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Sunday, 31 December 2017

Dan in the Photobooth #114: The Best Figures of 2017 11-20

Top 10 Best Action Figures of 2017 | List Show #54

Nerd Fundgrube Kinderzimmer Folge 1 | Masters of the Universe - Die Giga...

ComicIn! Winter-Shopping-Week - Finale - Wir haben es geschafft!

Bringing The Strange & Weird To YOU....The Documentary Saga

I have in the past explained the various problems of working with TV companies such as the BBC, ITV and Channel 5 (in the UK).  I even mentioned how I blacklisted the BBC -they receive no cooperation from me because...after a lot of work they never paid me.  About ten days ago some BBC reporter contacted me regarding exotic animals in the UK (that's all covered in the AOP and Exotic Animal Register blogs) and was shocked that I was not willing to cooperate even after explaining things to him.

Even back in the 1990s when ITV was interested in two series I had written and developed things were screwed up by them (I still have the letters!). Three German TV companies were willing to put money into the production after I did all the work approaching and talking to them -all ITV had to do was discuss the finances with them (I refused to deal with the money side of things more fool me). After a month I was asked "What's happening?" I contacted ITV: "Oh, we're on it" so the Germans wait...and wait...and I've seemed to disintegrate so a year of working went down the pan.

I have worked with documentary makers as an advisor as well as being interviewed -BBC, ITV and Independent companies.  Good and bad experiences.  However, the last five years have been almost a nightmare.  Two different documentary makers contacted me about the idea of a British Comics documentary series (we don't seem to get those in the UK); lots of work, notes, line up possible interviewees and...nothing.  One found that they had overstretched themselves financially (?) and the other was not that legit: a bunch of students who had the equipment, gave themselves a fancy name and talked big but it seems they had not been commissioned to do a documentary for BBC 4 (TV) -they were hoping to sell to them. Things crumbled when I asked about financial remuneration for all the work I had been doing over a couple months.  They could not pay then they vanished.

The same thing with the Some Things Strange & Sinister/Somethings Strange and Weird proposals.  Lots of talking, submitting material, altering material to what "they" wanted -even a preliminary first script which was a pain. I could go on and on but the same stories apply here as with the above. Great web sites, flashy brochures and equipment but totally amateur and I even had to explain to two how something they were stumped on could be done.

But I never get into any heavy work schedule now. I ask outright what I am being paid and there is usually a vague response.  I say I cannot do work unless I know what I am being paid and "who is buying this documentary?" More vagueness.

One company I was just dealing with fell to pieces when I asked for a contract guaranteeing remunerations for my work before a documentary or series was sold.  Their company would need to pay me for working for them.  Seems they were all talk because I got the "I'll be honest with you" email (not even a phone call) "We're renting the gear and hope to break into documentary making and selling those--"  No. Sit in front of me and put all your cards on the table and tell the truth. I am quite flexible with work but telling lies from the outset and I back away.

I am seriously thinking that there are no genuine documentary makers out there or, if there are, they are not that innovative or creative about what they make.

Looks like 2018 will be a year of looking outside the UK for serious companies.


Maakika Art, Origins and the Book...

Being the sort of person who trusts no one I double checked the stats from my Art Wanted page.

690

Yes, in a week there have been 690 views of my non-comic art, mainly the Maakika artwork.  So, you all know there is a book, right?

Whenever I try to explain to someone the origins of The Maakika I get odd looks. I have no idea why, unless the people I'm explaining this to have no artistic minds and have never known a fevered mind!


However, the story I told on the original Maakika Art site in 2008 is factual. These pieces have been called some of the best work I've done -my comic work getting swiftly dismissed! I'm also told, though I never saw it that way myself until I went through all the pieces again, that the pieces seem to form a type of mythology or at least hint at one.  I'll let YOU decide.


The Origins


"What is Maakika Art?"  I get asked that a great deal and to be honest it is a very brief story!
In 2006 I had a serious respiratory infection.  It came and went but,in 2007,it came back with a vengeance over several months and with complications I thought it would see me shift this mortal coil -and I am NOT joking!



Around May, 2007, it got really bad.  Then, suddenly,pouring with sweat, while seated on a bus, my mind started getting a rush of images -maybe 50-60.  I got home exhausted but I sat down and began to draw.  Honestly, at 50 years of age I had drawn many things but these new images were so out of my usual frame of image reference that I was stumped.


I drew a few, sat back and thought "What the bloody hell have I drawn?!" Almost instantly the word "Maakika" [pronounced "Mah-kee-kah"] came into my head.  At the same time I got the definition "solid black and white art under guidance from the Maakika".  Ahh, a fevered mind -and no drugs involved!
I've searched the word on the internet, in books and anywhere else I can but it seems not to exist. I cannot find anything similar.


And with each came a title or description.

So,a divine gift from the Maakika pantheon seems credible!

And lucky.

The original images are all 21x29cms and though I've not parted with the first "inspired" drawings which look crude to my eye, several were sold for between £150-£300 each.

I still have the original images in my mind [they won't shift!] but I've been inspired to work on larger images [60x42cms]. 

So,if you have any questions or comments get in touch! 

And remember:only one person does Maakika art -me (and I have absolutely no idea what's coming next!)

The Maakika Art ~ you can buy the book!


Paperback,
A4
32 Pages
Price: £10.00 (excl. VAT)
Prints in 3-5 business days
http://www.lulu.com/shop/terry-hooper-scharf/maakika-art/paperback/product-21849434.html

According to  one review:

By J Stransky

"Unique and eye catching. It is equal parts disturbing and wonderful. I've cut a few out and put them in frames on the wall in my work room. They are, I tell you, really quite though provoking. Recommended to someone with an interest in primitive art or hypnosis-state painting. Look at these images deeply for a while, they will seep into your soul."Can you resist?

Monday, 25 December 2017

Uncle Terry's Christmas 2017 Speech.

Apparently my 23,787 word Chsristmas speech as to have no blasphemy in it....

23,000....what?  No double entendres?

22,500....oh you are ***** kidding me?  No swearing?!!!

150.....Well, 150 words Christmas speech...no politics. NO ******* politics??!!

Better start from scratch.

2017 has been, rather like 2016, a really awful year as far as I am concerned.  I hang on just in case something good happens but let's see....

Zero CBO posting responses is about right and what I expect from dead fandom so that's normal. What really killed my comic book enthusiasm was not apathy but the sheer tsunami of lies coming from comic companies and creators.  The whole phony SJW (Social Justice Warrior) 'war' used by vloggers on You Tube and bloggers online to try to boost their viewing or readers stats -and admitting it.  And they were telling lies themselves.  Blatant outright lies as well as taking statements totally out of context to make them an "SJW statement".  And Marvel and its staff behaved so unprofessionally that it is no wonder the company lost record numbers of fans.  Marvel just has no editors who know HOW to edit or run a company and writers that are just getting away with awful writing and ideas because...there are no real editors.  That's it.

Name-calling writers, artists and editors who -almost unbelievably- returned the favour.  The actual SJWs are what we used to call flamers and trolls but adopting the term SJW for what they do. Yeah, the internet has done comics a great service.

Image Comics.  I wrote a couple critical pieces but each one highlighted the great books and what the company has done right over the years.  Not rude. No obscenities just facts stated and referenced.  Then I got three (3) DCMA copyright strikes because Image made infringement claims against me when there were no copyright images used.  Oh, except in the two press releases Image sent me and which I posted....really.

Also, every comic related video I posted to You Tube got copyright strikes (and I know who was behind this) over videos containing no modern copyrighted material just Platinum-Silver Ages historical work and because I have under 10,000 subscribers there is no response to my challenging these complaints which is why I gave up making videos.  I save hours of work but it is the comic fan who really wants to learn more about old comics that loses out.

I had it confirmed by three independent sources that there is an effort to prevent my attending conventions in the UK to sell my books -one source was a con organiser who told me it made a less stressful life for him if he just bowed to the bullies.

All of this and no sales and no finances.  That really dented my comic enthusiasm.  Look at the stats to the right and see how many fewer posts there were this year.  I still gets lots of views per day but who am I posting for?  I hear nothing from visitors here and that dents a lot more enthusiasm. I even stopped work on Green Skies and there are books ready to publish but I need to sell not add more books to the online store.

Odd that I have a far better feedback from vloggers than online.

I have gotten far more satisfaction -and mental recuperation- from writing my prose books and doing the research on those than anything comic related since 2014.  I could quite honestly just continue writing books and staying sane.  However, I have a room and cupboards filled with comics (apparently trying to sell rather than buy shows the real value...not a lot) and now two people have given me graphic novels for Christmas.

I do not hate comics...just most of the people involved in comics.

Black Tower has Phase II coming into operation in 2018 but I may drop all social media for anything other than publicity since none of it has so far resulted in sales just lots of grief and, talking to some comic creators who gave up social media and got on with what they do they tell me things have never been better.

I am not saying that I am going to be making more and more posts next year just that they will be selective because aftyer 20 years or so it is clear no one really cares what I write or say or publish: it's just a quick visit, read and go and a fine "f*** you for the free read!"  No problem as it was my decision to get into comics but I just chose to be honest and open rather than pretending to be "the nice guy of comics" while stabbing everyone in the back and spreading poison online.  So it's my fault!

We'll see how 2018 goes but right now I am more concerned with eating and paying bills.

I will leave it at that because....

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Wow -517!

Thank You!

Terry - 

Here is your ArtWanted.com Weekly Activity Report
Dates: Sunday 17-Dec-2017 to Saturday, 23-Dec-2017

Weekly Portfolio Statistics

Total Image Views0Combined hits for all of your ArtWanted.com images last week.
Main Portfolio Views517Visits to the main page of your ArtWanted.com portfolio this month.
Portfolio Comments0Feedback from other users about your artwork. View Comments
Favorite Images0Number of images in your portfolio added to others favorite list.

Saturday, 23 December 2017

It Is Almost Here...Then It Will Be Gone!

I simply do not "Do Christmas", however, I am reliably informed that a good few of you do.

So, Merry Christmas and a Happy New 2018 to everyone whatever your faith or belief system!

Friday, 22 December 2017

Lona Rietschel 21st. September 1933 -19th. December 2017

The following tribute was written by the Mosaik Team editors and I have added a few images.

Lona spent her childhood in Reppen, Brandenburg, today Rzepin in Poland. In this place she was born on September 21, 1933. As a young girl, she dreamed of doing something for the chic ladies. She wanted to become a fashion illustrator in a war-torn and largely destroyed Berlin. Was there nothing more important? Well, what is more important than the courage to live and enjoy life ... So amply equipped, she walked through the city and actually found what she was looking for: a place in a class for fashion graphics. From scratch, she learned to draw people, to make the case of the fabrics properly - just everything that belongs to fashion graphics.
Image result for Lona Rietschel
But should it really be that? No, she wanted to be funnier and more caricatured, so she moved to West Berlin in a class for animation. Although the training here did not really fit their expectations, the spark was ignited for the comic genre. He was to smolder for a while before Lona could start on May 1, 1960 at the MOSAIK.
While the booklet had millions of copies and was popular with young and old, the artists behind it were always hidden behind the scenes of their protagonists' incredible adventures. Anyone who sent them into the world, who made them laugh, cry and make faces, could only be found in the small print on the last page of the book: Designed by the MOSAIK collective. Only from 1976 stood behind it neatly alphabetically sorted the names. A rather anonymous mass for the reader, who could not even recognize who was male or female, and yet wanted to know who conjured up the detailed landscapes, the plentiful Hidden Object, the moving scenery on paper every month.
But among the true fans, of course, one knew quite quickly the peculiarities and peculiarities of a character style to assign: There was this stroke and that stroke and there was the GOOD DRAWING. Although, of course, the MOSAIK always strives for a uniformity in style, which sometimes succeeded more or less well, one could assign the different draftsmen with a connoisseur's eye. Of course, not by name, but there were in each MOSAIK so many pages that you especially looked like, because just everything was right - from front to back ... THE GOOD DRAWING aka Lona had been back to work.
Image result for Lona Rietschel
Lonas stroke was just a special, always peppy and with ease and even lovingly with bad guys. So it is not surprising when in 1975 new protagonists for the MOSAIK were to be invented that their designs were the best. While Lothar Dräger developed the concept for the Abrafaxe, she gave her her figure, her face and Califax a cozy little tummy.
She has accompanied Abrax, Brabax and Califax like a mother since then - devotedly, with a sure hand, an incredible empathy, the necessary severity, but above all always with a lot of love. And you can see that to the Abrafaxen to this day: Three self-confident, good-natured little guys who pull with a keen eye through world history, they have become under their care. They have found their place in life and many friends. And Lona is and remains the role model for the eight draftsmen who design the MOSAIK booklet today. The biggest compliment they make to each other is that something has become LONOS, which means it looks more or less like Lona's. 


Das MOSAIK-Team trauert um Lona Rietschel

Liebe Lona, wir danken dir für alles!
Das MOSAIK-Team trauert um Lona Rietschel, die am 19. Dezember 2017 gestorben ist.
Ihre Kindheit verbrachte Lona im brandenburgischen Reppen, heute Rzepin in Polen. In diesem Ort wurde sie am 21. September 1933 geboren. Als junges Mädchen träumte sie davon, etwas für die schicken Damen zu machen. Modezeichnerin wollte sie werden, in einem vom Krieg gezeichneten und zu weiten Teilen zerstörten Berlin. Ob es nichts Wichtigeres gab? Nun, was ist wichtiger als Lebensmut und Lebensfreude ... Damit reichlich ausgestattet, lief sie durch die Stadt und fand tatsächlich, was sie suchte: Einen Platz in einer Klasse für Modegrafik. Von der Pieke auf lernte sie also Menschen, Figuren zu zeichnen, den Fall der Stoffe richtig zu gestalten – eben alles, was zur Modegrafik dazugehört.
Doch sollte es das nun wirklich sein? Nein, es durfte gerne etwas lustiger und karikierter werden, also wechselte sie nach Westberlin in eine Klasse für Zeichentrick. Obwohl die Ausbildung hier nicht wirklich ihren Vorstellungen entsprach, so war doch der Funken für das Genre Comic entzündet. Er sollte noch eine Weile schwelen, bevor Lona am 1. Mai 1960 beim MOSAIK anfangen konnte.
Image result for Lona Rietschel
Während das Heft Millionenauflagen erlebte und beliebt bei Jung und Alt war, blieben die Künstler allerdings, die dahintersteckten, stets hinter den Kulissen der unglaublichen Abenteuer ihrer Protagonisten verborgen. Wer sie in die Welt schickte, wer sie lachen, weinen und Grimassen schneiden ließ, konnte man nur dem Kleingedruckten auf der letzten Seite des Heftes entnehmen: Gestaltet vom MOSAIK-Kollektiv. Erst ab 1976 standen dahinter säuberlich alphabetisch sortiert die Namen. Eine ziemlich anonyme Masse für den Leser, der hier nicht einmal erkennen konnte, wer Männlein oder Weiblein war, und doch so gerne wissen wollte, wer die detailverliebten Landschaften, die prallvollen Wimmelbilder, die bewegten Szenerien da Monat für Monat auf’s Papier zauberte.
Doch unter den wahren Fans wusste man natürlich recht schnell die Eigenheiten und Besonderheiten eines Zeichenstils zuzuordnen: Da gab es diesen Strich und jenen Strich und es gab DEN GUTEN ZEICHNER. Obwohl man sich beim MOSAIK natürlich stets um eine Einheitlichkeit im Stil bemühte, was mal mehr, mal weniger gut gelang, konnte man mit Kennerblick die unterschiedlichen Zeichner zuordnen. Natürlich nicht namentlich, aber es gab da in jedem MOSAIK so einige Seiten, die man sich besonders gerne anschaute, weil einfach alles stimmte – von vorne bis hinten ... DER GUTE ZEICHNER alias Lona war wieder am Werk gewesen.
Lonas Strich war eben ein besonderer, stets schwungvoll und mit Leichtigkeit und selbst bei Bösewichten liebevoll. So verwundert es auch nicht, als 1975 neue Protagonisten für das MOSAIK erfunden werden sollten, dass ihre Entwürfe am besten ankamen. Während Lothar Dräger die Konzeption für die Abrafaxe entwickelte, gab sie ihnen ihre Gestalt, ihre Gesichter und Califax gleich noch ein gemütliches Bäuchlein dazu.
Image result for Lona Rietschel
Wie eine Mutter hat sie Abrax, Brabax und Califax seitdem begleitet – hingebungsvoll, mit sicherer Hand, einem unglaublichen Einfühlungsvermögen, der nötigen Strenge, aber vor allem immer mit ganz viel Liebe. Und das sieht man den Abrafaxen bis heute an: Drei selbstbewusste, gutmütige Kerlchen, die mit wachem Blick durch die Weltgeschichte ziehen, sind sie unter ihrer Obhut geworden. Sie haben ihren Platz im Leben und viele Freunde gefunden. Und Lona ist und bleibt das Vorbild für die 8 Zeichner, die heute das MOSAIK-Heft gestalten. Das größte Kompliment, das sie einander machen, heißt, dass etwas LONÖS geworden ist, was bedeuten soll, es sieht mehr oder weniger wie von Lona gezeichnet aus. 



Newsletter - 22 Dicembre 2017





BUON NATALE DA HAMELIN

Anche Hamelin si prende una meritata pausa di qualche giorno per ricaricare le batterie dopo l'entusiasmante edizione di BilBOlbul. Festival internazionale di fumetto (sulla pagina Facebook del festival trovate una galleria di fotografie), in vista degli impegni dell'anno prossimo. In realtà non staremo mani in mano, proprio per niente: continuano i laboratori e le attività della quattordicesima edizione di Xanadu - Comunità di lettori ostinati, e poi i corsi di aggiornamento per adulti nelle biblioteche e nelle scuole, le mostre della prossima Children's Book Fair, i nuovi numeri della rivista di Hamelin (il prossimo arriverà a gennaio), e molto altro ancora...
Per informazioni: www.hamelin.net

[L'immagine è tratta da Kitty Crowther, Storie della notte, Topipittori 2017]

OFFERTE SPECIALI SULLE NOSTRE PUBBLICAZIONI
In occasione delle feste proponiamo sei pacchetti in offerta speciale fino al 31 gennaio 2018. Un bellissimo regalo di Natale alla portata di tutte le tasche da fare agli amici, ma anche a se stessi.
Per informazioni: www.hamelin.net.
Finalmente anche Hamelin offre i servizi della Carta del docente che permettono di sfruttare un bonus di 500 euro per l’aggiornamento professionale, da spendere nelle nostre pubblicazioni e nei numeri e pacchetti promozionali della rivista "Hamelin. Storie figure e pedagogia".
Per informazioni: www.hamelin.net.
















Thursday, 21 December 2017

Annie Goetzinger 18th August 1951 – 20th December 2017

Note: I have added some images to this piece but I encourage everyone to go and find any Goetzinger work you can and enjoy it.
It is with great sadness that we are hearing of the death of Annie Goetzinger on Wednesday, 20 December 2017, at the age of 66
Annie Goetzinger was a very big lady of the comic book. After studies in the applied arts where she studied fashion design, she was published in ‘Circus’, ‘L’Écho des savanes’, ‘Fluide glacial’, ‘Métal hurlant’ et surtout ‘Pilote’
Her first album, “Casque d’or” (Glénat, 1976), won two prizes at the angoulême festival. She then drew “Aurore, une vie de George Sand” ("Aurora, a life of George Sand")(Women's editions, 1978), based on a screenplay by Adela Turin, and " Félina " (Glénat, 1979), for Victor Mora. She then joined theatrical costumes, illustrations, short stories ("Rogue" Collection of associated humanoïdes), press drawings, notably for the newspaper ' the world ' and more recently for the newspaper ' La Croix '.



It was with Pierre Christin that she realized " the lady of the legion of honour " (Dargaud, 1980), " the diva and the kriegsspiel " (Dargaud, 1981), " the traveller of the small belt " (Dargaud, 1985). ), " Charlotte and Nancy " (Dargaud, 1987), " the tango of the disappeared " (Métaillé, 2008), " the message of the simple " (the threshold, 1994), " the white sultana " (Dargaud, 1996). ) and " Liner " (Dargaud, 1999). The two accomplices will work together on the " Hardy Agency " Series.
After signing the last album of the collection " Portraits Memories " (associated humanoïdes, " lost future ", 1992), with Jon s. Jonsson and Andreas Knigge, Annie Goetzinger published "Marie-Antoinette, the phantom queen", with rodolphe in the script (Dargaud, 2011).
In 2013, Annie launched a new beautiful story: "young girl in Dior" (Dargaud), a graphic novel showing the dazzling career of the great designer Christian Dior.
In 2014, she was a "big bang" of the 31th Comic Strip Festival of blois, which paid tribute to the whole of her work by giving her a very beautiful exhibition.
In 2017, she published a new graphic novel "the learning of Colette" (Dargaud), which narre the lively and free life of the famous writer.
With its refined, elegant and distinguished design, Annie Goetzinger has enchanted so many readers. His art of detail, every detail, to draw a face, a silhouette, a body or a toilet, her meticulous calligraphy, her subtle colors, her style, her constant demand, her absolute femininity and her intelligence always put In the service of storytelling, to make us understand and love her characters, will remain associated with her name.
All our thoughts go to her family and to her loved ones.

C’est avec une immense tristesse que nous apprenons le décès d’Annie Goetzinger survenu ce mercredi 20 décembre 2017, à l’âge de 66 ans.
Annie Goetzinger était une très grande dame de la bande dessinée. Après des études aux Arts Appliqués où elle étudie le dessin de mode, elle publie dans ‘Circus’, ‘L’Écho des savanes’, ‘Fluide glacial’, ‘Métal hurlant’ et surtout ‘Pilote’.
Son premier album, “Casque d’or” (Glénat, 1976), remporte deux prix au festival d’Angoulême. Elle dessine ensuite “Aurore, une vie de George Sand” (Éditions des femmes, 1978), d’après un scénario d’Adela Turin, et “Félina” (Glénat, 1979), pour Victor Mora. Elle enchaîne ensuite costumes de théâtre, illustrations, histoires courtes (collection “Fripon” des Humanoïdes associés), dessins de presse, notamment pour le journal ‘Le Monde’ et plus récemment pour le journal ‘La Croix’.
C’est avec Pierre Christin qu’elle réalise “La Demoiselle de la Légion d’honneur” (Dargaud, 1980), “La Diva et le Kriegsspiel” (Dargaud, 1981), “La Voyageuse de la petite ceinture” (Dargaud, 1985), “Charlotte et Nancy” (Dargaud, 1987), “Le Tango du disparu” (Métaillé, 2008), “Le Message du simple” (Le Seuil, 1994), “La Sultane blanche” (Dargaud, 1996) et “Paquebot” (Dargaud, 1999). Les deux complices travailleront de concert sur la série “L’agence Hardy” (Dargaud).
Après avoir signé le dernier album de la collection ”Portraits souvenirs” (Les Humanoïdes associés, “L’Avenir perdu”, 1992), avec Jon S. Jonsson et Andreas Knigge, Annie Goetzinger publie “Marie-Antoinette, la reine fantôme », avec Rodolphe au scénario (Dargaud, 2011).
En 2013, Annie se lance dans une nouvelle belle histoire : “Jeune fille en Dior” (Dargaud), un roman graphique retraçant la carrière fulgurante du grand couturier Christian Dior.
En 2014, elle est « Grand Boum » du 31e festival BD Boum de Blois, qui rend hommage à l’ensemble de son œuvre en lui consacrant une très belle exposition.
En 2017, elle publie un nouveau roman graphique "Les apprentissages de Colette" (Dargaud), qui narre la vie mouvementée et libre de la célèbre écrivaine.
Avec son dessin raffiné, élégant et distingué, Annie Goetzinger a enchanté tant de lecteurs. Son art du détail, des moindres détails, pour dessiner un visage, une silhouette, un corps ou une toilette, sa calligraphie soignée, ses couleurs directes subtiles, sa mise en scène stylée, son exigence constante, sa féminité absolue et son intelligence toujours mises au service de la narration, pour mieux nous faire comprendre et aimer ses personnages, demeureront associés à son nom.
Toutes nos pensées vont à sa famille et à ses proches.



Girl in Dior

Cinebook The 9th Art: Lucky Luke 66 - The Promised Land



Authors: Jul; illustrated by Achde
Age: 8 years and up
Size: 21.7 x 28.7 cm
Number of pages: 48 colour pages
Paperback
Publication: August 2017
ISBN: 9781849183666
Price: £6.99 inc. VAT

When an old cowboy friend asks Luke to escort his family, freshly arrived from Poland, to their new home in the West, our lonesome hero has no idea what sort of difficulties to expect. If the Sterns are brave and resolute, they are also ignorant of American ways – and bring with them a multitude of baffling customs. And as if that wasn’t enough, the extremely valuable Torah that travels with them has caught the eyes of some unsavoury characters...
I am sorry but what more can I write after 61 Lucky Luke books?  I know this is book (unbelievably) #68 but I never got books 1-5.  The art may now be "in the style of Morris" but it all still works.  The jokes and visual gags and lords do we need more humour these days.

To think I once hated Lucky Luke. Kids and adults alike will enjoy this and...why not?

Cinebook The 9th Art: Yakari 15: The First Gallop


Authors: Derib & Job
Age: 6 years and up
Size: 21.7 x 28.7 cm
Number of pages: 48 colour pages
Paperback
Publication: November 2017
ISBN: 9781849183697
Price: £6.99 inc. VAT

Yakari learns from the tribe’s elder that the Sioux haven’t always been the magnificent riders they are now – indeed, that there was a time they didn’t even know what a horse was. Shaken, he speaks a little too demandingly to Little Thunder, wounding his four-legged friend who immediately runs away. Devastated, the young boy will have to track down his companion and find a way to earn his forgiveness if he ever wants to share a gallop with him again...

We all remember Little Thunder's Secret, right?  Well, it looked like this was going to be another old man getting teary eyed.  Luckily...phew...it's okay.  There is always lovely detailed art in these books despite the cartoony look of the characters but it works.  Kids ought to love this,

Cinebook The 9th Art: Orbital 7 - Implosion



Authors: Sylvain Runberg & Serge Pellé
Age: 12 years and up
Size: 21.7 x 28.7 cm
Number of pages: 56 colour pages
Paperback
Publication: October 2017

ISBN: 9781849183789
Price: £7.99 inc. VAT

After the events in Stockholm, Caleb and Mezoke have become renegades and are hunted by the entire Confederation. Inevitably they end up on Tetsuam, a gigantic itinerant space station that’s the capital of crime in the galaxy. But while they attempt to sort out a future for themselves, and as Confederate space is recovering from the civil war, the Neuronomes – sentient ships previously thought eradicated – appear to launch random, devastating suicide attacks that kill thousands...

Who needs Star Wars when you have books like this? Just look at that cover. If that don't wet your comic pants then nothing will. If you like Sci Fi comics with action, good plotting and some very nice artwork then Orbital is the one for you...though you really should be buying this series and Valerian!

This series has taken us from what seemed a well ordered galaxy that then fell apart and now a sinister enemy has to be taken on.  The only question really is: will the main characters survive?

I can't wait to find out!

Cinebook The 9th Art: Valerian 19- At the Edge of the Great Void


Authors: Mézières & Christin
Age: 12 years and up
Size: 21.7 x 28.7 cm
Number of pages: 48 colour pages
Paperback
Publication: August 2017
ISBN: 9781849183345Price: £6.99 inc. VAT

Somewhere at the edge of known space is the Great Void. That inscrutable, shapeless, ever-changing place is where the expanding universe springs forth, where new planets and new life forms are created. It’s also, according to the gods of Hypsis, the place where Galaxity’s Earth was sent and is being kept prisoner.

Valerian and Laureline begin a discreet investigation, but it doesn’t take long before they start finding obstacles in their path, placed by the rulers of Rubanis – and their mysterious master...

The movie may be banned from any reference on CBO but not the comic albums!  We've been getting these volumes fairly quickly and I hope Valerian and Laureline have gained a few more fans in the UK and elsewhere from these.

It's quite clear that a certain Star Wars series of films "borrowed" from this series and I have noticed that certain American sci fi films made long after these strips were first in print have some comparisons.  Probably coincidence.

The art is great and the characters and the designs of both landscapes and aliens is something that brings a little joy to an old man's heart....or that might just be gastric reflux? The story is what you would expect from this series and even after all these years seems fresh -which probably says more about the state of comics in 2017.

Seriously, if you have never read the series get volume 1 and see what you think but bear in mind that volume 1 is just the start of an incredible series of stories.

There are collected books from Cinebook but I have never seen those so cannot comment but if the printing quality is the same they are probably worth whatever the company is charging.  Everyone should have at least one V & L book in their collection!