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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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Sunday, 1 February 2015

Devilina Says That It Is 01:10 Hours So Time For Bed........phwoar...


The Red Paper -Canids

The research took almost 40 years on some aspects (starting in 1977) and if there is one book I have to hold up and momentarily get an ego over it is this one. Wolves, foxes -including arctic foxes- Jackals and coyotes in the UK. Many exotics just released to hunt or simply dumped/escapees.

 The history of foxes in the UK and how they were about to become extinct (there may be no such thing as a true "British fox" now) but were imported in their thousands each year "for sport" -even I sat dumbfounded when I made certain discoveries such as stabling foxes, what "bagging a fox" REALLY meant and more.

One naturalist of 60 years read it and called it "The most explosive book on British wildlife ever" and yet, not a single copy has ever sold.

And my old colleagues at the British Naturalist Association....I like to call them "the opposition" now.


 The Red Paper:CANINES vol.1
THE RED PAPER
A4 format
 Paperback,
202 Pages
Many illustrations and photographs
Price: £20.00
Up-dated 2011 edition includes section on sarcoptic mange in foxes and treatment plus a list of wildlife sanctuaries and rescue centres in the UK. By the 1700s the British fox was on the verge of extinction and about to follow the bear and wolf having been hunted for sport for centuries. The answer was to import thousands of foxes per year for sport. But foxes kept dying out so jackals were tried. Some were caught, some escaped. Even wolves and coyote were released for hunting. 
 
The summation of decades of work (1977-2011 and still ongoing) and research reveals the damnable lie of "pest control" hunting but also reveals the cruelty the animals were subject to and how private menageries as well as travelling shows helped provide the British and Irish countryside with some incredible events. 
 
The Girt Dog of Ennerdale is also dealt with in detail

Pursuing The Strange & Weird:A Naturalists Viewpoint



Pursuing The Strange & Weird:A Naturalists Viewpoint



Terry Hooper-Scharf
Paperback, 
A4
249 Pages
Highly illustrated
Price: £15.00
2013 UP DATE -From Dead Aquatic (Humanoid) Creatures, the giant squid and yet undiscovered sea creatures; submarine and ships crews encountering true leviathans.

There is a fully expanded section which also refers to the so-called ‘Ningen’ sightings and video footage. 
Extinct animals at sea that have been re-discovered. The subject of Sasquatch and other mystery Hominids around the world is dealt with including a look at the “Sasquatch-killer”, Justin Smeja.

Dr. Bryan Sykes and his DNA test results for TVs The Bigfoot Files as well as the controversial Erickson Project and Dr. Melba Ketchum’s Even more controversial Sasquatch DNA test results.

Also included are two early French UFO entity cases that still baffle. Ghosts, strange creatures and the Star-Child hoax. All dealt with by the naturalist and pursuer of the strange and weird

Some More Things Strange & Sinister


Some More Things Strange & Sinister


Terry Hooper-Scharf
Paperback,
A4
327 Pages 
Heavily illustrated
Price: £20.00
Follow-up to the hugely successful Some Things Strange & Sinister.


For those interested in Ufology, cryptozoology, hominology, unusual natural history, ghosts and mysteries in general.

The secret history of gorillas in the UK -before they were officially  'discovered'. The history of  the Wild men of Europe, the UK and US: something that in the 1800s become very "pop culture"  Very pop culture and totally forgotten today!

Hominology. Sasquatch and Bigfoot -is there evidence for their existence?  No sitting on the fence here -the Patterson-Gimlin film is looked at as well as other evidence.  The Author's conclusions? You might be surprised.

Giant snakes. Amazons. The Giant serpent of Carthage. The Girt Dog of Ennerdale -another big cult 'creature' amongst paranormal and cryptozoological circles. The Beast of Gevaudan -what was it and were there really descendents of the creature in the 19th century -one of which was actually brought to London? 

 Believe it or not more than one incident of historical crocodiles cases in the UK.  In fact, far more than even the Author had thought .

And, after more than a century of claims by 'researchers' that it no longer exists: The Silent City of Alaska and the near legendary 'lost' photograph taken of it.

 This and much more. Updated with extra pages and photographs. 

Some Things Strange & Sinister -Who Needs Sensationalism!

Some Things Strange & Sinister
 
A4 Format
B&W
Paperback
358 pages
Heavily illustrated
Price: £20.00
After more than 30 years as an investigator and more than forty as a naturalist,the author has opened some of the many files he has accumulated dealing with such things as.. 
 
The Terrifying Events At The Lamb Inn, The Ghosts Of All Saints Church, Dead Aquatic Creatures of Canvey Island, captured bigfoot like creatures in India -all exclusively presented for the first time and with new added research previously unseen. 
 
PLUS a vastly expanded section on Spring-heeled Jack! 
 
Photographs, maps, line drawings and up-dated to make 358 pages looking at Things truly Strange and Sinister. 
 
Cryptozoologist,Ghost Hunter,Ufologist or Fortean:this book has something for everyone -including the just plain inquisitive!

Now WHY Would So Many People Be Checking Out This Review? A Re-post:Titan Books:The Secret Service -Kinsman

The Secret Service - Kingsman

Millar & Vaughn
Art: Dave Gibbons
Full Colour
160 pp
US Trade Size
ISBN: 9781781167038
£9.99   
Available 1st April, 2014

http://titanbooks.com/the-secret-service-kingsman-6985/

Gary’s life is going nowhere. He lives in public housing with his mother and spends his nights carousing with his friends. But Gary’s Uncle Jack has taken a different path of glamour, danger and mystery. 

When Jack has to get his nephew out of trouble, their lives are going to intersect in a way neither of them could have foreseen. From Mark Millar (Kick-Ass) and Dave Gibbons (Watchmen).

Soon to be a blockbuster movie!

I would like to make it VERY clear that my garotting the postman for heavily shoving another book through the letter box had absolutely nothing to do with this book.
Firstly, despite what you might read, garotting takes a while and can be a bit noisy.  Cheese-wire is best. Quick and silent.  Nothing written on a blog can be used in evidence, right?
Now the book.....
Well, I saw "Mark Millar" and thought "swear swear swear pointless violence -same old!" The only thing that attracted me to the book was Dave Gibbons.  Most comic readers will only know Gibbons from the super hero comics though he is far, far more versatile.  He is also quite a nice man and has a good streak of humour in him.
So, we have a big time Secret Service uncle who recruits his nephew from the tough council estate -I think most readers might recognise similarities between the "rough area" depicted so well by Gibbons in the book to ones they know.
I know this was first published in Clint magazine (which I've never read) so a collected book is a wonderful thing, baby.  Titan Books have great production quality and when I received this one I thought I might be dismissive of it, even if Gibbons was involved. So?  Well, I browsed though it and then realised I was reading the book straight though...then going back to check things out again. 
Now, I generally browse through a book. Put it down and then look again later.  That I sat down and read it all in one go says a lot for the story and the great art and, I really cannot ignore him -the colour work of Angus McKie which is EXCELLENT.
I am giving away no spoilers.  I even had to select pages to ensure nothing gets given away. This is probably -remember it is only March- one of the best English language books I've received so far this year.  
VERY recommended.

Before Quatermass There Was.....Dene Vernon: Ghost Investigator!

... Though that job description was flexible.

Dene Vernon:The Thing Below

Dene Vernon:The Thing Below

W -Terry Hooper-Scharf   A -Gavin Stuart Ross
Paperback, 
A4
Black & White
53 Pages
Price: £8.00
Ships in 3–5 business days

http://www.lulu.com/shop/terry-hooper-scharf/dene-vernonthe-thing-below/paperback/product-21918919.html

Dene Vernon the first UK comic book investigator of the supernatural faces his greatest challenge as he investigates and confronts The Thing Below London. Classic British horror set in the ruins of blitzed London docks in 1949.

Dene Vernon was one of those unique characters from the Gerald Swan "Swan Comics" -created and drawn by Jock McCail.  Swan seemed to specialise, whether he realised it or not, in characters steeped in the supernatural -Krakos The Egyptian being one of the others.  Stories of the true ghost hunters -some VERY scary- used to make newspaper news in the old days.  Harry Price, Elliott O'Donnell and a selected few others were well know household names.   Vernon is of that ilk.

In his time he dealt with supernatural curses, horrifying hauntings and, later when the whole thing exploded into the public consciousness, flying saucers.

In 1996 I wrote a script that was intended for D. C. Thomson (let's not go there)  and then Egmont showed interest...and decided it didn't want to do comics -a policy it has stuck to in the UK.  So, ITV thought it might make a good TV series....deregulation of TV killed that.  The BBC....well, if they ever followed through on anything it was a miracle.

Gavin Stuart Ross had been in touch with me a long time before and eventually drew the Chung Ling Soo series of Victorian mystery comics (there is a collection you know).  I thought, perhaps, if I begged, Gavin might give Dene Vernon a try.  He did and so Dene Vernon: The Thing Below came into being.  Finally!

It has been said many times that "horror is best in black and white" and that is true.  I cherish my old Charlton horror/ghost comics and German Spuk Geschichten and Gespenster Geschichten but black and white horror is king.

Incidentally, though it does not mean you will have to buy it as all BTCG books are stand alone, in The Green Skies you will learn exactly why Vernon is recovering and "not quite the same" any more.  That's a teaser.

But Dene Vernon: The Thing Below is just for you horror fans -it even has a slight Quatermass feel to it. Don't believe me?  Buy a copy and see!

Saturday, 31 January 2015

"I Just Do NOT Want To Sort Through This Box!"

And with those words....I sorted through the box.

Go figure.

Papers, journals....hello....a piece of artwork?

Wow.  It was the original, pre-Letraset lettering, 1986 Black Tower ad that I thought had been lost years ago.  Featured are Wildmane, Runestone (the flying guy with the big moustache if you have never -WHAT?!- read a Black Tower book before) and to their rear, Team Nippon's own Red Dragon (when Black Tower had a super hero group).

You see -you can make surprise finds!


Actress Geraldine McEwan dies

BBC News Online

Geraldine McEwan  
 
Geraldine McEwan died following a stroke, her family said
 
Actress Geraldine McEwan, known for playing Agatha Christie sleuth Miss Marple on ITV, has died aged 82, her family have said.

She died on 30 January following a stroke at the end of October, her family said.

She appeared as Miss Marple from 2004 until 2009.

The Bafta award winner had a long and successful career in theatre, television and films.

Her son Greg and daughter Claudia said in a statement: "Following a stroke at the end of October and a period in hospital, Geraldine McEwan passed away peacefully on January 30.

"Her family would like to thank the staff at Charing Cross Hospital who cared for her incredibly well."

Actors she worked with during her career included Laurence Olivier and Kenneth Williams, and she won a Bafta TV award for best actress in 1991 for her role in Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit.


Geraldine McEwan as Marcella in Troy Kennedy Martin's exciting thriller "The Man Without Papers",  
 
She played Marcella in Troy Kennedy Martin's thriller The Man Without Papers in 1965.
 
 
Geraldine McEwan  
 
She also played Miss Rose Farnaby in the 1990s comedy series Mulberry

Tempus fugit

2015 -Hey, It's Buy Black Tower Books Year. Honest.

 From Monday I will be running a good few adverts on CBO to promote Black Tower Comics & Books since this is, after all, my blog!

Also,  I need to start saving for my retirement!

So first off, today, here is the excellent Dark Night Detectives  by Ben R. Dilworth.  Makes Soylent Green and Blade Runner look like kiddy stories.

The Dark Night Detectives
Ben R. Dilworth
 Paperback
A4
Black & White
50 Pages
Price: £8.00
Its a world where if you stand up for what is right you'll be lucky if its just a beating you get. A world where people are starving (if poor) and the rich live in luxury. 
 
A world where you have to have birthing Rights. Where sacrificing someone to the Devil is acceptable -as long as they pay the wages. 
 
A world where if you DO NOT take that bribe you WILL be made an example of. 
 
Some of Ben Dilworth's most provoking and dark work in ages.