard Butler.
He went on to appear in a number of roles in sitcoms including Till Death Us Do Part, It Ain't Half Hot Mum and Are You Being Served? before landing the role of Rene.
Kaye's career almost came to an abrupt end in 1990 when he was critically injured in the Burns' Day storm.
The high winds sent an advertising board through his car windscreen, leaving him with severe head injuries.
The star's last TV role was in a one-off return of 'Allo 'Allo! in 2007, which reunited several members of the cast. He also starred in BBC sketch show Revolver in 2004.
"Gorden Kaye was a terrific comic actor whose signature role, Rene Artois, earned his place in the comedy hall of fame," Shane Allen, controller of BBC comedy commissioning said.
"He was instrumental in making 'Allo 'Allo! such a long running and well-loved series. His work lives on and thoughts are with friends and loved ones at this sad time."

Tempus fugit

Sunday, 22 January 2017

One Day My Army Shall Rise And I Will Conquer This Petty Little World

 Dr Richard Denning has a very nice tribute posting on his blog to the man who is, without doubt, the modern father of miniature military wargaming -Herbert George Wells.

Yes, the War Of The Worlds H. G. Wells.

Although wargaming with figures goes back to ancient Egypt as far as we know, it was a way to train in the art of tactic for real life. It is still used today in some academies.

Even the great actor Peter Cushing used to paint his own miniatures and wargame and there is a short newspiece on Cushing and his gaming which you can find on You Tube:

And the UK Peter Cushing Appreciation Society blog has a piece on this:

So, if you are one of the "new sort" of gamer whose hobby started in the 1970s -Dungeons & Dragons, Warhammer, etc. and look down your noses (and MANY do) at military wargamers -STUFF YOU. Our gaming goes back centuries before yours!

Don't get me wrong -I do have Orcs, dwarves, Elves and adventurers as well as a host of others -all in 20mm (which means 21-25mm in reality) or 1/72nd scale and all lovely and detailed. Not the kiddy 38-40mm (40k), chunky stuff.

That'll ruffles a few feathers!

Okay, you get your revenge because my eye-sight and hands mean I don't spend as much time as I want to on gaming these days -I have comic work to complete.

There are links to various blogs on my, well, let's call it a "blog list"!  But to check out 1/72nd click the Plastic Soldier Review link to see what is out there.

And, though 15-20 years ago you would have been escorted from any wargaming club for saying "toy soldiers" (they were "scaled, accurate military miniatures"!) now it's PC to say it. Standards dropping there!

uhm, I do hope the title of this post was not too harsh or unnerving?


No More CBO Google+ from 24th January

Before I go again I would like to note that Google has killed off Google+. Users are complaining and there is a huge list of what can no longer be done on the service -you can't even see viewing figures any more.

Like Yahoo and its destruction of Yahoo groups, Google seem not to care for users who have stuck with it and made it successful.  Current views on Google+ stand at 4 million and from 24th January I'll have no idea if anyone is checking CBO posts there out...videos and a lot more are being lost.

So, 'thank you' Google.  Oh, and fuck you as well.

On German Super Heroes -This will tell you what you need to know

And if you can't tell a joke then just get angry over the post title!

 WINDKONIG -Herr Der Luft (WIND KING -Lord of the Air) Well, despite all my trying -I did even send an order to Crago Verlag who published Germania Comics Teams fan based superhero- but I never ever got a copy of issue 1.  That said, I have issues 2 and 3 (signed by the Team) but part 1 was in …two parts? So issue 3 would really be issue 4?

Anyway, those of you speaking German will notice that on the front cover it reads: “Deutschlands erster Superheld” -Germanys First Super Hero. hmm. Not quite.

Dr. Thomas Richter is a doctor specializing in the treatment of children and is based in the city of Bochum. As I do not have his origin issue all I can tell you is that when Richter changes into Windkonig he can control the wind and air via a “Gurtel” (belt) he wears.
He first appeared in Der Comic-Herold 2, from Crago Verlag in Marz 1996 (or at least a pin up did).  then, in issue 3, dated December, 1996, the character appeared in a strip drawn by Damir Hamidovic -“Abenteuer Strasse” (Adventure Street). The first actual title bearing his name that he starred in came out in 2002. The third and final issue appeared in 2004 and after that….


Santiago Ruiz (Subzero) and his brother did try to interest Germania Comics Team in a Windkonig storyline but it was rejected. I did actually draw a 4 pager but heard nothing back.

I’ve just found that issues are still (?) available from here -but check first:

Interior art varied from good to pretty amateurish but this was a fan character and the point is at least they got the character into his own short-lived book. I understand costs and a few other internal problems saw an end to the character which is a pity.
And then we have….
Dorn -Der Morgenstern Without doubt my favourite German super hero has to be Dorn -Der Morgenstern (Thorn -The Morning Star). I wrote a rather lengthy post on his origins a good while back so in case you missed it….

When Helden Turned Into Dorn Der Morgenstern

 There are a few German comics -Small Press, Idependent- that I like to get out every-so-often and re-read. Nostalgia and big chunk o’ fun all in one. Randalf Paker may not mean much to English language comic fans but in 2001 Caption Comics published the comic series that he wrote and drew based upon a long running role playing game (RPG) he was games master of.

The title, Helden/Heroes was initially sold in gaming shops but really took off and spawned the comic.  So what was it about?

This is from the IPP website -

Helden (Heroes) is the retelling of the fantasy role-playing game group that I led as the gaming master. The charakters and story of this group were so exciting, I had to write it down somehow. Since I love drawing, I used the COMIC to tell the story. —Ralf Paul

In this story seven heroes from the farthest corners of the World meet and stumble into their first adventure. In the center of it all is the mercenary Benwick, who, because of the imprisonment of his mother, is forced into a difficult mission…
Helden Issue 1 Page 1
Helden Issue 1 Page 3
The colour blowing your mind yet? I love this! Unfortunately, I can’t show the gorier scenes!
Helden Issue 2 Page 3
The heroes gathered.  Well, almost. I can tell you that this image says it all.

Helden Issue 3 Page 1
  Thank goodness he’s wearing that loin cloth!!!

Things are fickle in gaming and comics. As issue 6 was finished the interest had waned to such a degree that the cost of high quality printing, especially in pre-print on demand days, was too high.

Nr 6 felt bulkier than usual (all the IPP books were printed on top quality thick paper stock) what I found inside was the cover and,uh, issue nr 7!  Yes, the heroes finally get together and…well.  Nothing nice happens.
What is more there is a nice ending involving a rather bloodied Morning Star. “What’s a ‘morning star’?”  Its like a mace with spikes -DON’T you even dare ask “What’s a mace, then?”!!!! 
Helden Issue 6 Page 3

Though I tried order the new title, when I heard that the follow-up was to be titled Dorn Der Morgenstern/Thorn The Morning Star, no comic shop was interested in getting me copies.  Why? It was foreign language and was not carried by Diamond. That made it “impossible” to get hold of.

So what did I do? I sent an email to Ideenschmiede Paul & Paul GbR and got a nice email back and…voila! I got Dorn 1-4.

Was I impressed? Of course I was.  Other than Helge “Herod” Korda and Mathias “EmdE” Dinter who were producing the semi parody Heroes From The Black Lagoon only one other person I knew was doing German super heroes -me, starting in the early 1980s withD-Gruppe.

This was no American artist drawing a super hero based in what an American artist thought Germany looked like: this was a German creator.

The IPP web site explains Dorn…

“The Morningstar also known as Dorn” describes the life of Paul Paker – a computer genius and game freak. An experiment gone awry and murdering circumstances have pushed him into a corner of society. Only an idea as phantastic as the events which put him there can release him. This improvised idea results in an ingenious but rather complex plan.

A German Super Hero.

Dorn Issue 1 Cover 
Yes, folks, before Der Engel there was Dorn..a German Superhero. Well, he had to sort things out first such as a costume and a name.

 Take a look at the lovely artwork below.

Dorn Issue 1 Page 5
Dorn Issue 1 Page 6
Dorn Issue 2 Cover

One of my favourite spreads from the comic comes when Dorn reveals himself on TV!
Dorn Issue 3 Page 15
For various reasons the title never got beyond nr 4 and I’m sure that I’m not the only one who heaved a depressive sigh.  But now….HOPE!

My scanner decided to crap out on me so I thought I’d check online for cover images but apart from my previous items on the series I found only one other source -IPP.  A company I thought was no more!

And I found something a few of us have been hoping for a loooong time now -Dorn nr. 5is currently being put together!
Dorn Issue 5 Cover
The gift in the cracker is that, as you’ll notice on the cover scans not my own, Helden and Dorn can be read as web comics.  So check out the IPP web-comics if you speak German but if not there is still a LOT of great art!
In more recent years we have had The NextArt publishing Tomppa’s Der Engel

The below cover and art are from a German comic titled Der Engel (The Angel) by Tomppa (that’s him in the photo below).

above Tomppa

 I published the following on the old CBO so….

Regulars will recall that I had posted on the fact that there was no reason why there could not be UK based super heroes, you just needed to adapt them to UK settings, etc.. Subzero on his Tales From The Kryptonian blog (see blog roll) followed this about German super heroes.  The same thing applied.

However, we both noted how hostile certain factions in both German and UK comics were to even attempting home grown super heroes.

I need to point out that Tomppa has done just that.  He has taken a scenario and based his character in Berlin in the year 2029 -not that far off really.  The story works well and there is good characterisation and I think that Der Engel will one day become a classic German comic series -rather like Dorn Der Morgenstern has become legendary.

What struck me was the art style.  In the first issue it looks a little sketchy and crude in places, though the architecture looks great.  I ought to point out that there is nothingwrong with the art -bear with me I’m getting there!  In the second issue the art improves and there is some nice usage of effects.  We then get to issue 3 where the art has improved greatly -better use of washes and much, much more.

This had me puzzled.  Then I looked at the dates of the comics.  Nr. 1 -2009.  Nr. 2 -2010 and Nr. 3 -2012.  That explains a lot as you would not expect such a change in quality over three issues produced in the same year (there are exceptions).

If you are one of CBOs German regulars and you’ve not bought the series yet -please do!  And I know there are people out there who like to collect  super hero books in other languages to compare or as novelties -Der Engel is one you ought to try.

With all the events going on at the moment with revolutions, mass rallies and attempted supression I think Der Engel is, and will continue to be, contempory even in ten years time.  The world changes that little.
Now, when does Der Engel action figure arrive???

There isn’t one?!  Oh.  Have a big helping of art then!

Remember there is a The NextArt link on the blog roll but you can use this link to browse and buy:

Der Engel Nr. 1

Autor/Zeichner: Tomppa

Berlin in 2029. The cityscape has changed completely. Violence in the streets is a daily occurrence. Here the Angel goes on his own personal vendetta little realizing the dimensions of the conspiracy he has become caught up in.

Der Engel Nr. 2

The assassination of the governing mayor of Berlin is on the verge of executed. Will the Angel be able to save him -and what happens if he cannot?

The action intensifies as the Angel tries to intervene in the conflict and a new masked man appears.  However, the Angel’s intervention has tragic consequences.

 Not heard much since I did these reviews but I have fingers and toes crossed in the hope of seeing more of Der Engel!

All I know about New Arden is what Subzero posted over on Tales From The Kryptonian
“A series that wasn´t afraid of being labeled as a superhero comic was NEW ARDEN CHRONICLES from Final Art Comics in 1999 which clearly showed it´s influences like the art of Todd McFarlane and the Image comics of the 1990s.”

So that’s a complete mystery to me...well, it was a mystery but German blogger Subzero sent me the whole series.  Certainly the inspiration of McFarlane and Spawn is there. Interesting but you have to ask why it stopped? Low sales? High print costs?

If you know....let ME know!

 I should not forget The Power Freaks written and drawn by Santiago and Enriques Ruiz. In 2011 Santiago wrote to me:

“As for German publishers not liking superheroes ( aside from the successful ones from other countries ) we made the same experience. Which was how we came to self publish POWER FREAKS. We never intended to but nobody was interested not even the independent publishers and suddenly people go from ” I´ts impossible to do German superheroes. ” to ” It´s impossible to do more than one issue of German superheroes. ”

That was the late 1990s? I’d add a cover image but can’t find the comic so here’s an interior page! Well, I'm hoping that Subzero will take the challenge and feature some of his and Enriques work in response to this. You see, New Arden Chronicles and Power Freaks -any images online come from CBO!!

My own D-Gruppe was parodied by Helge “Herod” Korda back in the 1980s in a mini comic title “D-Suppe” (D-Soup). Sadly, my copy was stolen. And I am still pissed about that.

And, although after D-Gruppe, Heroes Of The Black Lagoon by Helge and drawn by Mathias (EmdE) Dinter was the only other German originated super heroes -if a parody. I still like looking through it over twenty years later!

Above: Never saw or managed to get a copy of this and, apparently, those selling copies in Germany on ebay will NOT sell outside of Germany!
According to Weissblech Comics

"Springing from the grainy celluloid of an amateur Super 8 film  Berlin's only truesuperhero fought through a radio playwent on to a stage playwas again film ... andfinally arrived  the origin of  CAPTAIN BERLIN as he steps into a comic book!

And, again,  THANKS to German blogger (Tales From The Kryptonian) Subzero (have I mentioned him before?) I have copies!  Yes, I was told over and over it was a joke "there is NO Captain Berlin comic!" 
Notice the artist is British -Martin Trafford.  I say no more!

Now, copies of D-Gruppe strips did circulate in Germany and the zine Plop! was interested at one point but I’ve no idea what happened there or even to then editor Heike Anacker (?).

If You Read A Post Which Has All The Answers To Your Questions -DON'T Push it.

So, the comment asked, "are there any German super hero comics? Are they in colour? Where can you get them? What do German super heroes do?"

This comment after a post about that very subject.  It's called "taking the piss" in the UK. Three posts, one quite all encompassing and if you simply search this blog you'll get more choices:

Let's look at the inanity of that question: "are there any German super hero comics?" Dorn, Captain Berlin, Wind Konig, New Arden Chronicle, Der Engel and, of course, D-Gruppe.  Mentioned in the post commented on.

"Where can you get them?"  You are on the internet, the commenter seems to be popping onto a lot of other blogs so I guess using a keyboard and Google are not beyond him?  Some are no longer published but search Ebay or other sites and you might find examples.

Colour means you can read it as opposed to black and white meaning you cannot? Examples are shown in the post and if your interest is so narrow that you can only read colour comics -have you heard of DC or Marvel? Buy a black and white comic and some crayons and colour the book yourself.

"What do German super heroes do?"  .......................................? They go to Oktober Fest and eat curried wurst while guzzling lager.  D'uh! I mean, what sort of fucking question is that?  Ask a five year old "What do super heroes do?" and they'll tell you -ask my Great Nephews and I have no influence on their interests.  They know and one is 4 and the other 5 years old. Ask any kid from Rangoon to Perth or Soweto and they'll know.

What do Australian super heroes do?  They chase Kangaroos off busy roads and brew tea in tinnies, of course. French super heroes discuss the arts while sipping wines and eating soft cheese. And American super heroes are dumb-asses who vote in Donald Trump as US President. British super heroes sit in bus shelters eating fish and chips and sipping on cans of lager while talking about supermarket prices and "bloody foreigners".  Ass.

This is why comments got suspended. It happens to be the third time this person has left dumb-ass and possibly deliberately provoking comments on CBO. In the last 20 years I have seen this over and over: not enough people visiting your blog -try starting an internet argument on a blog with more visitors.  This all got very old back in 2004.

Read -read- the posts you comment on.  There are even pretty pictures for you -in black and white AND in colour.

I will answer genuine, serious questions and I like doing that when I get back on the net. But if you need views on your own blog that seem to criticise everything to get attention....go away. 

Saturday, 21 January 2017

"You Live in Brizzle Then?"

It seems that anyone and everyone who moves to Bristol, as a student or "because" thinks they are Bristolian.  They aren't.  To be a Bristolian you have to be born in Bristol.  Otherwise you are a "Bristol resident".  Totally different.

Another way of spotting a "Bristolian wannabe" is their use of the word "Brizzle" to show how 'local' they are.  It's on t-shirts.  Journalists, radio presenters (the dregs) and so on all use "Brizzle" to make themselves "Brizzle and proud".

If you knew anything about dialects -up until the City Council started moving people about in the late 1970s you could tell what area someone came from because of their accent and with older people you still can. But all would say "Bristle" because that is Bristolian.
Derek Robinson was known throughout the 1960s/1970s and 1980s as the author of A Load Of Old Bristle, Krek Waiters Peak Bristle and so on.  Born and bred in Bristol and for all the joking about his work recorded real Bristolian.

According to The Post of 16th July 2013:

"A DICTIONARY of Bristle is not the first literary foray into the local accent. Many Bristol Times readers will know of author, broadcaster and rugby referee Derek Robinson's books which first came out in the 1970s.
The original Krek Waiter's Peak Bristle, illustrated with cartoons by Vic Wiltshire, was followed by several more, including Son of Bristle, Bristle Rides Again and Bristle with Pride.
More recently there was A Load of Old Bristle (2002) and Sick Sentries of Bristle (2004).
Even the author's name was Bristle-ised to 'Dirk Robson'.
They were hugely popular in the 1970s and 80s it seemed like every bathroom in the Greater Bristol area had at least one copy.
Robinson says: "The nicest thing that anybody said about my Bristle stuff was something I overheard in the old Berkeley coffee shop on Queens Road, now long since gone.
"I was sitting in the next booth to a youngish couple, and she was quoting to him chunks of one of my Bristle books that she had memorised, unaware that The Author was nearby. Very flattering, especially as she kept having to stop to laugh at what she was telling him."
The books are still selling; the more recent ones are still available new, while the older titles still get snapped up second hand.
Robinson reckons you can still hear authentic Bristolian. "The great change in the population of the city has had an effect. Most of the people I meet were not born here. But those who were still speak in the same old way. If you need evidence, just eavesdrop on any building site, or hang around in the dressing room of any of the local rugby clubs." "
Well, I left school in 1973 and the books were popular reprints then.
The "ZZ" is Somerset/Gloucestershire.  My grandfather, Bill, was born in Hanham which was then in Gloucestershire and is now South Glos.  He used to say "Brizzle" so you say it that way -you ain't Bristolian. "Bris-tell" or, as Robinson explains, "Bristle as in brush bristle".
Above: "If I have told you once I must have told you a hundred times -put your old clothes on after Sunday School. You are up to your eyes in dirt!"
Sunday School...mine was at the top of Sevier Street and Ashley Down Road and run by Mr Pike (Baptist).  Don't even ask!
But never EVER "Brizzle" so stop thinking that you can just say "Brizzle" and that makes you local. In the good old days if you were not born within the City gates at night you were locked out of the City.  Bristol -so great they HAD to make it a City and County! upyers.
Professor of Bristolian (above/below) explains.

Learn about the city you live in. And, no, I do NOT live in "Brizzle".

Some history -part 1 and you do NOT have to read a thing.