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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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Thursday, 26 November 2015

CAPTAIN AMERICA 3 CIVIL WAR Trailer German Deutsch | The First Avenger |...

Captain America: Civil War - Trailer World Premiere


"So, what happens now?" asked the rat as we met in the back garden.

"It's inevitable, isn't it?" I responded with a shrug of my weary shoulders: "One of us has the go!"

The rat turned slightly and I'm sure I saw the corners of its mouth crease slightly, as though trying not to smile: "Well, I'll be sorry to see you go" he said.

And with that the rat scuttled off into the overgrown brambles.

Just another Thursday morning for me.

As I pack everything up I did ask myself  "what happens now?" and I have been thinking about this.  The online store for Black Tower Books and Comics is like a eunuch in a harem of sex starved women. Impotent.  Closing it down takes too much effort and to be honest I have no idea how to close it, nor do I have the inclination to bother and find out.  It just stays there. All floppy.

As I don't sleep much, to try to dull my night-time thinking and make it "manageable" I thought about 2016.  The last of the "you never won a table -could you mention the event?" messages has come through.  Every single UK event will be attended by...the same creators and publishers as the ones in 2015, 2014 and so on back to...whenever.  So the response to the request to publicise the event was "in the last four years I have never 'won' a table at your event but the same people as every other year have so until you respect me and stop lying the response will always be: NO."

With the deaths and so on this year the idea of trying to get a table at European events  doesn't seem likely.

But that leaves me with not many options.  Honestly, translating books into German and selling them in Germany -apart from Subzero not a single person in Germany has ever expressed interest so I'm not going to knock myself out.

The idea of approaching European publishers and getting books published by them?  Well, the French publishers have been quite rude in some responses but I'm never sure whether that is just down to poor English?  Certainly, the French publish so much that they can pick and choose and dictate conditions so the idea is to look for a decent publisher.

I am looking at certain projects so have not given up -it's just the UK that is dead to me.

I was asked about the US?  Well, there are so many small publishers there you literally trip over them.  Also, 99.9% of them DO NOT pay.  I need to eat and pay bills.

So don't panic...you were not panicking, were you??

Either these comics go or I do.

Now, the rat is looking at me and has furniture to move in....and he looks annoyed.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Maybe Black Tower Ought To Try This?

Interesting post here by Adrian Chen at Gawker.com http://gawker.com/5874304/japanese-department-store-may-want-to-look-up-the-word-fucking?sidebar_promotions_icons=testingon&utm_expid=66866090-67.e9PWeE2DSnKObFD7vNEoqg.2&utm_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fm.facebook.com      

 I wonder....did Mr Dilworth offer to translate-?

Apologies to the Sensitive in advance.

Japanese Department Store May Want to Look Up the Word 'Fucking'

Japanese Department Store May Want to Look Up the Word 'Fucking'
If only we could have sat in on the meeting where the marketing team for this Osaka department store came up with the idea for their "Fuckin' Sale," spotted early this month by a reader of Jake Adelstein's Japan Subculture blog.

-There should be some cool English words on these signs.
-How about "Fuckin' Sale?"
-What's that mean?
-Fuckin' means, like, really good. So it's a really good sale.
-And there's no other meaning to "fuckin'? Nothing at all that might embarrass us on the internet? Remember what happened with our Save-a-Shit-Ton promotion…

Ahhh, now there is the follow up by Chen:

Mortified Japanese Department Store Cleans Up 'Fuckin Sale'

Mortified Japanese Department Store Cleans Up 'Fuckin Sale'
An Osaka department store's Fuckin Sale was one of the classic Engrish gaffes of our time. But the funny signs were quickly taken down after the internet freaked out about them.
According to a post last Saturday by the Japan expat blog Super Happy Awesome, the store, Gallerie, caught wind of the global snicker in the final days of the Fuckin Sale:
the sale is still on until Monday, but I spoke with the people from Gallerie earlier today (hurray, my Japanese is getting better!) and apparently they've decided to take down the fuckin' signs.

They also apologized for any offense taken over their hilariously offensive sign.
Why apologize? Those signs brightened the days of countless miserable office workers here in the states.
Super Happy Awesome also discovered the real reason why there was a "fuckin sale" in the first place. Apparently fuckin is an unfortunate pun on fukubukuro—"lucky bags." It's a New Years tradition for Japanese retailers to put their overstock from last year into big grab bags and sell them at a discount. (We had hypothesized a foul-mouthed American chef brought fuckin to Japan's shores.)


Dilworth's Osaka Brutal never predicted this!

Marvel's Jessica Jones - Official Trailer - Only on Netflix [HD]

So, I'm guessing the Purple Man is the baddie here?

Chang3lings At Festive Toy & Comic Mart Edinburgh!

Yeah, I know I said I don't publicise events.  However, friends who run small businesses that I support go to events then I'll mention that event.

David (The British Manara) Gordon is not only a great comic creator but his Chan3lings items make me wish I had a bit of spare cash!

This from his Face Book page:

" Chang31ings will be at the Festive Toy and Comic Fair this Saturday https://www.facebook.com/events/1672913699605638/ (Nov 28th) come on by and see what Christmas goodies you could treat yourself to. This is just a sample of what's on offer here

 A selection of stock going to the Edinburgh Toy and Comic Fair at the peach Tree Edinburgh, Saturday 28th November, free entry."

And I am unashamedly going to show just some of the things -there is much more so go check out the table!


Tuesday, 24 November 2015

I Just Could Not Think Of A Title For This Post!

You know, I've often said -and written here on CBO- that I am fed up with people who "Friend" me on Face Book and who "read CBO twice a week if not each day" but then prove that they never do and it is so obvious but the lying and self interest is so ingrained it is like water off a duck's back.

Yesterday, I got a message on Linkedin -the awful Face Book copy that started out with good intentions. It was from one of my Face Books 'friends'.  He explained how "we are getting a graphic novel together" and how they were looking for crowd funding because this is how "we creators" -not me, obviously, but real comic creators with full time non-comic jobs- manage to get books out there.

Now, how many times have I said that I do not -DO NOT- promote kick-starters, jump-starters or anything else starters on CBO?  Those posts go on to Face Book as well as Linkedin, Twitter, Google+ and lots of other places.

So, if someone is checking out my newsfeed on FB every day they would know this.  They would know that I DO NOT use that FB page any more.  I sent a message out to my comic book FB friends a year ago about this.

No, like everyone else, he has my feed turned off.  Why?  Because he only wants to know and take advantage of me when HE has a project or book to sell.

Has this person EVER mentioned any of my books on his blog or web page? NO.  Has he ever, in fact, shown any support of myself or Black Tower Books or even commented on items about them or their future and CBOs?  No.

Has this person ever commented on his much liked CBO ?  Has he ever commented about CBOs future or when I have mentioned him or previous projects -even a quick "thanks!"?  NO.

Like 99.9% of comic book 'friends' on Face Book, he has no idea if I am still alive.  Or even a personal email.  No, he says "sorry to spam you"....he KNOWS he is spamming me.  So the message is now officially marked as spam coming from an account NOT compromised.  He's a spammer.

If he had even looked at CBO, Face Book, Linkedin, Google+ he would know the situation.

Like comic events creators and publishers have had it made clear repeatedly the CBO is a two way deal not a free press release service.  Other blogs may resort to this but not CBO.  Book hits my door mat it gets reviewed.  FIVE offers of review pdf last week.  No. You send a hard copy and PROVE that the book is real because I am not telling people how to pay for books and the books never get published.  this is so common and people end up paying for these books and don't get their money back.  In fact, a follow up from one of last week's pdf boys tells me they have put the project on "hiatus" -it was supposed to be released today!

Self interest and being two-faced might be what comes naturally to some but they should expect to get treated the way they treat others.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Dupuytren's Is NOT Like Gamma Radiation Poinsoning It Seems

Hmmm. Sexyyyyyy.  Sorry. Yes, I'm going to see whether my new arthritis compression gloves help with the fibromyalgia and Dupuytren's disease ("Dupuytren’s disease" (also referred to as Dupuytren's contracture) is a common condition that usually arises in middle age or later and is more common in men than women. Firm nodules appear in the ligaments just beneath the skin of the palm of the hand, and in some cases they extend to form cords that can prevent the finger straightening completely -my problem along with nodules) when I try drawing.

So, "fingers crossed" he he he he he----oh. You don't get it?  This is comedy gold. Honestly.

Anyway, not having even drawn a sketch since May of this year, it has been depressing. Over five decades of drawing and writing then -boing! Stopping.

We'll see what we see.  By-the-way, the gloves do seem to work generally.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Get 'Em Once! Get 'Em Twice! Get 'Em....well, you know.

WILBERFORCEYep, available one place only and many -MANY- £s/$s cheaper!


You  can also find some on Amazon and other sources but they do not make me much money so, come on, buy from the online store and remember that at least these books will be collectibles! 

To contact me please check out "About" at the top of the page -thanks!


Black Tower Comics began in 1984 as a Small Press publisher of A5 (US -Digest size) titles such as Adventure,Presents,Windows and Hanley's Garage.  Then came the news, reviews, previews and interviews publication backed up by the mart and mail order service -Zine Zone (later Zine Zone International).

In 2009, with the innovation in publishing of Print On Demand (POD), Black Tower jumped in head first!

One of the first titles to see print in the new comic album format (A4) was The Bat Triumphant! This saw the complete story, begun in Black Tower Adventure vol. 1.  William A. Ward's long lost 1940s character once again saw print as he fought a host of  enemies in an attempt to reclaim his homeland.


And while The Bat may have fought fist and nail to reclaim his homeland, another 1940s Ward creation, Krakos the Egyptian, seemed far from willing to claim a new Egyptian Empire as promised to him by the Gods.  Tackling a number of foes and even encountering the Many-Eyed One, Krakos turned his back on the gods and the final panel of Krakos -Sands Of Terror, delivered a true twist!

Krakos -Sands Of Terror!

Of course, the flag-ship title had to return!  And so Black Tower Adventure -eventually reaching new heights when the legendary Ben Dilworth jumped on board!  Volume 2 consisted of  ten issues. Just look at these covers....

Black Tower Adventure 1Black Tower Adventure 2BLACK TOWER ADVENTURE 3Black Tower Adventure 4Black Tower Adventure 5Black Tower Adventure 6ADVENTURE 7Black Tower Adventure 8BLACK TOWER ADVENTURE 9Black Tower Adventure 10

And, with something like 40 years worth of files and investigation reports could all that much delving into UFOs, lake and sea creatures and many other mysteries not result in a book or two...or three? Some Things Strange & Sinister, Some More Things Strange & Sinister as well as Pursuing The Strange and Weird: A Naturalist's Viewpoint set a precedence.

Whereas for decades those involved in "UFOlogy", "Cryptozoology" and "Forteana" declared many mysteries, that photographs were lost "to history" and so on, these three books swiped away the false claims.  Alleged lost photographs -found.  'Mysteries' solved by doing actual research work and reading the sources -something others had never done.
Some Things Strange & SinisterSome More Things Strange & SinisterPursuing The Strange & Weird:A Naturalists Viewpoint

And, of course, mention natural history and Black Tower Books broke new ground with that in The Red Paper: Canids.

The Red Paper: CANIDS

But not all the prose books covered mysteries and wildlife.

And if there is one thing "Herr Professor" loves it is discovering and presenting long lost UK Golden Age (1939-1951) comic strips and characters from publishers such as Gerald Swan, Foldes, Denis M. Reader, Cartoon Art Productions and others.

Scanned and restored as best as can be considering the poor print quality of the rationing years -especially red, orange, yellow, blue and purple ink printing!

Ace Hart The Atomic Man!  The Tornado!  TNT Tom!  Dene Vernon!  Acromaid!  Cat-Girl! Bring 'Em Back Hank! Robert Lovett:Back From The Dead and so many other action heroes and humour strip characters -William A. Ward, Jock McCaill and a host of known and unknown creators contribute -either in single volume " Black Tower Gold" albums or all six collected into the 400+ pager -The Ultimate British Golden Age Collection!

The Ultimate British Comics Gold CollectionBlack Tower British Gold Collection 1Black Tower British Gold Collection 2Black Tower British Gold Collection 3UK GOLD COLLECTION 4Black Tower Gold 5:Back From The Deadblack tower gold 6

Another great love is Centaur Comics from the United States.  Right at the very start of the American Golden Age of Comics Centaur had creators who were ahead of the others!  Before Plastic Man there was Plymo!  Before The Human Bomb there was TNT Todd!  Before Green Arrow and waaaaaaay before Hawkeye there was the mysterious red hooded archer called The Arrow!  And, to just break your comic mind world there was even a Black Panther -decades before Kirby came up with his character of the same name.

The Eye Sees All.  The Owl. The Iron Skull.  Amazing Man. The King of Darkness.  The Invisible Terror. The Blue Lady. The Shark. Mini Midget & Kitty.  Mighty Man. Super Anne.  The company may have been short-lived but it's characters -oh boy!

The two volume Centaur Heroes Collection has been compiled into one sweet 140 page comic collection!
The Ultimate Centaur Collection 2011

Horror. Ghost stories.  The twist-in-the tale.  Did you think that a publisher who is a big horror comic/film fan would ignore these?

Nope.  Each year since 2010, BTCG has published a Tales Of Terror anthology album and 2014s included some fun and spooky lost Swan Comic strips.  I mean how can you go wrong -even Ben Dilworth is in these!

 Tower Tales Of TerrorTales Of Terror 2TALES OF TERROR IIITales Of Terror 4

The Church Of England has it's own basher of dark forces in the Reverend Merriwether -"God's Demon0-Thumper" as the press billed him.  From an ancient Egyptian demon to a village of the damned and Varney the Vampyre, werwolves and a final confrontation with Satan himself -Merriwether pulls no punches and offers no compromise.  And in those last few seconds between life and death, Merriwether's mind recalls past cases -thanks to Ben Dilworththe Tall Man of Osaka.

Merriwether: God's Demon Thumper and Merriwether: The Test Of Satan are available as individual comic albums or in one swanky book The Collected Merriwether: God's Demon Thumper.

 Merriwether:God's Demon-ThumperMerriwether:The Test Of SatanMerriwether: Gods Demon Thumper

Oh, did I forget to mention Dene Vernon -British comics' first investigator of the supernatural and strange mysteries?  I did? Unbelievable since Gavin Stuart Ross drew the 1948 based Dene Vernon: The Thing Below!

 Dene Vernon:The Thing Below

 And did you know Ross also drew the two adventures of Victorian mystery man Chung Ling Soo? Chung Ling Soo: The Curse Of The Jade Dragon and Chung Ling Soo: The Case Of The Thames Serpent were two cracking tales of magic, adventure, murder and deception -still available as single comic albums or collected together to form The Adventures Of Chung Ling Soo!

Chung Ling Soo 1Chung Ling Soo Man Of Mystery


Ben Dilworth is no slouch either!  Chung Ling Soo's police "counter-foil" isnone other than old London "Jack" (police man) Inspector Wilberforce and when Dilworth says "Here's a Wilberforce one-off: PUBLISH IT!" you do not argue!


And did you know you can be a Gold Master of Japanese Haiku?  Well, neither did I -but guess what?  Ben Dilworth is such a master and his Osaka Brutal features his Haiku in English!

 Osaka Brutal

Old saleman that he is, Dilworth just keeps on going.  He produced Aesop's Fables -a darker version of the childrens tales and then went on to write two well illustrated prose albums looking at spirits and demons -Dilworth's Japanese Yokai and Dilworth's Western YokaiOsaka and the Yokai books were combined with Aesop's Fables into the one volume The Collected Ben R. Dilworth -though the single volumes are also still available.

The Collected Ben R. DilworthDilworth's Japanese YokaiDILWORTH WESTERN YOKAIDilworths Aesop's Fables

Horror comics yes but also some nice illustrated prose from Dilworth in...Dilworth's Horror & Ghost Stories but for the connoisseur those stories were collected together with the Phantom Detective comic strips into The Complete Phantom Detective!
Dilworth's Horror & Ghost StoriesTHE COMPLETE PHANTOM DETECTIVE

And could anyone forget the sensational Iron Warrior Versus Big Bong:When Giants Fought? But add to that the various Iron Warrior strips from Adventure and you get The Iron Warrior Collection -When Giants Fought!  In the 1940s, William A. Ward's creation was to be the most graphically violent comic strip seen until the 1970s.  That is some legacy. It continues....with a touch of fun!


In case you are wondering, yes, obviously there are super heroes.  Mix in ancient pantheons of gods, giant robot, alien invasion, Lovecraftian dark ones and so much more that the book runs to over 320 pages then you have part 1 of Terry Hooper-Scharf's Invasion Earth Trilogy" or as it is titled Return Of The Gods: Twilight Of The Super Heroes!  And epic ending with the words: "Dr Morg has killed us all" -and if you have never read the mind altering counter actuality that is The Dr Morg Trilogy you may be saying "What? Who-?"

And part 2 of the trilogy The Cross Earths Caper ought to get you in the mood for 2015s big 31st Anniversary third part of the trilogy The Green Skies.

 The Return Of The Gods:Twilight of the Super HeroesTHE CROSS EARTHS CAPERJourney Of The ID:The Dr Morg Trilogy

If you pass the ESTC (Epileptic Seizure Test Cover) on Dr Morg well, you are fit and healthy enough to read it and to check out all the Black Tower Comics and Books at the online store -see why we are the UKs largest publisher of  Independent Comics!