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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, 5 May 2015

EXCLUSIVE!! Before Anyone Else -The Cardiff Comic Expo 2015!

Coming Soon....

...from Tales From The Kryptonian....

Unseen D-Gruppe art.....

And To Prove A Point....

Within 30 minutes of posting about D-Gruppe and German comics -over 50 hits from Germany for that post.

Beats the heck out of me.

More Lost Art Found -Hong Kong Super Heroes

Well, I've managed to -painfully- draw a good few pages for The Green Skies over the weekend and am just working on the expanded German section.  So I want to get back to that.

However, John Schiltz -I posted some of his D-Gruppe pages a few days ago- has come up with a surprise.

Anyone remember me writing that Ben Dilworth and I had once drawn a couple Hong Kong super hero pages?  I don't think it was actually a full story just messing about one weekend while he was in Bristol. I've not seen those pages for years. Lost.

But no longer lost!

Mr Schiltz has found the two pages and I've given them a quick touch-up (ooh!) so, for Mr Dilworth -here you go!

A Few Words On German Comickers


It is a bit weird but every time a post involves Germany and specifically German comics there are a high number of German comickers viewing the item.  But when I post something on Germany's first super heroes, D-Gruppe, the views from Germany increase even more.

Now what I do not understand is why, if German super heroes are such a big draw to these people, they are not buying the D-Gruppe mini series, 2012 Annual or the Complete D-Gruppe which contains all of it??

Not a copy of D-Gruppe has sold.  But I'm not alone here.

When I was active on German comic forums I used to post in German and English.  I got more very rude responses "Your German is bad!" (in, actually, very poor German so the rude ones were not that well educated) or "What business is it of your what's been published in Germany -go back to your 2000 AD!".  I think these were what my aunt in Germany would have called "arschlochs"!

I then me with the "We DO NOT have super hero comics in Germany!" I guess they were referring to home grown super heroes as opposed to all the Marvel, DC, Archie and UK (Robot Archie, The Spider) comics reprinted there?

Dorn Der Morgenstern was the follow on from the RPG (role playing game) inspired comic series Helden.  Randalf Paker was the creator/writer/artist of both series and his work was gorgeous but both titles failed to get sales to keep it going. Unbelievable.

Wind Konig was more a small press effort but vanished -there is a list of these books and sample pages in the second link below.

Background on the group, etc,:http://hoopercomicart.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/germanys-first-super-hero-team-d-gruppe.html

And on German super heroes after  D-Gruppe (and boosting an ego I do not have):http://hoopercomicart.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/return-of-german-super-heroes-and-my.html

So WHY are comickers not buying?  With Dorn they had a high quality, full colour comic and New Arden was full colour -though I know nothing of the background to this comic or the publishers or why it ceased publication.

Is it because they only want to see the characters from Marvel and DC which, let's be honest, has never treated "minority countries" like Germany or the UK with much thought or respect character-wise. Oh, and I was talking to a DC representative at one of the old UK Comic Art Conventions in the 1980s and we talked about characters for Europe and it was he who referred to "minority countries"!!

Oddly, Jerry Ordway was very nice to talk to.  He did say that "a lot of Americans think the UK and Europe are all cobbled streets, gas lamps and castles"!  But added "A lot of Americans couldn't tell you the name of the state next door to theirs -they can be quite insular."

Archie Goodwin, bless him, was THE nicest person I've spoken to who worked in comics and he had the opinion that countries like Germany would start producing their own DC and Marvel style comics "in a few years".

Back to German comic forums -I get distracted easily.

The other big problem I had was with the "arty" crowd who believed that the only comics that should be allowed were art-house based. Social relevance. "Entertainment"? "Super Heroes"?? "Schneiden wir den Scheiß jetzt heraus!" ("let's cut that shit out right now!").  "Superhelden sind für kleine kinder oder Menschen, die in der nähe sind analphabeten!" ("Super heroes are for little kids or people who are near illiterate!") as one nice person put it.  

In fact, my time on German comic forums was negative apart from, I think I've got this right, "Darkjedi" who supplied me with a lot of scans of German comics and I'll be eternally grateful for that!

Yet, despite all the arty crowd say  -in the UK the arty comics people "who knew" were telling me for years that France and Germany, Europe in general, never had super hero comics.  That says far more about their limited knowledge and yet people still regard them as the 'experts' on European comics!--I still see You Tube videos of German and Austrian comic conventions where comickers are there and buying...super hero comics!  And cos-play is kicking in even in France, where French creators told me it was frowned upon (I guess that "comics are a serious art form" attitude). 

So, if a good idea and story and characters based in Germany are not doing the trick....the language?  I point to the number of US ("Americanised English") super hero comics selling there.  "They aint in colour!"  Well, looking at Dorn and New Arden which were great colour comics -especially Dorn- that can't be the answer.

For me, personally, D-Gruppe was never the same after Ben Dilworth quit. "Die Rache der Eis-Königin" (The Revenge of The Ice Queen") the first legitimate D-Gruppe story, is one I still like looking at and if the guy I was dealing with at Bastei Verlag had not had the carpet swept from under him by the new bosses, it would have seen print.

Incidentally, the person I was dealing with in 1991 was Werner Geismar, Editor-in-Chief at Bastei.  I just found the old letters!

To me it is a mystery why there is so much interest in D-Gruppe but no sales.  Ideally, I'd be in Germany at comic events selling books but lords know what tables cost at European comic events!

So until some German publisher decides D-Gruppe is a good idea for the German market I'll just carry on drawing them in The Green Skies (at this very moment....well, not while typing) and wondering whether the ultimate fate of group leader Kopfmannand his team that vanished in Return of the Gods will ever be revealed?

Vielleicht sollte Ich mich auf den kopf mit kopien der D-Gruppe bücher zu schlagen?

BilBOlbul Newsletter 5 maggio 2015

È online su www.coopforwords.it il bando della tredicesima edizione di "Coop for words" riservata a scrittori e fumettisti dai 18 ai 35 anni, che dovranno inviare i loro elaborati - inediti e in lingua italiana - entro il 15 giugno, tramite l’apposito form presente sul sito.
Tanti i premi in palio: borse di studio e opportunità professionali, la possibilità di partecipare ad Ad alta voce e la pubblicazione di un’antologia. I 5 vincitori assoluti verranno premiati durante l’Expo di Milano e potranno partecipare gratuitamente ai corsi della Bottega Finzioni, esporre a BilBOlbul 2016 e ricevere una borsa di studio offerta da GVC.
Per la sezione fumetto si richiede la creazione di due tavole immaginate come prefazione di un’opera letteraria contemporanea (dal Novecento ai giorni nostri) a scelta, mettendone in evidenza o l’atmosfera, o una tematica, o le emozioni che suscita nel lettore.

La categoria di "Graphic Novel", sta acquisendo una sempre crescente centralità, anche in Italia.
Ma che cos’è il graphic novel, sulla scena italiana e nel mondo? Ha davvero senso definirlo come un "oggetto" diverso dai classici fumetti? E soprattutto, qual è il suo posto in un panorama in continuo mutamento in cui le arti si mescolano e si affermano nuove forme di narrazione sempre più ibride e trans-mediali inaugurando nuovi modi di leggere, interpretare e valutare la narrazione?
Per rispondere a queste e altre domande si incontreranno a Bologna giovedì 7 e venerdì 8 maggio, alcuni tra i più importanti autori e studiosi del fumetto: da Igort a Doug Headline a Davide Toffolo, e poi Davide Reviati, Otto Gabos, Sara Colaone, Onofrio Catacchio, Sualzo, i giovani autori del neonato sito di informazione Graphic News.

Il convegno è promosso dall’Università e dall’Accademia di Belle Arti di Bologna insieme alla francese Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense.


Primavera/Estate è un ciclo di cinque incontri con protagonisti maestri del fumetto e dell’illustrazione di fama internazionale, organizzato in collaborazione con Accademia di Belle Arti di Bologna, Scuola di Lettere e Beni Culturali - Università di Bologna e Gruppo Hera.
Il prossimo appuntamento sarà un’incursione nel mondo dell’illustrazione con Nadia Budde. Mercoledì 13 maggio, alle ore 17.00, presso l’Accademia di Belle Arti di Bologna, l’affermata illustratrice tedesca, vincitrice di premi quali l’Oldenburger Kinder- und Jugendbuchpreis, il Troisdorfer Bilderbuchpreis e il Bologna Ragazzi Award, presenterà il proprio lavoro: un universo fatto di creaturine, esseri umani, bestie e insetti, corpi, zampe, facce, smorfie.
In collaborazione con Goethe-Institut Italien.
Per la prima volta il Gruppo Hera apre le porte di casa al disegno. In collaborazione con BilBOlbul, Hera invita Nadia Budde per un laboratorio sperimentale rivolto ai figli dei dipendenti. L’iniziativa rientra nell’ambito dei progetti di welfare aziendale del Gruppo e si svolgerà presso il Learning Center HerAcademy.
I prossimi incontri saranno con Dylan Horrocks, Quint Buchholz e Stefano Alghisi.
Vai su www.bilbolbul.net per tutti i dettagli!

Dal 6 maggio al 21 giugno torna "Tra le Nuvole", festival itinerante di fumetto e illustrazione organizzato da MalEdizioni.
Un evento culturale diffuso sul territorio, un’entità in movimento in grado di toccare paesi e città della provincia bresciana, che dia modo al pubblico di conoscere un mondo ricco e variegato come quello del fumetto. Il festival, partner di BilBOlbul, si svolge, come da tradizione, all’interno delle biblioteche della provincia bresciana, veri e propri avamposti culturali con un forte legame con il territorio.

Anche grazie al tuo contributo potremo portare avanti le nostre attività.
Nella tua dichiarazione dei redditi, scrivi il nostro codice fiscale: 92047890378
Grazie per il sostegno!
BilBOlbul Festival internazionale di fumetto fa parte della
Rete dei Festival del Contemporaneo di Bologna
Future Film Festival: 5 > 10 maggio 2015 - futurefilmfestival.org :: Angelica- Festival Internazionale di musica: 2 > 31 maggio 2015 - aaa-angelica.com :: Biografilm: 5 > 15 giugno 2015 - biografilm.it :: Gender Bender: 31 ottobre > 8 novembre 2015 - www.genderbender.it :: BilBOlBul: 19 > 22 novembre 2015 - bilbolbul.net :: Live Arts Week: liveartsweek.it

Monday, 4 May 2015

X-Men - Alpha Flight Fan Film

Don't say that I NEVER bring you goodies to watch!!!!

Task Force X -The Suicide Squad Revealed!

The Hollywood Reporter carries the first photos of Task force X -The Suicide Squad assembled: https://twitter.com/hashtag/SuicideSquad?src=hash  and you can read a bit more at Comic Book Movie: http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/KingPatel/news/?a=120032


Suicide Squad will feature:

Director: David Ayer

Will Smith as Floyd Lawton/Deadshot

Jared Leto as The Joker

Margot Robbie as Harleen Quinzel/Harley Quinn

Viola Davis as Amanda Waller

Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flagg

Jai Courtney as George "Digger" Harkness/Captain Boomerang

Cara Delevingne as June Moone/Enchantress

Ike Barinholtz as Dr. Hugo Strange

Jim Parrack as Jonny Frost/Pseudo Joker

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Waylon Jones/Killer Croc

Jay Hernandez as El Diablo

Adam Beach as Christopher Weiss/Slipknot

Karen Fukuhara as Tatsu Yamashiro/Katana

Raymond Olubowale as Nanaue/King Shark

Common in an undisclosed role
Suicide Squad lights up theaters August 5, 2016

Grace Lee Whitney Dies, Aged 85

Well, as usual, BBC news has fluffed it all up.  But at least everyone else has carried the sad news. Here from The Huffington Post:http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/05/04/grace-lee-whitney-star-trek-dead_n_7202394.html

‘Star Trek’ actress Grace Lee Whitney has died of natural causes, at the age of 85. 

The star, who played Captain James T. Kirk’s (William Shatner) assistant Janice Rand died at her California home on Friday, her son has confirmed. 

grace lee whitney
Grace at a 2012 'Star Trek' convention 
Grace played Janice in the original TV series, and later reprised her role in four of the franchise’s films, and the 1996 series ‘Star Trek: Voyager’.

William Shatner has paid tribute to his Grace on Twitter, writing:

Her career began in the 1950s, and Grace starred in a number of other high-profile projects, including the film ‘Some Like It Hot’.

In 1998, she released an autobiography, in which Grace revealed her struggle with alcohol and substance dependence.

Grace credited ‘Star Trek’ fans with helping her through tough times, and the star was praised for her openness and honesty when it came to speaking about addiction.

“When I told the fans I was an alcoholic, they all applauded,” she stated in 2013. “When I told them I had given myself to a higher power, they cheered again.

“I’m in a great place because I’ve gone full circle.”

Tempus fugit

Sunday, 3 May 2015

One Last Post And I'm Gone!

Ahhh. I do wish people would read posts before having as arse burger.

I did not ever -ever- state or hint that women should not be reading comics.  I encouraged my young niece to read comics when she was a tot so get it straight.  Read what is written.

If -if- any of the women currently jump onto the comic scene become real comickers then great.  The more the merrier and the same applies to all those men who are in the same category.

Mass buying huge stacks of comics then saying "I have no idea what this is -is it any good -leave a comment!" shows what you are.