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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

Monday, 21 July 2014

Le Transperceneige - L’Intégrale(Collection) and CBO Postings

On Sunday, 25th August, 2013 I published a review of Casterman BD: Le Transperceneige - L’Intégrale(Collection).

It's in French and has some beautiful black and white artwork.  So, why am I mentioning this?  Well, since that review was published it has only been out of the top ten CBO posts once. If you missed that review you can find it here:


A pity Casterman decided to stop sending review books because I know quite a few sales resulted from reviews here and at the old CBO site.

The other thing I notice is that the review of the Kick Ass 2 dvd still gets a good few hits while the reviews of  various Titan Book titles are always in the top ten -ditto Cinebook The 9th Art.

I think it's because there are almost 2000 postings on CBO and so newcomers look around to see what's been covered -I'm glad to say my postings on German comics are topped only by my postings on old UK comics and characters.  I ought to point out that if you want more UK comic stuff you need to check out the Crivens! blog -on the blog list. 

So, yes, things tick along but what worries me is that days that I do not post the hits counter climbs!

I Am Ashamed. Deeply Ashamed....

The post with the most hits yesterday and today were those brief lines in which I stated I had torn the ass out of another pair of pajama bottoms.

At least no one has requested photographs!

Please Bear In Mind...

...info on upcoming comic events are not endorsements by me but are press releases. I have no organisational nor financial links with these.

My only endorsement comes in reviews or reports on events I have attended.

Just making that clear.

Lakes Festival's "Family Zone" Events - Great Fun for all Ages!

Lakes Festival's "Family Zone" Events - Great Fun for all Ages!

The Phoenix are hosting a series of workshops at The Brewery Art Centre as part of the International Comic Art Festival. You can book tickets now! Image courtesy The Phoenix Comic
The Phoenix are hosting a series of workshops at The Brewery Art Centre as part of the International Comic Art Festival. You can book tickets now!
Image courtesy The Phoenix Comic
Kendal, UK, 21st July 2014: The Lakes International Comic Art Festival is pleased to announce the line-up for the Comics Family Zone, one of its most popular events last year.

Based in Kendal Library, Westmorland Shopping Centre and the Shakespeare Centre off Highgate, this year's Comics Family Zone will feature workshops and free activities, plus face-painting, screen printing and ace competitions. You can make your own comics, create your own characters, and even get a crack professional comics artist to draw you a picture of anything you want – so long as you draw a picture for them too!

The Comics Family Zone Line-Up includes...

•  Join The Phoenix Comic artists Adam Murphy, Gary Northfield, Neill Cameron and Laura Anderson, as they guide you through the amazing world of comics in The Phoenix Lakes Workshops! You’ll learn how to: Draw awesomely! Create characters! Tell stories! And then bring all those things together in your very own comic masterpiece!

You're invited to voyage through deepest darkest space in a giant space ship… that’s also a cat! Battle with pirates… on the back of gargantuan prehistoric monsters! Meet the DEAD famous… for a quick interview!

Hang on! These aren’t delirious dreams, but a small sample of the adventures waiting inside The Phoenix weekly story comic! Learn some of the title's top-secret, comic-creating tips from the professionals – whilst producing a comic strip of your own!

• All workshops suitable for 6-12 years except Teen Workshops aimed at 12-16 years. Price: All £3.00 (tickets pre-bookable, visit the events pages on www.comicartfestival.com/tag/family-zone to ensure your place)
• Artist Kev F Sutherland (The Beano, 2000AD and Doctor Who) who'll be giving a drawing masterclass and helping kids create their very own comics in the library. Suitable for 7-12 years old. No experience necessary. Price: £3.00 (tickets pre-bookable, visit the events pages on www.comicartfestival.com/tag/family-zone to ensure your place)

Free Events

Metaphrog Workshops and Exhibition  - Create your own comics with the award-nominated Metaphrog duo! Suitable for 7-12 years old - and free!

Art Heroes: Join Art Heroes to get comic-making tips, pick up some of their comic books and enter their Create-A-Character competition for the chance to win a great prize! Whether you’re into superheroes, comedy, fantasy, sci-fi , ninjas or anything else, Daniel and Lee will help you turn your ideas into great characters and comic strips. Suitable for all ages - and free!

We Draw, You Draw - Sharpen your pencils and choose your colours for the epic drawing event! This event features: Manga Mistress Chie Kutsuwada: creative cartoonist Paul Harrison-Davies (Astrodog): Phoenix regular Robert Deas (Troy Trailblazer): and the illustrious, industrious ILYA (Kid Savage, from the people that brought you Ben10). This core team of crack professional comics artists will draw you pictures to take away of Whatever You Want – so long as You draw a picture for them too! All paper and materials provided. Suitable for all ages - and free!

• Follow the Family Trail and visit each part of the Festival - and collect a free little gift on completion of your special, fully stamped card!

Oh, and look out for Poblin and his gang - the Festival's larger-than-life mascots, created by Jonathan Edwards and the Felt Mistress... they'll certainly be looking out for you!

• For full details of the Comics Family Zone events, visit:

• All events at the Westmorland Shopping Centre are free of charge

Tickets for all the events at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival (17th - 19th October) are on sale now. For the full guest list, details of events and exhibitions and bookings visit: www.comicartfestival.com

• Sign up for the Festival's newsletter here for the latest news! Web: www.comicartfestival.com

The Phoenix Comic Creators

The Phoenix Comic - Covers
The Phoenix is a weekly comic for children aged 8-12 (and everyone else who loves stories) featuring thrilling adventures, rib-cracking comedies, boggling true stories and deviously difficult puzzles - and no ads! The comic is available on subscription and from Waitrose supermarkets, or digitally on iTunes. Four creators from the comic will be running workshops over the Festival weekend...
Adam Murphy

Comics artist, Illustrator, Husband and "Idiot savant", Adam says he's "Desperately trying to make sense of it all.

"I'm slowly feeling like I’m getting the hang of it," he says. He's been working as a full-time comics artist since 2011 and is currently based in Glasgow. His strips include "Corpse Talk" for The Phoenix.

Gary Northfield

Gary draws popular comic strips for many top notch publications including National Geographic Kids and The Phoenix. Lately he’s been knocking out weekly nonsense in the form of "Gary's Garden"  for The Phoenix and he has a brand new children’s graphic novel called The Terrible Tales of the TeenyTinySaurs out from Walker books. He lives in the UK

Pirates of PangaeaNeill Cameron

Neill Cameron started drawing with robots and dinosaurs. Then he did some other stuff for a bit. Then he decided that drawing robots and dinosaurs was way more fun, so went back to that. His strips include "Pirates of Pangaea" for The Phoenix (written by Daniel Hartwell). He lives in Oxford.

Laura Anderson

Laura's debut children's picture book Snowflakes written by CBBC presenter Cerrie Burnell, was published in September 2013. Her new and upcoming picture books include Princess Sleepyhead and the Night-Night Bear, out this October,  She's also the creator of the comic strip 'Evil Emperor Penguin' for The Phoenix, about a tyrannical seabird of tiny proportions whose main aim is to take over the world!

"I think I'd quite like to live on the Moon when humans finally make it possible," says Laura. "I'm going to assume that'll be in my lifetime. But for now I live in London."

Creator Profile: Kev F. Sutherland

Kev F Sutherland writes and draws for comics as diverse as The Beano, Marvel comics and Doctor Who. He's currently writing "Bananaman" and drawing "Pansy Potter". He was the man who gave us "The Bash Street Zombies" and Roger The Dodger’s "Reservoir Dodge". For Marvel, he drew Doctor Strange and Star Trek and has worked everywhere from Doctor Who Adventures and Match to Red Dwarf Smegazine and Viz comic.

He also teaches comic art in his Comic Art Masterclass which visits schools, libraries and art centres all around the country and the world – he’s taught comic art from Ireland to Abu Dhabi and from Norway to Toulouse! In 2014,

Kev brings his Comic Art Masterclass back to the Lake District to teach the next generation of comic artists their craft.

Watch a video of Kev at work on YouTube

Creator Profile: Metaphrog

Metaphrog: John Chalmers and Sandra Marrs
Metaphrog are writer and illustrator duo John Chalmers and Sandra Marrs. Their Louis graphic novels have been nominated for several prestigious awards, including the Eisner and Ignatz Awards, and Louis – Night Salad was Highly Commended for the Scottish Children’s Book Award. Their work has been praised in The Guardian, Publisher’s Weekly, The Comics Journal, The Herald, The School Librarian, to name but a few.

They both love to share the secrets of making comics and are always travelling to deliver talks and workshops in and outside of the UK.

Recently they have been working on several graphic novel commissions, and are currently working on new stories. Their next graphic novel will be published by Papercutz in early 2015.

About the 2014 Lakes International Comic Art Festival

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival (17th – 19th October 2014) is a new kind of comic art event in the UK. Modelled on a European-style festival it aims to take over the market town of Kendal, on the edge of the Lake District, with comic art presenting the widest range of genres. Events include a 24 Hour Comic Marathon, children’s comic workshops, talks, signings, Great War in Comics art exhibition and a Comics Fair. 
The huge line up of guests at this year's Lakes International Comic Art Festival include the acclaimed comics creator and newspaper strip artist Nick Abadzis (author of Laika); Walking Dead artist Charlie Adlard; Storm Dogs and UNITY artist Doug BraithwaiteFables and Sandman artist Mark Buckingham; The Mire and Wolves creator Becky Cloonan; Alec and From Hell artist Eddie Campbell; veteran publisher Dez SkinnWatchmen co-creator Dave Gibbons; digital comics pioneer Scott McCloud; Japanese artist Junko Mizuno; Drowntown co-creator Robbie Morrison; leading US comics writer Gail Simone; the creator of the multi-award winning Bone Jeff Smith; and Grandville and Luther Arkwright author Bryan Talbot, one of the Festival's patrons alongside Sean Phillips and Mary Talbot and Emma Vieceli, will also join other comic creators for Kendal's second comics extravaganza.

• Visit the Festival web site for the full guest list announced so far
The Lakes International Comic Art Festival regrets to announce that due to other commitments, 2000AD artist Jock has had to withdraw from this year's event. Anyone who already purchased tickets for his event has been informed of the cancellation of his events.

24 Hour Comic Marathon

The 24 Hour Comic Marathon creative team is: Dan Berry, Marathon curator and producer; Kristyna Baczynski (NME), Warwick Johnson Cadwell (Tank Girl), Joe Decie (The Accidental Salad) Sarah McIntyre (Oliver and the Seawigs, shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Awards 2014), Fumio Obata (author of the graphic novel Just So Happens) and Jack Teagle.

• For more information about the 24 Hour Comic Marathon visit: www.comicartfestival.com/competitions

Festival Sponsors and Benefactors

The Patrons of the Festival are comic creators Sean Phillips, Bryan Talbot, Mary Talbot and Emma Vieceli.

The Festival is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, with funding from South Lakeland District Council and Kendal Town Council working in partnership with the Brewery Arts Centre and Kendal College.

Commercial sponsors include the Westmorland Shopping Centre, SEQUENTIAL and Knockabout.

Recent Releases

Titan Comics Art Competition Image
Bryan Hitch joins Lakes Festival line-up, Emma Vieceli announced as patron

Comic creators and locals team up for Lakes Festival’s “Windows Trail”

Dobby to Dark Knight: Concept Artists in Action

Niffenegger, Fegredo, Boulet and Stok join Lakes International Comic Art Festival Line-Up

Creators set to assemble in Lakes Festival’s “Comics Clock Tower”

Digital Comics Under the Spotlight at Lakes International Comic Art Festival

Titan Comics Teams Up with LICAF for International Undiscovered Talent Search
Tickets for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival (17th - 19th October 2014) are on sale now. Sign up for the Festival's newsletter here for the latest news! 
For further information contact: Julie Tait - julie@comicartfestival.com
Images of most announced guests, Festival poster and mascot images can be found here:
Copyright © 2014 Lakes Arts Festivals Limited, All rights reserved.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

In More Serious News....

I've torn the ass out of another pair of pajama trousers.

Casey Kasem’s remains sent to Montreal, says funeral home

Where are the Scooby Gang when they are needed?

There was no immediate explanation for why Kasem’s remains would have gone to Montreal.

Before his death, Casey Kasem’s daughter had been embroiled in a battle with his wife of the past 34 years, Jean Kasem, over the welfare of the legendary radio star.
Eric Jamison / AP 

Before his death, Casey Kasem’s daughter had been embroiled in a battle with his wife of the past 34 years, Jean Kasem, over the welfare of the legendary radio star.

SEATTLE—The head of a Washington state funeral home that had initial responsibility for radio personality Casey Kasem says he personally made sure his remains were put on a flight to Montreal last Monday.

Corey Gaffney, the president of Gaffney Funeral Home of Tacoma, says he confirmed the remains arrived in Montreal and media reports suggesting they have disappeared are not true.

Some U.S. media outlets quoted Kasem’s daughter Kerri as saying her father’s remains were missing.

In the months before his death June 15, Kasem’s daughter has been embroiled in a battle with his wife of the past 34 years, Jean Kasem, over the welfare of the legendary radio star.

A death certificate filed in a Washington State court July 15 listed Montreal funeral home Urgel Bourgie as the place of disposition, and July 14 as the date of disposition.

The Montreal funeral home told The Canadian Press on Saturday it had no record of Kasem’s remains as being at the facility or that they were supposed to arrive.

There was no immediate explanation for why Kasem’s remains would have gone to Montreal. Gaffney said he couldn’t comment on why Kasem’s wife picked Montreal or why Urgel Bourgie had no record of receiving Kasem’s remains.

”What we did was made sure that Casey got to the airport, we released custody of Casey to the airline,” Gaffney said in an interview Saturday night.

“The airline signed for that and acknowledged that and than at that point we returned to our office, tracked his flight to Montreal, confirmed that he had arrived, reported that to Mrs. Kasem.”

”When he landed in Montreal, I ceased being the funeral director in charge.”

A judge granted Kerri Kasem a temporary restraining order preventing her father’s wife from cremating his remains, but her lawyer told The Associated Press that when he approached the Tacoma funeral home with a copy of the restraining order, he was told it no longer had the remains.

“They said they could not disclose where he had gone or where he would end up,” said the lawyer, Scott Winship.

The death certificate was filled out by Jean Kasem and listed an address in Jerusalem, Israel, according to a copy filed in Pierce County Superior Court.

Teruyuki Olsen, a lawyer for Kasem’s wife, refused to comment Friday or provide any information about what happened to Kasem’s body.

Kasem, the radio host of “American Top 40” was 82 when he died last month.

Kerri Kasem, one of three children from Kasem’s first marriage, also asked a judge last week for authorization to seek an autopsy on her father as well as a temporary restraining order to ensure his body was held in cold storage and not cremated until that autopsy is completed.

Judge Ronald Culpepper ordered Jean Kasem to ensure that the radio host’s remains were preserved and that his body stayed at the Tacoma funeral home until the court decided on the autopsy petition following a July 25 hearing.

The story has created an international stir with mainstream and entertainment media outlets as far away as the United Kingdom running stories on the latest developments.

“Location of Casey Kasem’s Body Suddenly Unknown,” said the headline on Rolling Stone’s website.
“Casey Kasem body missing,” said TMZ.

It was Old Man Crithers the funeral home janitor!!  No, seriously, it was.

I just hope to Gods there is NO janitor named Crithers at the funeral home!!