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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

Friday, 29 August 2014

The UKs 'Only' Comic Company Has Its Books Printed Outside The UK....meh

Here is a funny little story.  D. C. Thomson is called the UKs last comic company (it isn't but let's go with the popular opinion people here).

This bastion of the 'industry' (please, I am trying to keep a straight face here) was so successful decades ago because it had its own printers and so everything was "in house".  How does Thomson repay the loyal workforce?

This years annuals are, it seems, printed in Italy.  But this next bit I found hilarious and I think Subzero at Tales From The Kryptonian will be a bit surprised.  The Commando Picture Libraries are now being printed in Germany??  How that will work I do not know -all Swastikas removed from covers?

So, not only is Thomson not a big UK comic company -it barely rates as an Independent these days- but it is sending its books to European printers!

Thomson could, if it so wished and completely restructured its Juvenile department, and that means getting rid of current editorial staff for ones more comic savvy, actually be a force to be reckoned with in comics and that means earning a good profit from comic sales as opposed to the meagre pickings of toys with comics accidentally attached.

Sad. But I've given up hope there.

Stuff You

Isn't it marvellous how, when you get a blog that is successful, all those people in comics who treated you like raw crap want to be added to your networks on things like Face Book or Linkedin?

Oh, cynics might say that way these people get their posts seen more easily.  Surely not?

Their chances of being added to my "networks"?  The same as Obama and Putin being caught out in a gay sex scandal.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Doctor Who: Remembrance of the Daleks (Action Movie) Trailer

nice bit of enjoyable fun!

Marvel Reboot On The Way....well, d'uh!

Avengers_35_Cover

MONTHS ago I stated that  this year (September/October) Marvel Comics were going to reboot their comics line....again.  Just google "Marvel Comics reboots" and it comes up with Marvel Comics reboot 2011...Marvel Comics reboot 2012 and so on and so on.

Now -no pun intended -"Marvel Now"- fans are up in arms as they hear everything is being rebooted from the start with...more #1s ("Number Ones" is a euphemism for peeing -you realise that, right?). I have just been reading some furious die-hard Marvel fans screeching "enough is enough!" and even some bloggers like Hippycollectibles has declared his anger at another reboot and that he is going to instead concentrate on completing his Silver Age collections.

DC reboots all the time.  They're dead in the water.

Does Marvel Disney care?  No. "Hey, those jerks will spend even more money cus its more number ones and their such dumb-asses they'll buy the lot!"  How can I adequately explain what Disney (there is NO Marvel Comics any more) is doing to you comic buyers?

It's 03:00 hrs (that's 3 am) and you wake up.  Some man in a suit is taking all the money out of your wallet/purse whatever.

You: "Who-who the hell are you? How'd  you--?"
Suit: "Ah, shut the **** up, moron. I wanted your money so **** you!"

Suited man throws something onto your bed.

You: "What was THAT???"
Suit: "I just crapped on your bed and needed to wipe my ass. You had plenty of first issues so I used those"
You: "You...you can't do that!"

Suit moves over to you, leans right in and pokes you in the eye.
Suit: "Listen shit-for-brains -spend your money, when you get more, buy them again. Got it?"
You: "But you can't just break in here, steal my money and crap on my bed and then use my comics as toilet paper -who gave you the right?!!"
Suit: "You did you dumb-ass. Oh. I butt-*****  "Namor" your goldfish, too."

"You" goes out next morning and withdraws more money from the TRM cash machine. "You" goes to his comic shop where he has to pay extra for the, uh, 'old' comics. As "You" sits at home wondering where it'll be safe to put his comics - his eye catches the rather sluggish goldfish. "You" feels momentarily ashamed.  "You" feels guilty but realises that at least he got those comics!

Even later online he reads "Marvel To Reboot entire line next month!"  "You" shrugs: "I'll have to make sure I set up a standing order for those!"

Two months later "You" wakes up at 03:00 hrs. A suited man is taking money ........

In an office at Disney a lot of men in suits are barely concealing their sexual arousal as they rub themselves in $ bills. One laughs out loud: "We got them bitches whipped -reboot in three months, guys!"

There.

I warned you all last time.  "What does he know?"  I warned you THIS time.  "BS, man!" So here is a snippet of more BS for you. At a "Marvel" meeting a lot of discussion was going on about rebooting and "restructuring the (comics) line" --around May 2015.

At this very moment "You" is getting ready to draw up his standing order list....unaware that in the background a man in a suit.....

Bristol street artists mourn the 'King of Paint'

What with various problems I had completely missed this in July. Very sad. A new tribute image is also up in North Street, Bedminster.



By Sophie Prideaux  Bristol Post, 23rd July.

The mural in Chapter Street in St Paul's which features the face of  Matt Hibbert – aka Mibsy, the King of Paint
The mural in Chapter Street in St Paul's which features the face of Matt Hibbert – aka Mibsy, the King of Paint
  STREET artists from across Bristol have been paying tribute to the man they dubbed the King of Paint, Matt 'Mibsy' Hibbert, who died last week.

Mibsy, who was 39, had built up a strong relationship with many of Bristol's well-known graffiti artists after opening the King of Paint shop and gallery on Haymarket Walk, which supplied spray paint and other supplies to the city's street artists.


The death of Mibsy, whose face features on a large graffiti mural in Chapter Street, St Paul's, shocked the many people who visited the shop or knew him from the Stokes Croft area.


He had recently been staying at the Dean Neurological Centre in Gloucester, but after falling ill was taken to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.


People have since taken to social media to pay tribute to Mibsy, who they said had a "heart of gold".
Bristol graffiti artist Tom 'Inkie' Bingle, who painted one of the arches on the Carriageworks in Stokes Croft, led the tributes, saying without Mibsy Bristol would be a "greyer place".


He said: "RIP Matt Hibbert aka Mibsy, the King of Paint. My deepest love goes out to all his family and friends, very sad news. As well as supporting the See No Evil events on Nelson Street, without Mibsy half of Bristol's graffiti scene would have gone without their materials to create such beautiful works and the city would be a greyer place."


See No Evil gallery in Nelson Street said: "Bristol has lost a true gent... rest in peace."


Felix 'FLX' Braun, part of Bristol's street art scene for more than 30 years, said: "I'm sure he had no idea how much his gentle nature and warmth meant to the hundreds of writers he got to know whilst working behind that counter."


Tom Deams has painted a large tribute to Mibsy in Stokes Croft. He said: "So Matty or Mibsy would have walked past this spot every day after closing up at The King of Paint graffiti shop... I felt he deserved to have his name painted big here and I feel blessed to have known him for the short period I did. Matty was a gentleman and such a nice person to know. Shine on Mibsy, we all love you."


Artist Fiv3r, who recently proposed to his girlfriend with a piece of Beauty and the Beast-themed graffiti, has also sprayed a mural for him. And Inkie said more memorial pieces are likely to be popping up across the city, including one he will be working on tomorrow with fellow artist Cheo in a mystery location in Bristol.

Read more at http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/Bristol-street-artists-mourn-King-Paint/story-21744399-detail/story.html#y3YR7EIVrMYMYB6Z.99

Stan Lee Says What????

"I created Comic Bits Online.  If Terry Hooper wants to consider himself co-creator then fine"

WHAT?????

Why would my father say that?????

April Fool every----

August 28th?  What? I'm confused.  Did I create CBO or Stan Lee? Two can play that game.

I created Spider-Man.

There.

What's going on?  Well, it's this or stick my finger in the electric toaster again.  The electric toaster hurt my finger.  I don't like touching the electric toaster.

I'm old.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO PETER LALLY!


So I Buy This Comic On Ebay....

Well, it was issue #2 of The Adventures Of The Fly #2 and I got it for just over £5.00.

This is a very early Silver Age comic.

This morning, after torrential downpours, the postman hands me two packages.  One is a cheap A4 brown envelope so I expected to find papers inside. The envelope is coming undone. Its soak. Semi-mangled. I open it...it's The Adventures Of The Fly #2 -unbagged, un-boarded, no protection what-so-ever in the envelope. I now have a wet, falling apart, twisted 'comic'.

For every one person who protects the items sent, around 10 seem to think "oh just chuck it in an envelope" -but you as the buyer are paying for the postage you expect will cover the protected envelope.

*****! ****!  ****!

Just sent a polite BUT strongly worded message to the seller.

This is what a good copy looks like...looking at mine I could cry. It's only bin-filler now.  Survived in Fair condition since 1959....


I'm going off to cry.

UP-DATE. This is the response I just got: "I am so sorry about this. Please accept my apologies."  That's it.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

DC Comics -Warner: "No Jokes"

I think this Yahoo! News item by Drew McWeeny shows just how far behind the times DC Comics and Warner are.  Sadly, they seriously do not get the back-forth joky banter that Marvel was known for and which has been included in the movies.

Oh, and there are now rumours of some delays in filming "because of certain properties" -and I have no idea what the hell that is about.

Why Superman and Batman may lose the war to Marvel before they even begin



Why Superman and Batman may lose the war to Marvel before they even begin
.

Warner Bros. has ambitious plans for their superhero properties, but have they put a rule in place for all of the DC movies that has already given Marvel's flawed-but-lovable heroes the upper hand?
"No jokes."

Last week was about the fifth time I've heard that there is a mandate at Warner Bros. regarding any of the DC superhero films in development, and it's very simple and direct and to the point.

"No jokes."

It would seem like a crazy rule to set for an entire series of films. How can you know what the tone is for every story you'll be telling in a series before you've even started telling it? The thing is, DC has taken a few stabs at establishing this larger universe on film, and they've gotten smacked down for everything that hasn't had Batman in it. "Man Of Steel" made money, and I'm certainly not the only person to like the film. I may be one of its more ardent defenders, but I'm not alone. I think you'd have a far harder time finding someone to defend "Green Lantern," the studio's other big attempt at launching one of the core Justice League characters with a film franchise of his own.

One thing you'd have to grant "Green Lantern," whatever your feelings about it as a movie, is that they've got lots of jokes in that movie. They are resolutely unafraid to make jokes. Green Lantern/Hal Jordan/Ryan Reynolds (there is no discernible difference between these three identities) makes jokes throughout the film, and the trailer featured plenty of them. There is a wise-ass attitude to a good chunk of the film that is very much on purpose. Every one of the guys they looked at to play the lead in the film had to be as well-liked as a comic performer as an action star. That's not a long list, but it seems like the exact sweet spot that studios are constantly searching for. Look at the reaction to Chris Pratt now that he's made the jump to a lead in the biggest film of the summer. He's the guy studios dream of when they dream of new young movie stars. A sense of humor seems like an essential club to have in the golf bag, right?

Not according to Warner/DC. Not after "Green Lantern."


Now, to be fair, no one has directly connected those dots for me. But something has caused this shift in the overall editorial voice of the DC superhero movies. There's got to be a point behind an edict as broad and as specific as that.

Here's why I have trouble believing any studio would do that. Even in the most serious of mainstream movies, some of the most memorable moments are those points where they let off steam, where a laugh is used to punctuate. In adventure movies especially, a laugh can make the difference between a movie people like and a movie people love. The right laugh can make a movie a classic. Think of that beat in "Raiders" where Indy shoots the swordsman. That laugh is not just a huge rush of relief in the middle of a harrowing and thrilling action set piece, but it's also a character-defining moment for Indiana Jones. George Lucas may have his qualms about whether or not Han Solo shot first, but Indy's no dummy; of course he's going to shoot first. That's why Indiana Jones is still alive.

Laughter also allows audiences to swallow some of the more ridiculous things that they're asked to buy into with modern event films. Suspension of disbelief is always a sort of a magic trick if you're dealing with aliens or superheroes, but you add a talking raccoon with a fetish for giant guns and a talking tree creature that is meant to be the emotional heart of the film, and you'd better figure out exactly how to embrace that absurdity, make the jokes that win the audience over, and use that humor to smuggle in the sentiment. If you've got an audience laughing, you've got them willing to accept things.



DC is going to try for some big characters with Batman and Wonder Woman and The Flash and Cyborg and Aquaman, and one thing that's always seemed true to me of DC comics versus Marvel is tone. DC treats their superhero characters more like gods, fighting battles that we simply can't comprehend or participate in because of our natures. Even Batman, who has no superpowers, is treated like he is a legend, an icon that he's nurtured as a symbol of fear. Marvel characters are more flawed, more human, struggling to live human lives while still dealing with their powers and their responsibility to the world. And if DC finds a way to try to play their films on this larger, operatic, hero-as-myth level storytelling, I'd be excited to see that. I'd want to see that.

But if "No Jokes" is a reaction to "Green Lantern," an edict that comes from a desire to simply do things differently from Marvel, it could really paint DC's movies into a corner, and I would imagine that it's giving some filmmakers pause in considering whether or not they'd want to make a DC movie.

While I thought there were some gentle pokes at genre fans in "Man Of Steel," there's nothing in that film that I'd call a joke. There were set-ups and punch-lines in the Nolan Batman films, but I wouldn't really describe those movies as "funny" in any significant way. "Green Lantern" is the one film where they really gave a character permission to talk shit in the Tony Stark manner, fast and funny and self-aware, and where audiences seemed to love it when Robert Downey Jr. did it, they did not seem as smitten with Reynolds.
Instead of worrying about something as drastic as "No Jokes," the studio should look at how important it is to get a consistent sense of tone in one of these movies. The reason "Guardians" manages to get away with some of its more outrageous moments is because it tells us right up front, during that great opening title sequence, that this is going to be fun, and it's going to be irreverent, and it's not going to take everything deadly serious. There are serious moments in the film, heartfelt moments, sad moments, ridiculous moments, and big action mayhem moments. The film does all sorts of different things, but it always seems ready to wink and dance away, and that's what we expect from it. "Green Lantern" didn't fail because it was funny; it failed because it had no idea what kind of film it was. Martin Campbell goes for big broad comedy in some scenes, and he's got a decent visual wit. He stages some of the training stuff well, and he tries to give Oa a sense of wonder. There are images in the film that I feel like he comes very close to pulling off, but when he fumbles it, he really fumbles it, and the bad guy in the movie is a disaster.

Parallax is, for lack of an easier visual description, a cloud made of poop and mouths. It is a singularly unpleasant visual bad guy, and when he transforms Peter Sarsgaard, he makes him into a repellent big-headed horror movie bad guy. Considering how light some of the sequences are, like when Hal uses his powers to make a giant green race track to save someone, the villains feel ill-considered, like they're from another film.

Consistency is key. You can make jokes, and in films about Superman and Batman and Green Lantern, it seems perfectly okay to make jokes because these are giant cultural icons. We have complicated relationships with these characters because of the ways we are exposed to them and which versions we read or watch or see first, and nobody has the exact same checklist of what makes Superman Superman or what makes Batman Batman. Trying to hold everyone making films for the studio to one somewhat rigid, joyless tone would be creative suicide.

So I'm going to put the question out there, and as we all talk to Zack Snyder or David Goyer or any of the actors working on these characters, I'd love to hear an answer, a firm denial. Is it true? Is DC really so gun-shy that they've laid this rule down for all of their films?

Is it really a "No Jokes" future we have to look forward to?

And if so, do you think Marvel feels like they've already won in terms of audience sympathy if this is really how things are supposed to move forward?

Man, I'm curious to get a look at "Batman vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice" on March 25, 2016.

Now, if all that sounds bad you need to read McWeeny's other great piece to see just how up their own arses these people are creatively: 
Warner pits writers of 'Gangster Squad' and '300' against each other on 'Aquaman'

Yeah, and you wonder why Aquaman ain't no happy sea horse!
Warner pits writers of 'Gangster Squad' and '300' against each other on 'Aquaman'

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