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Wednesday, 26 April 2017

The Return Of The Gestetner, or, "This Is What I Was Talking About!"

Sadly my article on Gestetners and the small press has suffered bloggers famous image vanishing act, though the post is still there

But to finally explain and SHOW what I have been writing about I have updated this posting from 2015.

"The Man", Oz Magazine and a magazine Banned!

 Above: Narroways Hill in St.Werburghs c. early 1960s?

But it was while there that several things happened.  The first was my long detentions for attempting to sell a certain magazine titled Oz -still can't remember how I got copies but you can find out why "The Man" (in this case our religious nut Head Master) was so offended here:

Later, I was offered the chance to publish a school mag that would be in competition with my brother (Peter) and his school mag, Barmy.  Mr Wright, the Deputy Head, an ex-RAF man, helped support our effort and came up with a title (remember this was 1974) -Starkers: The Magazine That Tells The Naked Truth.  Someone told me a proper publication with that name later existed but I've never seen it and, despite a couple of claims by people, it had nothing to do with me.

You can guess that my brother's mag was for the more "classy" whereas the one I was to edit was more down-to-earth, as imagined by the title.  There were lots of funny situations based around the class we had as Editorial office -it was actually an auxilliary large, windowed cupboard -I also (at 14) had to teach Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi kids a bit younger than me English because I was good at that "and you get on well with the Asian children" -and the local authority and school was not paying for a part time or full time teacher.  Anyway, eventually I drew the illoes and typed stuff up and then it went to the school secretaries to be typed-up using the old "cutting" setting on the type-writer to cut through the special sheets to be used on the hand cranked gestetner copier.
People keep asking about Gestetners so here:

Below~ This is the type of Gestetner we used -for Science and Biology classes I has one of the boys assigned using this to produce class note sheets.

Anyway, one day we were called up to the Deputy Head's office and he told us that the Head Master had banned Starkers!! Now, the Head was a big supporter of my brother's magazine and it was made clear that this was the reason we had suddenly been banned (let's not get into the dirty behind-the-scenes goings on).  So what was the official reason the mag that had taken three months to put together was banned? "The title"....that...the Deputy Head himself had put forward. Now I was the only one really committed to the mag in a hardcore way so I said without thinking -"We'll call it 'Crikey' -it won't take a few minutes to change that cover header!"  The nod said it all. The Head Master had decided and that was it.

Dirty deeds.

On that day I raised my fist to the sky and....well, a fly went in my mouth but let's imagine I yelled: "As God is my witness - I shall have revenge!!"  Yeah, well, I didn't believe in God even back then but it makes a dramatic scene for when Tom Hiddleston plays me in the movie.

In Art I was a bit rebellious.  Also, during "Free Art" periods -note the FREE bit- I was told off for teaching class mates how to draw super heroes, monsters and other comic stuff. I argued that a "Free Art" period was just that and that pupils WERE learning to draw and techniques. The boy who supported me had to go to the Head Master with me.  The Head was, it seems, my first major nemesis in art and publishing.  Fed up with my attitude he gave my friend the cane once across the palm of the hand -and all that entails physically.  Poor kid had to rush out to be sick. Smug head then did the same to me but did not get the same reaction so used the cane again and he was purple with anger. I said: "That's twice. Next time it'll be my turn"  He raised the cane but stopped and told me to get out. Two months of detentions which I used to read through the school library!

Did all this put me off?  No.  At least three pupils used to come to my home where I'd talk comics but teach them how to draw -and before anyone asks "Why didn't you become an art teacher?" -the Head blocked my exams.   But it's a pity that just as I was getting some other lads up to a good standard of comic work they were told by their parents they'd need to get better jobs and to give up the "silly drawing".
Bloody hell, it was like a prediction of my whole future life in a few short years.  A warning ignored!!

So when, about 4 years ago I was asked if I'd set up a table about comics at a St Werburgh's event -they had billed me as a "local boy who has become a well known name in comics"- how could I refuse? But despite trying to sort things out, year after year new people took over and, this year, I gave up.  I would like to do some type of comic event in St. Werburgh's and bring things full circle. But fate...and lack of opportunity.

The way things go these days I doubt the opportunity will arise -it's far more likely I'll teach comic art to kids in Dalborn, Germany than Bristol.

Just a musing.

Now, AIGA, the Professional Association for Design, has a great piece on how Gestetners were used for newsletters and school mags and you can find that here

I still have two portable typewriters with the stencil lever.  Basically you pushed that lever up and the type was cut into the stencil (corrections made to the stencil with nail varnish).

So here are some videos showing Gestetners in use

Above the Gestetner 230
Below the Gestetner 180
Gestetner 180 0n auto

Below Mimeógrafo Copiatic hand cranking the only way!
So now you all know.  This is how we did it "Old School"!

Justice League War: Creating Heroes The Life And Art Of Jim Lee

Blutengel "Nachtbringer"

A Point I Need To Make About Recent Posts

Firstly, I have never ever made it a secret that I hate Disney.  It treats its workers as though they were underpaid servants but the company also rapes other cultures to make a fast buck. Now that cgi has made it quicker and easier to produce features they turn out whatever dross they want.

How they treat creatives is another thing they need to be despised for.  Ask Don Rosa -or look up the subject:

Every company they take over, particularly comics, the work is no longer allowed to originate from anywhere other than the United States where Disney can get full control (Europe has very strict creators rights laws that Marvel and now Disney do not like. Every penny MUST be theirs.

Just do your research people.  "They put on a good show"/"They make great movies" but at what cost.

I am not saying do NOT watch anything Disney makes nor that you should never read anything Disney produces. If you don't care and it makes you happy go for it.  Your kids love the movies fair enough but at least try to add some animated classics into their viewing so they don't grow up thinking cgi is the only way.

That said, as with the last posting, I do understand that it is a business.  Businesses are there to make money and in this case entertain you in return for your money.  That is fair if you deal with a fair company.  So when I wrote that they will put Indiana Jones on the back-burner while pushing franchises that will guarantee making far more profit quickly I am not saying that is evil. Not giving a damn, yes, but it makes sense for them with their ethics to push for more cash quickly.

It does not matter which film studio it is, that get in there while the property is hot and make money is the business plan.

"Blacksploitation" movies.  1970s Star Wars rip off movies, musicals, horror -whatever genre or film makes big money studios will put their money into movies that can latch on to the craze while it lasts.

Jumping onto the SJW comics band wagon is a good example of when not to jump into a craze and follow it.

Business is business.  You make the product it costs and so you want to make a profit back (some of us more than others!).  With that last post I was pointing out why delaying Indiana Jones made commercial sense.

Indiana Jones 5 Delayed.....It's Just About Business Plans You Know

According to Jack Shepherd of The Independent

Indiana Jones 5 release date pushed back by Disney
The film was originally scheduled for 2019

Disney announced a whole bunch of release dates last night (25 April), revealing when fans can expect Star Wars: Episode IX, Frozen 2, and the live-action adaptation of Lion King to touch down.

Perhaps one of the more exciting announcements was Indiana Jones 5, which was given an exact date: 10 July 2020.

Previously, chairman of Walt Disney Studios Alan Horn had said the company would "bring him[Jones] back to the screen in 2019.”

The fifth film in the Indiana Jones series will see both Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford (who will be in his late 70s) return, with a script penned by David Koepp, who also worked on the widely panned Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull.
A delay on the release should come as no surprise to those familiar with Spielberg's upcoming schedule: the director is currently working on Ready Player One and the Tom Hanks-starring story about The Washington Post, tentatively titled The Post.

Producer Frank Marshall also previously confirmed the fifth entry's plot will be a direct continuation of its predecessor; whether Shia LaBeouf will return is currently unknown.

Meanwhile, Star Wars: Episode IX will reach cinemas 24 May 2019, a surprising move considering both other main-saga sequels touch down in December. However, Disney will likely still dominate Christmas 2019 as Frozen 2 is set for release late November that year.


When you think about it this hasn't got much to do with busy schedules. Jeez, Ford ain't getting any younger. The Crystal Skull had some good performances and Blanchett was one of the hottest villains -and I ought not to have been rooting for the villain.  But, come on (though I did laugh) hiding in a refridgerator will not save you from a nuclear blast.  Also…there were things popping up out of nowhere that made no sense. So, yes, it got panned.

Now look at it from Disneys point of view. Star Wars as a franchise has a lot of followers. Probably more followers than the Catholic Church. Okay, long time fans are ditching the Marvel Star Wars comic for a lot of reasons but the movies make money. The merchandise makes a lot of money.  Oh, so much money that for the executives it’s better than sex with a high priced hooker. Star Wars =money making guarantee.

So get the movies out and make a quick mound of cash –it is the “business plan” used with Marvel comics also (check out that Comicgirl19 video).

Frozen…seriously?  They throw this cgi swill out in the bucket load like slop to pigs and people still go to watch it –pay money….buy merchandise.  Almost guaranteed.

Lion King live action….well, Beauty and the Beast got quite panned but it still took 18.4 million over its opening weekend.  Money. It made money.  That Indiana Jones movie made $100,137,835 on its opening weekend but the serious panning it got…

Disney really do not know or care about the “product” or the investment in a character that fans give.  They only understand money.  So go with the most likely to make big money first and three Star Wars films will do that. After all, interest in them might wane so get them out and money in now.

I think that if Disney could get one Star Wars film out each month they would. It would kill the franchise eventually but they’ll do what they have done with all their other properties –store them in a cupboard and bring them out for special events….a bit like Uncle Walt’s head.

So those fans of Indiana Jones who are screaming about the delay: tough. This is about making money.  It’s a business.  They do not make movies because it makes them feel “creatively happy”!

I Don't Get Much To Make Me Laugh But....

Not much to do these days and last night I thought I would catch up with vloggers on You Tube and various comic blogs.  I am so glad I did.

I posted the piece on the Frank Cho Wasp cover.  That is a non-story. Hey, in the animated (the BEST animated Avengers series) series Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes there is a scene before the team go into a gamma radiation filled area and have to don radiation suits. The Wasp does exactly what is show in this illo.  For SJWs and fake feminists do not seem to have had any interaction with real women.

"Does my bum look big in this?"

That is a phrase used in a comedy TV show in the UK by a female. If I had just £1 for every time I had heard women (I know/don't know) asking that question I'd be well off.  It is not rare in comics either.  In fact, it is almost as common as a man noticing an attractive woman and pulling his gut in and sticking his chest out.

Why did Bleeding Cool even kick up such a fuss? There are, obviously, two real reasons.

(1)  they have been swept up by the now ever diminishing SJW wave (that has mostly had its collective asses kicked by comic fans).

(2)  the site needed to attract attention to itself.  Trying to garnish some more views and credibility.

Is Bleeding Cool so dumb as to get caught up ion the comics SJW cause? If they are then it does not say a great deal about its credibility as a comics insider news site (and I would look daft because Tuesday I was actually saying nice things about them to someone!).

Many describe news from Bleeding Cool as "needing to be taken with a pinch or at best bag of salt". Also "It is the tabloid news site where you trust what they say at your own risk".  So maybe headline grabbing was what it was hoping for?  It seems the only logical explanation because you can understand a website that may be concerned with the number of hits it gets for prestige (never visited the site so no idea if they get advertising).  But jumping this late onto the SJW bandwagon....that would shoot its credibility.

Worst thing is that it would show whoever was involved had a very -VERY- limited knowledge of comic book art.

As for the writer insulting Frank Cho.  Well, like most writers their work depends on how well the artist tells their stories (some pretty lame ones) and they will take credit for the artwork, too  -I have five instances where well known US/UK writers have said to me that they are responsible for how good the art is because they tell the artist what to draw! Twice I was even reprimanded by one writer because I did not praise his story highly enough and praised the artists involved and he even demanded that I alter the reviews to reflect that he had to take credit for even the art because "the artists could not have drawn the story without my telling them what to do!"  Guess what?  I told him his stories were not that great but I did credit him as much as the artists and that he was now on a life long blacklist. Not one book he has written would ever appear in anything I am involved in. Publishers tried to "awww, Terry but---" and my response was the same.  You treat the artists with respect.  You treat reviewers with respect.  You get a massive ego that you are the greatest writer (of comics) alive...there are consequences.

Artists are in a good position to screw things up for writers but most tend not to have backbones and just do the job, take the abuse, take the money and go.

I compare most (not all) modern comic writers to being less than those logs I flush down the toilet.


And, please, wake up, because this whole movie company versus Marvel over characters is just bullshit to keep fans interested.  At the start of the X-Men movies, the Fantastic Four movies, the Spider-Man movies...whose company comic flick-card appears at the beginning? Which company gets credit?  Disney/Marvel.  If  Disney/Marvel were so morally outraged that their characters are not returned to them for movie use then they could demand that opening ID be removed. It is there as the official property stamp. The credits, the creators named.

Come on.

Which company benefits from any push in comic sales or merchandise sales from a movie?  Oh...Disney/Marvel (and yet they don't have to spend anything in making those movies but get the rewards.

Must be aweful for them.

Note how at events editors (I will call them that out of politeness) who insult artists are shown smiling with them.  Joking with them. I saw this several times -including with Rob Liefeld- and realised that it is all either a big con or the creators really are spineless.  "You hack no talent!" is an insult, right? So you are going to man-hug or shake hands and joke and smile with the person who sent that open insult across the internet?

Think about it: Spineless or part of the American comics industry con?  Maybe 50-50 but it still shows that fans are getting angry and called to arms to whip up publicity and stand up for either the company (ie: editor) or creator.  It is a con.

Ignore the comics news hacks and internet puss, quite a few comic sites are crammed with people employed by companies to stir up the controversy and get you to think the way they want you to. Guardians of the Galaxy was a mediocre film and people were calling it that yet, within hours of its release, anonymous tweets and more were hailing it as one "of the greatest Marvel action movies ever!"  No. No, it was not. Fans see all the positive reviews and around 75% of them will jump on the band wagon to be part of the "hip crowd".  It is all tried and tested stuff used in politics and worse for centuries (and the internet almost guarantees anonymity to company men).

Practical example of how it works with comics.  We know DC ain't doing good but Marvel is doing even worse. But the comic 'fans' still fall for it year in and year out -some times twice a year- a new #1!!  Yes, #1s sell "because as first issues they will be more collectible and worth more money!"

 Really? Hundreds of thousands of copies of the new first, in, say, 60 years, if there are only 10-30 copies of that issue left you may get a little profit.  Golden Age US comics sell because many were pulped in the war effort, or burnt in their thousands thanks to Wertham and mob mentality. So there are far, far fewer out there.

Last night I saw three video bloggers (in their 20s) complain about how expensive comics were. However, their biggest -their major- complaint was that the comics they bought 2-4 years ago were not yet "worth anything". They were angry.  One had tried to sell his Guardians of the Galaxy #1 (2015) but no takers.  Another told the same story but he had gone back to his local store and said he wanted to sell his copy and the store owner showed him a box which still had copies in and told him "Try Ebay, kid -somehow you might get your money back!" He had tried Ebay with "a modest starting price of $50". No takers. It seems these three had bought like crazy. Anything they read was hot or their comic store recommended they bought.

"I spent upward of $2,000 forgot the extra copies so around $3,000 on these books and dealers tell me they ain't worth ***** shit!"

I should not laugh.

Then I found bloggers with the same stories. I think one had kept a full inventory and estimated between 2014-2016 he had spent $15,000 (including double copies of hot books) and was crying that his collection was not worth (his own words) "six times that!" A commenter had pointed out that it could take a few decades for books to  achieve any value but only rarely. Fair enough I thought.

For me, though, the funniest was a fella in California who took some of his purchases into the local comic store.  These were all the "hot" books touted by the comics media and stores between 2012-2016.

The store owner looked at him and said ("very rudely") "Kid, what the **** do you ***** think I want to buy this shit for? They ain't worth what you paid for them in the day!"

Ah-ha! Now this youth had the filthy comic dealer by the balls. He took out each pristine copy in its mylar bag and acid free board (?) and pulled out a wad of printouts about the comics which told how these books were THE items to invest in.  What could the comic store owner do now?

Apparently, he sighed and told the youth to follow him into the store room out back.  He did so.  The store owner pulled down three boxes and opened them up.  Each box had multiple copies of all those comics he was being offered the opportunity to buy.  He looked at the "kid" and said "You give me half of what you paid for that issue off the shelves and I'll give you another six --**** it- another 10 copies!"

I thought that was funny but there is a better punchline -and it was repeated several times by bloggers- and that was "Never sold anything but I picked up the latest hot titles plus some bags and boards" find that you have been conned.  Not once but multiple times. Those recommended "hot" titles were worthless.  In one case there was the chance to pick up ten extra copies. You have realised the few thousand dollars you invested are never coming back to you.  The comic company and the dealer made the money.  So what do you do?  You buy more recommended hot books as well as more mylar bags and boards.

Before you say "Ah, but according to---" re. comics investing look at the site owners. Those telling you how the movies make these comics "hot" or that "it's time to start investing in comics" are all profiting from that falsehood.  "Come see the comic guy about investing in comics at this year's con!" well, the only truthful word there is the abbreviation -"con". Comic guides, comic traders and dealers, Mile High Comics -for feck's sake do not be morons: these are people making money out of stupidity.

Because people fall for this crap you will not find any search result telling you anything but positives because the ones telling you the truth are not popular. Remember how I warned several times and even checked myself when dealers were saying out of nowhere "Sub-Mariner comics are going to be majorly hot with the 2017 movie!"  There was no movie.  Never was an intended Sub-mariner movie. I know two American comic dealers who laughed and joked how much money they had made selling Sub-Mariner comics to "the morons".  At least three Ebay dealers I was watching sold not very good quality Sub-Mariner (Silver Age) #1s for between (UK) £150 and US $500-900.

Please learn.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

"An Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog"

Oliver Goldsmith, "An Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog" (1766)

Good people all, of every sort,
Give ear unto my song;
And if you find it wondrous short,
It cannot hold you long.
In Islington there was a man,
Of whom the world might say
That still a godly race he ran,
Whene'er he went to pray.
A kind and gentle heart he had,
To comfort friends and foes;
The naked every day he clad,
When he put on his clothes.
And in that town a dog was found,
As many dogs there be,
Both mongrel, puppy, whelp and hound,
And curs of low degree.
This dog and man at first were friends;
But when a pique began,
The dog, to gain some private ends,
Went mad and bit the man.
Around from all the neighbouring streets
The wondering neighbours ran,
And swore the dog had lost his wits,
To bite so good a man.
The wound it seemed both sore and sad
To every Christian eye;
And while they swore the dog was mad,
They swore the man would die.
But soon a wonder came to light,
That showed the rogues they lied:
The man recovered of the bite,
The dog it was that died.

A Comment re ~In Frank Cho We Trust Wasp Comic Books

I did not want to post another video BUT...skip past the bad language to where the vlogger discusses the Cho cover. I will point out there IS bad language and I do not condone any insults aimed at anyone in the video. It is the Vlogger responsible for that so....

It did not surprise me that, instead of showing creative solidarity, the books writer basically shits on Frank Cho.

 This is something we have seen again and again from DC and Marvel writers who will be insulting to artists they work with. All the, uh, "great writing talents" (remember that these people do not consider themselves writers of comic scripts but phenomenal literary geniuses).  Bleeding Cool is writing crap to either please SJWs or for its own agenda (publicity).

 Editors and publishers have become brainless with no clue what they are supposed to do and it is smacking back in their faces.  Eventually, comic artists are going to get tired of this treating them like shit and it will backfire on the writers.  "You want me to draw whose scripts? The guy who called me a moron?  Get someone else"

 It will happen because there are too many writers with massive egos who think artists are beneath them (maybe the writers ought to learn to draw?).  There is nothing in this con sketch that we have not seen on mainstream comic covers or in comic pages over the decades.

This is the comic industry problem. Too many egos shouting insults at fans, at fellow creators and anyone else they want to.  Why is Marvel and DC suffering?  Guess.

The Return Of too Many Super Heroes!

Yes, Blogger managed to remove all the images...again!

I think that someone misunderstood. I LOVE the old Archie/MLJ Mighty Crusaders and 1980s Red Circle Crusaders.  I just have not read the current versions.  But what an excuse to re-post!

Someone said they could not find my article on the 1960s MLJ Mighty Crusaders.  So,presenting for the second time,”Too Many Super Heroes”!

THE MIGHTY CRUSADERS –Too Many Super Heroes?

My first introduction to Mighty Comics and its characters came while purchasing the black and white reprints of Alan Class such as SUSPENSE [you can learn more at -] However, around 1971 I walked into a bookseller that also stocked back issue comics. It was in one box that I found MIGHTY CRUSADERS #4 [April,1966].This comic really hit my button! There were heroes I had never seen or heard of before such as MR JUSTICE, FIREBALL, INFERNO and FIREFLY, BLACK JACK and my all time image favourite: The FOX! Twenty-one heroes, plus two former heroes-turned-villains: HANGMAN and The WIZARD [a cheat here since the Golden Age goody WIZARD turned up at the end to defeat his future evil counterpart!].
Yes, it was Jerry Ess writing but I still enjoy the comic and only now does it read rather inane in places. Paul Are did the art chores and I must admit that Are and Reinman have come in for a great deal of stick over the years but they did the job! I love their stuff and it was only in 2004 that I got a copy of MIGHTY CRUSADERS #4 to replace the one destroyed years before.

Someone, I am sure, will correct me if I am wrong, but the internal squabbling and fighting of the Crusaders pre-empted the Captain America, Hawkeye, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch AVENGERS team? I know I kept thinking “why can’t they just work together?” but it was still enjoyable –like squabbling kids in the age group the comics were aimed at! It was like your gang, friends but fights breaking out amongst the members.
There was more, though; one thing that always sticks in my mind is the difficulty two of the characters had in private. BILL HIGGINS, aka THE SHIELD, had to constantly get fired for fouling up haircuts and more so that he could get into costume and away –in this aptly titled “TOO MANY SUPER HEROES”, Bill is a removal man who has to fumble and smash a mirror. I always felt sorry for him.

Then there was JOHN RAYMOND, aka THE WEB. Poor John, his wife was somewhat of a nagger but also highly strung. John had to constantly slip away from Rosie, a woman he dearly loved, and leave the dishes to return to adventuring.

Okay, the story was a series of in-fights but there were the villains. I was glad to see the HANGMAN become a hero again in the 1980s Red Circle run. However, his team up with the now villainous WIZARD was interesting. That, at the end of this story,ROY THE MIGHTY BOY appears from the past, followed by the Golden Age WIZARD was a very nice touch indeed.The splash page to Part Three shows a lovely use of blacks by Are and I think the reason this particular issue sticks in my memory is the story and art and the feel of the mid-1960s and the so-called “camp” hero period that ran alongside the imaginative story telling and art of Marvel Comics.

What might the MIGHTY CRUSADERS have been like had Jack Kirby been drawing or even drawing and writing the series?I also sit back and, looking at this and the other MCG titles, wonder why Archie has never tried to pull together this original series, the one of the 1980s and produce an “Essentials” style black and white book?

There are also the appearances of a more cohesive Crusaders team in ARCHIE WEIRD MYSTERIES #3 and 14. What a book that would make!!Never was there ever a gathering of super heroes in a MCG title again. Odd how time plays with your memories but I thought there were far more heroes in this issue!!
If you can get a copy of this comic- do! This is certainly one of my all-time 1960s favourites and I’m glad I managed to find a replacement copy.
That’s a little piece of the comic mind of Terry Hooper!


Osaka? Wait ~Ben Dilworth lives in Osaka!!  I think I spotted him,,,,the cardboard box man???

Ikebukuro Cosplay Halloween 2014