Oh do f*ck off. Even Sherlock Holmes would back away from this.
I posted the two Charlton Comics videos yesterday because
(a) I am a Charlton Comics fans (since about 1972) and (b) it showed the
dubious side of comics publishing.
So guess what? Today
I open my email and find one from the alleged owner of Charlton Comics
characters as well as ACG characters and also of Atlas Seaboard characters and
company name –Roger Broughton. Yeah,
So what did ‘Mr Broughton’ want? I neither know nor care because I looked at
the email address and it was from one of those throw-away phone apps.
I deleted the email.
Why? Well, I have all my previous
‘Broughton’ emails saved but this item from the old Comic Bits Online (January,
2008) ought to explain all.
Roger Broughton…or Is It?
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO ACG ~Or~DOES ROGER BROUGHTON EXIST?
For this article I have drawn on paper records and emails
[1995-2007] from the individuals involved.
ACG (American Comics Group) had its stars such as creator Ogden Whitney,
whose past I have tried to cover elsewhere –he was the artist behind Herbie The Fat Fury. Kurt Schaffenberg,
famous as an artist for DC on Supergirl and
Lois Lane, drew Magic Man, while Richard
Hughes wrote huge amounts of script under various names.
As with other US comics from that period, I first
saw the ACG characters within the pages of
Alan Class comics. But then ACG
vanished. I could say the same about Charlton Comics, though they at least lasted into the early 1980s.
Incredibly, as the years rolled on, we discovered more about
the, uh.”unorthodox” workings of
Charlton. Anyone who is a regular reader
of Alter Ego magazine will be familiar with the company history. Even now,
creators really do not want to speak too openly about this or the “Mob”
In the 1980s, Charlton material was auctioned off and John
Lustig managed to grab a chunk of the Romance strips, which he has re-packaged
over the years and the other prominent name amongst the purchasers was Roger
Broughton who, again, reprinted much Charlton Horror and ACG material under his
A + logo.
However, no new strips ever appeared and though many people
attempted to try to make deals with Broughton.
But Broughton is a hard man to track down and even distributors like Bud
Plant, who have handled some of the poorly selling b&w A+ books, have had
Between 1994-2005 I tried to track Broughton down with a
project proposal. Every previous address
was either non-existent or unoccupied.
Some journalist friends of mine in the States tried to track Broughton
down for me. They came up with the same
as well as rumours of Internal Revenue Service [IRS] and other less-than savoury folk looking for Broughton. That, however, was his business not mine.
On 12th November, 2005 I got an email from ‘Broughton’ -but
read this for yourself:
thank you for your letter,
you van contact me at Roger @jerron.com for more
i am working on several projects with the ACG Charlton Char
when we bought Charlton and ACG comics we purchases all
rights without limitations ,
over the years much material has been reprinted in several
countries and we are currently working
with a major publisher and movie studio. hence forcing me to move from Canada to the
Chek soon with Bud Plant
for more inventory from the ACG
line meanwhile keep writing.
Now, to be brutally honest, this is barely literate. I sent a copy to some people who had
corresponded with Broughton: they thought I was being hoaxed. I was asked what address I had sent my letter
to? In fact, I had never sent a letter
to any address as I had not found one that was real.
So, I forwarded all my proposals, sketches, referenced
material and even a lengthy cv
–everything I had [copyrighted of course]
and the email was also copied and posted to friends within the industry
for protection “in case”.
After a few hours I got a new ‘Broughton’ mail:
“Thank you for your kind wishes,
I still have trouble understanding your inquiry. i have been
dealing in publishing rights for over
twenty years. As a consultant I am still very much involved with the two of the
major comic book publishers and I am currently working with two studios.
Your letter was
somewhat vague. What you indicated as possibilitie is somewhat true but a lot
more com-plicated then indicated.
You can always forward a proposal on anything but it is difficult if you have no professional
association with any of the markets you
As far as the question and answer , the internet crowd will
write what they like. anyway they should look at archive articles in the comic
buyers guide who reported the purchase tot the media back in 86,
they did a good job.
I sat reading this.
The style was slightly different and literacy poor but it seemed to be
another person. As I included a cv and had, or so I thought, been in
communication with ‘Broughton’ before, I was very confused –this mail was
But ‘Broughton’ was a consultant to “the two of the major
comic book publishers” –this would be easy to check. I made enquiries by phone and email to DC and
Marvel on some pretence of needing to contact Broughton. I checked with senior management as well as
other departments. None had the
slightest idea whom I was talking about.
So, I tried a few of the larger Independents. Similar results.
I was still trying to work in TV circles and contacted two
of the studio “fixers” who knew everyone from studio bosses to the catering
man. No luck. Besides, I was told “working with two
studios” could mean anything.
I know a lot of people in publishing or reporting on comics
They had heard of none of these licensed comics but Europe
is a big place so….
I was intrigued. So I
mailed ‘Broughton’ back stating that, of course he knew me and of my work –we
had been in touch for ‘years’. The
response was… “mad”.
let me we know what is good for you and we will do a meeting of the minds.
I am a comic book geek too . you will be happy to know that
up to about 6 years ago a lot of material was reprinted in europe mostly Italy
But I only had ‘Broughtons’ email address. I asked for the postal address to forward art
prelims and written proposal.
I mailed again.
‘Broughton’s’ mail accounts were dead.
The only “Jerron” I could locate was involved in
printing. Roger Broughton was not listed
as a member of staff. I asked a friend
who lived some 30 miles from Jerron if he could do a “paper check” on Jerron
No, Broughton was not listed with the company and no Roger
Broughton seemed to be living in the state.
Then I got a couple of emails out of the blue –this one from David Walker:
I know we have corresponded in the past but I had no idea
were interested in the ACG or had been trying to locate
I can tell you that about five years ago I wanted to publish
reprints of some ACG and Charlton stuff. I tracked Broughton down
to Jerron Printing but the replies I got were very confusing
took ages before he responded and then I was told he was ill
could not reply just then.
It got more confusing when I was told Broughton only dealt
with “the bosses” yet it was my project and I WAS the boss
to deal with Broughtons front man. This was a joke in itself in
that I got several replies to one mail and all contradicting
things. I was then
told Broughton had nothing to do with Jerron -
they just allowed him mail facilities!!!!
Phillipe Blaque a Quebec
guy who was interested in the old ACG
comics told me that he had found Broughton was dead. I was told
that before I exchanged any contract or money to make it
I needed to have contact details OUTSIDE of Jerron because
Broughton was not an employee or their and they were doing
So, I contacted Jerron and told them that I needed persanal (sic) contact details for Broughton and
to discuss the matter with HIM because he was the copyright owner and the man
who I would need to make checks out to.
To say the response was hostile is understating things. I
explained that I had been told that Broughton was dead and had only had
a broughton at jerron mail post but wanted to speak or at least write to him
personally so my mind was eased. The guy
swore and slammed the phone down -their number is ——— if you want to try?
Im betting youll get the same response.
Let me know,guy.
Well, I phoned and the lady who responded said “I’ll check
for you though that name is not familiar to me”
A couple minutes waiting and: “I’m terribly sorry. I guess you must be mistaken –there is no
Roger Broughton on staff”.
So, I thought I’d email Jerron and I was a little surprised, therefore, when I got the
following from Jerron:
Thanks for your inquiry. Roger does indeed reside near us,
he chose store materials and use our area as a base of operations. I’ll pass
your email on. You may hear from others at Jerron too as the info email gets
sent to an entire team. BTW since he is here (but doesn’t work for us as such)
we did give him an email he’s been using, email@example.com
I’m pleased to meet you, we are very involved in comics
production in the USA
and around the world. Our specialty is digitising classic materials.
I’m sending you a LinkedIn invitation. In case you haven’t
heard of it, it’s a business resource and networking site, entirely private and
free. Lots of comics people on. Feel free to connect if you like.
Senior Vice President
Right, so ‘Broughton’ lived near Jerron but does not work for them but stores material there
and therefore gets an email assigned him
(which everyone at the company has access to and can view his emails)?
After this another email from ‘Broughton’ with a phone
number. Jerron phone number and the lady
answering again told me there was no one called Broughton there.
February saw a good few mails from Broughton. Never answering direct questions about who
was printing what under licence and where I could buy copies: direct requests
for answers to my proposals –nothing.
Then ‘Broughton’ told me he was coming to the Book Fair in London during March and
it was suggested we meet up. I was given
the hotel name, room number and telephone number along with extension
number. This I could not miss out on.
I confirmed a date and time that I would meet him in the
lobby and he confirmed that was okay.
The day before my 250 miles trip to London I phoned the hotel and asked for the
extension number. A rather bemused
hotelier said the extension didn’t exist and asked who gave it to me? I said a guest in for the Book Fair. He told me someone else might have dealt with
Like a fool I thought it was a misunderstanding since the
hotelier’s English was quite poor. I
should have asked about the room number.
So, 24 hours later, there I was; standing in the foyer of a
very small hotel with a rather bemused manager telling me that, the room number
I was given meant they would have had to have ten rooms more than existed!
I made enquiries at the Book Fair with the organisers. “No. No, Roger Broughton here”. I tried the
phone number again “just in case”. Nothing. Pissed off I started on the long
journey back to Bristol.
I went home and mailed Broughton whose response was that the
hotel must have made an error! Oh, perhaps
if I rushed up the next day I could catch him before he flew home?
That wasn’t going to happen.
I’d arranged with a publisher to interview Broughton and
explained that it I’d not managed to
gather a lot of biographical data on him - there was one excuse after another given
by him and so the editor of the magazine I was working for tried to contact
Broughton but no responses and I later found out an American writer who had
worked for the editor lived in the area where Jerron was based but had found no
trace of ‘Broughton’ –and he even called at Jerron.
In the meantime, an enquiry about the rights to Charlton
So I emailed Robin Snyder who I was told had been involved
in the Charlton sell off:
My name is Terry Hooper and I’ve been working on an article
on what happened to Charlton Comics characters -whether rights sold off were
character rights or simply reprint rights.
I was told that you might be able to advise me -Phil Latter
was kind enough to pass on your email address.
If I’ve got the wrong guy my SINCERE apologies. If I’ve got the right guy….can you help?
And the reply:
“You have found me, Terry,
I did indeed sell the various properties for Charlton,
stats, negs, titles and/or any and all rights.
A few (such as
various ghost stories and Killjoy) went to Steve Ditko and me. Some westerns
went to Bill Black. Roger Broughton purchased the lion’s share of the material
for reprint only. There were others but who remembers?
A similar response was received regarding the old ACG
This all explained why everything Broughton had produced
over the years was simple (varying quality) black and white reprints. Reprints
I mentioned this very politely to Broughton in an email and
even suggested how poor quality stats could be upgraded -and there came a
rather belligerent reply. I seemed to be unknown to ‘Broughton’ again (!)
and he was rather insulting about my lack of comic knowledge and experience in
This time I asked for proof that he was Roger Broughton and
not a couple of hoaxers and I asked yet again about the promised interview and
for an address to send material to –I also asked why he said he didn’t know me
The response came on
“A bad choice of words
“not knowing who you are” what
should have been said is “who you are
Being also somewhat of a historian and a fan of roman
culture i know quite well your background roman history all the way to
Defiant.. I envie were you live . A few thousand years of history at your
fingertips, that’s very impressive..
(i am working on a
Boodika project I hope to offer to TV)
I spent some time in Bath and Stonehenge during
my last visit to the UK thinking
this was this was a lot more
interesting to discuss over dinner than comics.
Anyway please don’t take that as an attack on you and your
own history. It was not meant that way.
All of what i do is a
lot more complex than small press. The
Charlton horror material represents a very small fraction of the material that
we licensed over the last twenty odd years.
(I bet you didn’t know that Herbie and Fat man the Human
flying saucer was printed in
again best of luck on your project
Basically, ’Broughton’ had quickly checked the internet and
discovered I had a reputation as an amateur historian specialising in pre-Roman
and Roman Britain. Interestingly, the Queen of the Icenii who bloodied Rome’s nose in 1st Century Britain is often incorrectly given
as “Boadicea” but her name was Boudica.
Who the **** “Boodika” is…!
My history with Defiant?
(Reading this now a penny drops.
The only ‘history’ I had with Defiant was that early morning phone call
threatening me for having a BlackTower logo –explained later
on so don’t worry) )
As to “who” I was working with…well, me!
I wrote back that after a couple years I was giving up and
that I did not believe I was dealing with the real (the rumoured-to-be-dead ) Roger
Broughton but a couple of hoaxers. As he
was so pally with Jerron I had suggested a photo of himself with the folk there
that could be used in any interview –‘he’ got downright pissy over that!
In an earlier mail I mentioned that a former Charlton artist
who had done some cover work for him said “Hi” from himself and his wife who
had entertained Broughton before the 1980s auction. He remembered the artist and dinner well. I’d made
up the artist and his wife story.
Comparing notes with others who had dealt with Broughton in
the past, it was clear that we had all dealt with two or three hoaxers.
I told ‘Broughton’ I was no longer interested.
There followed a series of mails from ‘Broughton’ –all
offering to sort out the misunderstanding and allow me “licencing rights for reprints”. Desperate to get cheques for material to
reprint but offering no address-of-business and no contract or other
details. Suddenly I realised why people
might be trying to track him down.
This was distinctly dubious.
As in the past, when the questions got too hot, someone
writes to say “Roger is in hospital for a serious operation”. Usually he then goes silent. On this occasion, he contacted me the same
evening as he had been rushed into hospital?!
Will we see more A+ reprints of Charlton or ACG material?
I would love to be proved wrong. For Roger Broughton (who in another mail told
me he had found I was looking for him on a Closed Membership yahoo group –where
had my ‘letter’ gone then?) to still be
alive would be nice but I would advise anyone to first ask for positive proof
that they are dealing with the real McCoy!
If the REAL Roger Broughton is out there I’d love to hear
This entry was
written by Terry and posted on January 27, 2008 at 4:43 pm and filed under
FEATURES. Bookmark the permalink.
But the saga was not over.
Post Roger Broughton…or Is It?
Oh please, no. Nothing and then…TWO Roger Broughton mails in
one day in response to the same article!
This was on a CBO comments.
One mail seeming to indicate that everything I said was
wrong and not so well written and the other polite and well written and not
Comics, folks. Funny old business.
1. admin on May 13th, 2008 at 3:29 am
I re-read your comments about our conversations as well as
our emails and you told me you could not meet me in london and i did miss your call. You never
showed at the hotel and you never mentioned that you did to me at any time.
You called and I was not as the show? Who did you talk too?
Publishing shows only list people and companies that have a
booth? Ithink the center had a few thousand exibits.
I believe the $40.00 directory that they sell is for people
like me that do these shows. I think the print run for such directories for the
london show was
over 30,000. Calling someone at a show short of paging them is futile unles
they have a booth and even then the pace is frantic and you work of your voice
I also never offered you publishing rights. Due to previous
commitments I did offer to look into to it but there was regional complications
due to future licensing projects.
No money was request and international rights are never and
i say never handled by check. We use wire transfer or bank drafts until a
relation is built.
And most of the material (80 %)we have sold in Europe was mostly licensed material. Popeye Hanna-Barbara
ect, most of these to book publishers
The artist and the wife thing, why did you not name these
people. I was never even in publishing until the mid eighties and it was not
comics. Why did you not name all these contacts that you say you spoke to
I notice you did not publish any emails to this effect. We
never requested any money what so ever.
I know Terry that not doing this project your pride was
hurt. You seem to think that your name carries enough wait to move mountains.
I hope it can but the truth is all of this is your own
Your knowledge of internatioal publishing seems to be some
what limited. With the consolidation of publishers, distributors combined with
the continuing battle for sale space we are all very cautious
The internet is the wild west when it comes to stuff like. This
the only word of advice I can offer is don’t use libel as a tool. To elevate
one self at the expense of others is simply wrong.
And I never did a google about you, your extensive resume
that you e-mailed me (several times) was the bases of my conversation.
Sorry for spelling errors
Anyway I wish you well, and i wish you success in the
2. roger broughton on
May 12th, 2008 at 10:56 pm
I am quite surprised that my life seems to be so full of
inuendo and speculation. Working with major publishers does not only mean comic
All this bit about unsavory people and such is real news to
And you are right I Am a client of Jerron along with DC and
Marvel, Dark Horse ect.. Consulting is also a very private business.
As far as the rest I don’t know what to say except that
publishing is a tight liped business. No one says nothing. everything is timed
and planned over long periods of time. The Dark Horse was discussed over 3
The other projects we have lined up have time frames of
around two years.
This said i am sorry I could not see you in London, publishing shows
run long and business runs late. Too bad we could not meet face to face.
You will see a lot of activity based on our archives
starting with Dark Horse.
The person called Mark andre if you could forward him my
email I so i can address the situation. “je vais regler la situation”
3. roger broughton on
May 12th, 2008 at 9:21 pm
Michael Brown then responded:
Interesting, interesting. As someone long interested in the
works put out by Charlton and ACG, the reprints (real and promised) from
“Broughton” have long been of interest.
Now that Dark Horse Comics are planning on doing archive
reprints of ACG materials (complete Herbie
and Nemesis books so far), one has
to wonder how/if this is an impact. Maybe DH has done some digging and perhaps
feels the ACG material is really public domain. One has to wonder as those
rights languished for years before Broughton apparently bought them (from
who?), and only lead to an aborted Herbie reprint from DH and a few reprints
from A+ later on.
4. Michael Brown on
April 11th, 2008 at 9:54 am
Well, what a story !
I had two or three e-mails with Canada-based Roger Broughton
in the beginning of the new century, when I tried to buy his comic books
reprints (Terry and other adventure titles). I think I found ACG e-mail in one
of the comics. I remember that he was sympathic but he didn’t seemed to exactly
know what he published -who was drawing, writing, from where came the
I tried to trade copies of HOP!, the comics mag I wrote in,
against his comic books. He looked very interested about the french (european?)
market and promised to send the comics very quickly.
I sent him some other mails and, as did the Comic Book
Artist editor, he swore he had sent the books.
I’m still waiting.
Last time I heard of him was about some trouble he had with
the rights of the comics he said he bought. Some people thought they had the
5. Marc-André on
January 28th, 2008 at 9:40 am
Now, I want to go back to certain points.
(1) The ‘Broughton(s)’ I was in contact with only want
cashier cheques made out in US dollars.
That in itself is very dodgy and simply means you have an open
cheque. No bank or other ID involved. A business
run legitimately would have a bank account for money to go into. This
is why I insisted on some proof that I was dealing with the real Broughton.
The lawyer was offensive and threatened legal action and my
response was “Go ahead”. I never had a
caller check in those days so I could not get back in touch. But it seemed just
too much of a coincidence –unless I am being paranoid.
(3) According to the people involved in the sale of Charlton
material only reprint rights
were sold. Not the characters which
might have presented legal problems (as if Charlton cared). When I tried to ask specific deal rights with
Robin Snyder I was bluntly told the material was sold and he wanted no more to
do with that subject.
(4) ‘Broughton’ owning the rights to Atlas Seaboard comics
from the 1970s is pure bull-shit. Atlas
had a brief revival and the reason only a very small number of characters were
involved was because of the creator copyright/ownership issues. I have gone
into this in detail. Go ask Jason
(5) Someone involved in publishing, needing to promote the
product within the industry or to studios tend not to be very camera shy –even if
they do not like photographs it all helps to sell the “goods”. In fact, neither myself nor anyone else who
has looked into the question of “Who Is Roger Broughton” has ever come up with
a photograph. A real address. A real permanent phone number or traceable email.
(6) a businessman so paranoid about giving any information
about himself (who even those distributing his books cannot contact –‘he’
contacts them) uses an email that anyone
can access? Come on.
(7) how many company names do you need?
Sword in Stone
You get a company, tell people what you have and build from
there. Also, according to the Grand
Comics Data base the last book published
by ‘Broughton’ was ACG material in Shot Gun Harker 2003. Another company but this was the last after
the 1987-1992 flurry of reprint books.
Steve Malone tells me that after similar contacts with
Broughton to my own he even checked tax returns under Broughton and the various
company names. Nothing. And “Everyone I
talked to says they never saw Broughton. No one wants to talk about the
reprints sell off and some say material was sold several times to different
people.” I tried to contact Steve about a year ago over something else but
heard nothing back. Maybe he’s uh “swimming
So, anything with the name Broughton attached gets deleted
immediately. Based on what I learnt Broughton would be in his nineties now but
I don’t believe it. I think that the name was adopted by someone connected with
the original Charlton company. No one
who exists is 100% untraceable in this day and age.
Personally, I do not
believe that there was ever any such person as Roger Broughton. It was a “front
name”. Don’t contact me –contact the people making the documentary if you can
prove Roger Broughton existed and if you are
Roger Broughton –ditto!
Get a cup of coffee, tea or whatever you drink, maybe even a snack. This could go on a bit (in fact, it does and I know that because I wrote this after writing what follows!).
You don't sleep much you get more opportunity to think things through. In the last week I have binged on comic book blogs as well as vlogs on You Tube. I have mentioned some of them. I even read some of the comments people left there -the one in which more abusive language was used seems to be aimed at getting more views and to branch on to production outside You Tube (the vlogger actually states that last part). What I find worrying is that there is no control over comments -racist and sexist in the extreme and even the typical You Tube racist name calling other commenters.
This is the problem. Yes, people are finally catching on to the fact that the comics media is promoting the Big Two -don't panic, I am not going into all that again. The point is that even the "anti Comics media" people are biased for their own reasons. Hurl obscenities and call it "freedom of speech" because you know the people who are going to comment or get attracted to your videos. In the 1980s the radio "Shock Jocks" used the same tactics. It pulls people in and the ratings go up. You are not adding anything serious to the argument but who cares -you got your ratings.
I read a comment today "comics are dead"! No. DC and in the most extreme case, Marvel Comics are comatose and floating in the water. Neither will go back to pulling in old time editors -jeez, Jim Shooter might even back off from Marvel and he knows the business- who know the creators who can write and can draw (I heard from someone the other day that a Marvel artist almost went into meltdown because his computer based system crashed and he had no idea how to pencil without digital -I have seen this myself several times and one artist even screeched "I'm not a caveman -I can't use paper and pencil!" Don't laugh).
Forget it. I just read Secret Empire #0 (on You Tube of all places) and it's art was...not that good and varied from good to bad to "passable". The writing and dialogue....Not good at all.
But the media fed comic 'fans' who read articles by journalists who have no idea about comics except what they have been fed -for instance: Stan Lee created The Black Panther in the 1970s. Or "Lee and Kirby created the first non black stereotype character in comics in the late 1960s". Firstly, off the top of my head...the Panther was in a June or July 1966 issue of Fantastic Four. Kirby is recorded stating that "Blacks were unrepresented in comics". He talked to Lee and they came up with The Black Panther....trivia in the back of my brain says at one point he was called the Black Leopard to avoid being seen as endorsing the radical Black Panther movement...also, I think Kirby's original Panther costume was quite colourful. I am going to need to double check this (I never trust anything I write!). But, again, wrong on different levels: the first "non stereo-typed black in comics"?? There they, as people with no idea comics exist outside the United States, get it wrong. Black characters appeared in the comics of non US publishers and were not always "stereotyped". Even in US comics there were black characters who were not stereotypes -going back to the 1950s.
And if we are talking just Marvel comics (DC had to wait until the early 1970s before they discovered black people) then how about Pvt Gabriel "Gabe" Jones? Who? Sgt Fury And His Howling Commandos saw publication in 1963.....
Both those companies are surviving based on movies or merchandising -a major portion of merchandise based on comics from the 1980s because that way they get all the profit not any creators.
What I realised is that many real fans do not go by what they see on The Big Bang Theory or on TV shows and movies. Some who have been collecting for 50 years have even come out of You Tube retirement because people are asking them to make more videos and talk more about comics. These people and their knowledge put many of the cribbing 'experts' in the comic media to shame. And out of all the YT comic channels I was subscribed to one after another has vanished so from 40 about 4 years ago at the height of the "comics are cool and hip" craze...5 are still going. Some of the others jumped onto new crazes and became 'experts' on those. Most of the old fans followed Marvel and DC religiously but now, from almost every title a month to selected titles per month...maybe one or two Marvel and DC. That is losing your core fan base.
DC and Marvel don't care. It's the quick buck they want. Again, let's not go over old ground.
Smaller Independent publishers are vanishing. Even You Tubers and bloggers have noticed (maybe if they had read CBO over the last ten years....). "The smaller guys are just vanishing like crazy!" one says. Yes. Those still going feel they have to compete with what DC and Marvel puts out "because that's what everyone is buying" so you get all types of super hero comics. Black Tower has horror, science fiction and other genres. Of course there are super heroes but publishing just super hero books...no. But this is what smaller publishers think they have to do. It doesn't help.
Now, over the past (1997-2017) I have said repeatedly that I will review Small Press or Independent comics. Whatever arrives I review: that is policy so long as you are not spouting racism or any other type of hatred (oh they have tried). So why do mainly larger companies such as Cinebook, Titan Books et al send review books? Well, they know their book will be noticed by a few thousand people (with stats I see how books reviewed even a year ago are still checked out in large numbers). Also, even if they do not get huge numbers of sales immediately they know their book has been seen and that can pay off in many ways later.
I heard from one small publisher after another how they never think about review copies of their books. Even in the Small Press in the early 1980s we always kept aside review copies, maybe we were more professional! "I have a pdf" -don't even go there. Never touch them. You send a pdf and it does not mean your book is printed. People send you money. You vanish and I get "Where's my book? You said...." I learnt very early on and I make sure people know that I will not accept a pdf. Oh, you Mr-I-Have-never-heard-of-you-before, you have a file for me at an online share site? Yeah, 1999 and 2002 taught me where to put your share site (it took others a while and even computer viruses being downloaded on three occasions by one reviewer to learn).
"But postage--" sigh. Look, no one has to send me a book to review. You don't want it publicised then don't contact me. I receive a book I have to give up an hour -a large book 2 hours or more- of my time to read it. Look through the art and then read it again. I then have to review the book and include links to the publisher as well as other details some never include (unbelievably, how to buy, price and other basic info many do not include) which means I have to email the publisher or even search online. Reviewing the book can take 2-3 hours of my time and I do not get paid for that time or get anything out of it other than the trouble of finding a space for one more book on my shelves/floor and reading the book (which is not always a bonus). So you cannot afford the postage to send me a book? And you complain online that "No one will review my books!"
I know that there are horror comics out there. I'm a big horror film/comic buff and you might think someone would look and think to themselves "invite him to this event/send him a copy of my comic" because I tend to promote events I go to, or used to, which means people who might not have WILL read about your event. They never heard of your comic before but they will now or when they read a review in a month and they are into horror comics.
That is just an example but here is a better one. When Comic Bits, the publication and before it Zine Zone International were going, there was an international readership most fan publications could only dream of. I was a big fan of AC Comics in its day and I offered publisher Bill Black a no catches free advertising space. I also suggested he send review copies of books he wanted to promote. No. Why not? I still have the letter in which he states that the US has "about 120 comic companies and there is no point promoting". People never believed me. Why in a crowded market would you refuse to accept free publicity because there are a lot of other companies: that would give you an advantage! I showed the letter and it was read, re-read and read again to see if it was simply just read incorrectly.
You cannot force people to take an opportunity to have free advertising or to get their books reviewed. It is their choice -if they can't see the benefits then it is not my job to explain it all or tell them how to run a publication (in the past more than a few asked me to do just that!). How serious are you as a publisher? Do you want to do this as a bit of fun? A hobby? No problem. Do you want to do this as a serious publisher -stay in it for the long run and, maybe, make money? Then you take every and any opportunity. There are never any 100% guarantees but if you do not take the opportunities presented then there is no reason to complain later.
Even though I may be limited by languages I know, I would review non-English publications because a comic done correctly will tell you the story in pictures. I have had publishers how I knew the story if I could not read the language? Really. But a covering note explaining story (a typical comic company press release does that) and where to buy and that's it.
The whole purpose of Zine Zone and Comic Bits/Comic Bits Online was to promote smaller, independent publishers because DC and Marvel get as much free press as they want. Horror, super hero, monster, detective, sci fi, slice of life -I has covered all of that in my reviews since the 1980s. I don't dismiss any genre. In fact, as some people know, I have given glowing reviews to work by people -writers or artists- I absolutely hate personally. I go by what I see and read and though some creators have come close to getting my fist in their teeth in the past that has nothing to do with my job as a reviewer. People can't see how I do this and I just say it's "because I am a Gemini!"
Take advantage of CBO and its world wide readership. You may not start being inundated with orders but it gets people to see your book or what your company is doing. It also means that if you have a web site you can add a link to the review of your book or even take a quote from that review -people still tend to look and see what others think before buying. If you are a serious small publisher do not go gently into the night -shout and scream! It doesn't matter whether you are in Australiua, New Zealand, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, Ludwigshafen or Stockholm -if you have a love of comics and want to publish your own then do it!
The comics scene is what you make it. You want to publish do it. If you, as a reader who has a serious interest in comics ("I love comics!" usually means you just read one or the other or both DC and Marvel) then go out to events and see what you can find. "But its in black and white" -that will not kill you. In fact, I know people who started collecting mainly black and white comics but hated the idea of no colour before. Some of my favourite comics are odd, obscure things -even b&w- that as a youngster I purchased with my pocket money despite there being Marvel or DC comics on the rack. Yeah, I should have realised I was doomed even back then.
Buy and try and you may like or even become a fan.
Long and rambling, I know, but I don't script then edit these posts. It's what I pull out of my mind as I type. As your mother said when you walked in on her and your dad that time "You don't like it -don't look!"
That sounded so wrong.
It is down to you, the comic buyer. You, the small publisher. You are the ones that can keep decent, well written and drawn comics alive and not turn around and insult readers. That is really all I can write.
Horror comics yes but also some nice illustrated prose from Dilworth in...Dilworth's Horror & Ghost Stories as he returns with twelve illustrated text stories of horror and the ghostly introduced by none other than The Phantom Detective and guest starring Xendragon!
But for the connoisseur those stories were collected together with the Phantom Detective comic strips into The Complete Phantom Detective!
Ben R. Dilworthblack & WhiteA4Paperback, 36 PagesPreviewPrice:£6.00 (excl. VAT)Ships in 3–5 business days
Murdering Ghouls. Satanic Masses. Demonic Possession. Werewolves. Poltergeists. Vampires. To many of the uninitiated these are just “things that go bump in the night” -TV or film fantasy.
In the Victorian era, The Phantom Detective used his decades of occult study to help those in danger from these “things” and he paid the ultimate price…. ….
Yet he continues to help and to observe as best he can for now he is a true...
From one of the UK's most under -rated comic creators, Ben R. Dilworth, comes new life breathed into and a new slant given to the adventures of the former mortal who has become one of the Watchers -forbidden to act even to save a life from supernatural forces. Except "rules are there to be broken or at the very least stretched until you can see through them!"
The much anticipated collection from the co-creator of Peter Wisdom and artist of Mark Millar's The Shadowmen!
The follow-up to Dilworth's Western Yokai is here!
Text accompanied by some superb illustrations by Ben Dilworth of supernatural beings interwoven in Japanese culture such as "Kappa" the Water Monster; "Azuki Arai"; "Kuchi Saki Onna" (the Big Mouth Woman) and others.
Into ghost stories or ghost comics then this will suit you to a terror!
And if there is one thing "Herr Professor" loves it is discovering and presenting long lost UK Golden Age (1939-1951) comic strips and characters from publishers such as Gerald Swan, Foldes, Denis M. Reader, Cartoon Art Productions and others.
Scanned and restored as best as can be considering the poor print quality of the rationing years -especially red, orange, yellow, blue and purple ink printing!
Ace Hart The Atomic Man! The Tornado! TNT Tom! Dene Vernon! Acromaid! Cat-Girl! Bring 'Em Back Hank! Robert Lovett:Back From The Dead and so many other action heroes and humour strip characters -William A. Ward, Jock McCaill and a host of known and unknown creators contribute -either in single volume " Black Tower Gold" albums or all six collected into the 400+ pager -The Ultimate British Golden Age Collection!
Combining volumes 1-6 (still available as individual issues but that works out far more expensive) of the BT Golden Age British Comics Collections (minus adverts) this is the ultimate for any Golden Age collector or historian or just plain comic lover.
The Phantom Raider
The Iron Boy
The Boy Fish
Maxwell The Mighty
Back From The Dead
Zeno At The Earth's Core
Super Porker (oo-er, no, Madam, ooh),
King Of The Clouds
and MANY others!
Plus text features defining The Ages OF British Comics (Platignum, Gold, Silver), the artist William A. Ward and more.
If you knew nothing about British comics of the Platinum, Golden and Silver Ages then once you buy and read this book you'll be a goddam omic intellectual dinosaur! Yipes!
All in that beautiful Iron Warrior cover exclusively drawn for Black Tower by that meta-gargantuoso talented Ben R. Dilworth!
I sold my family to be able to get this book out! Help me buy them back by purchasing your very own
Victorian conjurer and man of mystery and deception, Chung Ling Soo has been marked for death by a Chinese Tong that never fails to get its man. Will Chung be able to escape death long enough to solve bizarre murders in London'd dockland as well as sightings of a sea serpent in the Thames? And who is the Dragon Lord and how do his murderous plans fit into things?
The second in the Chung Ling Soo Man Of Mystery series
That scene still gives me chills. But Chung Ling Soo is dead. He is dead -right? But if he was in the cab with Wilberforce HOW could he be the driver and.....buy the book and find out! :-P
Both books are available as single albums but ....
The Case Book Of Chung Ling Soo
Writer: Terry Hooper-Scharf Artist: Gavin Stuart Ross Paperback A4 84 Pages Black & white Price: £8.00 Ships in 3–5 business days
To many he was simply a stage magician. Others knew the truth –such as Scotland Yard and the very secret Q Bureau.
From a seemingly cursed jade statue bringing gruesome and violent death to those who found it years before to a plot by a Chinese supremacist group hoping to strike and bring terror and destruction to the heart of the British Empire and seemingly unstoppable Tong assassins and an evil warlord willing to betray and murder even his own allies–this is Chung Ling Soo's world.
Sergeant Wilberforce of Scotland Yard was the closest thing to a friend the Magician had yet even he was perpetually stumped by him...and his deaths! Collecting together Chung Ling Soo And The Curse Of The Jade Dragon And Chung Ling Soo The Case Of The Thames Serpent By Terry Hooper-Scarf and Gavin Stuart Ross in which the deception begins but just what is deception and what truth?