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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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Friday, 3 July 2015

Batman V Superman and Whatever Happened To Good versus Evil?

Ahhhh.  Dealing with rescued pigeon.  Delays everything.

Any how, I was looking at all the Batman v Superman hype and the "much anticipated confrontation" -okay, if you are old enough you'll see that a lot in this is Miller The Dark Knight Returns inspired -particularly the heavy duty bat-suit.

But here is something: in Busiek & Perez's JLA-Avengers (2003) we saw the differences between the Marvel and DC comics universes.  At one point the Flash notes how hostile people are in the MU -particularly toward mutants.  In the DCU, Quicksilver is stunned that people there hero worship and hold super heroes in high regard -"They even have a Flash museum".

Okay, Marvel's Universe at this moment has become....a cesspit of exploitation for a quick buck but, as Sanchez noted in Comments -NO Loki or Black Widow comics.  I mean, WTF? Loki, thanks to the movies, is almost as popular as the heroes but no comic?  Jack would be spinning in his grave.  AND no Black Widow comic.   N O  Black Widow comic.  Like Black Widow in toys, Disney seems not to like the idea of promoting Ms Romanoff or Romanov or however they spell it now.

But, while the Avengers were formed to fight a common foe it seems the Justice League will emerge from Batman taking down a Superman with a Messiah complex.   Since 2003 DCU has sunk lower and lower in the mire and "dark and nasty sells....until the next crisis" seems the golden rule

Right, I may be getting old but I remember when super heroes were those "brightly coloured costumed heroes who stood as a beacon of hope".

It seems more about hero fighting hero than Good versus Evil.  Good versus Evil -and a fun read. But, unlike many others, I am not going to condemn the movie!  I have not seen it, though there seems a big trend in slating every new movie as "awful"/"terrible" based on a few photographs.

Let's see how it goes.  But I still like Good Versus Evil!

Thursday, 2 July 2015

SQUIRREL GIRL Cosplay by BelleChere

This one is for Subzero. And his very long post ;-)

Rob Liefeld and his HIDDEN Deadpool Art!

 Rob Liefeld posted this on his Face Book page.  Sounds interesting!

"Hey!! I'll be placing original ‪#‎Deadpool‬ artwork in hidden spots all over Comic-Con and the surrounding Gas Lamp District during the show! Full story at Comicbook.com ‪#‎robliefeld‬ ‪#‎xforce‬ ‪#‎newmutants‬ ‪#‎marvel‬"

Briefly....Greed Is Contagious

Apparently, more than a few store owners have thrown their hands in the air over the Marvel 45 new titles announcement.  Some are complaining that they have rooms full of unsold comics but down to the very last one, all said they ought to make a killing from the #1s!

Source -someone at Diamond who deals with US stores.

Call it Disney greed but the smaller fry have them some greed to....

Exclusive Photos Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice

But they are not exclusive to CBO....I know but you followed the link, right?

Entertainment Weekly have released a smattering of stills for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice from their Comic-Con issue.    Buy the magazine.  Get the details -and photos!

Comics, Model Making....The Scum Are Always Lurking.

What the hell is going on with these internet morons who use the internet?  For years I endured hate mails, accusations and much more on a daily basis -some times ten times a day.  Rumour mongering on UK comic groups and more.

I began keeping files (still have them) with full ISPs and much more.

But then people who do enjoyable video blogs like Captainstrangelife and hippycollectibles -and others in the You Tube comic community started getting this crap.  Some left all together because it just wore them down.  ISPs sorted out a few of these people, too.

Now in the terrain and modelling community it has happened. Templarcrusader has even had threats of violence (he's 6' 4" tall and well built so he's not that worried) and now TheTerrainTutor reveals he has been getting all sorts of grief.

Guess what? ISPs will be sorting that out, too.  There is this belief that if you use a stupid internet pseudonym to carry out your cowardly acts you can get away with it.  False.  Years ago I learnt how to track an ISP and identify the prats involved.

The ones who put their real names to things -including threats- I sorted out legally.

If you are in the United States it is a criminal offence to do these things and, guess what?  If you are in a country covered by Interpol -it's an offence.  Even countries not in Interpol are bringing in legislation.

A pity these people have so much time to waste so negatively (it might just be a sexual inadequacy thing with them) rather than put that energy into achieving something good.  Mental aberration or not, they still need training to become normal people...including having access to computers and the internet taken from them.

Comics, model making...it used to be a good pastime but then came the internet.

Val Doonican 1927-2015

BBC News
 Val Doonican
Irish singer and TV entertainer Val Doonican has died aged 88.

His family said he died "peacefully" at a nursing home in Buckinghamshire. He had not been ill, but his daughter said his "batteries had just run out".

The performer was a regular fixture on TV with The Val Doonican show which ran on the BBC from 1965 to 1986, featuring his own performances and guest artists.

He was also rarely out of the UK charts in the 1960s and '70s with songs like Walk Tall and Elusive Butterfly.

In the album chart, he had five successive top 10 records and even knocked The Beatles' Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band off the top spot in 1967 with Val Doonican Rocks, But Gently.

In a statement, his family said: "He was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather and will be greatly missed by family, friends and his many fans."

Born in Waterford, Ireland, Doonican's career took off after he was booked to appear on Sunday Night at the Palladium in 1963.

It led him to be offered his own BBC show - for which he became known for his trademark rocking chair, colourful jumpers and cardigans - and kick-started his recording career.

He filmed some 25 Christmas specials, which Doonican told The Express in 2013 he "couldn't bear to watch".

"They became something of a national institution, attracting audiences of up to 19 million. It felt embarrassing seeing myself. We'd sit as a family enjoying ourselves but as soon as my show started, I'd nip off to another room," he said.

His other hits included The Special Years, What Would I Be and If The Whole World Stopped Loving. He also sang the theme song for the film Ring of Bright Water.

If you never understood that he had a wicked sense of humour the "Val Doonican Rocks, But Gently" will just slip by you.  Talking to people who met him, I was told he was very relaxed. Very down-to-earth with no star pretensions.

So who will now look after his collection of little boxes made of ticky-tack while he goes off to chase that Wild Elusive Butterfly.

Lots of memories.

Tempus fugit


Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Marvel Announces 45 -yes, 45- New Titles and everyone cheers..but it is KILLING comics!

I think the headline on Comic Book.Com says it all:

 Marvel Announces 45 All-New All-Different Series

Yes, 45 new comic series. I'm not really sure whether I need to say this but with comics already struggling and achieving not even cover price value just what good are 45 new first issues going to do? Oh, "morons all buy first issues -they're the ones pull in the cash!"

No, no,no, no no, no.  The whole Secret Wars was a con trick.  I wrote so.  It was going to sort out continuity and make a fresher Marvel with nothing old surviving from the 1963 Marvel.  Sorry, how many Avenger titles and Avengers linked titles?

Clench your teeth and try to hold down your anger.  Here goes:

Invincible Iron Man #1
W: Brian Michael Bendis A: David Marquez

A-Force #1
W: G. Willow Wilson CA: Victor Ibanez
“A-Force to be reckoned with…”

 All-New All-Different Avengers #1
W: Mark Waid A: Adam Kubert, Mahmud Asrar CA: Alex Ross
“Earth’s mightiest most dedicated heroes.”
Team consists of Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, Vision, Ms. Marvel, Miles Morales, and Nova.

Uncanny Avengers #1
W: Gerry Duggan A: Ryan Stegman
“Fighting for Humanity, Inhumanity, Mutants…and Deadpool”
Team consists of Spider-Man, Quicksilver, Brother Voodoo, Steve Rogers, Rogue, either Inferno or the Human Torch, a new female character, and – you guessed it – Deadpool.

New Avengers #1
W: Al Ewing A: Gerardo Sandoval
“Avengers Idea Mechanics. We A.I.M. To Help.”
Team consists of Sunspot, Squirrel Girl, Hawkeye, Songbird, Hulking and Wiccan.

Ultimates #1
W: Al Ewing A: Kenneth Rocafort
“Ultimate problems need Ultimate solutions.”
Team consists of Black Panther, Monica Rambeau, Blue Marvel, Miss America, Captain Marvel, and Galactus(!?)

Doctor Strange #1
W: Jason Aaron A: Chris Bachalo
“Some surgery requires a scalpel – some, an axe.”

Captain Marvel #1
W: Tara Butters & Michele Fazekas A: Kris Anka
“Captain Marvel rises.”

Sam Wilson, Captain America #1
W: Nick Spencer A: Daniel Acuña
“Who do you stand with?”
The cover shows a torn photo of The Falcon and Steve Rogers as Captain America in the background. Rogers and Wilson as Captain America walk in opposite directions in the foreground.

The Totally Awesome Hulk #1
W: Greg Pak A: Frank Cho
“Who is the Hulk?”
The hulks face and left hand are blacked out on the cover.

The Mighty Thor #1
W: Jason Aaron A: Russell Dauterman
“The flash may be weak but the thunder is strong.”

Scarlet Witch #1
W: James Robinson A: Kevin Wada
“Seeing red…”

Ms. Marvel #1
W: G. Willow Wilson A: Takeshi Miyazawa & Adrian Alphona CA: Takeshi Miyazawa

Illuminati #1
W: Josh Williamson A: Shawn CA: Riley Rossmo
“Forever evil.”
The team clearly features the Red Hood. Other members are smaller and silhouetted. Absorbing Man is recognizable by his ball and chain. Other members appear to be Black Ant, Titania, and…Mr. Hyde?

Hawkeye #1
W: Jeff Lemire A: Ramon Perez
“Hawkeye vs. Hawkeye”
Both Hawkeyes appear noticeably aged on this cover. Clint, in particular, is sporing a white beard and several new lines on his face.

Ant-Man #1
W: Nick Spencer A: Ramon Rosanas CA: Mark Brooks
“Once a criminal…?”

The Vision #1
W: Tom King A: Gabriel H. Walta CA: Marcos Martin
“A bold new Vision for the Marvel Universe.”

Contest of Champions #1
W: Al Ewing A: Paco Medina
“When heroes gather…”

Amazing Spider-Man #1
W: Dan Slott A: Giuseppe Camuncoli CA: Alex Ross
“Your friendly neighborhood just got bigger.”
Spidey’s got a tweaked suit with a redesigned symbol and glowing green parts. Also, it looks like the Spider-Mobile may be back.

Carnage #1
W: Gerry Conway A: Mike Perkins CA: Mike Del Mundo
“Descent into madness…”

Spider-Woman #1
W: Dennis Hopeless A: Javier Rodriguez
“Parent by day. Hero by night.”
Jessica Drew is noticeably pregnant on the cover.

Spider-Man #1
W: Brian Michael Bendis A: Sara Pichelli
“Welcome to the Marvel Universe, Miles Morales. Hope you survive the experience!”

Spider-Gwen #1
W: Jason Latour A: Robbi Rodriguez
“The Secret History of Gwen Stacy and Peter Parker!”

Silk #1
W: Robbie Thompson A: Stacey Lee CA: Helen Chen
“The Sinister Silk”
Silk appears to be robbing a bank on the cover.

Spider-Man 2099 #1
W: Peter David A: Will Sliney CA: Francesco Mattina
“Smack to the future.”

Web Warriors #1
W: Mike Costa A: David Bildeon CA: Juian Totino Tedesco
“Defending the Spider-Verse
Cover features several characters from Spider-Verse, including Spider-Gwen, Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Ham, Spider-Man: India, Spider-UK and Spider-Girl (Anya Corazon).

Daredevil #1
W: Charles Soule A: Ron Garney
“The devil’s apprentice”
The cover shows that Daredevil’s apprentice is Gambit.

Guardians of the Galaxy #1
W: Brian Michael Bendis A: Valerio Schiti
“The raccoon’s in charge.”i
The team consists of Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Drax, Venom, The Thing, and a woman in Star-Lord’s costume, most likely Kitty Pryde.

Drax #1
W: CM Punk with Cullen Bunn CA: Ed McGuinness
“Best in the galaxy

Howard the Duck #1 (yes, again.)
W: Chip Zdarsky A: Joe Quinones
“Howard, uh, gets a new hat…”

Nova #1
W: Sean Ryan A: Cory Smith CA: Humberto Ramos
“The family business…”
Cover shows Sam Alexander with an adult Nova, possibly his father.

Star-Lord #1
W: Sam Humphries A: Dave Johnson
“Feels like the first time. Feels like the very first time.”

Venom: Spaceknight #1
W: Robbie Thompson A: Ariel Olivetti
“Sometimes a hero needs a little space…”

Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1
W: Frank Barbiere A: Brent Schoonover
“To fight the monsters of the world…We need the monsters of the night!
Team consists of Dum Dum Duggan, Hit-Monkey, Man-Thing, Werewolf by Night, Manphibian, zombie Jasper Sitwell, and a few others.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1
W: Marc Guggenheim A: Mike Norton
“Keeps your friends close and your enemies closer.”

Uncanny Inhumans #1
W: Charles Soule A: Steve McNiven
“The silence is broken.”
Team consists of Black Bolt, Medusa, Reader, Triton, the Human Torch, and Beast.

Karnak #1
W: Warren Ellis A: Gerardo Zaffino CA: David Aja
“The flaw in all things”

Angela: Asgard’s Assassin #1
W: Marguerite Bennett A: Kim Jacinto & Stephanie Hans CA: Julian Totino Tedesco
“Hel hath a new fury.”

Squadron Supreme #1
W: James Robinson A: Leonard Kirk CA: Alex Ross
“Sole survivors of their own worlds, they’ll do ANYTHING to protect this one.”

Extraordinary X-Men #1
W: Jeff Lemire A: Humberto Ramos
“Still hated. Still feared. Still standing.”
Team consists of Storm, Iceman, Colossus, Magik, Nightcrawler, Jean Grey (still young), and Old Man Logan.

Uncanny X-Men #1
W: Cullen Bunn A: Greg Land
“Bigger threats require more threatening X-Men.”
Team consists of Magneto, Psylocke, Sabretooth, Mystique, and Fatomex.

All-New X-Men
W: Dennis Hopeless A: Mark Bagley
“On a mission to make their own future”
Team consists of Wolverine (X-23) and young Cyclops, Angel, Iceman, and Beast.

Old Man Logan #1
W: Jeff Lemire A: Andrea Sorrentino
“Older. Wiser. Sharper.”

All-New Wolverine #1
W: Tom Taylor A: David Lopez
“Best there is at what she does”

Deadpool #1
W: Gerry Duggan A: Mike Hawthorne CA: Tony Moore
“More Deadpool than you wanted”

I have to say movie and TV franchise based comics do well here.  This is just way too much.  It's like loading up a tipper truck with as many titles as you can and dumping them in a shop doorway and seeing what happens. 

Disney is going for, hoped-for, fast bucks and screw the fans and comic industry.  DC is rumoured to be planning something similar but I hope not.  As it is the Disney empire is going to oversee the collapse of comics and it will not care so long as the movies make money.

Awful.  And rather than asking about the effects of this glut of titles, comic book sites -almost as one- are simply asking: "Which titles are you excited about?

I guess if you are just fan-boys pushing PR from Marvel (or DC) you don't really give a feck what shit they are feeding you.  Questions should be getting asked but they just aren't.  It's just the usual cheer of "Hooray! Marvel Disney are ripping us off again!"

50 years a Marvelite and True Believer.  I see this shit and I see.....nothing.