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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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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Time Bomb Comics: Longship



Time Bomb Comics
Written by Lawrence Rider
Artwork by Rebecca Teall
56 Pages
Full Colour
Format: 21 x 21 cms
Retail Price £7.99/$10.99


Please contact us directly through sales@timebombcomics.com

I actually wrote a quite long review which Blogger appears to have deleted.  It was there and ten minutes later -nothing.  You have no idea how close I am to chucking this all in.

The story/script was, apparently, written long before an artist was found in Rebecca Teall, a fine artist who had never worked in comics before.  You can find her blog here: http://www.rebeccateall.co.uk/

Anyway, just what is Longship about?  Interestingly, Lawrence Rider explains on his blog http://lawrencerider.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/longship/

"So what is it about? I’ve spent quite some time describing it as fifty-odd pages about a funeral, but that tends to make people uncomfortable. Nobody really likes funerals, and they like talking about them even less. Funerals are about loss and grief, and we understandably tend to put them to the back of our mind. Which is, in a way, what Longship is about?

"I often tell people that I want to be interred in a pyramid when I die. I’m pretty sure that most of the people that I tell this to think that I’m a touch morbid. It’s not morbid, though, at least not in my mind.

“My pyramid is intended to be a celebration of my life, something for people to remember me by when
I’m gone. I don’t see planning for that as morbid, I see it as a culmination of my life, something I can leave behind. Which is, again, kind of what Longship is about.

"I’ve described Longship, perhaps a little pretentiously, as a story of life, death, what you leave behind, and what we will do to honour those we love. It’s about loss, and acceptance of that loss, but also about celebration.  It’s a celebration of a life after it’s ended. That’s also what Longship is about.

"The story is about a Viking ship burial on a hill somewhere in Yorkshire, set in the modern day. It’s beautifully illustrated by Rebecca Teall....She has made it look far better than I ever dared to hope."

I think that sums it up nicely.  In the old days of TV this story would have been the basis for a slice-of-life
Play For Today.  As it is, this story flows nicely and Teall's art works wonders.  I loved the use of Runes -see page below.

Is it really "an emotional roller-coaster" of a story as one person put it?  Well, it obviously impressed Time Bomb Comics Steve Tanner enough to publish it.   I never give too much away story-wise and in this case it is hard to give "spoilers" -you have to read the whole book to get the feel of what is going on.

One of the best from TBC to date?  I'd just say you ought to support British talent and buy a copy because for a 50+ pages colour book the price is cheap!
Now, as I have re-written and TRIED to publish this for the last hour let's see if it works now!

interior pages



Featuring the Forbidden Planet exclusive variant cover by Adi Granov – a fabulous illustration of Boba Fett hitting the ground adistinctly Marvel style!

Join Luke Skywalker and his ragtag rebels fresh from the destruction of the Death Star. Fuelled with confidence, the Rebel Alliance is striking out for freedom, against the evil forces of Darth Vader and his master, the Emperor.

Written by Jason Aaron (Original Sin, Thor: God of Thunder) and with art by John Cassaday (Astonishing X-Men, Uncanny Avengers), this is the Star Wars saga as only Marvel Comics could make it!


You can find these products on our website, here: -


Writer: Stephen Walsh 
Artist: Keith Page
Published 2010, 56 pages
A4 Graphic Album
Perfect bound
Full colour cover/black and white interior.
Order online: http://timebombcomics.com/products.html

According to the blurb when this was published:  

"Squadron of the Screaming Damned is their amazing follow up to London Calling which we released to critical acclaim in 2010.  Once again featuring Charlotte Corday – the mysterious secret agent whose missions are so top secret even she doesn’t know what they are – the story begins with a WWII German U-boat surfacing in Charlotte’s bathtub, as Page and Walsh give us another fabulous dose of the weird and wonderful that made London Calling such a hit."

Now I really loved London Calling even if I cannot find my review on CBO -or was it on the old CBO? Never mind.

I was reading this at 0330 hrs this morning. This is the weird and fantastic at its best.  It had all the elements that for me, as a comic reader who likes the quirky and odd, worked!  Great fun story....or was it? I forget.  It was a great fun story....was it---we could go on for days like this!

Seriously, buy this one and I note London Calling is still available.  Man, if you don't buy both these books then you are a complete mental.  You should not be reading quality comic books.  I think the late Brian Edwards would have loved this!

Lee James Turnock's Fat A**e -And I'm Not Being Personal!

Lee James Turnock
The Comix Company
32 pages (saddle stitched)

Colour cover/ B&W interior
Sized to 5 ½” x 7 ¼”  (A5/Digest)

UK Prices and ordering: http://thecomixcompany.ecrater.com/p/21025334/fat-arse-lee-james-turnock?keywords=Fat+Arse

Britain's least known Underground cartoonist returns with this seasonal medley of yoks, bitter satire, and tits!!! In addition to his own fantastic comix, Lee welcomes writers Philip Neill and Rob Filth into the fold for some nasty laffs business! Never mind the bollocks, Lee James Turnock's got a FAT ARSE!!!

Well, we do not have a mainstream comics industry in the UK so it's no surprise that we do not have an Underground Comix industry!

And for those who think "Underground Comix" is just a term covering filthy schoolboy humour...well, it isn't but I'm losing my arguement if we're talking Mr Turnock's work -to a degree.

I do know that it m,ay not be everyone's "cup of tea"  but comic books cover all genres.  Live with it. There are some quite funny if "smutty" strips in this book and a few "pin up" pages.  Lots of nice stipling and cross-hatching and you can see that, back when we did have a comics industry, Turnock would probably have earned a good living -the styles are ones that could be used outside Underground Comix quite easily -and often were.

But the art immediately shouts out "LJT" and I'm glad his work is getting printed even if he has to find a publisher outside the UK.

Worth a few quid -oh: don't forget he also has a blog where you can see his artwork at: http://leejamesturnock.blogspot.co.uk/

Support UK talent! 

Monday, 24 November 2014

Black Tower Official Announcement 24th November 2014

The last few hours I have been going over finances as well as planned and already published books and I have to make an announcement.

As of today all planned future books, with the exception of The Green Skies, are cancelled until further notice.

No, BTCG is NOT going out of business but is having to reassess its marketing strategy and focus which makes the UK no longer the main outlet.

If I Had An Accountant He'd Be Jumping Off A Very Tall Building

I really, really, really wanted to get to Cardiff and Birmingham conventions next year.  I have even made contact with the Leeds Thoughtbubble people about a table.

But the accounts may defeat me yet.

When I write  "If I Had An Accountant He'd Be Jumping Off A Very Tall Building" I am not joking.  Over the next month or so I am going to really seriously have to think about the whole business.  I've begun by pricing books realistically rather than loss-making low to attract customers.

For one thing I have currently put al;l new books on hold.  There are so many books in BTCGs online store that adding even more right now isn't just extra work but really time wasting.  Green Skies WILL go ahead but a definite publication date has now been scrapped.

My eyes are turning toward Europe.

2015 is going to be survive or die....even if right now I just want to scream out "I quit!"

Black Tower Price Changes

I have already begun the task of re-pricing books so that they are no longer "give-aways" but I have something else to do and have to go out.  If there is a book you wanted at the old low price get it now because tomorrow it's a 1000 hrs start re-pricing until it's all done!


Why Am I Getting The Complaints??

Can I make this very clear: I was NOT involved in the organisation of last Saturday's Bristol farce.  Yes, I publicised the event  but I am in no way associated with the organisers and have made it very clear that I am distancing myself from them as much as possible.

I'm popping into town tomorrow to the Small Claims Court to sue for a refund.

End of story.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Many Years Ago.....

....I wrote this in response to criticism about how I treated a publisher who was a crooked con man.  I actually did not realise that years later gangster Ronnie Kray used the same line.  It is very important that if you have dealings with me you understand this:

" I am a nice man with nice people.  But I am a bastard with bastards."

Comic creator, publisher, event organiser or otherwise: word.

Bristol Comic Expo No More

For those who attended Mike Allwood organised Bristol International Comic Expos you will know they were the events of the year.  Comic stars and personalities and fans flocked to them.

Fallen Agel Media took over the event and in the first year it nose-dived. Second year....very bad.  Well, I have been asked about 2015s event.

After the way I was treated I withdrew my support for the event clearly and publicly.  That writ, I have to announced that three traders who normally attended the event have been told there is no longer a Bristol Comic Expo.  I can seriously write that "For the first time since last century (!) there will be no Comic Expo in Bristol in May or any other month of 2015".

That is just sad.

But I never attended 2014s and had no plans for 2015 anyway.