Saturday, 28 May 2016

Penguin Flight Osaka

Right, it probably is not the best kept secret as there have been a few rumours for a while now but I wanted to jump in and explain what I can.

Penguin Flight Osaka (PFO) is based in...Osaka.  That's in Japan in case you did not know. Anyway, Comic Bits Online and this Black Tower Comics blog get a lot of views from Japan. So why not publish Black Tower Comics there?  The answer to that is very long and convoluted.  Certainly the distance from the UK is a big problem.

So then I was contacted by Penguin Flight Osaka and it was suggested that they publish limited print run comics featuring material from Black Tower comics?  The language would not be Japanese but English because "English comics" in English have a certain attraction -it also means comic readers in other countries in that part of the world might be interested in ordering.

Seems fair enough.
 So what will the comics feature?  Obviously, Black Tower comic strips and characters but also some of the British Golden Age material we've published in the Golden Age Collections. There will also be a little background information in each comic.

But there will also be original strips featuring Black Tower characters created by PFO.  The fact that there will be non-UK created strips as well as short print runs ought to make these comics collectible because the "no extended or second print runs" clause is there. No "ifs", "buts" or "maybes".  Once sold out that is it. That includes if the books were a fly away success -no extra print runs.

I'm still trying to sort out all the angles but I am hoping that I can get a few copies for sale via this blog or CBO.  There won't be many copies if I can arrange it but all the better if you have the comic collecting bug!

So keep popping by and in a month or so it could all be live and kicking -if not sooner!

Monday, 23 May 2016

Books, Online Store And German Events

Okay, Comickers, in the last week I've posted enough strip-work and art as well as information that if you haven't decided to support Black Tower by buying some books you probably never will!

Cool.  Not everyone likes the same thing.

But if you've seen work you like then please visit the online store and you should find all books there have a number of preview pages.

Now, on CBO and here I think enough has been posted about Black Tower and the number of visits per day shows that there must be some interest. So, apart from the odd Green Skies related item, no more pages of strip-work. In all honesty I think I could post Black Tower's entire inventory here  and get no real reaction such as comments.  Well, I need to make a living and the only way I can do that is by selling books.

Unless someone wants to pay to view online comics?

Over the years I've had maqny people say "I am going to buy that book!" and so on and so forth but do they? No.

Read the banner on the blog Header....visit the online store and you'll see that isn't hype. Independent publishers need your support because we are not Small Pressers who have well paid jobs or get funding from mom and dad for the hobby.  And we certainly do not have the merchandise or revenue of Didney(nee Marvel), DC, Image or Dark Horse.

Our livings depend on sales.  No sales is very bad for us Indies.  But you have to like the look of what you buy -which is why the store has the Preview link. We're not on Ebay or Amazon because Amazon and those others take so much that the publisher is -and I am not joking, I've been there- really giving the books away.  Diamond and Previews as well as comic shops only tend to want to stock the big four because they just do not understand Independents.  Ebay....seriously, let's not even go there.

So, Black Tower, like all those other Indies, depends on you.

Which brings me to planning for 2017.  I've covered all of this on Comic Bits Online so I am not going to go into all of this again but, UK events, have made clear they are not venues for Black Tower.

My idea was to try to get a table at one or more German comic events in 2017.  Not necessarily a massive table just one that isn't going to cost an arm and a leg that can accomodate an old English guy  speaking poor German and trying to sell his books. I wanted to try to find events that are taking place from June onward in the Lippe area. I can visit family and schlep my books around. But I'm not saying "only" in the Lippe area.

I'm told that Germany has a good transport system and so areas away from Lemgo, Detmold or Blomberg are of interest.  Just look at the map below.  Minden, Herford, Belefeld, Hameln, Hoxter, Paderborn -some of those must surely have some type of comic book event going on?  They do not have to be big events such as national comic cons. Hey, if I can get to them and find a place to crash out overnight I'll consider it!

And here I'm asking the many -and I do mean many- Germans who visit CBO for ideas -event links or contacts.  Whatever, I am open and I promise not to sully the name of your good town or city!

Please leave a comment or contact me via: blacktowercg@hotmail.com

THANKS!

Kotar & Sabuta....A Quiet Night In (Complete)



Kotar & Sabuta the Third Level Sorcerors have been with me since....1969!  Wow.  Anyway, here is one of those "quiet days at home" adventures by the inimitable Ben R. Dilwrth!




Judgement! A Prelude To The Green Skies



Krakos: Mirror Man





Sasquatch....on the Black Tower blog???


Saturday, 21 May 2016

German Comic Con 2015 Dortmund - Muss man gesehen haben

Germany and Comics -Nerdzig TV

How do I find out what is going on in Germany regarding comics?  Well, I've looked for video blogs but the only one I found was the excellent Nerdzig TV -I posted a few of their videos (over at CBO) at the time of the 2016 Leipzig Manga Convention.

But most other things I find are simply Marvel, DC and a bit of Image related.

I have no doubt that sooner or later someone in Germany will start doing super hero comics.  Well, D-Gruppe's origins goes back 4 decades now. THAT is scary (to me).

But if you speak German go check out You Tube and Nerdzig TV or even go over to Tales From The Kryptonian -Nerdzig is in German but Subzero posts in English.

Have You Heard The One About The Iron Warrior's Chopper?

Behave yourselves -it's not what you think!


William A. Ward created the Iron Warrior during the 1940s at the height of the UK Golden Age.  However, Ben R. Dilworth has undoubtedly made the Iron Warrior of the 21st century his!

From Big Bong, giant crocodiles or alligators (take your pick) and even pterosaurs -the character and its creator/operator, Rodney Dearth, seem to attract any giant reptiles that are within a hundred miles of them.
Dilworth sent this rough sketch along with a letter a couple years back (or maybe longer) that summed this all up.

In fact, I tend to think that with all the little sketches and even a 3D greeting card, he's sent me, Dilworth may be having a little too much fun with a character that, up to the late 1970s, was recognised as the most violent character in UK comics -some achievement in the strict 1940s!

But how could I post this and not a sample strip produced exclusively for Comic Bits Online a while back?














And in case that has whet your appetite for some Iron Warrior versus Giant Gorilla action (before the book increases in price): here's the info you need:

                     THE IRON WARRIOR COLLECTION



Ben R. Dilworth    Terry Hooper-Scharf
Paperback, 
Black & White
A4
49 Pages
Price: £5.00 (excl. VAT)
In the 1940s, Rodney Dearth and his exploratory fighting machine known as the Iron Warrior left Africa to travel to South America in search of lost explorer Percy Fawcett. Along the way Dearth and Iron Sides tackle crocodiles, giant snakes, hostile natives and..Big Bong -the terror of the Amazon! 

 This collection presents a 1940s William A. Ward strip, Ben R. Dilworth's Big Bong, Amazon Adventure and a couple special pages, and Terry Hooper-Scharf's Black Tower Adventure strip The Iron Warrior: Jungle Terror plus text features! 

Is it any good?  Read what Joe Stransky wrote:
                     By J Stransky

"A fun read, and a real treat to see all the Dilworth strips in one place - including a few previously unpublished shorts. Also reading the Jungle Terror story by Terry Hooper in one sitting is a real blast - I often forget just how much fun it is to read these strips; they are almost 'trippy' in the way they weave humour and action. An all round great read. Recommended."             

Group Cwmru -Mabinogion 92

Wondering what this is?  The fella in red is the original Black Tower Red Dragon and the other fella? Well, no, not a hippy.  In fact, he's a Celtic god.

This was a cover illo drawn by Simon Wyatt for what was to have been Mabinogion 92 but the series was never completed, sadly.

But as this image was lying around on the computer I thought might be nice to show it off.

The Dr. Morg Trilogy


Paperback, 
Black & White
A4
52 Pages
Price: £7.50 (excl. VAT)
Metapsychophysics meets comics. Its the next natural evolutionary step in comic books! 
For the first time all three parts of the highly acclaimed Dr. Morg Trilogy are combined into one volume:WORDS WITHIN WORLDS, AFTER ORWELL and the final explosive, controversial THE DEATH OF DR. MORG
 Prepare to have your minds expanded, confused and altered....but mainly confused.

These Pages Were In Colour...Then THEY Wiped My Brain

It's the only answer I can come up with.  I was going through some old saved images and I came across these.  They are pages from the final part of the Dr Morg Trilogy -but in colour!

I can only assume these were done by brother Mike but when and what for I have no idea.

Here's an open 'secret': had the Dr Morg Trilogy been in colour the cost of the book would have been three times what it is as a black and white book.

I'm going back to the old Paul Brown Mr Covers so if you wanted a copy with the EST (Epileptic Seizure Test) cover -too late.  That is now going to be a very rare book and I have the only copies with that cover.

Anyway, rather than just hiding these colour pages I thought I'd show them here.  Enjoy.







Friday, 20 May 2016

BARGAIN BOOK DAY!


 
I ain't lying...well,okay it isn't a National event but it is Wednesday and I am selling books!The Hooper Interviews

The Hooper Interviews!  

 To celebrate, at the time of publication, over 25 years of interviewing comic creators -writers, artists and publishers- this 365 pages book was produced.

Interviewees included Yishan Li, Marv Wolfman, Dave Ryan, John Cooper, Mike Western, Donna Barr, Roberta Gregory, Sonia Leong, Emma Vieceli, Pekka A. Manninen, Alan Class, Karen Rubins, Kate Glasheen, Ron Fortier, Jon Haward, Franco Francavilla, Rick Geary, Tania Del Rio, The Etherington Brothers, Olivier Cadic (Cinebook the 9th Art), Holly Golightly and MANY others.

Profusely illustrated with art and photographs!

Reduced in price until October to £16.80 -an odd price but it's what the printer and lulu.com earn -I get zilch!

http://www.lulu.com/shop/terry-hooper-scharf/the-hooper-interviews/paperback/product-22078000.html


All Black Tower comic albums (that is A4 format) are in black & white.  Once you've had black and white you won't go back to colour, baby.

BTCG has specialised in presenting original material covering super heroes, crime, adventure, sci fi, horror as well as illustrated prose -not to mention ground breaking books on "world mysteries" and wildlife.  Oh, and even a huge book of interviews with comic creators and publishers.

All the books are, naturally, available for overseas licence -but we cannot translate work: that will be up to any licensed publisher.

What follows is a brief glimpse at some books but you can visit the online store to see more details and books at:




http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/hoopercomicsuk

You  can also find some on Amazon and other sources but they do not make me much money so, come on, buy from the online store and remember that at least these books will be collectibles! 




To contact me please check out "About" at the top of the page -thanks!

 ****************************************************************************

Black Tower Comics began in 1984 as a Small Press publisher of A5 (US -Digest size) titles such as Adventure,Presents,Windows and Hanley's Garage.  Then came the news, reviews, previews and interviews publication backed up by the mart and mail order service -Zine Zone (later Zine Zone International).

In 2009, with the innovation in publishing of Print On Demand (POD), Black Tower jumped in head first!

One of the first titles to see print in the new comic album format (A4) was The Bat Triumphant! This saw the complete story, begun in Black Tower Adventure vol. 1.  William A. Ward's long lost 1940s character once again saw print as he fought a host of  enemies in an attempt to reclaim his homeland.


THE BAT TRIUMPHANT!

And while The Bat may have fought fist and nail to reclaim his homeland, another 1940s Ward creation, Krakos the Egyptian, seemed far from willing to claim a new Egyptian Empire as promised to him by the Gods.  Tackling a number of foes and even encountering the Many-Eyed One, Krakos turned his back on the gods and the final panel of Krakos -Sands Of Terror, delivered a true twist!

Krakos -Sands Of Terror!


Of course, the flag-ship title had to return!  And so Black Tower Adventure -eventually reaching new heights when the legendary Ben Dilworth jumped on board!  Volume 2 consisted of  ten issues. Just look at these covers....

Black Tower Adventure 1Black Tower Adventure 2BLACK TOWER ADVENTURE 3Black Tower Adventure 4Black Tower Adventure 5Black Tower Adventure 6ADVENTURE 7Black Tower Adventure 8BLACK TOWER ADVENTURE 9Black Tower Adventure 10

And, with something like 40 years worth of files and investigation reports could all that much delving into UFOs, lake and sea creatures and many other mysteries not result in a book or two...or three? Some Things Strange & Sinister, Some More Things Strange & Sinister as well as Pursuing The Strange and Weird: A Naturalist's Viewpoint set a precedence.

Whereas for decades those involved in "UFOlogy", "Cryptozoology" and "Forteana" declared many mysteries, that photographs were lost "to history" and so on, these three books swiped away the false claims.  Alleged lost photographs -found.  'Mysteries' solved by doing actual research work and reading the sources -something others had never done.
Some Things Strange & SinisterSome More Things Strange & SinisterPursuing The Strange & Weird:A Naturalists Viewpoint

And, of course, mention natural history and Black Tower Books broke new ground with that in The Red Paper: Canids.


The Red Paper: CANIDS

But not all the prose books covered mysteries and wildlife.


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!



The Ultimate British Comics Gold CollectionBlack Tower British Gold Collection 1Black Tower British Gold Collection 2Black Tower British Gold Collection 3UK GOLD COLLECTION 4Black Tower Gold 5:Back From The Deadblack tower gold 6

Another great love is Centaur Comics from the United States.  Right at the very start of the American Golden Age of Comics Centaur had creators who were ahead of the others!  Before Plastic Man there was Plymo!  Before The Human Bomb there was TNT Todd!  Before Green Arrow and waaaaaaay before Hawkeye there was the mysterious red hooded archer called The Arrow!  And, to just break your comic mind world there was even a Black Panther -decades before Kirby came up with his character of the same name.

The Eye Sees All.  The Owl. The Iron Skull.  Amazing Man. The King of Darkness.  The Invisible Terror. The Blue Lady. The Shark. Mini Midget & Kitty.  Mighty Man. Super Anne.  The company may have been short-lived but it's characters -oh boy!

The two volume Centaur Heroes Collection has been compiled into one sweet 140 page comic collection!
The Ultimate Centaur Collection 2011

Horror. Ghost stories.  The twist-in-the tale.  Did you think that a publisher who is a big horror comic/film fan would ignore these?

Nope.  Each year since 2010, BTCG has published a Tales Of Terror anthology album and 2014s included some fun and spooky lost Swan Comic strips.  I mean how can you go wrong -even Ben Dilworth is in these!

 Tower Tales Of TerrorTales Of Terror 2TALES OF TERROR IIITales Of Terror 4

The Church Of England has it's own basher of dark forces in the Reverend Merriwether -"God's Demon0-Thumper" as the press billed him.  From an ancient Egyptian demon to a village of the damned and Varney the Vampyre, werwolves and a final confrontation with Satan himself -Merriwether pulls no punches and offers no compromise.  And in those last few seconds between life and death, Merriwether's mind recalls past cases -thanks to Ben Dilworththe Tall Man of Osaka.

Merriwether: God's Demon Thumper and Merriwether: The Test Of Satan are available as individual comic albums or in one swanky book The Collected Merriwether: God's Demon Thumper.

 Merriwether:God's Demon-ThumperMerriwether:The Test Of SatanMerriwether: Gods Demon Thumper

Oh, did I forget to mention Dene Vernon -British comics' first investigator of the supernatural and strange mysteries?  I did? Unbelievable since Gavin Stuart Ross drew the 1948 based Dene Vernon: The Thing Below!

 Dene Vernon:The Thing Below


 And did you know Ross also drew the two adventures of Victorian mystery man Chung Ling Soo? Chung Ling Soo: The Curse Of The Jade Dragon and Chung Ling Soo: The Case Of The Thames Serpent were two cracking tales of magic, adventure, murder and deception -still available as single comic albums or collected together to form The Adventures Of Chung Ling Soo!

Chung Ling Soo 1Chung Ling Soo Man Of Mystery





THE CASE BOOK OF CHUNG LING SOO

Ben Dilworth is no slouch either!  Chung Ling Soo's police "counter-foil" isnone other than old London "Jack" (police man) Inspector Wilberforce and when Dilworth says "Here's a Wilberforce one-off: PUBLISH IT!" you do not argue!

Wilberforce



And did you know you can be a Gold Master of Japanese Haiku?  Well, neither did I -but guess what?  Ben Dilworth is such a master and his Osaka Brutal features his Haiku in English!

 Osaka Brutal

Old saleman that he is, Dilworth just keeps on going.  He produced Aesop's Fables -a darker version of the childrens tales and then went on to write two well illustrated prose albums looking at spirits and demons -Dilworth's Japanese Yokai and Dilworth's Western YokaiOsaka and the Yokai books were combined with Aesop's Fables into the one volume The Collected Ben R. Dilworth -though the single volumes are also still available.

The Collected Ben R. DilworthDilworth's Japanese YokaiDILWORTH WESTERN YOKAIDilworths Aesop's Fables


Horror comics yes but also some nice illustrated prose from Dilworth in...Dilworth's Horror & Ghost Stories but for the connoisseur those stories were collected together with the Phantom Detective comic strips into The Complete Phantom Detective!
Dilworth's Horror & Ghost StoriesTHE COMPLETE PHANTOM DETECTIVE



And could anyone forget the sensational Iron Warrior Versus Big Bong:When Giants Fought? But add to that the various Iron Warrior strips from Adventure and you get The Iron Warrior Collection -When Giants Fought!  In the 1940s, William A. Ward's creation was to be the most graphically violent comic strip seen until the 1970s.  That is some legacy. It continues....with a touch of fun!

The Iron Warrior Vs Big BongTHE IRON WARRIOR COLLECTION

In case you are wondering, yes, obviously there are super heroes.  Mix in ancient pantheons of gods, giant robot, alien invasion, Lovecraftian dark ones and so much more that the book runs to over 320 pages then you have part 1 of Terry Hooper-Scharf's Invasion Earth Trilogy" or as it is titled Return Of The Gods: Twilight Of The Super Heroes!  And epic ending with the words: "Dr Morg has killed us all" -and if you have never read the mind altering counter actuality that is The Dr Morg Trilogy you may be saying "What? Who-?"

And part 2 of the trilogy The Cross Earths Caper ought to get you in the mood for 2015s big 31st Anniversary third part of the trilogy The Green Skies.


 The Return Of The Gods:Twilight of the Super HeroesTHE CROSS EARTHS CAPERJourney Of The ID:The Dr Morg Trilogy

If you pass the ESTC (Epileptic Seizure Test Cover) on Dr Morg well, you are fit and healthy enough to read it and to check out all the Black Tower Comics and Books at the online store -see why we are Europes largest publisher of  Independent Comics!



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