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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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Sunday, 24 May 2015

On Seller Greed And Buyer Stupidity





This item has been re-listed several times on Ebay and from the description you will see why:

SLICK-FUN-ALBUM-1954-VARIOUS-Acceptable-1111111111




Item specifics


Condition: Acceptable : Split the cost with friends

Seller notes:“Dust jacket absent with major damage to the spine and boards including a missing spine, bumped corners and soiling. Inscribed on the front and back end-papers. A number of the images have been coloured in, with annotations and underlinings throughout. The page edges are tanned and a little dusty with foxing creeping into occasional pages. This book is beginning to show its age with usual signs of wear and damage to the binding, including damage to the hinges inside both boards. GRADED COMMENSURATE WITH AGE OF BOOK DUST JACKET ABSENT PLEASE BE AWARE THIS BOOK IS PRE 1965 AND THE GRADE WILL REFLECT IT'S AGE”


To which I can only respond with a derisory "bollocks, mate!" And I am being serious here though I am not naming the 'trader' because I found others linked to Ebay and Amazon asking anywhere from £25-£65.00 for this and another Swan album.

They all use the con-man phrases of "Very rare" or "THE GRADE WILL REFLECT IT'S AGE" -meaning it is old and tatty but you will never find another bargain like this.  The implication is also that the book(s) are so rare that if you buy it you can later sell it for what you want.

The fact that this particular seller has re-listed the book three times to my knowledge proves the lie in that.

This is like going into W. H. Smith and being offered a 2013 Dandy annual for £40 that they found battered and moldy in a corner: "Well, you know how popular the Dandy is and you will NOT find another 2013 annual in shops....oh, someone scribbled in it and the spine is battered but this reflects its age."  As an example a 2013 Dandy Annual is going for 99p to £2.80 on Ebay but there is this item:

"THE DANDY COMIC THE LAST EVER ISSUE AND THE DANDY ANNUAL 2013 - BRAND NEW"

"Only" £19.95 but you can get the gift set 2013 Beano and Dandy Annuals (2 annuals!)  for £2.00 and a copy of the last ever Dandy comic will cost you between £2.35-£3.00 that is all three for £4.35 -£5.00. Where the feck do you get £19.95 (oh, and add the postage) from?

Chancers and con-men.
Take a look at my copy of the same 1954 Slick Fun Album that arrived yesterday.  Shiny cover, no damage and apart from a 1 inch tear of one page margin near the spine, perfect.  The paper quality is great, not 100% but we were still on paper rationing back then.  

Cost? £7.50 WITH postage and packaging.  That is correct because there is no "huge collectors market" for Swan books -I've picked up comics for £2.00 in pristine condition.  

The most I ever paid for a Swan album was £10.00 which included p&p and I paid that because there was something specific within I needed.  As it turned out I got a complete refund when I found 4 pages missing but the strip I wanted was intact.  The dealer:"These pop up all the time I just never checked inside this copy"

There were THOUSANDS of these books printed and I have talked with reputable dealers who handle comic annuals and we all agreed that, based upon the market interest (usually people fooled into believing they are buying printed gold!), quality of paper/print and the fact that about 99.9% of the creators had never been major names (on that I disagree as E. H. Banger -pronounced as in "ranger"- was a major contributor to Platinum, Golden and even Silver Ages comics though his work has been belittled by many morons who claim to be comic historians) then £5-7.00 for an annual is a decent price.

If you, as comickers, keep buying these books at over-inflated prices then the crooks will keep increasing the prices.  It just means they make a huge profit and you have lost money and have a book worth £5-7.00 and unless you are an over zealous fan it is just an over-priced book.

It's rather like the 1970s "banned" UK Action weekly comic issues -one for sale on Ebay had reached £700 an hour ago.  Here is a truth that I was told by the bosses at the company: they still sold the banned issues but "one had to pretend to maintain order".  So, there are many more "banned" issue copies out there than you think because the whole industry was crooked and had its ways -burn books that cost money?  Yeah. Right.

'Rare' Alan Class copies going for £20-35 each.  That's a crook trader and a VERY dumb buyer. For any Class comic a standard price would be £2.50 max if you really wanted that issue.  Fantastic weekly "Ultra/Very rare Silver Age"...the joke is that thousands of copies of this comic are sold every month on Ebay...that is a LOT of very rare/ultra rare comics! 

Some utter moron, I'm sorry but he/she is, purchased a copy of the old print Comic Bits as a "rare silver age fanzine" -"rare"/"silver age" and "fanzine" being very false for the first two and "shady" with the third. I still have copies.  Oh, the moron paid £28.00 and £5.00 postage (???? for an A5 42 pager).

I remember about five years ago a BBC TV day time antique show (sell your old junk mainly -Cash In The Attic?) had their expert ("X" =the Unknown and "spurt" is a drip under pressure) look at a 1969 Star Trek Annual.  "Well, it's 1960s and Star Trek so you can ask £30 for it!" he declared as only chancers do.  Did it sell? No.  

In charity shops and two comic shops the same annual was on sale for £1.50.  

Similar price on Ebay...until Leonard Nimoy died and prices hit £25-40.00....why???  Leonard Nimoy did not write nor draw nor have any connection with these reprints of Gold Key comics other than there was a character called "Mr Spock".  Go on, sell the annual for the price you paid on Ebay.

But the greed goes on and as someone once wrote: "there is one born every minute" -a recent Batman issue had an asking price, on the same day as it was on sale in comic shops, of $12-19.00!  One long time comicker wrote online "F*** this. I'm waiting til it goes into the back issue bins!"  And guess what? Some of those selling the book at a high price were found to be shop owners who had not "been able to get hold of enough copies" for their standing orders...at the regular price.  And the old "I doubt we can get a copy as they've sold out" ploy was used.  One man purchased a copy online after being told this but next visit to the shop "We actually managed to get a copy for you after a lot of effort so its a bit dearer in price" -YES. The ploy I wrote about in a previous post.

When it was tried on me I said "Too bad. I got my copy online because you said you COULD NOT get a copy" (furious, whining shop staff).

You are an enabler if you allow this.  Seriously, draw a line!

I have a foot high concrete, mass produced gnome in my garden. An antique programme just on the TV had a dealer wanting £50 but he got knocked down to £25. 

Suckers.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Happy Terry Day!


Paul Ashley Brown had absolutely no idea why I was so excited to get these.  The poor boy needs an education ("boy" -HAH!).



The 1949 Slick Fun Album and the 1954 album.  £7.00 each which is about right for very good quality. There were a couple other Swan albums but prices were from £22 -65.00 for really poor condition, basically because con artists/crooks think they can screw people over for huge amounts because comics are "in".

Tonight I shall be losing myself in pure nostalgic joy as my Swan albums collection grows -and so does my Golden Age UK comics collection.

Just lovely.

Like The Strangers That You've Met

 Drawings By Paul Ashley Brown


PAB
21 x 21.5 cms
20pp
black and white
£4.00
available from  Paul Ashley Brown, c/o 15 Wedmore Vale Road, Bedminster, Bristol BS3 5HQ


Having just sold one heck of a lot of books at the Alternative Press event in London, Mr. Brown is one of those creators I keep telling people that they need to invest in.   His books have sold in Europe and he has been to Finland and Japan which adds to his already existing following in the UK.

Mr. Brown is currently working on other projects but tends to not over expose his work.  So this makes that work much sought after!

Rather than use the familiar format of the Browner Knowle series, Mr. Brown has opted for a more squarish format and, sadly, my scanner does not show the nice yellow shade of the cover -but that's scanners for you!



The scanner does not do justice to the pencil artwork which is a great pity as these centre pages I really like.  And it is an even bigger annoyance because with today's printing technology you can reproduce pencil art superbly -it's when it gets into the hands of kack-handed scanner-reviewers that it goes wrong!

For investment, and if you can get a hold of copies because these are low print run books, I would say buy this book or Browner Knowles or any of his books -the mini Yo Yo books sell like hot-cakes on a cold Winters day so if you can buy any of those do!

And if you have bought a copy of  number 6 of The Comix Reader -check online to buy at http://www.thecomixreader.com/ - you will see some of Mr. Brown's colour work.


Again, if you get a folded newspaper size comic it will get creases -and the actual colours on this piece are quite subtle.











































No Tobias Tak in this edition which means that Mr. Brown's work is the stand-out piece in the comic.  Again, I don't think The Comic Reader has a massive print-run so worth getting and there is the added bonus that newspaper format comics in the UK are VERY rare.

But you can order the latest Paul Ashley Brown book directly from him so why not ask him to sign your copy?

Really is a nice book and I have to add it to my collection which includes Judge Dredd and Blue Saviour illustrations by said Bristol's own King of Zines!

Highly recommended.
 http://illustrators.co/sites/default/files/the-leaving-detail.preview.jpg

Just remembered there IS a PAB page where you can see his work:http://www.paulashleybrown.co.uk/#home

Grange Hill's Benny Green Dies Aged 50

Grange Hill's Benny Green Dies Aged 50

Tributes have been paid to Grange Hill actor Terry Sue-Patt, who was found dead at his home aged 50.
He was best known for playing Benny Green in the popular BBC show about pupils at a fictional comprehensive school in north London

Sue-Patt played football-loving Benny from 1978 to 1982, and was the first pupil to be shown in the debut episode.

He was given the role after a talent scout spotted him playing football in a park in London.
Sue-Patt - who became a graffiti artist in later life - was found dead at his home in Walthamstow, northeast London, on Friday.

Police are not treating his death as suspicious.

Fellow Grange Hill actors left messages of condolence on social media.

Erkan Mustafa, who played Roland, tweeted: "Still cant believe it. Called your phone to hear your voice."
Lee Macdonald, 46, who starred as Zammo Maguire, wrote: "R.I.P Terry Sue-Patt the memories of our times together will never be forgotten! Love you FOREVER Xxxxxxxxxxxx."

He shared a recent picture of himself with Sue-Patt and a group of friends from their Grange Hill days on a night out together.

Sue-Patt also enjoyed success in 1989 football hooligan film The Firm, starring Gary Oldman.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman told Sky News: "Police were alerted at 12.42 on Friday, 22 May, to concerns for the welfare of a man in Walthamstow.

"At 13.44, officers forced entry to a flat in Northcote Road, E17 and found the body of a man, aged in his 50s, inside the flat. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

"Next of kin have been informed. At this early stage, the death is not believed to be suspicious."

Tempus fugit

Friday, 22 May 2015

DARK HORSE ANNOUNCES PHOENIX COMICON 2015 SIGNING & PANEL SCHEDULE






CORRECTION: DARK HORSE ANNOUNCES PHOENIX COMICON 2015 SIGNING & PANEL SCHEDULE


CORRECTION: A previous version of this release did not mention the Dark Horse booth number (#7052). This has been corrected in the new text. Apologies for the inconvenience.
Visit Dark Horse Comics at Phoenix Comicon at booth #7052 for free swag, such as comics, buttons, posters, and more! Check out our show exclusives, signings, and panels, too!
PHOENIX COMICON EXCLUSIVE
Archie vs. Predator #1 Phoenix Comicon exclusive variant cover by Darick Robertson (500 copies).
A set quantity will be available at opening each day of the show. Limit of 5 per person per day while supplies last. Each comic is $5.00.
We’ll also have a variety of Dark Horse comics, graphic novels, art books, and collectibles for sale in our booth.
SIGNING SCHEDULE
All creators signing in our booth offer their autographs for FREE. FREE prints, comics, or posters are provided for signings (while supplies last). You may purchase or bring items to be signed; however, we may restrict the type or number of items to be signed as necessary. Please note that some of the titles listed below have not been released for sale yet—in those cases, special prints will be available.
Lines may also be closed for some signings due to crowding or time restrictions.
All events are subject to change. Some restrictions apply. Please ask the Dark Horse Comics staff if you have questions.
THURSDAY, MAY 28
5:00 p.m.–5:50 p.m. ARCHIE VS. PREDATOR, GRINDHOUSE: Alex de Campi
Archie vs. Predator #1 Phoenix Comicon exclusive variant cover by Darick Robertson available for purchase.
7:00 p.m.–7:50 p.m. MIDNIGHT SOCIETY: Drew Edward Johnson
FRIDAY, MAY 29
11:00 a.m.–11:50 a.m.  MIDNIGHT SOCIETY: Drew Edward Johnson
2:00 p.m.–2:50 p.m. THIS DAMNED BAND: Paul Cornell, Tony Parker
3:00 p.m.–3:50 p.m. TWO BROTHERS, DE:TALES, PIXU, THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY: Gabriel Bá, Fábio Moon
4:00 p.m.–4:50 p.m. EI8HT, X, B.P.R.D. HELL ON EARTH: Rafael Albuquerque
5:00 p.m.–5:50 p.m. GRINDHOUSE, ARCHIE VS. PREDATOR: Alex de Campi
Archie vs. Predator #1 Phoenix Comicon exclusive variant cover by Darick Robertson available for purchase.
SATURDAY, MAY 30
11:00 a.m.–11:50 a.m. TWO BROTHERS, DE:TALES, PIXU, THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY: Gabriel Bá, Fábio Moon
12:00 p.m.–12:50 p.m. ARCHIE VS. PREDATOR, GRINDHOUSE: Alex de Campi
Archie vs. Predator #1 Phoenix Comicon exclusive variant cover by Darick Robertson available for purchase.
1:00 p.m.–1:50 p.m. MASS EFFECT, X: Tony Parker
2:00 p.m.–2:50 p.m. THIS DAMNED BAND: Paul Cornell, Tony Parker
3:00 p.m.–3:50 p.m. EI8HT, X, B.P.R.D. HELL ON EARTH: Rafael Albuquerque
4:00 p.m.–4:50 p.m. MIDNIGHT SOCIETY: Drew Edward Johnson
SUNDAY, MAY 31
11:00 a.m.–11:50 a.m.  THIS DAMNED BAND: Paul Cornell, Tony Parker
12:00 p.m.–12:50 p.m.  MIDNIGHT SOCIETY: Drew Edward Johnson
1:00 p.m.–1:50 p.m.  EI8HT, X, B.P.R.D. HELL ON EARTH: Rafael Albuquerque
2:00 p.m.–2:50 p.m. GRINDHOUSE, ARCHIE VS. PREDATOR: Alex de Campi
Archie vs. Predator #1 Phoenix Comicon exclusive variant cover by Darick Robertson available for purchase.
PANEL SCHEDULE
Please join us at the panels below, brought to you by Dark Horse Comics and friends! Please visit http://www.phoenixcomicon.com/programming for more panels featuring Dark Horse creators, as well as guidelines for attending panels.
FRIDAY, MAY 29
12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.  North 121  Dark Horse Comics!
For years, Dark Horse has brought the creations of the most talented creators in the comics industry to the stands—and now’s your chance to jump onboard! Join Dark Horse PR coordinator Steve Sunu as he heads up a panel of Dark Horse’s incredible creative talent, including Rafael Albuquerque (EI8HT), Paul Cornell (This Damned Band), Alex de Campi (Archie vs. Predator, Grindhouse), and more!
1:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m. North 121 Spotlight: Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon
From The Umbrella Academy and Casanova to Daytripper and De:Tales, Eisner Award–winning duo Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon are two creators at the forefront of innovation in comics and graphic novels. With their newest anticipated graphic novel, Two Brothers, coming soon, join the twin brothers for a special spotlight panel discussing their careers, the joy of creating comics, developing Two Brothers following their incredible success with Daytripper, and much more.

SATURDAY, MAY 30
1:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m. North 122 Spotlight: Rafael Albuquerque
Rafael Albuquerque is the Eisner and Harvey Award–winning co-creator of Crimeland, Mondo Urbano, and the New York Times best-selling series American Vampire (written by Scott Snyder and Stephen King). Come find out what Rafael is up to next!

The Marty Ray Q&A: Don’t Forget About Elvis

Interesting interview with an incredible singer.  Full interview here:


http://globaltexanchronicles.com/mary-ray-qa/


Marty Ray


For me, it’s not something I try to do, I just sing any song the way I feel it.
by Walter Price

There’s a thing in the music business where you need to be something you may or most likely are not. Marty Ray isn’t in that realm. He is a songwriter and song interpreter who publicly wears his beliefs, loves and understandings on his everyday person sleeves.

God? Yes. Love of a wide variety of sounds? Yes. Understanding of an honest approach? Yes. Marty Ray may just be the voice, with his covers that take near classics into new soulful grounds and originals that shout authenticity, the world needs now.

My happenstance introduction of Ray has kept me intrigued, his-story has converted myself and thousands of others into a fans.

I like that line in your bio, “My Momma always said when I cried as a baby, it sounded like a song,”, have you always been making music?

‘HARROW COUNTY’ #1 SELLS OUT, GOES TO SECOND PRINTING‏



‘HARROW COUNTY’ #1 SELLS OUT, GOES TO SECOND PRINTING


DON’T MISS YOUR CHANCE TO VISIT ‘HARROW COUNTY’
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MILWAUKIE, OR—Dark Horse Comics is pleased to announce that Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook’s Harrow County #1 has sold out and will receive a second printing. Featuring a new cover by Crook, the new printing will give even more readers a chance to visit “the town that will make your skin crawl.”
Praised as “genuinely creepy and engaging” by Mark Millar and called “[a series] worth checking out” by master of horror Clive Barker, Harrow County follows the story of Emmy, who always knew that the deep, dark woods surrounding her home crawled with ghosts, goblins, and the restless dead. But on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, she learns that she is connected to these creatures—and to the land itself—in a way she never imagined.
Harrow County #1 is the latest of several sold-out creator-owned first printings from Dark Horse and follows in the footsteps of this year’s Lady Killer and EI8HT.
Don’t miss your chance to experience the series Bloody Disgusting calls “a masterful creation that lingers in the small moments of terror from our daily lives.”
For a closer look at Tyler Crook's Harrow County #1 second printing variant, head over to Comic Book Resources.
Harrow County #1 Second Printing (APR158284)
Cullen Bunn (W), Tyler Crook (A/Cover)
$3.99
On sale June 17; FOC June 1
###
For more information or interview opportunities, contact:
Aub Driver aubd@darkhorse.com | Steve Sunu steves@darkhorse.com
About Dark Horse
Founded in 1986 by Mike Richardson, Dark Horse Comics has proven to be a solid example of how integrity and innovation can help broaden a unique storytelling medium and establish a small, homegrown company as an industry giant. The company is known for the progressive and creator-friendly atmosphere it provides for writers and artists. In addition to publishing comics from top talent, such as Frank Miller, Mike Mignola, Neil Gaiman, Brian Wood, Gerard Way, Felicia Day, and Guillermo del Toro, and comics legends, such as Will Eisner, Neal Adams, and Jim Steranko, Dark Horse has developed its own successful properties, such as The Mask, Ghost, Timecop, and SpyBoy. Its successful line of comics and products based on popular properties includes Mass Effect, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Aliens, Conan, EVE Online, Halo, Serenity, Game of Thrones, and Domo. Today Dark Horse Comics is the largest independent comic book publisher in the US and is recognized as one of the world’s leading publishers of both creator-owned content and licensed comics material.

Octobriana: The Underground History

Think you know all about cult comix character, Octobriana? Kult Creations' forthcoming book 'Octobriana: The Underground History' might have a few surprises for you...


 

 Keep checking Kult Creations on the blog roll!

Just So That YOU Understand....

Achtung, Baby -It's February! It Isn't??

Yeah, I'm not doing auto posts any more. Luckily Chris Rice pointed out that a Suicide Squad item that SHOULD have auto posted in February did so today.

Anyhow, from tomorrow on I've got to get back to drawing and reading books for review.

Oh joy!