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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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Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Maniac Mansion:The Comic!!!

The incredibly talented Kate Glasheen, artist on Hybrid Bastards and writer-artist of Bandages: A Diary Of Sorts, and still VASTLY under-rated in my opinion, is making a superbly demented web-comics tribute to the classic game, ‪#‎ManiacMansion‬.

Here is the first page, for more visit:  http://maniacmansioncomic.blogspot.co.uk/ and if you can donate/support please do! 

Maniac Mansion: The Comic Page 1

I Really MUST Be Psychic

Just got this:

"Unfortunately you haven't made it for this round of Shake, but please keep up your sick, sick work and apply for the next one! (We will add you to our applications mailing list and send you a reminder when the next one pops around!)

We hope you'll still pop in for a hang and to check out some fellow illustrators work!

Stay Rad!
Robyn & Max K
Team Shake"

Exactly what I said would happenUK Small Press or comics -feck the lot.  FIVE YEARS of trying conventions and events and every single time the same thing.

I will no longer feature news of UK Small Press nor Comic events on CBO unless they are paid for ads.


Who Cares About Comic Book History?

So there I was digging this hole, hole in the ground, big and sort of round it was and this bloke named Bernard says: "Get out!  This is my song!!"  oooh.

Is that Adolf Hitler to the left with a bicycle???
Anyway, after a bit of a scuffle I left -but the bloke in the bowler hat came off worse!

I was interested when a member of the British Comic Book Archives yahoo group, Ernesto, posted pages from 1948's Oh Boy! Comics no. 5 and the story Atomic Post featuring Jungle Jim (no relation to the US Golden Age character of that name).  Ernesto stated the artist was Bill Holroyd https://www.lambiek.net/artists/h/holroyd_bill.htm and cited the Gifford catalogue.  Another member, Darci, asked how he came by that identification?

To me it did have a look about it of Holroyd but there was something off.  But if Gifford said Holroyd I would go with that (Gifford has been ripped of mercilessly since his death by current comic historians regarding inbformation).

So I checked my copy -I believe a later edition- and Holroyd is not mentioned: the artist is identified as Mick Anglo.  Looking at the art, figures and poses...yes. I can see Anglo though the strip does not appear on the Wikipedia stripography, though it does say it is incomplete: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mick_Anglo#Comics

But why is there a problem identifying this?  The main reason is that, if it is not D. C. Thomson and Beano or Dandy or the Amalgamated Press and one of its titles people are not interested.  In fact, though denied by two yahoo groups, the emails are still there to show that reactions to my request regarding non "Big Two" books was indifferent, derisory and in one case insulting "I can't find them of any historical interest or even being of interest".  The inference, if I may call it that, was that these comics were, literally, wasted paper.

Snobbishness abounds still in comics.

But collectors of boy's paper story books, such as "Bob", who recently contributed a good few sets (strips) from what many always thought of as purely text publications, have no real interest in comic strips and that makes such a contribution even more valuable -he could have simply just ignored them and carried on but he was taken aback to find them.  One Boy's paper collector even tried to tell me, brusquely, via email that these publications "simply NEVER featured comic strips!"  I gave him the issue numbers and dates -nothing back yet!

Unlike in the United States where there is so much information on who wrote or drew what back in the Platinum and Golden Ages of comics, the UK is a huge void with the odd few names dotted about. In Australia, people like Kevin Patrick have delved into Australia's Golden Age.

I think that this same type of thing needs looking into throughout Europe where we all know the big names and characters -in Germany Wilhelm Busch and Max und Moritz- but what of the others we know little about?

Henk Albers and De Kat or Hans Ducro and  DerMocker(Nederlands) ?  Sture Lönnerstrand created and Lennart Ek drawn Dotty Virvelwind (Sweden)?  Or Manuel Gago García and el Guerrero del Antifaz (Spain)?

There are creators and very likely creations we have never heard of.  There may well be comic historians specialising in comics from Spain, Nederlands, Belgium and so on but we never hear of them -where is their equivalent of Jean-Marc Lofficer?

It takes work and there are always dead ends and lots of people who will say "who cares?" but it is rewarding when you make a discovery! 

Maybe I am writing this and no one cares?  I have no idea but as the years go by the chances of finding these lost creators or their families who remember the work fade.  Hey, the UK is big enough for me* -how about you?

*Yes, I do know I've delved into German comics history but give me a break!

Monday, 31 August 2015

Der Rote Blitz und die Cops aus Batmans Stadt – Comics zu den TV-Hits FLASH und GOTHAM


„Arrow“, die TV-Adaption der Geschichte des Bogenschützen Green Arrow aus dem Universum von Batman, Superman und Co., lief auf VOX zur Prime Time so gut, dass Pro7 sich die Rechte an den neuen DC-Serien „Gotham“ und „Flash“ sicherte, obwohl letztere im selben Universum wie „Arrow“ spielt und es auch immer wieder kleine Crossover zwischen den beiden Serien gibt.

„Flash“ folgt den Erlebnissen des Polizei-Forensikers Barry Allen, der nach einem Unfall zum schnellsten Mann der Welt wird und als kostümierter Flash andere Meta-Wesen jagt, die auf der Seite des Verbrechens stehen. Außerdem sucht er den Mörder seiner Mutter, wegen dem sein Vater unschuldig im Gefängnis sitzt. Eine spannende, packende,  äußerst sympathische Serien-Umsetzung.

„Gotham“ indes spielt clever mit den Anfängen des Batman-Mythos und verarbeitet diese in einer starken, düsteren Krimi-Serie, die „The Mentalist“-Macher Bruno Heller mitverantwortet. Im Mittelpunkt stehen der aufrechte, verbissene Cop Jim Gordon, der sich mit brutalen Irren, der Mafia und korrupten Kollegen herumschlagen muss, sowie Batman Bruce Wayne, Catwoman Selina Kyle und Pinguin Oswald Copplepot in jüngeren Jahren.

mehr lesen auf Comics.de -http://www.comic.de/2015/08/der-rote-blitz-und-die-cops-aus-batmans-stadt-comics-zu-den-tv-hits-flash-und-gotham/

I Wake Up And It Seems The World Is Still there -And I NEVER Imagined Kanye West (he's real!)

 As these photos are, apparently, really getting into certain peoples minds and making them angry I thought I'd upload this one again just for them!

 "Someone" told me to brace myself over some internet group chat going on about what can be done about me.  he seemed rather taken aback that I wasn't shocked!

So part of the comments shared by some of those "really nice guys" of UK comics and passed along to me by someone I can't name for obvious reasons!

"We all know the con organisers and if we keep chipping away we'll make sure the twatt never gets his much sought after table to sell his crap"

The "twatt" by-the-by, is me.

No such thing as a "UK comics Mafia"? They've helped destroy UK comics and try to pitch themselves the golden boys of comics to be admired and worshipped. Ask me again WHY I think the UK is dead comics-wise....

On the lighter side of things the new trend amongst former comic 'die-hard fans' has emerged.  Live reviews of comics are in the minority now.  The "New Thing" is watching movies or TV programmes live -via Google chat where 3-4 people link up via video- so we can get their comments and views and even outrage at the way something was done.  We don't get to see the programme or movie just the, uh, 'reviewers' sitting there.   Some really do need to improve the decor of their basements/rooms because spending 2+ hours looking at them...well, I sort of went comatose.

But it does get..."better" -reviews and thoughts on comic books series...from 30+ years ago. Yeah, everyone linked up and totally talking crap and confused because 30+ years ago they weren't even born so "don't get all this 1980s doom and gloom war stuff".  Right.  

All very annoying -almost as annoying as the comment: "Until, say 2004, comics were not very original -Marvel and DC have thrown continuity out the windows and the reboots make comics fresh!"   I'm assuming that the person who said that has a mental illness.  He is talking about comics being "throw-away" -every time a new reboot comes in get rid of that old crap and buy the new.  This is why comics are in trouble: there is no emotional investment in characters or titles any more.

No, I just can't write about it.  Pointless.

Anyway, back to decorating.

Cardiff Independent Comic Expo


We’re back!!
Saturday December 12th 2015 
We return to the Cardiff Masonic Hall with a mini-Expo – a ‘Showcase’ event just in time for Xmas – once again focusing on our exceptionally talented Small Press Creators and Publishers.

Advance Tickets are now on sale – only £3.50 for the first 50 tickets, then rising to £4.50 once the first 50 have been purchased.  The first 50 ticket buyers will also receive a Goody Bag on the door.


  Website links for exhibitors on the CICE blog!




Wes Craven, Horror Maestro, Dies at 76

The Hollywood Reporter http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/wes-craven-horror-maestro-dies-818806

Wes Craven
Wes Craven

He wrote and directed the first 'Nightmare on Elm Street' film, helmed the first four 'Scream' movies and guided Meryl Steep to an Oscar nom for 'Music of the Heart.'

Wes Craven, the famed maestro of horror known for the Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream franchises, died Sunday after a battle with brain cancer. He was 76.

Craven, whose iconic Freddy Krueger character horrified viewers for years, died at his home in Los Angeles, his family announced. Survivors include his wife, producer and former Disney Studios vice president Iya Labunka.

Craven was a longtime summer resident of Martha’s Vineyard, where he moved permanently three years ago before returning to L.A. for work and health reasons.

Craven claimed to have gotten the idea for Elm Street from living next to a cemetery on a street of that name in the suburbs of Cleveland. The five Nightmare on Elm Street films were released from 1984-89 and drew big crowds.
Similarly, Craven's Scream series was a box-office sensation. In those scare-'em-ups, he spoofed the teen horror genre and frequently referenced other horror movies. 

Craven’s first feature film was The Last House on the Left, which he wrote, directed and edited in 1972. A rape-revenge movie, it appalled some viewers but generated big box office. Next came another film he wrote and helmed, The Hills Have Eyes (1977).

Craven re-invented the youth horror genre in 1984 with the classic A Nightmare on Elm Street, which he wrote and directed.
He conceived and co-wrote Elm Street III as well, and then after not being involved with other sequels, deconstructed the genre a decade after the original, writing and directing Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, which was nominated for best feature at the 1995 Spirit Awards.
His own Nightmare players, Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp and John Saxon, portrayed themselves in that film.
In 1996, Craven reached a new level of success with the release of Scream. The film grossed more than $100 million domestically, as did Scream 2 (1997).
Between Scream 2 and Scream 3, Craven, offered the opportunity to direct a non-genre film for Miramax, helmed Music of the Heart (1999), earning Meryl Streep an Academy Award nomination for best actress in the inspirational drama about a teacher in Harlem.
“We had a very difficult time getting an audience into a theater on my name,” he said in an interview with writer-director Mick Garris in October. “In fact, we moved toward downplaying my name a lot on Music of the Heart. The more famous you are for making kinds of outrageous scary films, the crossover audience will say, ‘I don't think so.’”

Also in 1999, in the midst of directing, he completed his first novel, The Fountain Society, published by Simon & Shuster.
Craven again pushed the genre boundaries with the 2005 psychological thriller Red Eye, starring Rachel McAdams, Cillian Murphy and Brian Cox. And in 2006, he wrote and directed a romantic comedy homage to Oscar Wilde featuring Emily Mortimer and Rufus Sewell as a segment in the French ensemble production Paris Je T’aime.
Craven then produced remakes of The Hills Have Eyes (2006) and The Last House on the Left (2009).
His most recent written and directed film, My Soul to Take (2010), marked his first collaboration with Labunka, who also produced Scream 4.
Craven directed several other thrillers and horror movies during his career, including Swamp Thing (1982), Deadly Friend (1986) and The People Under the Stairs (1991).
Craven had recently signed an overall television deal with Universal Cable Productions and had a number of projects in development, including The People Under the Stairs with Syfy Networks, Disciples with UCP, We Are All Completely Fine with Syfy/UCP, and Sleepers with Federation Entertainment. 
He also was executive producing the new Scream series for MTV. The season finale of the series will pay tribute to the writer/director, an MTV spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter.
Craven had recently written and was to direct the Thou Shalt Not Kill segment for The Weinstein Co.'s Ten Commandments miniseries for WGN America. And he is listed as an executive producer of The Girl in the Photographs, a horror thriller directed by his protege, Nick Simon, which will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival next month.
Wesley Earl Craven was born Aug. 2, 1939 in Cleveland. His father died when he was 5. Raised in a strict Baptist household, he graduated from Wheaton College with degrees in English and psychology, then earned a master's in philosophy and writing from Johns Hopkins.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Are You A BIG Comic Toys Fan? Lifesize Artstatues from Geraplica Sculptoys

 If you are then take a look at these!

When I saw these images I thought it w3as that old modeller's trick of posing a figure at the right angle and distance.  Boy, was I wrong!

Here is what Toysrevil http://toysrevil.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/lifesize-artstatues-from-geraplica.html writes:

"Lifesize Artstatues - in fiberglass - for sale at php 12,000 from artist sculptor Gerald Asilo of Geraplica Sculptoys - ASILO's sculpture for a "January Promo" price. Batman is a sure bet, Wonder Woman is a shoo-in, while I am on personally the fence with Superman LOL
"Buy this statues for 10,000 each plus 2,000 for delivery charge in a total of 12,000 pesos only , you can now save 6,000 pesos. Original price php18,000, now on sale for php 12,000" 
Contact them via their Facebook or email direct to g_asilo@yahoo.com

According to Gerald on his Linkedin page:

"In the 1990s my father was a sculptor for the Japanese company Craftwood. The company asked him to sculpt their own design like life-size Disney characters, Loony Toons, etc.  That was 1996 and I was only 12 years of age at that time. I was also practising how to sculpt because it's in the blood to sculpt.   Here I am now, following my father's legacy and sculpting my own designs and also what any client requires."

I just have to say that these are freaking incredible!  Now some of those "comic book cafes" need things like this!  Imagine inviting a friend into your apartment and finding The Avengers or JLA standing there -or maybe even a Swamp Thing or Man-Thing to go in your garden!

Man, if I ever get rich!!!

More images at the Face Book page!