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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, 29 January 2015

Ready For A Gag? And, NO -I Do NOT Mean It Like That!!

Back in the early 1990s I wrote  single gags to go into European newspapers and magazines for, amongst others, the German Baaske Agency.  Got paid once and heard no more since -these could be in constant reprint and I'd never know it!

Anyway, I scanned some on the old 1990s computer so quality ain't great but here -see if they give you a smile!

Artist on these was John "Sepp" Schiltz.

X-Men For TV? Fox Gives Disney The Finger ....which has a totally different meaning in the UK than in the US!

This item, posted over at Pastemagazine: http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2015/01/fox-wants-a-live-action-x-men-television-series.html  seems to indicate that Disney (Marvel) are not going to get their characters back any time soon. 

After all, Fox has seen how many bucks 'Marvel' super heroes pull in.  Disney would need to buy the US Treasury to buy the franchise back right now.

Anyway, over to the marvelously named Turner Minton.....

Fox Wants a Live-Action X-Men Television Series

Fox Wants a Live-Action <i>X-Men</i> Television Series

Not every superhero saga has to be a multi-million dollar production set for the silver screen.

Today, multiple comic book adaptations are heading for the living room. The CW network has a nice crossover set-up going between Arrow and The Flash, a leap and bounds better than their early experimental days with Smallville. Netflix has recently ordered the first season of Daredevil, which is set to premiere its first episode April 10. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter seem to be doing well for themselves on ABC. Now, Fox is looking to get in on the action with a live-action version of X-Men, according to an exclusive from Collider.

Hold your horses moviegoers. Before anyone gets carried away, the series is in early development and should not interfere with any plans to complete the popular film franchise. With cast negotiations settling down for the latest entry in the film series, X-Men: Apocalypse, the studio is securely placing its bets on viewers wanting more mutants. Although the films have proven box office successes and guaranteed high paychecks for everyone involved, Fox has to believe that the series can’t go on forever. After all, Hugh Jackman has played Wolverine an unprecedented seven times. Although it’s unimaginable to see anyone else in the role of the metallic clawed mutant, audiences can’t expect him to stay young forever, unlike the character he plays.

The new series was first rumored in April of last year when writer/producer Simon Kinberg, who is currently working on the script for X-Men: Apocalypse, talked about the possibility of a X-Men television series coming to the Fox network with Collider editor Steve Weintraub:

“We’re still in this place of figuring out what the future of the franchise will be but when you look at S.H.I.E.L.D. to some extent and what Marvel is doing now with Daredevil and other shows on Netflix, it makes sense to tell some of these stories in TV partly because there’s just not enough screens to do all these characters and also because the serialized format of comic books is better suited for TV. Because that’s it, every week you come back to the same characters, different story, and in comic books every week it’s the same characters, different story. I think what [Fox is] seeing now is with the proliferation of new kinds of visual and special effects, there’s a way to make these stories that doesn’t cost $300 million every time you have to make a huge movie.”

The esteemed studio will have a few hurdles to jump over if it is going to get the show jumpstarted. The current deal between the studio and Marvel doesn’t include the rights to make a television adaptation of the Stan Lee comic series. Fox Entertainment Chairman Gary Newman had the following to add concerning the negotiations with Marvel:

“We’re cautiously optimistic, we had a good meeting with them. That will not be on a fast track creatively. This is just the deal, now we have to find the creative.”

Audiences have to be as cautiously optimistic about the promise of such a live-action series. On the one hand, the lower production value could diminish the value of the comic books with the lack of attentive action sequences. On the other hand, there should be an increased story arc leaning toward character development. Finally, the long-awaited love triangle between Jean Grey, Cyclops and Logan will get all the attention it needs.

The only question left to ask is how the series will be handled. Right now, the film series is trending towards a focus on the younger lives of the heroes, a step in the opposite direction of how the series got its start. With such a large cast to fill, the stars will most likely be unknown or lesser known celebrities. Ideally, no matter how the series approaches the content, the work will remain faithful to its source material.

Black Tower Overseas Licensing?

Posting no. 82 for January -happy Bob?

As 2015 is going to be my last fully active year in comics -though, like Bond, I never say "never again"- I need to make some money.  Seriously, if any overseas publisher is interested in publishing Black Tower books under licence then please get in touch -derails in the About section at the top of page.

Remember that BTCG books are black and white and I do NOT provide a translation service.

I've been asked a couple of times about an interview well, my usual objections I'm throwing aside for this year so....

That's it.  Now I need to go draw!

Welcome To Post No. 81

It's interesting that France and Germany have been in the top five sources for views of CBO.  Germany tends to drop off and back to 4th, 5th or 6th place while France has at times exceeded views from the United States or United Kingdom.

But though France seems to be providing a steady source of CBO views Bulgaria has gradually been creeping up the positions so that, today (it's 1325 hrs here in the UK) it is the country producing the highest number of hits.  Yes, Bulgaria is Number 1 in the CBO chart!

Thank you, Bulgaria.

Our good friends at Lambiek (which you should really all be checking out) provided a guide, albeit brief,to Bulgarian comicshere: http://www.lambiek.net/comics/bulgarian.htm

What comics, if any, are being published in Bulgaria today I have no idea.  I do know that in Sofia there is Elephant Bookstore (? if I remember correctly) and a comic museum opened in 2014 -I hope I'm remembering this all correctly as I have too much junk in my head.

Bulgaria -YOU NEED BLACK TOWER COMICS!  That or a company to reprint them under licence!

So, welcome, Bulgaria and if there is comic media news you would like to see more of on CBO get in touch.  Or want people to know about your comics?  I'm an easy going guy!

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

CBO Comic Strip: First Time In OVER 60 years -Slicksure Returns!

Harry Edgar Banger was a Platignum and Golden Ages -even Silver age- comic creator.  Like others he had to write his scripts and draw them.  Humour was his mainstay but with Slicksure he tried to combine humour and serious story-telling such as in the later.......The Terror Of Grimstone Castle!!

You can see that here:


For more on Banger (pronounced as in "Danger"):


And now, in 2015, a previously untold story of Slicksure while on a case in the United States brought to you by the much revived STRANSKY & LABATT!!!

Seiously? Is THAT All??

I got a comment from someone over on Face Book (forwarded by email) and it asked WHY I was not posting much on CBO?

I do not think Bob is a regular CBOer.  There have been 78 posts so far THIS month.  January.  How many posts have other comic media bloggers put up?

Greedy greedy little piggies!

Fantastic Four | Official Teaser Trailer [HD] | 20th Century FOX

I do NOT want to be Charlie Negative but this looks awful.  Really awful.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

So How Many......

Current views of CBO via Google+ stand at 1,116,700 add that the CBOs direct views of 1,792207 and you find that CBO has been viewed 2,908,907 times. 

And THAT is without all the internet feeds that pick up on what CBO posts or reviews.

Only hard copy reviews, remember.  So WHY send CBO books or DVDs to review?  If I have to write "Check those figures" then I need to ask you to move along!

We Enjoy Their Work But Where Are We When They Need OUR Help? Norm Breyfogle

Please read and visit the page.  If you can help please do.

NORM BREYFOGLE SUFFER STROKE and has a long road to recovery ahead with extended therapy and has no insurance. as a lengendary BATMAN ARTIST. his lifetime savings has already been dwindled down to nothing paying for for out of pocket, insurmountable medical expenses in nearly a week in I.C.U.

Norm has suffered paralysis on his left side (and is left handed). As an artist...that is devastating! Norm now needs months of extended care in a Nursing Home fscility with daily therapy that will hopefully enable him to once again, continue his skillful art and regain his mobility to be able to walk again.

Norm as touched many fans throughout his career as a professional artist and now needs all of our help. Norm has helped so many with his generosity throughout the years and has saved others lives in nearly the same situation of those in need of medical care expenses.

PLEASE Fans, Family and Friends, let's pull together now to help Norm after all he has done for all of us in the many ways he has touchd our lives. SPREAD THE WORD!

All it takes is just a $1 Donation from 200,000 of his fans, friends and family to pull him through! I am sure he may need much more to cover all the expenses...but this is a start!

Thank you all for all of your kind words and support! Norm appreciates all you do!

Monday, 26 January 2015

Take A Good Look At Room Oblivion As It Is..Or Not. meh

I am about to send Room Oblivion to maximum overdrive.  Total and utter thermonuclear devastation.  Well, I'm going to sort everything out and tidy up which means I'll lose things...last time it took me a week to find the toilet.  The toilet isn't in my room but where it always has been but I had a kind of metaphysical breakdown.

Anyway, I thought, as no one has really asked how a sad, old comic geek-cum-naturalist lives, I'd show you so, as we enter Room Oblivion to the right (this is handy for any potential suicidal burglars -I take no prisoners)....

(I need to apologise to my late Mother and Grand Mother as I have not tidied the room at all after being ill for a couple weeks and they would never have allowed me to let people see such a mess. Sorry, Mum.  Sorry, Ma!)

A shelf with some 1960s Silver Age comics, the black & white complete Vampirella collection and some Archie collections (but not all).  The two sample bottles on the wall? Cat teeth.  There, you never asked but I told you.

Now, above that shelf you will find some DC Showcase Collections, JLS/JSA trades, and All Star Squadron Showcase edition and my completed run of the 1980sAll Star Squadron.  And, yes, you can see part of a Hat Industries Rugga Rugga 1/72nd scale figures box to one side.

To the left (ignore the hanging, shrunken head as it is not real) top shelf are my Browner Knowles, some DC and Marvel paperback pocket books, comics and books by Jess Bradley, Vanessa Wells and so on. Just under that shelf are my series 1 and 2 DVDs of Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Dominic Hyde DVDs, Winnetou DVD set (THANKS to Subzero!) and that square box under them contains my 1/72nd scale fleet of Renault FT-17s (Oh, and you keep your vehicles in the garage, right?). A couple of the FT-17 boxes can be seen over the doorway.  Did I mention the series DVD set of Space 1999 Paul (Browner Knowle) Brown gave me for Christmas?

Next to the top shelf is my collection of Classical Comics books -whatever happened to them??? The company I mean as the books are there.  You see them....you DO see them?

Next couple of shelves my Marvel Essentials and trades.  You can just see the top of my UK Golden Age comics section (but I'm not going to show you them).

Bored? Let's move on them.

A nice big shot of things.  My next shelves have collected editions, trades, French, German, Russian,Belgian, Dutch books/comics and, from the left of the Cyberman/Iron Man/Hulk trio past the Mystery Machine and Superman coasters is my Cinebook The 9th Art collection -just had to "big them up" on two regional radio station interviews.  Oh, above those are my Dr Master Publications series books such as The Three Constables and Oriental Heroes.
Okaaaaay. More trades, books and I've just realised that there are shelves below all these with my comic history reference books and publications.  "Where are all your Black Tower Books, Terry?" you are not asking.  Well, in a box behind the sofa-cum-bed.  It would be just plain showing off to photograph them!

You are also beginning to see my UK comic annual collection (just past Witchy).
Because you never demanded it -some of the annuals plus Silver Age complete run of The Sub-Mariner, Fantasy Masterpieces, The Invaders (Marvel), Avengers-Invaders trade and others. Ignore that bit to the right we'll be getting there soon enough!

Did I not just say we would get here?  Ignore the models-in-progress  Gods of Light and Darkness this is messy.  Behinbd Ollie (the Owl) some military history reference books.  The next two shelves are my military reference books -uniforms, campaigns -L & F. Funcken books on uniforms covering Ancients to Modern, Osprey Man-At-Arms -various others.  Great references as an historian and wargamer!

A few references to gaming, toy soldier references and a couple local history books next -and my foreign language dictionaries.

These shelves go another 60 cms past me to the right.  The top shelf that isn't show, you can see part of it in the previous photo, contain wildlife/nature reference books some going back to the 19th century.A copy of the Bible and Quran and a history of English churches -go figure.

Next, hundreds of books covering the 1940s up to 2014 on subjects such as UFOs, ghosts, the paranormal, werwolves, strange phenomena, Sasquatch, Almasty, Yeti, Yeren, unidentified sea creatures ("sea monsters"), wildlife, tracking....hang on.....
Here you go.  The "hidden corner" not quite going as far as the ceiling (which is where my books go up to!) but it even shows the wall by my window (yes, if the window was a wall it would also be full of books) and the notes/art references I pin up there.

A teeny-weeny "tip of" glimpse of the European farm house and barn I'm building -but you're not here for "Basic Modelling With Uncle Terry" TM/(c)2015 Terry Hooper-Scharf TV enterprises.  Oh, that "brown thing with a face" on not quite the top shelf? It's a wax Rübezahl that belonged to my late Mother.  She bought it in Germany as it brought back memories of where she was born -Jauer -now in Poland. It might be a candle but she never lit it and it took pride of place on the mantle piece.

We're an odd lot

My comics are in file boxes in cupboards.  From popular to rare Independents covering the 1960s to 2000s.

 And now the big Kathy Kirby ending.....and if I sing "Secret Love" it will NOT be the "secret love" she sang about ,bless her.

As my Gran might say looking at this.  "He's not married" that would have all the subtle inferences her generation could put into those simple words.  My mum would probably be more direct -"This won't get you a girlfriend!"    I simply say: "LOOK! See all this? OH DEAR LORD PLEASE HELP ME!"

 Yes, I need to get rid of stuff -I've boxes of comics that shops and dealers will not buy -unless it's for such a cheap price it doesn't cover the cost of a book of postage stamps.

Let's face it -this drives ALL women away!!!

There, a glimpse of what is.  What will be I have no idea.  I get vertigo and altitude sickness getting to those top shelves.

"Where do you put your clothes, Terry?"    SHUT UP!!!!