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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, 18 December 2014

Buying Comics Because It's Your "Retirement Investment"? You're Being Conned!

This article from last year on the Bloomberg Business site and, basically, reinforces everything I've written about.  Lots of New Comic Chique Geeks are being ripped off -especially on Ebay and internet comic stores.  "This Avengers comic is hot! It'll be worth thousands if not hundreds!"

Anyway, read and weep.

Those Comics in Your Basement? Probably Worthless

Those Comics in Your Basement? Probably Worthless
Photograph by Paul Carstairs

Barry T. Smith, 44, spent most of his life collecting comic books. And he always considered them an investment. “These books would someday be college tuition, or a house down payment,” Smith remembers thinking. “I would lay them all out in my parents’ living room, sorting them, cataloging them, writing down entries on graph paper while cross-referencing them against the Overstreet Price Guide.”

After college he landed a tech job in Silicon Valley but held on to all 1,200 of his comics, including several hundred early issues of Marvel’s (DIS) X-Men, which his research suggested had grown in value every year. The comics sat in a storage unit, boarded and bagged, for close to two decades. When Smith found himself unemployed and in need of money to support his wife and two daughters, he decided the time was right to cash in on his investment.

The entire collection sold for about $500. “I’m not too proud to admit, I cried a bit,” Smith says.
He’s not the only would-be investor who’s discovered in recent years that his comic collection isn’t worth nearly as much as he’d hoped. Kevin J. Maroney, 47, of Yonkers, N.Y., decided to sell 10,000 comics, roughly a third of his collection, on consignment with various comic book stores in Manhattan. Thus far, fewer than 300 have sold for a total of about $800. He’s not surprised by the lack of interest. “A lot of people my age, who grew up collecting comics, are trying to sell their collections now,” says Maroney, who works in IT support for Piper Jaffray. “But there just aren’t any buyers anymore.”

Frank Santoro, a columnist for the Comics Journal and an avid collector himself, has noticed the same trend. “More and more of these types of collections are showing up for sale,” he says. “And they’re becoming more and more devalued. The prices are dropping.” He recently had to break the bad news to a friend’s uncle, who was convinced his comic collection—about 3,000 books—was worth at least $23,000. “I told him it was probably more like $500,” Santoro says. “And a comic book store would probably only offer him $200.”

Stories like these are a stark contrast to what’s typically reported. To go by media accounts, 2013 has been a huge year for the vintage comic market. A Minnesota man found a copy of Action Comics No. 1—the first appearance of Superman, published in 1938—in a wall of his house and sold it for $175,000 in June. Three decades ago a different copy of the same comic sold for about $5,000, a record at the time. In August, meanwhile, Heritage Auctions hosted a comic-oriented event in Dallas where a highly-graded copy of the 1940 comic Batman No. 1 sold for a staggering $567,625. A recent piece on the Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch website was especially enthusiastic about comics as an investment strategy, calling them “more predictable than stocks” and “recession-proof.” Old comics, the author suggested, could even save your home from foreclosure.

Outlandish claims and tales of amazing windfalls elicit only groans from Rob Salkowitz, a business analyst and author of Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture. He also happens to be, in his own words, “a guy in his 40s with a basement full of old comics.” He warns that too many people have been deluded into thinking they are sitting on a comic book gold mine.

“There are two markets for comic books,” Salkowitz says. “There’s the market for gold-plated issues with megawatt cultural significance, which sell for hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions of dollars. But that’s a very, very, very limited market. If a Saudi sheik decides he needs Action Comics No. 1, there are only a few people out there who have a copy.” And then there’s the other market, where most comics change hands for pennies and nobody is getting rich or even breaking even. “The entire back-issues market is essentially a Ponzi scheme,” Salkowitz says. “It’s been managed and run that way for 35 years.”

Bill Boichel, the owner of Pittsburgh’s Copacetic Comics, argues that transactions involving high-profile vintage comics happen in an entirely separate market. “Ultra-high-grade books sell for as much or more than ever to doctors, lawyers, brokers, and bankers,” he says. Comics like The Amazing Spider-Man No. 1—an Ohio man recently auctioned a copy for $7,900 to help pay for his daughter’s wedding—are considered a “blue chip stock of high liquidity, in that there is always a ready buyer for it.”

14 DC Titles Cancelled...More First Issues On The Way!!!

Swamp Thing #40 cover
Swamp Thing #40 cover

IGN and other sites are reporting that DC is to cancel 14 titles and that the old DC universe (WHICH one?) will be returning.

According to IGN http://uk.ign.com/articles/2014/12/16/dc-to-end-14-comics-in-march-2015

Check out the full list of cancellations below:
  • Aquaman and the Others #11
  • Arkham Manor #6
  • Batman Eternal #52
  • Batwoman #40
  • Green Lantern: New Guardians #40
  • Infinity Man and the Forever People #9
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us - Year Three #12
  • Klarion #6
  • Red Lanterns #40
  • Secret Origins #11
  • Star-Spangled War Stories Featuring G.I. Zombie #8
  • Swamp Thing #40
  • Trinity of Sin #6
  • World's Finest #32
While the solicitations for Earth 2: World's End and The New 52: Futures End don't make it explicit, we suspect both of those series are also concluding in March.

You can read more at IGN

Hot Toys: not your typical action figure

There Was An Ant-Man In The Comic Book Avengers? Yes. Read A Comic.

I love it when the newbie comic geek journalists write these things.  It's the current Di$ney Generation of Marvel Comics.  Still, more publicity for Marvel based movies....are DC making any movies based on their comics?

Ant-Man Was A Founder Of The Avengers?

It looks as though Ant-Man may have played a more important part in ‘The Avengers’ than we ever realised… as Evangeline Lily reveals that Hank Pym helped found the Avengers.

Ant-Man Was A Founder Of The Avengers?

It was a major part of Marvel comic book history – the creation of The Avengers back in 1963 as Ant-Man and The Wasp helped tackle Loki. But as we all know, that doesn’t mean that the comic books will translate directly to the screen. 

Thankfully, it seems that in this case, it may be a little closer than usual… and Ant-Man and The Wasp may well be the original founders of The Avengers.

During an interview with CNN, the lovely Evangeline Lily was asked about her character, Hope Van Dyne… and it looks as though she revealed exactly how Hank Pym fits into the wider Marvel universe.

“She is the daughter of the founders of The Avengers, Ant-Man and the Wasp,” she revealed. “She is a very talented, intelligent, capable woman and a force to be reckoned with.”

Of course, Ant-Man and The Wasp have been a mainstay in the comic books for years… and way back in 1963, helped Thor and Iron Man to establish the first Avengers line-up. In fact, it was The Wasp who came up with the snappy moniker for Marvel’s biggest superhero team.

But does this mean that Michael Douglas’ Hank Pym was a founder of the Avengers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

It’s certainly starting to look that way… and if you ask me, it would be a rather neat call back to the original comic books. But for now, we’ll have to wait and see. 

Either way, it looks as though ‘Ant-Man’ is shaping up to be one of Marvel’s biggest releases yet… and could open up the MCU to an entirely different kind of film – the heist movie.

“This one is very much a heist film,” she explained. “It has all the fun, tension and drama of a good heist film. The heist is being masterminded by myself, my father and Scott Lang.”

It’s certainly starting to sound as though Hope Van Dyne plays a much bigger part in ‘Ant-Man’ than we first thought… and could even end up taking the name of The Wasp as Scott Lang (played by Paul Rudd) dons the Ant-Man suit.
And it looks as though Lily has had a real blast…

“I’ve been astounded to discover how good to their teams and crew that Marvel are,” she added. “They’re so collaborative, so smart with their stories. They have rich, dynamic characters which are so much fun to play. I expected I’d be a cog in the wheel of a big machine — I wasn’t sure I’d like this experience. But I’ve been so astounded at how pleasurable the whole experience has been.”

‘Ant-Man’ heads to cinemas on 17 July 2015


Exclusive Iron Man Mk XLIII Age Of Ultron Action Figure

From Hot Toys...tut tut -before the movie has even been released!


Avengers: Age of Ultron:1/6th scale Mark XLIII Collectible Figure

The extremely-anticipated, Avengers: Age of Ultron, is only a few months away! Our favorite superhero team is assembled again when Tony Stark’s peacekeeping program goes awry and it is up to the Avengers to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plans...

To get fans ready for this super exciting film, Hot Toys is thrilled to jump start the Avengers: Age of Ultron collectible series by presenting the 1/6th scale Mark XLIII Collectible Figure! It is also the newest addition to our MMS Diecast Series which the collectible figures are made of diecast material, and realistically designed to look even more like the armor as it appears in the blockbuster.

The movie-accurate Mark XLIII Collectible Figure is highly detailed and specially crafted based on the image of Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark/Mark XLIII in Avengers: Age of Ultron, featuring a newly painted Tony Stark helmeted head sculpt, metallic red, gold and silver armor with weathered effects, LED light-up functions, and a specially designed diorama base with a damaged Ultron Mark I. A special edition will be available for selected markets which includes a LED lighted battle damaged helmet as bonus accessory.

Pre-order this amazing collectible figure to kick-off your Avengers: Age of Ultron collection!

For Hong Kong customers, please stay tuned on Hot Toys-Secret Base Facebook Page for pre-order details.

Overseas customers, please stay tuned on Hot Toys Facebook Page for update.
More images on the Face Book page!

Hamelin Newsletter 18 dicembre 2014

NEWSLETTER del 18/12/2014


Hamelin vi augura buone feste !

Per farlo, un’immagine de Il palloncino rosso di Iela Mari, che ci da l’occasione di ricordarvi che la mostra a lei dedicata, curata da Hamelin nel 2010, è volata fino in Giappone al Museo Itabashi di Tokyo con un nuovo splendido allestimento e un ricco catalogo curato da Katsumi Komagata.

Si chiudono il 5 gennaio 2015 le iscrizioni per la seconda edizione de Comic and Cartoon Art Competition, indetto dalla Society of Illustrators di New York.

Il concorso è aperto ad ogni libro, pubblicato o autoprodotto, creato tra gennaio 2014 e gennaio 2015.
Le opere di artisti provenienti da ogni parte del mondo verranno valutate da una giuria di professionisti, tra i quali fumettisti, illustratori ed editori di fama internazionale.

Alla fine del concorso sarà organizzata una mostra dei migliori lavori creati durante l'anno: gli originali verranno esposti presso la MoCCA Gallery della Society of Illustrators dal 9 giugno al 15 agosto 2015.
Saranno organizzate cerimonie di apertura e premiazione dei migliori artisti per ognuna delle categorie, e tutte le opere in concorso verranno riprodotte in un catalogo a colori.

Una selezione di quaranta lavori per ogni mostra viaggerà quindi nei college degli Stati Uniti in un tour educativo, una tradizione che la Society of Illustrator mantiene da più di trent'anni.
Due giorni fa c'è stato il primo incontro di Hamelin per il progetto Ti faccio il filo con le biblioteche di Melegnano e San Colombano.

Il progetto seguirà i ragazzi fino a maggio con l'obiettivo di pensare insieme un nuovo spazio per le biblioteche.
International Board on Books for Young People è una rete internazionale di persone, che provengono da 77 paesi e promuove la cooperazione internazionale attraverso i libri per bambini, creando ovunque per l'infanzia l'opportunità di avere accesso a libri di alto livello letterario e artistico e incoraggiando la pubblicazione e la distribuzione di libri di qualità per bambini specialmente nei Paesi in via di sviluppo.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Di$ney (Marvel) "Star Wars" series of hardcover collections

This item from the Hollywood Reporter http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/marvel-announces-star-wars-original-718683 "might" interest Star Wars fans!

Ahead of news of the publisher's new "Star Wars" comics, Marvel reveals plans for a series of hardcover collections of its first visit to a Galaxy Far, Far Away from 1977.

Star Wars Comic Cover - P 2013
Howard Chaykin/Marvel Entertainment
Ahead of the expected announcement of new Star Wars comics from Marvel Entertainment—the publisher announced that it would take over the comic book license from current rights holder Dark Horse Comics earlier this year—Marvel has announced the publication of Star Wars: The Original Marvel Years.
The oversized hardcover will collect the first forty-four issues of Marvel’s 1970s spin-off from George Lucas’ first installment in the space opera series, as well as the first annual, spanning the period between the 1977 release of Star Wars: A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back’s release in 1980.

STORY Disney Moves 'Star Wars' Comics License to Marvel

The stories collected in the 880 page collection include not only the original Star Wars adaptation—including scenes that didn’t make it to the final cut of the movie, such as the appearance of a very human Jabba the Hut (One “t”)—but also the debut of cult-favorite characters such as Jaxxon and droid-hating bounty hunter Beilert Valance. The final issues collected in the omnibus feature Marvel’s adaptation of The Empire Strikes Back.

"With Star Wars poised to return to its comic book home, what better time to revisit the first adventures of Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2 and, of course, Darth Vader?" Marvel editor in chief Axel Alonso said in a statement accompanying the announcement, adding that he was “extremely proud to present these original Star Wars stories, told as only Marvel can, in the first in a massive and glorious Omnibus series.”

Marvel’s original Star Wars series ran 107 issues and three annuals, suggesting that this is the first of a three-volume series of collections. Star Wars: The Original Marvel Years Volume 1 will be released in comic book stores January 2015.

Avengers -Star Wars....?

Asterix a Tintin Newydd i'r Nadolig / New Asterix and Tintin for Christmas

Asterix a Tintin mewn Cymraeg, Cernyweg, Gwyddeleg, Gaeleg a Sgoteg
Dalen (Llyfrau) Cyf

New Asterix and Tintin Adventures –
in Welsh, Cornish, Irish, Gaelic and Scots
Mae Asterix a Tintin wedi ennill eu plwy ar draws y byd fel ffefrynnau llyfrau straeon stribed, a'u hanturiaethau wedi eu trosi i dros gant o wahanol ieithoedd. Yn eu plith mae'r Gymraeg, Cernyweg, Gwyddeleg, Gaeleg a Sgoteg – gyda dwy antur newydd i Asterix yn Gymraeg yn cael eu cyhoeddi y Nadolig hwn!
Asterix and Tintin are firm comic book favourites all around the world. Both have taught themselves well over a hundred languages. Asterix has two brand new Welsh adventures out for Christmas, and Tintin joins him with appearances in Cornish, Irish, Gaelic and Scots!
Asterix a'r Cryman Aur © Les Editions Albert-René/Goscinny-Uderzo 2014
Asterix a'r Cryman Aur ac Asterix a'r Snichyn yw anturiaethau diweddara'r Galiad bach peniog yn Gymraeg. Mae tipyn o greisis yn taro pentre'r Galiaid yn Asterix a'r Cryman Aur. Ar gyfer paratoi y ddiod hud ryfeddol sy'n cadw'r Rhufeiniaid draw, mae angen i'r derwydd Gwyddoniadix ddefnyddio cryman aur. Ond ar ôl torri llafn yr unig gryman sy ganddo, mae gofyn i Asterix deithio ymhell, a datrys dirgelwch, er mwyn cael gafael ar gryman newydd o safon.
Daw pentre'r Galiaid dan fygythiad cyfrwys y Rhufeiniaid yn Asterix a'r Snichyn... mae Iŵl Cesar yn ceisio tanseilio undod y llwyth drwy daenu enllib a drwgdeimlad ymysg y pentrefwyr – ac mae gan ei gynllun gyfle rhagorol i lwyddo, diolch i snichyn bach dan din o'r enw Bacterius Drwgynycaus. Tybed a fydd Asterix a'i gyfeillion yn ddigon hirben i wrthsefyll y bygythiad? Amser a ddengys!
The plucky Gaul has two new adventures in Welsh – Asterix a'r Cryman Aur (Asterix and the Golden Sickle) and Asterix a'r Snichyn (Asterix and the Roman Agent). There's a bit of a panic in Asterix a'r Cryman Aur... to prepare the magic potion which keeps the Romans at bay, druid Gwyddoniadix has to use his golden sickle – but when the druid breaks the one and only sickle he possesses, Asterix is given the task of buying a new one. This takes Asterix on a dangerous journey to distant Lutetia where a mystery awaits him before he can find a sickle that meets the druid's exacting standards.
In Asterix a'r Snichyn, the Gaulish village is under threat from a cunning Roman plan, as Julius Caesar tries to spread distrust and bad blood throught the Gaulish tribe. Caesar's plan is sure to succeed thanks to his agent provocateur, Bacterius Drwgynycaus. He's a nasty piece of work, and Asterix and his friends will find it hard to resist his wily ploys.
Asterix a'r Snichyn © Les Editions Albert-René/Goscinny-Uderzo 2014
Tintin: Todóga na bhFarónna (Gwyddeleg / Irish) © Hergé/Moulinsart 2014

Y Bad Rachub yw antur ddiweddara Tintin yn Gymraeg, lle mae Tintin a'i gyfeillion mewn peryg enbyd ar ddyfroedd dyfnion y Môr Coch. Yn gymar i'r gyfres yn Gymraeg mae egin o'r gyfres mewn Cernyweg hefyd. An Ynys Dhu (oes rhaid cyfieithu'r teitl?!) yw stori gynta Tintin mewn Cernyweg, ac am y tro cynta erioed mae'r gohebydd pengoch hefyd wedi dysgu siarad Gwyddeleg gyda chyhoeddi Todóga na bhFarónna (Mwg Drwg y Pharo). Mae'r Gernyweg a'r Wyddeleg yn ychwanegu at ffurfafen Geltaidd Tintin, lle cyhoeddwyd Toit nam Phàro a The Merk o the Pharaoh (sef fersiynau o Mwg Drwg y Pharo) mewn Gaeleg a Sgoteg yn ddiweddar.
  Tintin's latest undertaking in Welsh is Y Bad Rachub (Red Sea Sharks), where Tintin and his companions find themselves in mortal danger aboard a ship on the Red Sea. Joining the Welsh series are the first ever Tintin adventures in Cornish – An Ynys Dhu (The Black Island) – and Irish – Todóga na bhFarónna (Cigars of the Pharaoh). These join the growing series in Gaelic and Scots, with the recent publication of Cigars as Toit nam Phàro and The Merk o the Pharaoh – all available from Dalen!
Tintin: An Ynys Dhu (Cernyweg / Cornish) © Hergé/Moulinsart 2014
Cofiwch hefyd am…
Don’t forget…
Derwyddon: Cystudd y Cyfiawn
Mae rhan ola cyfres arswyd Y Derwyddon wedi ei chyhoeddi – penllanw'r gyfres ragorol hon ar gyfer oedolion. Yn Cystudd y Cyfiawn, y chweched bennod o'r stori, mae tro annisgwyl yng nghynffon y dirgelwch sy wedi drysu'r derwydd Gwynlan yn ei ymchwil i ganfod y rheswm dros ladd y mynachod yr Eglwys Geltaidd.
The final part of the gothic murder-mystery Y Derwyddon is now available. In Cystudd y Cyfiawn, druid sleuth Gwynlan finds an unexpected twist to his long quest to reveal the truth behind a score of vicious ecclesiastical deaths.
The series in Welsh is complemented by an English edition. Druids: Voyage of Discovery is also now available!
Fe gewch chi hyd i holl lyfrau Dalen ar ein gwefan dalenllyfrau.com
You'll find all of Dalen's titles on our website dalenllyfrau.com

Mae llyfrau Dalen ar werth gan siopau llyfrau neu lyfrwerthwyr ar-lein,
gan gynnwys dalenllyfrau.com, gwales.com ac amazon.co.uk
Dalen books are available from bookshops and online booksellers,
including dalenllyfrau.com, gwales.com and amazon.co.uk
Dalen (Llyfrau) Cyf, Glandŵr, Tresaith, Ceredigion SA43 2JH
Cymru / Wales
+44 (0)1239 811442

© Dalen (Llyfrau) Cyf 2014
© Les Éditions Albert-René 2014
© Hergé/Moulinsart 2014