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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

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Have You Heard About Moses Telling You That Jesus Watching You?

Come on -anyone knows me KNOWS I had -HAD- to share this one!


A burglar broke into a house one night. He shined his flashlight around, looking for valuables when a voice in the dark said, ‘Jesus knows you’re here.’ He nearly jumped out of his skin, clicked his flashlight off, and froze. When he heard nothing more, after a bit, he shook his head and continued. 

Just as he pulled the stereo out so he could disconnect the wires, clear as a bell he heard a voice....say, ‘Jesus is watching you.’ Freaked out, he shined his light around frantically, looking for the source of the voice. 

Finally, in the corner of the room, his flashlight beam came to rest on a parrot. ‘Did you say that?’ he hissed at the parrot. ‘Yep’, the parrot confessed, then squawked, ‘I’m just trying to warn you that he is watching you.’ The burglar relaxed. ‘Warn me, huh? Who in the world are you?’

‘I'm Moses.’ replied the bird. ‘Moses?’ the burglar laughed. ‘What kind of people would name a bird Moses?’


‘The same kind of people that would name their Rottweiler Jesus.’




roll on snare drum please!

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Mockingbird In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2


The Executive Producers of "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." have sent a Morse code to say they've found their Mockingbird!

Adrianne Palicki will appear as Bobbi Morse, a.k.a. Mockingbird, in the second season of "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."--but whether she'll play friend or foe to Coulson and his team, we can't say. Known for her work in "Friday Night Lights" and "G.I. Joe: Retaliation," Palicki most recently appeared in several episodes of "About a Boy."

Adrianne Palicki set to appear as Bobbi Morse, a.k.a. Mockingbird, in Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (photo by Getty Images)

Palicki joins a number of new characters and guest stars on the series' second season, which premieres Tuesday, September 23 at 9:00 p.m. ET on ABC.

Joining Palicki will be the previously announced Lucy Lawless (Agent Isabelle Hartley), Reed Diamond (Daniel Whitehall), Nick Blood (Lance Hunter), Henry Simmons (Alphonso "Mack" Mackenzie), and Kyle MacLachlan (Skye's father), alongside the returning cast of Clark Gregg (Director Coulson), Ming-Na Wen (Agent May), Brett Dalton (Grant Ward), Elizabeth Henstridge (Agent Simmons), Iain De Caestecker (Agent Fitz), and Chloe Bennet (Agent Skye).

"Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." is Executive Produced by Joss Whedon ("Marvel's The Avengers," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"); Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen, ("Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." pilot co-writers ("Dollhouse," "Dr.Horrible's Sing-Along Blog"); Jeffrey Bell ("Angel," "Alias"); and Jeph Loeb ("Smallville," "Lost," "Heroes").

"Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." is produced by Marvel Television and ABC Studios.

Wow. Now that got you very excited...didn't it?  I know -'big' announcement with less info than a hobo zonked out on diesel.

We all remember Palicki was in that failed Wonder Woman TV series, right?  Anyway, below is (I believe) a current incarnation of Agent Barbara "Bobbi" Morse,
Barbara Morse (Earth-616) 0001

Black Tower Comics: Journey Of The ID:The Dr Morg Trilogy

Terry Hooper-Scharf
A4
Black & White
Paperback, 
52 Pages 
Price: £6.00
Metapsychophysics meets comics. Its the next natural evolutionary step in comic books! 
For the first time all three parts of the highly acclaimed Dr. Morg Trilogy are combined into one volume:

WORDS WITHIN WORLDS

AFTER ORWELL

 and the final explosive 

THE DEATH OF DR. MORG!

Where is Jack Flash in this prequel to both Return Of The Gods and The Green Skies - is he in yesterday?  Today?  Tomorrow? Is he even on Earth any more or is he travelling through time and space?

In the second story, techno-detective Johnny Neg pays a visit to a night club that never closes where the past, present and future seem to exist and conversations are definitely beyond anything Orwell ever invented!

Dr Morg reveals the secret of Jack Flash and Johnny Negs "journeys" and the dark secret of what he has unleashed in the name of science.....

The final words of Jack Flash from Return of the Gods find true meaning here....or do they?

DELETED BOOKS

 

All books referred to as being readied for deletion yesterday have now been deleted.

Jenna Says "Bye-bye" To Dr Who



The TV series Dr Who tends to be a bouncing off point for actors.  They win the "once in a life time role" of companion or Dr and when the fame sets in "I am a professional actor, luvvie -I must move on to newer, greater roles!"

So....

Jenna Coleman is rumoured to be leaving Doctor Who, but has said playing the Doctor's companion is a once-in-a-lifetime role.

The actress has played Clara Oswald since the beginning of series seven, but according to the Daily Mirror, it has been rumoured that she could be preparing to leave the BBC show, which is due to relaunch later this month with Peter Capaldi as the series eight Time Lord.

Before the rumours emerged, Jenna told The Independent: "When I'm here in Cardiff, it's me and Peter, all day, every day. It's one of those jobs that will only happen once - the whole adventure that it brings. The key is not to worry about the future, and enjoy it."

A source told the Mirror: "The conversations about Jenna's exit have started, and a plan is in place which is being ironed out.

"By the time she leaves she will be one of the longest-standing companions ever. She has been absolutely brilliant in the role, but everyone agrees it is a part that should change after a period."

The source added: "It was very much a mutual decision.

"It's important to keep the series moving and fast-paced, and the time is just starting to feel right and the feeling is that it could be a perfect Christmas storyline."

Show runner Steven Moffat had previously said of Peter's Doctor: "He's not as immediately approachable and he's not necessarily looking for your approval.

"I would like to restore the sense that when he says, 'Wait here, I'll be back', you really hope he'll be back, but you're not absolutely convinced. What he's not doing is reassuring you very much.

"From a Doctor Clara could sort-of control (played by Matt Smith) because he had a crush on her, she's landed with a Doctor who barely registers that she's a girl. They're great friends and all that but she has to be his human interface with everybody else."



Monday, 18 August 2014

Production Begins On Ant-Man Movie....

Now lets be careful and keep our underwear dry.


Production Begins on Marvel's Ant-Man
Principal photography for Marvel Studios' 'Ant-Man' begins in San Francisco!

Marvel Studios began principal photography today in San Francisco, California, on its newest Super Hero franchise Marvel’s “Ant-Man.” The film brings one of Marvel comics’ original founding members of The Avengers into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The production also shoots on location in Atlanta, Georgia, which serves as the base for the film’s production.

Set for release in the United States on July 17, 2015, the film is directed by Peyton Reed (“Bring it On,” “The Break-Up”) and stars Paul Rudd (“I Love You Man,” “Role Models”) as Scott Lang aka Ant-Man, and Michael Douglas (“Behind The Candelabra,” “Wall Street”) as his mentor Dr. Hank Pym and Evangeline Lilly (“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” “Lost”) as Hope Van Dyne, daughter of Hank Pym.

The film also includes outstanding additional cast including Corey Stoll (“House of Cards,” “The Bourne Legacy”), Bobby Cannavale (“Danny Collins,” “Annie,” HBO’s “The Long Play”), Michael Peña (“End of Watch,” “American Hustle”), Abby Ryder Fortson (“Togetherness”), Judy Greer (“13 Going on 30,” “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”), David Dastmalchian (“The Dark Knight,” “Prisoners”), Wood Harris (“Remember the Titans,” “The Wire”), John Slattery (“Mad Men,” Marvel’s “Iron Man 2”) and Gregg Turkington (“The Comedy,” “On Cinema”) and multi-hyphenate T.I. (“American Gangster,” “Takers”).

Based on the Marvel comic character first published in 1962, Marvel’s “Ant-Man” continues the lineage of epic big-screen adventures chronicled in Marvel’s “Iron Man,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Iron Man 2,” “Thor,” “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Marvel’s The Avengers,” “Iron Man 3,” “Thor: The Dark World,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Guardians of the Galaxy” and the upcoming Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”

Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

Marvel’s “Ant-Man” is produced by Marvel Studios’ president, Kevin Feige, with Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Victoria Alonso, Michael Grillo and Stan Lee serving as executive producers.

Director Peyton Reed’s creative team also includes Oscar® winning cinematographer Russell Carpenter (“Titanic,” “21”), production designer Sheppard Frankel (“Identity Thief,” “Horrible Bosses”) costume designer Sammy Sheldon Differ (“X-Men: First Class,” “Kick Ass”), visual effects supervisor Jake Morrison (Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World,” “The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers”), stunt coordinator Jeff Habberstad (Marvel’s “Iron Man 3,” “X-Men: Days of Future Past”) and six-time Oscar® nominee, special effects supervisor Dan Sudik (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Marvel’s The Avengers”).  The editors include Dan Lebental, ACE (Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World,” Marvel’s “Iron Man”) and Colby Parker Jr. (“Lone Survivor,” “Hancock”).

Marvel Studios’ upcoming release schedule includes Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” on May 1, 2015, Marvel’s “Captain America 3” on May 6, 2016, and Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy 2,” on July 28, 2017.   

Marvel Studios continued its unprecedented success in 2014 with more record-breaking films including the #1 releases of Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” which recorded the largest April opening of all time at $95 million and Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which recorded the largest August opening of all time with $94.1 million. Both films were the #1 film in the world when they were released on April 4, 2014 and August 1, 2014, respectively.

In 2013 Marvel Studios delivered #1 openings for Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World,” which grossed over $640 million worldwide and Marvel’s “Iron Man 3,” which grossed over $1.2 billon worldwide and was the highest grossing film of the calendar year.

In 2012 the studio produced the critically acclaimed “Marvel’s The Avengers,” which set the all-time, domestic 3-day weekend box office record at $207.4 million. The film, which shattered both domestic and international box office records, is Disney’s highest-grossing global and domestic release of all time and marked the studio’s fifth film to gross more than $1 billion worldwide.

In the summer of 2011, Marvel successfully launched two new franchises with Marvel’s “Thor,” starring Chris Hemsworth, and Marvel’s “Captain America: The First Avenger,” starring Chris Evans. Both films opened #1 at the box office and have grossed over $800 million worldwide combined. In 2010 Marvel’s “Iron Man 2,” starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, Mickey Rourke and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury took the #1 spot in its first weekend with a domestic box office gross of $128.1 million.

In the summer of 2008, Marvel produced the summer blockbuster movies Marvel’s “Iron Man” and Marvel’s “The Incredible Hulk.” Marvel’s “Iron Man,” in which Robert Downey Jr. originally donned the Super Hero’s powerful armor and starred alongside co-stars Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Shaun Toub and Gwyneth Paltrow, was released May 2, 2008, and was an immediate box office success.

Garnering the number one position for two weeks in a row, the film brought in over $100 million in its opening weekend.  On June 13, 2008, Marvel released Marvel’s “The Incredible Hulk,” marking its second number one opener of that summer.
________________________________________________________________

Hmm. Just checked and my pants are still dry.

The Dr Morg Trilogy....New Cover?

I've been tinkering around with covers for the second edition of The Dr Morg Trilogy -the metaphysical meets comics, man. Its the next natural step in comicery evolution!

Anyhow, I have two cover designs.  First is the more staid, basic cover:




And the really will warp your eyes one...EEEEEK! 

WARNING THIS REALLY WILL SCREW UP YOUR EYES AND BRAIN -DO NOT OPERATE NUCLEAR MACHINERY AFTER LOOKING AT THIS:

So, which is the one you think I should go with....the second may actually need a warning for epileptics -no kidding!
 

Why The Most Creative People Flourish In Clutter

 Above: Yes. I DID just tidy up!

Whenever I see images of any artists uncluttered work area/room I always ask "Have you just tidied up?" Creative folk really do live in clutter....I am known to vacuum/clean/tidy my room...in fact, when I do I can guarantee to lose lots of things I need "somewhere"!!

Read this!

http://elitedaily.com/money/entrepreneurship/psychology-behind-messy-rooms-messy-room-may-necessarily-bad-thing/708046/

Black Tower Online Store Deletions & Deleted Books

F. 1984

It struck home pretty hard yesterday that it is pretty much best to only work with yourself and publish your own material.  Creators can be a funny lot.

First a few words.

Black Tower Comics & Books is the largest publisher of Independent Comics in the UK and, I'm told, Europe.  The "World Mystery" books cover everything from UFOs, Sasquatch, Yeti, Sea and lake monsters, ghosts, Spring Heeled Jack and even what some might call "cryptozoology" -tracking down the first gorillas brought to the UK before they were allegedly 'discovered'.  The Girt Dog of Ennerdale, the Beast of Gevaudan...they tend to be over 300 pages and contain maps, rare or recently re-discovered photos and more.

There is a book on pioneering hot air ballooning.  Canids is pure wildlife research that covers over 35 years of research and takes a look at the history of foxes, coyotes, wolves and other 'mystery' canids in the UK and Ireland.

The Hooper Interviews takes the best interviews from the 1980s to 2000s -lots of art included.  Big, chunky book.

We have illustrated prose books such as Osaka Brutail -English Haiku, a version of Aesop's Fables, ghost stories and with Western and Japanese Yokai a look at western and Japanese spirits and demons with some great art.  I could go on but will leave it there on the books.

The comic albums range from horror, science fiction, super hero -I think most genres including "slice of life". We even cater for the adult market with Shafts Of Time and Maeve.

There are some great creators including Tom Elmes, John Erasmus, David Gordon and so on.  Creators own the rights to all their art.  I have never approached creator comics in any other way.  Here is the problem, though. Some creators simply will not give their home address -just an email or Face Book page. You then find they are no longer on FB and emails come back as "undeliverable" and as a publisher you cannot work that way.

I send creators a printed run-down of ALL Black Tower sales -quarterly or yearly.  No email or postal address how do I send those out?  Then you get the "You have seriously not sold any of my books?" even the print out of sales can receive a "Well...."  And, of course, the classic creator who just says "I don't want you to publish my book anymore!" You ask if there is a problem? No response.  You delete the book. Three months later you get "Sorry bout that but I was really ***** off at my girlfriend and I decided not to bother with comics.  If you want you can re-publish it now" to which my response is a polite "NO".

Then you have to consider the financial side of things. My deal is always that after profit the creator gets 50% (in the past I've actually given creators all the profit which is NOT good business). Here is how things work.

I want 10 copies of, say, The Cross Earths Caper to sell at an event.  Each book is £8.00 ($13.38) but I can buy them at £3.74 ($6.25). So 10 books are going to cost me £37.40 ($62.57).  Not bad? Then I have to pay the cheapest postal charge which in this case would be £11.99 ($20.00) so it's going to cost me £49.39 ($82.62).  So I would need to sell all of the books at £8.00 each which, IF I sold all of them would bring in £80.00 ($133.83). Which is £30.00 ($50.18).

No.  You see, there is the travel to events but the biggest financial drain are the costs of tables.  So that 'profit' is gone...in fact, so is the money you made back. You would need to sell one heck of a lot of books to cover your table AND printing/postage charges.  Most Independent publishers in the UK have very well paid jobs or very good finances available because if they treated publishing as a business rather than a hobby (and I am NOT saying that is a bad thing!) they would not last.

I try to make all of this clear to creators.  You will find no one in UK/European comics who is as open as I am -everything is in the full glare of daylight and scrutiny.

In this age of Print On Demand I think it easier for creators to publish and promote (another expense) their own books and see how they do.

As of Wednesday, 20th August, 2014, the following books will be permanently deleted from the online store and are therefore no longer available.

Because of major problems involving a late creators family as well as other problems it looks as though the adult orientated Dark Childe Trilogy will never be completed (it began in 1991!).  Scripts are all done but...so Shafts In Time and Maeve will be deleted.

The Tall Trees by Paul Ashley Brown will be deleted.
Autopsia by Jemma Webster will be deleted.
The Independents anthology which contains both of the above books will be deleted.
With VERY heavy heart Denizen Ark and Dervish Ropey, both by the great John Erasmus, will be deleted.
Equally sad, both books by Tom Elmes Descent and Post War Funnies will be deleted.

Other books are being looked at.

This will mean that there can be no accusations of my doing what publishers I have criticised have done as there will be no "stable of creators".  I have never misinformed, lied to or cheated ANY creator in all my decades in comics and this will insure that no such unfounded criticism can be laid at my feet.

A sad day but at least I am still publishing!