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Monday, 23 April 2018

New UK Comic Magazine

Yes, I know there is a new one.  Someone sent me a copy they got for free.

No, I am NOT supporting it.  Support works two ways.  Do you know how many "New UK Comic Magazines!" I have seen since 2000?  How many of them lasted....none.

Why? Same old, same old and re-writing comics history to help someone who ruined UK comics tell people how brilliant he is and how much we owe him for....well, no comics industry.

I really do not care about fake UK fandom or the rebooting of history to suit a certain person or group.

And, after all, the best fan press in online -it's called Comic Bits Online.

Not going to lie to you here.

JEO -Jack Edward Oliver: A True (and very underpaid) Comics Genius!

In May, 2007, Jack Edward Oliver (JEO), without doubt one of the greatest British humour strip creators, passed away. He had married his long time girlfriend, Liz, in March of the same year. Liz was kind enough to send me a photograph of "a famous person lived here" Blue Plaque that Jack had designed.

He was a crackpot genius and I interviewed him in 2002 for Comic Bits (the publication, later reprinted in The Hooper Interviews).  The J. Edward Oliver tribute page carries scanned copies of that interview here:

Before you ask: I know I do not normally approve of scanned full interviews, etc., but I am linking to the scanned interview out of respect to the man's genius.

Note how the plaque reads -nothing has changed since except the 'fans'.  Jack was a true genius.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

It's My Gemini Mind! Small Press, Indie Comics, French BD and Mainstream

People used to ask "How could you give that pile of crap a good review?" and "You hate that man's guts -and you gave a book he worked on a good review -how?"

I have explained this so many times over the years I now just shrug.

Let me explain here. I cover Small Press, European BD, US comics and Independents.  I get a, say, Marvel book I expect a high standard. I get a Small Press or Indie comic I do not expect high standards.  Oddly, some Small press and Indie comics are better drawn than Marvel ones.

But each book is looked at and reviewed based on art and story as well as production quality.  I do not look at Tommy Bobs Shirtless Turtle (it doesn't exist but I don't want to name a real title) SP comic and think "Let's see how it  compares to DCs Batman comic" because that is ludicrous.

Tommy Bob may be producing his zine for fun. He's not expecting the Netflix TV or even movie contract.
You look at Richard Anthony Pester, Tommy Ross or Paul Ashley Brown and what they produce -all three art different. Different art styles, different influences that they base their stories on.  All three produce work on very good quality paper stock.  All three are low print run publishers and (like others I will not mention such as someone typing this) all would at least like to be able to earn a living from their work.
Pekka A. Manninen in Finland has also noted that comic buyers there tend not to purchase a lot of Small Press/Indie books.  He's been publishing Sarjari for many years and it is currently at it's 101st issue.  His Kapteeni Kuolio has featured in a good few quality graphic novels and collections. His books are in Finnish which puts people off yet the stories are easy enough to follow as they are good examples of sequential art. He's not making a living from his books.

Independent comic publishers vary in quality -again I must point out that Image and Dark Horse are NOT "Independent" comics and form part of the "Big 5" -Marvel, DC, Image, Dark Horse and IDW who make far more money and sales than any Indie publisher.

Then we have the established book companies who want to publish the hip and trendy graphic novel by some new sweet heart. Again, the quality varies and some of it can be quite bad.

There are the comic albums and collections from Titan Books that are top notch quality. I get European BD or comics occasionally and even Chinese Manhua.

Let's not forget Cinebook the 9th Art and their English translations of Franco-Belgian comic albums.

Each one of these books, as they arrive, has to be looked at "as it is". No "Not as good as that Titan Book..." and I tend to go by my first impression and reading.  If I see a big fault I point it out but I do that in the politest way I can -I have to remember that a great many creators (those who do not think that they are the greatest creator ever without doubt, there are a few) do not mind positive criticism when they know the person writing knows what they are talking about.  That said a great many are filled with self-doubt and concerns about their work.  The number of artists who will throw a page away, then another and then more until that one "fecking panel I cannot get right is passable" is quite high. We all see the image in our heads but getting it to look right on the page....

The point is that I turn my mind off of anything other than the book I receive. There are two specific comic writers whose work you will never see on CBO.  They are black-listed for life and that means life.  I enjoyed the stories they adopted into graphic novels -two for Classical Comics- and when CBO was still on the old Yahoo 360 this one particular writer took me to task in a very long comment for giving credit to the artists involved.  After all "I wrote those scenes and panel descriptions so the art looking good is down to my work!"  Princess stamped his foot.  I pointed out I had given him praise but he had NOT drawn or coloured the pages and that is why the artists got good write ups. But, no, he wasn't taking that -he wanted credit for everything. I informed the company -they had seen his comments- and pointed out that his attitude and rudeness (particularly against myself as a reviewer) were not on.

The company understood -I doubt that they had words with the writer because he did the same thing when CBO moved to WordPress. He was so far up his own backside I doubt he had seen daylight in years.  Despite my being polite he continued and was informed, as was the company, that any work from him was black-listed for life.

The artists were great though one was quite obnoxious -still the work got a good review.

I do honest reviews without bias but thinking I am going to lick your arse because you write a comic or book...not going to work.

With Independent comics I have met publishers who really have no idea.  I spoke to one at a Bristol Comic Expo and his comic was good quality. He used Print on Demand and I asked why he just used a black and white illo on the cover.  It was not impressive (I didn't say that) but explained that he needed to attract customers to view and buy and as it was no more expensive to get books with a colour He had been in this business a year.  He admitted to not selling many books. A year later he had a colour cover on his comic and it was actually selling well. He told me (obviously forgetting our chat the year before) how a good colour cover attracted customers.

Another person, Small Presser sent me a thick mini comic that had good production but every other page was blank. I wasn't too popular with him. The quality was good but 25% of the book was blank. I reviewed the book.  Months later he sent me a version up-dated as I suggested. He had his one review though.  Oddly, had I reviewed based on the pdf he had sent he would have gotten a good review for a project that when printed looked bad.

No hard copy -no review. In the mid 1990s to early 2000s it seemed "a thing" to send pdf of books and the art in them varied in quality.  People ordered copies....nothing arrived. I was asked where the books were?  How would I know I just review.  Some of the pdf came from people who had no intention of publishing but just getting money and others took the money but orders never reached the minimum figure they decided on so books never appeared.  Customers wanted their money back and I reviewed the PDFs so this point PDFs became banned.

Every individual has his/her own style or their own styles: remember Girl Comic from Scotland. Several issues were reviewed her and each contributor had their own styles so the book could not be looked at as "a" comic but a comic filled with several contributors.

It might be because I am a Gemini but even if I want to see McAllister McAllister III run over by an intercity train if I get a book he has worked on for review my personal opinion of the person has nothing to do with it.  I have seen people quite literally tearing at their hair when I explain this.  Just live with it.

So if it is Small Press "fun" or to try to earn a few quid, Independents, mainstream comics, French BD -whatever: each gets individual treatment.

Teaser: BITBOX NORD am 5. Mai 2018 (Tabletop-Flohmarkt, TWS)

DENIZEN ARK -Unemployed Crime Fighter

DENIZEN ARK -Unemployed Crime Fighter
John Erasmus
158 Pages          
Price: £15.00 (excl. VAT)
Prints in 3-5 business days

He was the epitomy of 1980s Thatcherite Britain: Denizen Ark -Unemployed Crime-fighter.

But a couple decades and you might think people had forgotten about him…but it looks like someone is stalking the crime-stalker!

One of the UKs finest comic illustrators, John Erasmus brings his classic character back into the glaring limelight of 2018!

Gods! Giant Robots! Super Heroes! Alien Invasions! Cavemen want more??

What an incredible read!!!!

Well over 300 pages!!!!!

What genius is behind this masterpiece???

This wreaks of desperation!

Invasion Earth Trilogy I & II-The Return Of The Gods:Twilight of the Super Heroes/Cross Earths Caper

I -The Return Of The Gods:Twilight of the Super Heroes

Black & White
331 Pages
Price: £20.00 (excl. VAT)

It begins slowly.  It always does. It's a deception that everything in the world is as it should be and that never changes.

Earth’s heroes and crime-fighters are going about their daily tasks –fighting a giant robot controlled by a mad scientist’s brain, attackers both human and mystical -even alien high priests of some mysterious cult and their zombie followers and, of course, a ghost and a young genius lost in time. 

Pretty mundane. 

But psychics around the world have been sensing something.  A "something" that sends feelings of sheer terror through their psyches.

There is a huge alien Mother-ship near the Moon. Undetected by deep-space radar and other instruments, only a few on Earth have sensed it and they cannot penetrate the hull but only feel psychic screams and....worse.

And then it begins: strange orange spheres isolate and chase some of Earth’s heroes who then vanish into thin air –are they dead?  An attack by an old foe or foes -?

Black, impenetrable domes cover cities world-wide. 

Then it becomes clear to those within the domes what is going on: Alien invasion of Earth! 

A war between the Dark Old Gods and the pantheons that followed! 

Warriors from Earth’s past having to battle each day and whether they die or not they are back the next day! 

No one suspects the driving force behind the events.  One single evil guiding events.  Events that could cause destruction and chaos throughout the multiverse.

Assaulted on all fronts can Earth’s defenders succeed or will they this truly the end? 

II-The Cross Earths Caper
The Cross-Earths Caper: Part II of the Invasion Earth Trilogy
Black & White
107 Pages
Price: £15.00 (excl. VAT)

Following the events on Neo Olympus and the Boarman invasion of Earth, many heroes and crime-fighters have withdrawn from activity. Some are trying to recover from injuries while others are fighting the mental scars left by the events.

But things have to go on.  As heroes from other parallels who helped during the recent events return home, members of the Special Globe Guard are shocked at the sudden appearance of Zom of the Zodiac. Never a sign of good things a-coming!

Very soon, a group of heroes mount a rescue mission and find that a quick rescue mission can turn sour equally quickly. As they overcome one challenge the the heroes become lost between parallel Earths and face new threats.

 Sometimes one Earth just is not enough. The complete story published in issues 7-10 of Black Tower Adventure now handy dandy book!



NROTG 012 (2)

ALL artwork and characters are (c)2018 T. Hooper-Scharf and BTCG

Comic Book Palace Needs Your Q's For Our A's

Journey Of The ID:The Dr Morg Trilogy

Journey Of The ID:The Dr Morg Trilogy
Terry Hooper-Scharf
52 Pages  
A4 format       
Price: £8.00 (excl. VAT)
Prints in 3-5 business days

Metapsychophysics meets comics.

It’s the next natural evolutionary step in comic books!

Are you prepared to have your mind expanded?  Are you really prepared to discover whether you are one of the Brotherhood of Dreams?  Are you ready to have your eyes bulge, your ears pop and your bowels expand??

For the first time all three parts of the highly acclaimed Dr. Morg Trilogy are combined into one volume: WWW (Words Within Worlds), After Orwell and the final explosive The Death of Dr Morg!

Can three men connected by one scientific project truly be witnessing the end of everything?

Black Tower Books -Only For The Enquiring Mind

second up-dated edition
Black Tower Comics & Books
26 February 2011
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
1 kg
Dimensions (centimetres)
20.98 wide x 29.69 tall

Price: £20.00 (excl. VAT)
After more than 30 years as an investigator and more than forty as a naturalist,the author has opened some of the many files he has accumulated dealing with such things as.. The Terrifying Events At The Lamb Inn,The Ghosts Of All Saints Church,Dead Aquatic Creatures of Canvey Island,captured bigfoot like creatures in India -all exclusively presented for the first time and with newadded research previously unseen. PLUS a vastly expanded section on Spring-heeled Jack!

Photographs,maps,line drawings and up-dated to make 358 pages looking at Things truly Strange and Sinister. Cryptozoologist,Ghost Hunter,Ufologist or Fortean:thisbook has something for everyone -including the just plain inquisitive!

Terry Hooper-Scharf/Black Tower Books UK
19 November 2013
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.72 kg
Dimensions (centimetres)
20.98 wide x 29.69 tall

Price: £20.00 (excl. VAT

Prints in 3-5 business days
2013 UP DATE -From Dead Aquatic (Humanoid) Creatures, the giant squid and yet undiscovered sea creatures; submarine and ships crews encountering true leviathans. This is a fully expanded section which also refers to the so-called ‘Ningen’ sightings and video footage. Extinct animals at sea that have been re-discovered. The subject of Sasquatch and other mystery Hominids around the world is dealt with including a look at the “Sasquatch-killer”, Justin Smeja. Dr. Bryan Sykes and his DNA test results for TVs The Bigfoot Files as well as the controversial Erickson Project and Dr. Melba Ketchum’s
Even more controversial Sasquatch DNA test results. Also included are two early French UFO entity cases that still baffle. Ghosts, strange creatures and the Star-Child hoax. All dealt with by the naturalist and pursuer of the strange and weird

third up-dated edition
Terry Hooper-Scharf/Black Tower Books UK
10 November 2017
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.88 kg
Dimensions (centimetres)
20.98 wide x 29.69 tall

Price: £25.00 (excl. VAT)
Prints in 3-5 business days
Follow-up to Some Things Strange & Sinister. For those interested in Ufology,cryptozoology,hominology,unusual natural history,ghosts and mysteries in general. The secret history of gorillas -before they were 'discovered'. Wild men of Europe, the UK and US. Hominology. Giant snakes. Amazons. The Giant serpent of Carthage. Girt Dog of Ennerdale. The Beast of Gevaudan. Crocodiles in the UK. Silent City of Alaska. And much more. Updated with extra pages and photographs.

What Is In Strange & Mysterious Beasts?

I was told that it was probably a good idea not to reveal all of the contents of the new book. Fair enough. It is 324 pages with lots of photographs.  If you have read one of my previous books then I will point out that this new look at the chupacabra is expanded on.  I have managed to draw some conclusions on certain previously unidentified beasts.  

I am guessing that the conclusions in the chapter on the Shunka Warak'in and the famous stuffed and mounted specimen are going to really upset some cryptozoologists.

In High Strangeness and UFO Contact? I looked at the faults in Ufology and how the subject needed drastic overhauling and I do the same here regarding mystery animal research which seems to be full of charlatans and liars out to make money rather than look for the truth. I try to give anyone approaching the subject matter some advice and guidelines but 'cryptozoology' and 'cryptozoologist' are two words they ought not to use.

Strange & Mysterious Beasts is the smaller format book while Mysterious & Strange Beasts is the standard larger A4 format. 

IGNORE the "only ships from North America" as that is just a site message error

I need to point out that, much though I really do want to avoid this, US taxes are not leaving me much in the way of profit from sales.  I really do not want to increase book prices since I think that at the moment they are fair (considering what a purchaser gets and the amount of my work that gets plagiarized).  I am told that it has to be an option, however, I have until 1st February, 2018 to decide.

Anyway, enough publisher waffle, here are some of the contents:
The Monster of the Forest of Mouliere   
The Beast of Lyonnais   
The Beast of Cevennes, Gard and Vivarais      
The Beast of Sarlat    
The Beast of Gevaudan     
British Man Beasts     
Bigfoot and Werewolves in the West Midlands    
The Strange Creature in Repton Woods   
Bigfoot Returns – To Kent!       
The Curious and Frightening Case of the Hull Werewolf       
The Gnome of Girona     
The Caponi Close Encounters and Photographs       
Return of the Shark Killing Thing –a Possible Identification    
The Dingellchough Mystery Creature  
The Unidentified Corfu Sea Creature           
Strange Sea Creature Found In Persian Gulf     
The Devil of Gatagon      
The Supernatural Invasion: Slender-man and Black Eyed Kids    
The Sheep Killer of Niali      
Mystery Creature of the Bay of Flamanville   
Things Caught on Camera –Fact and Fiction    
The Bat Creatures      
The Owl-man   
The British Pig-man and Snake-man    
The Pictish Beast              
Shunka Warak'in –A Hyena Too Far?   
The Chupacabra

Terry Hooper~Scharf
Publisher  Terry Hooper~Scharf
Published 09 November 2917
Pages 530
Binding Perfect Bound
Interior Black ink &white
Weight 1.05kg
Size 18.9 x24.59cm
Price £25.00 (excl VAT)
Prints 3~5 business days

Since 1947 it has been claimed that UFOs/flying saucers are evidence of aliens visiting the Earth. Since the 1950s claims of encounters with landed craft and alien beings were talked about but not taken seriously.
In the 1960s the subject of UFO abduction was a "slow-burner" until the whole "Grey" abduction phenomenon and claims made by researchers. But is there evidence to back up any of the claims -and what about those encountering Alien Entities but who were not abducted?
2017 is the time to assess the past evidence and look at the faults within Ufology.
Not everyone is going to be happy -debunkers or ufologists.

Below larger format same contents

Publisher Terry Hooper-Scharf

09 November 2017
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
1.43 kg
Dimensions (centimetres)
20.98 wide x 29.69 tall