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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

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Spawn: The Animated Series (Season 1 - Episodes 1, 2, and 3)

Lensmen by E. E. "Doc" Smith -the original Green Lanterns?

 The Lensman series is a serial science fiction space opera by Edward Elmer "Doc" Smith. Created in 1948 with the Triplanetary story.  It was a runner-up for the Hugo Award for Best All-Time Series (the winner was the Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov)

In the DC Comics universe, the Green Lantern Corps bears many parallels to the Lensmen, although its principal creators deny any connection (later creators, however, would introduce Green Lanterns named Arisia and Eddore as an homage).

What do you think movie buffs?

Lensman: Power of The Lens (1987)
 SF Shinseiki Lensman and The Secret Of The Lens

Alan Moore Knows The Score....According To His Warped Mindscape

Someone kept saying to me "You HAVE to see this!" so I did. Caution: a fantasist speaks. 

Can I just say that Alan Moore is not an anarchist.  Does he own his home? NOT an anarchist. Has he renounced all property -his books and chattels? No? NOT an anarchist.

"The greatest graphic novelist in history".....please, I feel nauseous.  A graphic novel is a very over-sized comic book (paperback or hard back) of 120+ pages. A graphic novel is a self-contained story.  Will Eisner, who I think it is safe to say literally created the graphic novel, wrote and drew several and just one of these has far more merit than, say, the last six League of Extraordinary Gentlemen TLEG) books. Fagin The Jew, The Building and A Contract With God --just one of these blows Moore right back to the margins of creativity.

A "magician"? Bollocks. I have met and talked to witches and even "warlocks" and at least two black magic practitioners and compared to Moore...well, it is insulting even comparing Moore to them.

It's all fantasy and the statement that Hollywood has not had an original idea in 20-30 years...Sorry? Let me just see how much Moore 'created' based on his own ideas for TLEG...in fact, I'd need a very very long posting to list them all from the first volume up to the last.

Moore created Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde?  Mina Harker?  The Invisible Man? Alan Quartermain? Bond?? Orlando?  Feckin' heck -Alan Moore obviously invented time travel and adopted different guises in different eras to plant the seed of his creations.  Or he could just be a fantasist loving all the attention while droves of almost lobotomised followers hang on to his every word -he must really love that?

Watchmen, by the way, was NOT a graphic novel. Watchmen was a trade paperback. That is a book collecting parts of a series into one unit. Eisner created graphic novels.

Don't get me wrong, as certain small IQ'd folk tend to do. I loved Tom Strong. I loved Watchmen.  There are a good few things I like that Moore wrote. I still read through some if and when I get the time.

When I have been on radio talking about comics I invariably hear "Now you are a graphic novelist" I've drawn some but I always -ALWAYS- correct the presenter with "Well, we need to be honest here. I have drawn some graphic novels and a couple of adult best selling comics but it is far more accurate to say that I write and draw comics -'graphic novelist' and 'graphic illustrator' are very grand titles. I write and draw comics."  I love the fact that this then throws them off. They need their buzz-words.

From this day forth (and, boy will I be having hysterics behind the straight face) in any interviews I shall be describing myself as "The UKs foremost graphic novelist"......ooh. In the Midlands someone just started screeching!

I actually feel slightly sorry for Moore at times. His own -his OWN- internal demons prevent him from becoming truly one of the best comic book writers.  I'm reminded of promoter Ray Santilli who I had to investigate when he started touting about the notorious fake Roswell alien autopsy footage. Over and over again he was proven a hoaxer but he kept going and, do you know what? People STILL believe that was a genuine alien autopsy because Santilli still insists it was.

And he likes living in Northampton because "It keeps me grounded" -BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Moore needs to concentrate less on spouting false 'facts' and whoring himself to the media as the new messiah and get back to doing what he used to do: write comics that entertain and give enjoyment.

To me, now, the subject of Alan Moore, until he writes more comics, is dead to me.

WHY It Makes Sense To Promote Your Books And "Stuff" Via CBO!

Just checking the Top 10 CBO posting for today up to 15:20 hrs, BST. And it looks like this:

1.   您好!

5 Mar 2014

2. 我会推荐什么漫画书?(looking at Silver Age The Avengers comic)

13 Apr 2014

3. As More Boots Go In...

1 Sep 2014, 4 comments

4. Cinebook The 9th Art: Alone 2 - The Master of Knives

8 Aug 2014

5. I KNOW You Are Out There.....

1 Sep 2014, 5 comments

6. Cinebook The 9th Art: The Scorpion 8 - In the Name Of The Father

8 Aug 2014

7. Dr Strange....UK Counterparts in Comics?

31 Aug 2014, 2 comments

8. I Have A "Few" Comics

2 Sep 2014

9. A Line Drawn.....

31 May 2014

10. Green Skies

12 Dec 2013

It seems that people visiting CBO, the majority from China but also from many other parts of the world…hmm, let’s see the countries in order for today –most hits first:

United States
United Kingdom

The UK, my home country, is always fourth or fifth in the list though the number of hits is still very high.  China –BLESS YOU!- sustain CBO.  The United States is always in second place –come on, USA: push those hits!  France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands (nowhere to be seen today!) are also usually in the top ten –ditto Russia and Ukraine.

Now, looking at the countries in order for this month:

United States
United Kingdom
South Korea

I enjoy this sort of breakdown work occasionally. Just like the old days.

But you may ask why, with 1,583,458 visits in total in total to CBO and well over 709,000 views on Google+ (I suspect the folk there do not want to travel off site and so read all the CBO goodies from there) there is an absolute drought of advertising requests?  Not the dubious “We want to put links in line with your site on the site” (but NEVER any details of what or how much) and certainly not what I have to call the absolute con of “Payment for each click of an ad”.

Let me explain, firstly you have absolutely NO SAY in what the ads are –if you try to check them out you lose any money for “breaching the rules” –seriously. No. When I saw how many clicks ads placed on CBO had gotten I thought “Whoopee!”  No, again. I ‘earned’ 0.7 cents. That’s, what, 2p in the UK.  Also, Project Wonderful. Advertisers getting LOTS of hits via CBO ads but not willing to pay more than 1 cent (US) per day.  After three months I had ‘earned’ 0.10 pence (3c US).

It is a major con used to convince bloggers they can earn money.  Madebymarket.com deals with this issue:

“On average anywhere from 1-10% of your visitors might click on an ad, so just to be safe assume some low number like 1%. To calculate how much your ads are worth, you can take the cost per click and multiply it by the number of clicks you can expect to get based on your traffic. So, if you have 100 page views and a click through rate of 1%, you will get 1 click on average. If your CPC (cost per click) is $1, then you might make $1 per 100 page views. The same formula is used to determine CPM, which is the cost per 1,000 ad views. In the case of the above estimate, you are looking at a CPM of $10.

Now, given an average CPM, it becomes pretty obvious how traffic impacts how much money you can make with Google AdSense. At $10 CPM, you need 10,000 pageviews to make $100. Next time you see a picture of someone holding up an AdSense check, think about how much traffic they needed to make that money. For many people, it is not possible to get that much traffic.”

And that is the point.  Who, coming to CBO sees an ad and thinks “Wow! A new line in lingerie!”  Or “Wow, really? I needn’t suffer baldness or loss of hair?”  Ads are, supposedly, tailored to your site.  I even made sure that I defined the ads I wanted on my site based on the audience: comics, graphics novels, animation, movie and so on. Yeah, they weren’t having that. And, since I am against gambling….well.
So, I never bother trying to make money from the existing Adsense or Project Wonderful.  It’s a waste of space –except for the companies involved.

Also, I’ve stopped trying to fathom out WHY so many people visit CBO.  The stats seem to suggest a lot look at posts a year or more old as well as the new postings.  It is a big site so not unusual.  But it means CBO postings (including Google+) have hit around 2 million.  Last month alone CBO views totalled almost 58,000.

I do accept bribes for good reviews, t-shirts (large please), DVDs to review, comic related toys and other merchandise.  In fact, since I’ve never been offered a bribe I think we can scratch that one.

So, it pays –publicity wise- to send review books and other stuff to CBO!  Whether Small or Independent press or bigger companies whatever arrives is 100% guaranteed to be reviewed because I do not just select what I want to review!
Stay tuned.

Marvel's Agents of SHIELD Season 2 Promo "Saving Lives" (HD)

I Have A "Few" Comics

A young woman, while discussing comics, pointed out to me that I was "quite spoilt for choice" I think she was probably right!

I have a lot of comic scans on disc -French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Russian, Chinese -lots of Chinese manhua!- and more.  And my physical collection is just as varied: French, German, Nederlands, Belgian, Italian, Finnish, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Australian, New Zealand, Czech, Slovakian, Hungarian...quite a lot and please do not get me started on the books stolen over the years!

English language...lots!  I know I mentioned Australia and New Zealand above but I was referring to country of origin, not language.  American comics, of course and the bulk I have on disc are Golden Age because, apart from the Centaur black and white collection I did, I don't think anyone else publishes collections from the long gone companies?  And Silver Age.  Yes, quite a few and I really want to get complete runs of certain series such as The Sub-Mariner (and I am almost there) that I really like.  Obscure 1960s publishers...yes. Even obscure 1970s-1990s publishers!

Modern era, well, certainly not Marvel or DC and to be honest not much gets me excited these days.

Independent comics and books -far more than "a few"!  As for Small Press I do have non-UK collections but my collection from 1970s-1990s constitute two huge piles that I've just catalogued and now need to store safely.

Like my music -everything from Classical to Punk and German Schlager, Italo Pop/Disco, French and so on- I do like a variety.

Now you can probably guess why so many people/researchers as well as companies contact me as what they like to term "a knowledgeable authority on international comics" -boosting the ego before the tag line of "We can't pay you..." HAH! I put an end to that.

In the United States or even Europe I'd probably be getting steady paid work -maybe even editing books for a company- but the UK? Nothing.  People have made Wikipedia entries on me under British comics and the British Small Press....they seemed shocked that those entries are removed within a day or two. Perhaps I ought to have gone the brown-nose route or even continuously just published "pot-boiler" books on comics using the work of others free of charge as "examples". Hmm?

At least in US and European data bases -Lambiek et al- I have recognition.

I am open to paying work offers you know!

And I do so love the 'joke' emails such as "Did you come to the Melksham Comic Con?" (amongst others) because they want to see your photos, blog posts and reviews of the events. I trash these messages.  "Why, Terry?"   Well: (1) I was NEVER invited.  (2) I never "won" a table there as a trader and (3) these people only contact me when THEY want something. Everything else it's silence or "**** off. We can't publicise your books or mention you! Just give US publicity!"

Meandering post for a meandering Tuesday....now I need to go chase the sparrowhawk off!

Monday, 1 September 2014

As More Boots Go In...

I am worn out and tired as fuck.

Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself

I KNOW You Are Out There.....

Over 1,582, 116 views on CBO and 705, 633 on Google+ and the feedback?


It is difficult for bloggers to know what they are doing that people like.  That said, I'm never too excited about large numbers of hits but grateful to those who do pop by my Google+ and CBO.

Gets boring though when no one tells you they like "This" or "That".  Come on -give it some thought and let me know.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Dr Strange....UK Counterparts in Comics?

As I've been here watching comedies since 11:00hrs, I gradually progressed to H. P. Lovecraft audio stories and then I had to really think about something. It happens.

I've gone through the complete sets of The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen with all its -though enjoyable in parts- naiive and almost school-boyish ideas of magic. So, I went to my collection of The Essential Dr Strange and, to be honest, the stories and concepts just blow Moore out of the water. And the pages in black and white actually make the books far superior to the colour comics.

Black and white is best for horror comics.

I want to write a piece on Dr Strange when possible but that might be a bit of a ways off.

A few questions rose, though.  Did we, in the UK, have anything similar to Dr Strange in UK comics?  Yes, we had Spellcaster with Sylvester Turville.  More an alchemist, though. Cursitor Doom -basically a paranormal investigator.  But any who were full spell-casting sorcerors?

So, a question for you Brit comic fans: Can you name such a character from UK comics -or did you get your Magick kick from Dr Strange?

It'll be interesting to find out.

Now, since the arms of Morpheus repell me...on to a Lovecraft documentary!

H.P. Lovecraft: Fear Of The Unknown [2008]