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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, 28 April 2015

Everything You Need To Be Comic Book Geek Chic

I have a lot of patience.  It took from 1977-2010 to finally close a case file (you can read about this sort of thing in any of my books and you KNOW where my online store is!).  So,two years ago when being Comic Book Geek Chic became the "in thing" I subscribed to twenty You Tube channels by the "new evangelicals" as I like to call them.

I was already subscribed to five old time comic fan channels.

How many of those twenty are still "huge comic fans" and have channels?  None.  Seriously, one started gradually collecting vinyl records and then his mid-life crisis introduced him to motorcycles.  Each one he was very evangelical about.  Others just vanished.

The old timers -Captainstrangelife, hippycollectables, Kostenbraunstar et al -still going strong. Nothing "chic" about them and you can find links to their channnels on the Blog list.

Now we have more newbies -all videoing their "Hump-day hauls" -and I'll explain.  I kept hearing "today is "hump day" and I assumed that it was the only day of the week these people were allowed to have sex ("hump").  In fact "hump day" is a moronic way of saying "It's Wednesday -we are on our way to the weekend" -whoopee.  "Hump day" is also when comics hit the shops so there are LOTS of "my hump day comic haul" videos on You Tube -all by more newbies.

Oh!  They have also picked up on comickers who have shown their comic purchases while parked in their cars and on breaks.  If I hear one more newbie say "Hi. Here I am in my car--"  I'll ****** scream.  Well, there is a steering wheel in front of you, a car interior, windows so I think even Forest Gump could tell you were in a ***** car.

Ass heads.

BUT, when you start these videos you think "Hello. What's going on here?" Because the geek chicster puts on cotton gloves...ooh, is this going to be "one of those" videos?  No, it is so that the comics that have been hit by dust, packers fingers, store staff fingers and so on are NOT touched by any human skin because if it was it would immediately be devalued to 1 cent or burst into flame.

You'll see these advertised for "genuine collectors"....
Now, if you are dealing with a very rare document, say Magna carta or very rare archives -yes, even I've worn them then because 18th and 19th centuries newspapers are very delicate and important to preserve.  A newly printed few dollars comic book....feck off.

I love that two bloggers even wore face masks to prevent breath getting on comics.  Look, from the moment the comics -or anything- is printed/made it is decaying.  That includes human beings.  So, gloves and face masks just put a big neon sign over your head reading "arschloch"!

Bags, well, yes, you want to stop accidental spillages onto books or kids or even (bad memory flash-back here) gerbils from ruining your comics okay. 

I've been berated a few times that I do not bag and board all my comics. Firstly, **** off.  It's none of your concern.  Then I get "Oh, so you do bag some comics just not the reading copies" -NO NO NO NO NO NO. I do not have 2, 4, 6 or even 10 copies of a certain comic in various "grades" but one grubby one to read.  I have ONE copy. Yes, I have comics and I read them.  Some very old ones or ones I read a lot I do bag especially since dust and mold can be a problem.  But I do not go out buying Mylar bags -if I do buy any they are bog standard comic bags....

But I tend to use plastic document sleeves -you know the 50 for £1 that are supposed to go into ring binder folders.  And, no, I do not back board unless its a rare, flimsy comic.

And they hunted down the Nazis and left me alone -terrible, isn't it?


And I do not go out and buy archive sheets that go into comics to absorb any moisture and thus prevent rot.

Think about it.  Newsprint paper in a PLASTIC bag and a sheet to absorb moisture.  Plastic bags "sweat" ever so minutely but you have a sheet that ABSORBS moisture IN your comic.

Here is something you need to consider.  NOTHING will stop your comic from rotting. I'm not even going to go into why your comic collection is NOT going to make you rich -just search this blog or You Tube. But, and I am sorry to bring this up, how long do you think you are going to live -70, 80 years? You die and your books will either be dumped, burnt or sold off.

You are being ripped off for every penny.

Now, one final point, and it does cement the theory I have written so much about.  Up until TVs The Big Bang Theory, geeks were looked down on.  The TV show made them look "cool" so out came the fake spectacles to look "geeky" and as the TV show mentioned comics more so the morons thought it cool. So Comic Geek Chic was born.  Now, in that TV show the character Sheldon Cooper kept boxes of disposable cotton gloves to wear while reading comics.  Up until that time, as I mention, I had only ever seen rare document archivists wear gloves but never comickers.

But people saw there was money to be made so to the bags, boards and double thickness storage boxes (I picked up 20 for £20 that are the same size as archive boxes and REALLY tough -you will not get a comic storage box from a store or online supplier for that money!) came the cotton gloves and face masks.

All of this marks you out as being a dupe, trying to look cool and with money to waste.

It Was Back In The Day....but I've no idea which day...

 Here we go again.  "Back in the day", Amazing Heroes was the comics news publication from the United States.  And a lot -a lot- of creators tried to get a mention in it.  I never had to try -I think I was mentioned in three issues.

Once again I hear that...well, more BS from morons who I can only assume are jealous.  But I can only respond with this:


Anyway, in Amazing Heroes #179, May, 1990, Hal Hargit wrote in his Small Press World section, under The UK Invasion Part One, about a certain bearded human dynamo.

As I like to always show certain people up as total arses I am including the piece here.  Oddly, the, uh, "comic personality" spreading the muck was never once mentioned in Amazing Heroes. Ever.

Did you hear that bitch-slap?

Monday, 27 April 2015

Les Super-Héros à la Française !

I REALLY have to try to get a copy of this!

Bonjour !
A la une de ce numéro de mai, les Super-Héros à la française !

Une riche enquête signée Philippe Peter. 

Au sommaire également : Jano, Edith, Mathieu Sapin, Dominique Rousseau (Vasco), Carole Martinez, Patrick Marty, des travaux inédits d'Albert Uderzo pour l'armée de l'air, les studios Aardman... et l'histoire de Zig & Puce.

Vous découvrirez aussi que François Morel est un passionné de BD et de belles images.
Sans oublier nos actualités, critiques, intégrales et notre sélection jeunesse !

Bonne lecture à tous !

It Was A Cosmic Fulcrum........

It was "back in the day" (about 1989/1990?) and I was visiting the Fleetway-Egmont offices regularly if not to take in scripts for Revolver then to pitch ideas.

I have already posted on The Ultimate Game and mentioned its predecessor, The Cosmic Fulcrum. Blogger has managed to delete most of the images (AGAIN!) but you can find it here:


Now this all became Return Of The Gods: Twilight Of The Super Heroes.  And I had lost all the pages to the Cosmic Fulcrum....or so I thought.  I'll explain.

I had only photocopies of Fulcrum, drawn originally by Dean Willetts whose black and white art I posted samples of a couple days back. LOVELY  art but, though I never got excited since I knew what companies were like, Fleetway-Egmont expressed interest.  I had spoken to the Revolver editor and had a rather heated few words about WHY I was very unhappy that "Igor thinks this series title is so great he wants to use it so if you can re-name the series---" and on my way out bumped into another editor and we got talking.

Apparently, Egmont, owning Fleetway, were looking for something new.  I arranged to call back the following week having pitched The Cosmic Fulcrum.  Next week I turned up with the pages -black and white and the hurriedly coloured pages.  I was told it all looked good but he'd need to show it all to the boss.  So, he took everything and was going to copy it all and hand it back on my next visit (a third trip to London in a week -eugh!).

So, I turn up at the offices and the man "isn't here any more" -this happened a lot back then for no reason. But the young lady handed me my folders back and had been instructed to tell me "no thank you".

I got home not very happy.  A week later I needed to make more copies but the black and white pages were gone -someone had accidentally put various financial documents in the folder.  And some colour pages were missing while others had been hole-punched!  I return the financial papers but I never got the art returned.  After six months I gave up.

There are differences here compared to Return in which RIM (Robotic Infantry Man) and Femme Avenger and Justice (being watched by the trilby wearing shadow) never got to Neo Olympus.

Here is what I found in a folder at the bottom of a box -inked using Windsor & Newtons.  I've not tidied them up but this is comics history....somewhere!

If You Are In Germany (Sorry) Hundreds Of German Cinemas Boycotting Avengers: Age Of Ultron

Of course Disney are going t6o squeeze every cent out of something that is popular.  It is what they do. A furry turd gets attention then Disney will sell it at an over the top price.

Just as you are guaranteed that soon Star Wars and the Marvel Universe are going to cross over.  My gods, the Disney executives must be wetting their pants over that.  Why are Marvel Disney comics more and more sci fi based.....?

Hundreds Of German Cinemas Boycotting Avengers: Age Of Ultron
The heroes of ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ won’t be assembling at a number of German theatres.
Theatres in 193 small towns in Germany are refusing to screen the Marvel blockbuster, citing Disney’s raised rental fee for the film, according to German publication Deutsche Welle. 

In total, the film is being kept from 686 screens.

Cinema owners told DW that they were taken aback when Disney announced it was upping the fee from 47.7 to 53 percent of ticket sales.
Additionally, Disney is cutting its advertising spend and will not provide advances for 3D glasses. 

“We are worried, particularly about eastern Germany,” Karl-Heinz Meier, spokesman for advocacy group I.G. Nord, told DW. 

“When prices go up, then we have a serious problem that could force movie theatres to close.”

A Disney rep issued a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, saying that the studio wouldn’t address the situation. “We don’t discuss the negotiations that we are engaged in with our partners in exhibition,” the statement reads.

The Joss Whedon-directed film, which stars Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans, opened April 23 in Germany. 

It got off to a big start at the international box office this weekend with a $201.2 million haul, including $9.3 million from the German box office, and hits U.S. theatres on May 1.

Image credit: Disney

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Death If This Be My Day...

I shoulda been writing comics.

Anyhow, not able to do much of anything today but a CBO policy decision was made as I clashed with death above the planet Earth (I really aint all here).

I am going back through all the events I publicised in 2014/2015 and those I never got a follow up press release or event photos from -blacklisted.

Seriously, I give up hours of my time and lots of CBO space to these events and NEVER get any follow ups, even when I ask, so let the cull begin (drawn by Erik Larsen).

Saturday, 25 April 2015

An Appreciation -British Creator Ben R. Dilworth

There are UK comic creators who deserve to get far more recognition than they do. I have highlighted some of these in the past but  it is worth mentioning one other.  Ben R. Dilworth.

Now the man inked over my pencils "in the day" (which is what we call the period 1986-1990) on strips such as Liz & Jen: Coming Out and D-Gruppe: Revenge of the Ice Queen.

He was also self-publishing Small Press comics under his Penguinflight banner and seemed to be  contributing to every small press comic going -Bum Comic, Creepy Crawlies, Zine Ager, Hardware -it is a bloody long list and the legendary Picasso Cafe must never be forgotten!

Neither do I forget Dilworth stapling Black Tower Adventure issues across his knee at the old Bath marts.  Nor the experimental acetate, spray-painted covers for Previews Comic or a dozen other mad things.

We ought to, really, forget the most famous and now nearly lost legendary visit of Dilworth and Andrew Hope (who recently worked for Marvel Comics) to Bristol.

The drunken outrages committed -including throwing up over the window of comic shop, Forever People, or the very long discussion between the two on the movie A Company of Wolves which kind of resulted in the 0300 hours incident of me wielding a bread-knife......yeah, let's forget that.

Anyhow, The Tall Man wrote and drew for comics such as Spider Baby Grafix's Taboo, Eternity Comics Killing Stroke and Trident Comics (PLEASE no one mention Trident to Paul Ashley Brown!!) The Shadowmen written by some Scots bloke...uh, Mark Millar.

He can also claim to be, as the artist, co-creator of Pete Wisdom, initially created by Warren Ellis and drawn by Ben , in a pitch for "Electric Angel" for publisher Trident Comics.

Didn't know all that did you?


Here are some of his credits from a data base I just stumbled across at http://comicbookdb.com/creator.php?ID=8028

Killing Stroke (1991)


Killing Stroke (1991) The Shadowmen (1990) Taboo (1988)


Gore Shriek (1986) Gore Shriek (1990) Killing Stroke (1991) The Shadowmen (1990) Shriek (1989) Taboo (1988) Trident (1989)


Gore Shriek (1990)
Killing Stroke (1991)

And over recent years The Tall One has had work published by Black Tower -including his Award winning Haiku (in English), Aesop's Fables, Purple Hood, Runestone, Chronos:The Watchman -and much, much more that has ensured Black Tower titles such as Adventure were able to carry on after a rough patch.

The man is a fecking comic book genius.  WFT is he not working full time in comics and getting paid??!

Calming down a bit....deep breath.  Seriously, check out the Black Tower lulu.com store front and you'll find Dilworth work.  Maybe one day he'll get a creator byline for Pete Wisdom, hmm?
From myself I'd like to offer him a big THANK YOU.

You wait, I'll make him famous yet.  Poor but famous!

And I went and forgot Loaded number 1 from 1991 in which I wrote and pencilled Graveyard  and Dilworth  inked and lettered!