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Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Home Away From Home

For some reason I was not expecting much but this is a great fun documentary that needs to be seen by a wider audience.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfQAMdJifwQ

The Return Of Lassie: Dark Moon Rising

They are bring Lassie back to films??? Have you heard the plot? Young Alex King is bored after his scientist father has a "burn out" and they move to a house set in the Rockies. One day Alex explores the house and in the basement finds an old wardrobe -opening the door he finds it leads into a deserted military type complex and he finds a cryogenic cannister. 

Running back to tell his father they discoover the base was part of Project Chronos --his father's project that was rejected. The machinery still works so Alex's father unthaws the occupant of the cannister -it's Lassie. Tests show Lassie has had advanced bionic implants. 

So guess what? The pair adopt Lassie as a pet but intend to use the dog to "help out those who need it." It gets worse --a werewolf is on the loose and Lassie has to go into hiding after being blamed for sheep killings!!! 

Wow.

Tick Tock Its The Clock!
























Ben R. Dilworth
Paperback,
A4
Black & white
31 Pages
£5.00
Ships within 3-5 days


Feature Comics #21, 1936. the  Clock, eventually revealed to be society man
and former district attorney Brian O'Brien, wore a three-piece suit, a fedora,
and a black full-face mask. The first masked hero of comics dealt with crime
using guile and gun and usually left a calling card that bore an image of a
clock and the words "The Clock Has Struck."

Ben Dilworth steps in to fill in the gaps and what MADE the Clock -plus a revelation: What happened to O'Brien's look-alike and crime busting companion Pug?


Prepare for violence, harsh language and to ask the question: can there ever really be justice from the barrel of a gun?

Chung Ling Soo Man Of Mystery ": The Case Of The Thames Serpent

Chung Ling Soo Man Of Mystery


Terry Hooper (W)  Gavin Stuart Ross (A)                                                             t

Paperback, 
A4
Black & white
54 Pages 
Ships in 3–5 business days



£4.00


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. So 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?
Mystery, action and twisted plot by Terry Hooper Scharf and Gavin Ross!

Jean Yves Mitton, Photonik & Me...and not forgetting Mikros!

Jean Yves Mitton is a favourite of mine. I love his work and so, when I came across a previous CBO posting on him I had to save it. Here you go!

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


It was back in the early 1980s,I had been very busy officially unofficially investigating a wave of UFO activity in the UK and while visiting family in Germany got in the tail end of a military investigation there.

In fact,my entire holiday seemed to be nothing more than UFO reports,reading up on articles and trying to relax -not very likely.

On a trip to nearby Lemgo I saw a few comic albums in the supermarket and nabbed a couple -I then caught sight of three regular sized Bastei Verlag comics.  The title? Mykros.  Mykros was in reality Mike Ross.   The back-up strip was as good as the main feature -a character called Photonik.

Firstly,Cool French Comics on Mikros:

“Created & Written by: Malcolm Naughton (pseudonym of Marcel Navarro) (1919- )
Artist: John Milton (pseudonym of Jean-Yves Mitton) (1945- )

Mikros features three Harvard entomologists and Olympic athletes, Mike Ross (Mikros), Priscilla Conway (Saltarella) and Bobby Crabb (Crabb), who are unwillingly mutated into insect-sized humanoids by the alien insectoid race called the Svizz.  The Svizz plan to use armies of insect-sized slaves to conquer Earth, but Mikros and his friends defeat their plans and overthrow their ruler, Super-Termitor.   Later in the series, the heroic trio is forced to move to France, where they encounrer their arch-eneny, Raoul de Roquemaure, Count of Monsegur, a.k.a. Psi, who turns Saltarella into her queen.

jean-yves-mitton
Jean Yves Mitton (uncredited photo (c)-?

Mikros was the creation of Marcel Navarro, Publisher-Editor of Editions Lug, who later entrusted the character to writer-artist Jean-Yves Mitton, with whom he had previously collaborated on a Silver Surfer story.   Sixteen episodes of Mikros were originally serialized in “Mustang”.


After “Mustang”‘s cancellation in 1981, the series was continued in “Titans”, which also published French versions of “Star Wars”,  “Dazzler”, “Iron Fist”, “New Mutants”, etc.  At Mitton’s behest, the series, which had originally taken place in the United States, moved to Southern Europe, in particular Venice (“Titans” ep. 1) and France (“Titans” ep. 7).  Mitton also introduced the heroes’ arch-nemesis, a power-mad mentalist named Psi.

Mitton eventually gave a sequel to the saga of Mikros in Epsilon (a.k.a. Moi, Epsilon, 15 Ans, Fils du Néant) [I, Epsilon, 15-Years Old, Son Of No One], which also featured the return of the nefarious Psi.

Mikros was recently reprinted Editions Sang d’Encre.  Two volumes have been published so far.”
Rather than meander through this myself,I’ve lifted further information from the above excellent Cool French Comics site.

photo

“After the success of the Marvel Comics translations launched by Editions
Lug in 1969, Publisher-Editor Marcel Navarro decided to create his own brand of French super-powered characters.  The first of these was Wampus (1969).


Then, in 1972, Lug launched the magazine “Futura“, which featured several characters such as Jaleb the Telepath, Homicron, The Time Brigade, The Other, Larry Cannon, Jeff Sullivan, etc. and ran for 33 issues until 1975.  “Futura” was followed by the short-lived “Waki” (1974), about a prehistoric hero whose colorful adventures took place in a post-cataclysmic world, “Kabur” (1975), about a mythical warrior hero and Lug‘s answer to Marvel’s Conan, and finally “Mustang” (Series II) in 1980.

While the above series had all been worthy efforts, none had met with the success Navarro had been hoping for.  Certainly, none rivaled the success of the Marvel material. Navarro then decided to call on writer-artists with a better understanding of the super-hero genre, and try them in a new magazine and a new format.

That magazine was originally going to be entitled “Sup’Heros” but, for business reasons, at the last minute, Navarro decided instead to revamp one of Lug‘s existing western magazine “Mustang“.  With No. 54, “Mustang” therefore became a full-fledged super-hero comic.


Unfortunately, the new “Mustang” was not profitable enough -– at least compared to the relatively inexpensive purchase of American material -– and was cancelled with issue 70 in 1981.  Nevertheless, it had revealed two new, native stars to the French readers: Cyrus Tota with Photonik, and Jean-Yves Mitton with Mikros.

Seventeen episodes of Photonik were originally serialized in “Mustang“.  (The last one was produced by Mitton.)   After “Mustang“‘s cancellation, Photonik returned in the Marvel-based magazine “Spidey“, starting with No. 22 in 1982.  In 1987, four episodes were again written and drawn by Mitton.

In 1999, “Spidey” eps. 21-24 and 25-28 were reprinted in two hardcover editions by publisher Delcourt.”

For far more info on stories/issues check out:
http://www.coolfrenchcomics.com/photonik.htm




Mitton’s Mykros is superb and I feel are long overdue a translation into English.
According to Lambiek:

“Jean-Yves was born in Toulouse and studied Fine Arts in Lyon. After completing his studies, he found employment in the retouching studio of Lug publishers. Here, he discovered American and Italian comics. His first series, ‘Sammy Sam’, was published from 1965 in magazine Pim, Pam, Poum, Pipo. For this series, he took on the penname Jym. Next, he took over the series ‘Pugacioff’ from the Italian artist Giorgio Rebuffi in Maxi Pipo, which was later illustrated by Amouriq and Yves Chantereau. He also created the little indian ‘Plume’.

With scenario writer Navarro, he made series like ‘Oum le Dauphin’, based on the television series, and ‘Blek le Roc’ (‘Il Grande Blek’). For this last series, he changed from a humorous to a realistic style. He was additionally a productive cover artist for the Lug publications. Under the pseudonym John Milton, he worked for Nova, where he made several comics with superheroes like ‘The Silver Surfer’, ‘The Fantastic Four’ and ‘Spider-man’.

In 1980, he started the saga ‘Mikros’ in Mustang and Titans, and made a comic adaptation of the television series ‘Blackstar’. Continuing his work on superheroes, he illustrated stories with ‘Cosmo’ and ‘Photonik’, and created ‘Epsilon’ and ‘Kronos’.

Starting in 1987, he associated himself with François François Corteggiani, with whom he made ‘l’Archer Blanc’ and ‘Noël et Marie’. In 1989, Mitton took over ‘De Silence et de Sang’ from Marc Malès. Next, he began a series about the Gaulish-Roman time: ‘Vae Victis’ and a comic about pirates, ‘Les survivants de l’Atlantique’. In 1994, he produced his series ‘Chroniques Barbares’, a saga about a tribe of vikings. Additionally, he made ‘Quetzalcoatl’ for Glénat and several comics for the Scandinavian magazine Fantomen, such as ‘Herman Storm’ with text by Eirik Ildahl.

As a scriptwriter, he has worked with Frank Bonnet (‘Attila… mon amour’) and Michel Rodrigue (‘Les Truculentes Aventures de Rabelais’). For the advertising agency Jet Stream, Mitton produced ‘Papoose’ with scriptwriter Chantelouve in 2002. His series ‘Colorado’ was published by Carpe Diem.”



Regarding Cyrus Tota,my favourite source -Lambiek- has this very short entry:
“Cyrus Tota started working for the publisher Lug in the 1970s, mostly retouching comics and making cover illustrations. He contributed to the ‘Blek’ series of the Italian Essegesse studios from 1977 to 1980. In 1980, he started his own series, ‘Photonik’. Later on, he also created ‘Fuzz et Fizzbi’ for Glénat and three volumes of the ‘Aquablue’ series for Delcourt.”

photonik new cover

Above:look at that cover -pure class!

The thing was that,at that time in the 1980s,I had no idea these were super heroes created by French men. Initially I assumed they were German but the style and colour of both strips is so eye-catching and the stories were full of fun and enjoyable -I loved Mykros in Vienna for the Carnival totally unaware that the Black Gondolier was on his way to Earth.

Yes,the “Black Gondolier”.  Imagine a black Silver Surfer with gondoliers straw hat steering a..gondola.  Beautiful.

There were epic story lines -this wasn’t just junk comics.

Talk of an animated Photonik tv series was brief so,sadly,I’ve no idea whether it happened or not.
While Cinebook The 9th Art publish an incredible line of books of all genres for all ages I think there is room for the publishing of Photonik,Mikros and other French characters including Wampus.   Wampus,of course,has been collected into a book by Hexagon Comics and you can find details here:

http://www.blackcoatpress.com/hexagon.htm


I would encourage anyone with a love of comics to check out Cool French Comics and to discover some of these gems.  Publishers -there’s an opportunity here somewhere! So,please,don’t think Cinebook are the start and end of French comics and with the number of BD published each year…well,I wish I was rich and read better French!




______________________________________________

as a treat a slightly more detailed second item I wrote on Mitton!

Jean Yves Mitton (aka:John Milton, Jym) and more!

You see, for me it all began on a visit from Dalborn to Lemgo (both in Lippe, Germany). I was looking around the hypermarket there and saw some comic albums and a few comics.
This was still the day of Bastei before Egmont bought them out and really screwed up things.  There were a few of the ghost comics Spuk Geschichten and Geister Geschichten.  Grabbed those. Then, behind a copy of an Ehapa Batman And The Outsiders I spotted a bit of purple coloured costume.  There were two issues so I pulled them out.   Mikros.  And the back-up strip -Photonik. I had seen neither before but suddenly I was hooked!
I read and re-read the comics and I even wondered whether the comic shop in Lemgo might have copies.  However, the shop had really odd opening hours so I never go to find out.
I have already published something on the subject on CBO so, in case you cannot find it:
haracter called Photonik.
Firstly,Cool French Comics on Mikros:
“Created & Written by: Malcolm Naughton (pseudonym of Marcel Navarro) (1919- )
Artist: John Milton (pseudonym of Jean-Yves Mitton) (1945- )
Mikros features three Harvard entomologists and Olympic athletes, Mike Ross (Mikros), Priscilla Conway (Saltarella) and Bobby Crabb (Crabb), who are unwillingly mutated into insect-sized humanoids by the alien insectoid race called the Svizz.  The Svizz plan to use armies of insect-sized slaves to conquer Earth, but Mikros and his friends defeat their plans and overthrow their ruler, Super-Termitor.   Later in the series, the heroic trio is forced to move to France, where they encounrer their arch-eneny, Raoul de Roquemaure, Count of Monsegur, a.k.a. Psi, who turns Saltarella into her queen.
Mikros was the creation of Marcel Navarro, Publisher-Editor of Editions Lug, who later entrusted the character to writer-artist Jean-Yves Mitton, with whom he had previously collaborated on a Silver Surfer story.   Sixteen episodes of Mikros were originally serialized in “Mustang”.

FOR MORE BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT “MUSTANG”, .
After “Mustang”‘s cancellation in 1981, the series was continued in “Titans”, which also published French versions of “Star Wars”,  “Dazzler”, “Iron Fist”, “New Mutants”, etc.  At Mitton’s behest, the series, which had originally taken place in the United States, moved to Southern Europe, in particular Venice (“Titans” ep. 1) and France (“Titans” ep. 7).  Mitton also introduced the heroes’ arch-nemesis, a power-mad mentalist named Psi.
Mitton eventually gave a sequel to the saga of Mikros in Epsilon (a.k.a. Moi, Epsilon, 15 Ans, Fils du Néant) [I, Epsilon, 15-Years Old, Son Of No One], which also featured the return of the nefarious Psi.
Mikros was recently reprinted Editions Sang d’Encre.  Two volumes have been published so far.”

Rather than meander through this myself,I’ve lifted further information from the above excellent Cool French Comics site.

“After the success of the Marvel Comics translations launched by Editions Lug in 1969, Publisher-Editor Marcel Navarro decided to create his own brand of French super-powered characters.  The first of these was Wampus (1969).
Then, in 1972, Lug launched the magazine “Futura“, which featured several characters such as Jaleb the TelepathHomicronThe Time BrigadeThe OtherLarry Cannon,Jeff Sullivan, etc. and ran for 33 issues until 1975.  “Futura” was followed by the short-lived “Waki” (1974), about a prehistoric hero whose colorful adventures took place in a post-cataclysmic world, “Kabur” (1975), about a mythical warrior hero and Lug‘s answer to Marvel’s Conan, and finally “Mustang” (Series II) in 1980.
While the above series had all been worthy efforts, none had met with the successNavarro had been hoping for.  Certainly, none rivaled the success of the Marvel material. Navarro then decided to call on writer-artists with a better understanding of the super-hero genre, and try them in a new magazine and a new format.
That magazine was originally going to be entitled “Sup’Heros” but, for business reasons, at the last minute, Navarro decided instead to revamp one of Lug‘s existing western magazine “Mustang“.  With No. 54, “Mustang” therefore became a full-fledged super-hero comic.
Unfortunately, the new “Mustang” was not profitable enough -– at least compared to the relatively inexpensive purchase of American material -– and was cancelled with issue 70 in 1981.  Nevertheless, it had revealed two new, native stars to the French readers: Cyrus Tota with Photonik, and Jean-Yves Mitton with Mikros.
Seventeen episodes of Photonik were originally serialized in “Mustang“.  (The last one was produced by Mitton.)   After “Mustang“‘s cancellation, Photonik returned in the Marvel-based magazine “Spidey“, starting with No. 22 in 1982.  In 1987, four episodes were again written and drawn by Mitton.
In 1999, “Spidey” eps. 21-24 and 25-28 were reprinted in two hardcover editions by publisher Delcourt.”
For far more info on stories/issues check out:
Mitton’s Mykros is superb and I feel are long overdue a translation into English.
According to Lambiek:
“Jean-Yves was born in Toulouse and studied Fine Arts in Lyon. After completing his studies, he found employment in the retouching studio of Lug publishers. Here, he discovered American and Italian comics. His first series, ‘Sammy Sam’, was published from 1965 in magazine Pim, Pam, Poum, Pipo. For this series, he took on the penname Jym. Next, he took over the series ‘Pugacioff’ from the Italian artist Giorgio Rebuffi in Maxi Pipo, which was later illustrated by Amouriq and Yves Chantereau. He also created the little indian ‘Plume’.
With scenario writer Navarro, he made series like ‘Oum le Dauphin’, based on the television series, and ‘Blek le Roc’ (‘Il Grande Blek’). For this last series, he changed from a humorous to a realistic style. He was additionally a productive cover artist for the Lug publications. Under the pseudonym John Milton, he worked for Nova, where he made several comics with superheroes like ‘The Silver Surfer’, ‘The Fantastic Four’ and ‘Spider-man’.
In 1980, he started the saga ‘Mikros’ in Mustang and Titans, and made a comic adaptation of the television series ‘Blackstar’. Continuing his work on superheroes, he illustrated stories with ‘Cosmo’ and ‘Photonik’, and created ‘Epsilon’ and ‘Kronos’.
Starting in 1987, he associated himself with François François Corteggiani, with whom he made ‘l’Archer Blanc’ and ‘Noël et Marie’. In 1989, Mitton took over ‘De Silence et de Sang’ from Marc Malès. Next, he began a series about the Gaulish-Roman time: ‘Vae Victis’ and a comic about pirates, ‘Les survivants de l’Atlantique’. In 1994, he produced his series ‘Chroniques Barbares’, a saga about a tribe of vikings. Additionally, he made ‘Quetzalcoatl’ for Glénat and several comics for the Scandinavian magazine Fantomen, such as ‘Herman Storm’ with text by Eirik Ildahl.
As a scriptwriter, he has worked with Frank Bonnet (‘Attila… mon amour’) and Michel Rodrigue (‘Les Truculentes Aventures de Rabelais’). For the advertising agency Jet Stream, Mitton produced ‘Papoose’ with scriptwriter Chantelouve in 2002. His series ‘Colorado’ was published by Carpe Diem.”
Atomics 3
Regarding Cyrus Tota,my favourite source -Lambiek- has this very short entry:
“Cyrus Tota started working for the publisher Lug in the 1970s, mostly retouching comics and making cover illustrations. He contributed to the ‘Blek’ series of the Italian Essegesse studios from 1977 to 1980. In 1980, he started his own series, ‘Photonik’. Later on, he also created ‘Fuzz et Fizzbi’ for Glénat and three volumes of the ‘Aquablue’ series for Delcourt.”

The thing was that,at that time in the 1980s,I had no idea these were super heroes created by French men. Initially I assumed they were German but the style and colour of both strips is so eye-catching and the stories were full of fun and enjoyable -I loved Mykros in Vienna for the Carnival totally unaware that the Black Gondolier was on his way to Earth.
Yes,the “Black Gondolier”.  Imagine a black Silver Surfer with gondoliers straw hat steering a..gondola.  Beautiful.
There were epic story lines -this wasn’t just junk comics.
Talk of an animated Photonik tv series was brief so,sadly,I’ve no idea whether it happened or not.
While Cinebook The 9th Art publish an incredible line of books of all genres for all ages I think there is room for the publishing of Photonik,Mikros and other French characters including Wampus.   Wampus,of course,has been collected into a book by Hexagon Comics and you can find details here:

I would encourage anyone with a love of comics to check out Cool French Comics and to discover some of these gems.  Publishers -there’s an opportunity here somewhere! So,please,don’t think Cinebook are the start and end of French comics and with the number of BD published each year…well,I wish I was rich and read better French!
That’s what I wrote back then. Mitton should be working for Marvel US, though that doesn’t mean to say he wants to! Europe offers creators far more freedom and I really must start saving the pennies because I want those two L’Archer Blanc books…I want to Photonik and Mikros books.  I just plain want!
To me, Mitton shows true style -blending European style and flair into whatever he draws.
Want some links ?-THANKS to Sebchoq!
And
Atomics 3Atomics 4

Below: fans have been waiting a long time to see Mitton’s Phantom work for Egmont (Scandinavia as Egmont does not publish comics in the UK just those adverts with some ‘comic’ work).


The White Archer was another fan favourite and two new volumes appeared a few years back.
Archer 1
Archer 2
Below: For the last couple years, Mitton has been drawing Ben Hur for Delcourt and his work is incredible.
Until Mitton’s work is published in English…
MAKE MINE MITTON!

YES. CBO Will Take Paying Ads

You see the Colloquium cum diabolo illo to the right along with header and text?

That could be where YOUR ad goes for one (1) month for £20.00 -that's $30.36!

No one can guarantee that any ad anywhere will get you sales but with the internet full of so much stuff doesn't it make sense to advertise your comics or comic related merchandise where it will be see by comickers?

Think about it.

hoopercomicsuk@yahoo.com



The Massimo Belardinelli Interview

Massimo Belardinelli was a fantastic talent. He was also crapped on by UK publishers. So when I got a translation of an interview with him in 2010 it went up on CBO almost immediately!

My THANKS to mega Belardinelli collector Robert Cox -you know there is a Massimo Belardinelli fan page on Face Book, right?

Anyway, here you go!

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


MASSIMO BELARDINELLI was a genuine comic strip genius and in 1977 he created one of the biggest sensations in British comics for years by illustrating Tom Tully’s revival of the old Eagle character Dan Dare!
My young brother was hooked. I was hooked. You couldn’t find some issues of 2000 AD because,as newsagents told me:”Kids are going mad over that Dan Dare thing!” Oh,yes,and that Dan Dare thing had a name -Biogs! Suddenly plasticine became Biogs and toy tanks and aircraft were attacked daily.
Sadly,Massimo is no longer with us and there appears to be only one interview ever carried out with him -by Romano Felmang [an artist noted for his work on The Phantom].
In 2006,in Paolo Telloli’s Italian fanzine,INK! No.39,that interview appeared. Steve Taylor alerted THE Belardinelli expert Robert Cox who got a friend to translate it and it was a main feature on the then new Belardinelli yahoo group [see blog roll].
You can see INK! online now at this link:
http://www.inkonline.info/39.jpg/
But now,onto ROMANO FELMANG and his interview with the Master! And THANK YOU Robbie!
In the summer of 1966 two positive things happened in my life: military service had finished and I met a brilliant artist. He was Massimo Belardinelli, born in Rome on 5th June 1938. His father’s hobby was painting, and he painted high quality oil figures on canvas.
Massimo is a cartoonist more recognized in England than in Italy, were hundreds of his work were published in weekly English comics (from the middle of the 60s until the end of the 80s).
This interview took place in his garden, full of wooden sculptures of fantastic animals, a world of fantasy!
DRF:In which moment of your life did you decide to become a comic artist?
MB:When I was very little and my mother took me to the cinema to watch Walt Disney’s ‘Fantasia’, in that moment I decided that when I grew up, I wanted to be a cartoon artist.

Dan Dare as illustrated by Massimo [Robert Cox Collection]
DRF:What did you do then, as in 1966 I saw a backdrop for an animated cartoon by you which was 50 – 60cm in height, which was then developed to two metres in height?
MB:In the 60s I started working in the field of animated cartoons, in Sergio Rosi’s office, principally following the development of various action backdrops, like those you remember.
However the animated cartoon came about by teamwork and I realised that I wasn’t satisfied with this, so I decided to design comic strips, which was much more individual. I started designing only backgrounds which were my specialty, then slowly, I acquired experience and started also to design characters.
DRF:Which cartoons did you design in the Rosi Office?
MB:Together with Giorgio Cambotti we designed weekly titles for the English editing company Fleetway for ‘Steel Claw’ through the Euro office of Rinaldo Dami and we had to imitate the style of Jesus Blasco, who was the owner and graphic creator of the character. In that period Fleetway also published a pocket series. In fact in England, Fleetway published a series of pocket books which were requested by several publishers for the Italian market. Barracuda, Jonny Nero, Spider and Steel Claw. The last one, we completed in the Rosi office and also the pocket series.
DRF:Did you only work for English publications in the Rosi office?
MB:No, around 1968 together with the group we created other characters such as Kriminal, Messalina and Jacula.
In the same period I also drew Perry Rodan and Altan for the German market . . . This was a time where there was much demand for cartoons from the German market. In fact in 69, Alberto Giolitti, who had connections with ‘Bastei’, asked Giorgio and I if we
were interested in collaborating with him. The economic propositions were very interesting, and we left the Rosi office and transferred to his office.
Giolitti didn’t just have an office, he also acted as an agency and collaborated with various publishers in England, Germany, USA and also the Italian markets. Personally I collaborated with Alberto on the sketches that he drew for ‘Gold Key. Another example is when we drew various episodes of ‘Star Trek’. He designed the faces, and I always drew the spacecrafts.

A superb Belardinelli cover [Robert Cox Collection]
For the German ‘Bastei’, I continued drawing the ‘Perry Rodan and Altan’ characters which were published in the ‘Perry’ appendix. For the Italian market I drew four episodes of ‘Phantom’, the masked man, published by the Spada brothers. Meanwhile for the periodicals I drew No. 1 of Cosmine and No. 1 of Super Black. But the biggest part of my work I did for the English weeklies, drawing a myriad of serials with hundreds of titles.

Above:BIOG ACTION!!!! [Robert Cox Collection]
DRF:Which characters have you drawn?
MB:Many, but I don’t remember all of them. I don’t keep copies of the publications. In February 1977, the first edition of the weekly ‘2000 AD‘ came out on which I mainly worked on. This edition had the classic character Dan Dare in new adventures. Initially I drew Dan Dare according to whatever came to mind.
However after editing it was decided that he should resemble the pop star David Bowie and so I had to correct some episodes, redrawing all the heads of Dan Dare. Other characters that I have drawn are Slaine and Ukko, the Moon Runners and Ace Trucking Company.
I also completed many covers for ‘2000 AD’ and for other publications.

An old Thunder comic character Blackhawk for 2000 AD[Robert Cox Collection]
Have you ever worked in other areas?
Between one cartoon and another I completed moderate illustrations for LP covers of various English groups in the 70s and 80s.
DRF:Which were the last cartoons that you completed?
MB:Among one of the last things that I drew were the Ninja Turtles for Fleetway at the beginning of the 90s.
DRF:Of all the original titles that you’ve completed, how many have you recovered?
MB:Very few originals. Fleetway asked me if I wanted the originals returned, but not knowing where to keep them and not wanting to face expensive postal expenditures I declined.
Above:Slaine:The Battle Of Clontarf {robert Cox Collection]
DRF:At one point you stopped drawing cartoons. Why was this?
MB:Halfway through the 80s I was approached by an important architectural office ‘ADA’ who were working on creating a Disneyland project for a rich businessman in Singapore. This work engaged me for many years. I created many characters, monsters, medieval horses and wizards.
An enormous and very interesting project which in the end was not created.
A personal painting sent by Massimo to Robert Cox. [Robert Cox Collection]
DRF:How did these beautiful sculptures that adorn your garden come about?
MB:Sculptures have always fascinated me and for a certain period I dedicated myself to sculpting fantasy animals or whatever took my fancy. I have now abandoned sculpting as it was very hard work. I now prefer to paint towns with water colours, it’s much more relaxing.
A wonderful 2006 painting given to Robert Cox by Massimo. [Robert Cox Collection]

Apologies....

As this is the new home of CBO I've been trying to get the look right and add some background that does NOT obscure the blog links.

Please bear with me.

Stransky & Labatt -Comic Creators In Disguise ...without the cool Transformers song.

Okay, on 23rd July, when it was all agreed and we'd all shaken hands I posted this on the old CBO:

OOOOH! Black Tower (Well, ME!) Is VERY Excited

Why am I excited? Well, two VERY well known comic creators are going to be doing work for Black Tower.  Joel Stransky and Pierre Labbat are working on The Bat George McQueen’s Bat NOT William A. Wards).
“Who?” you ask.
Well, the clues are in the names and there are a couple “Creator illoes” to follow…but you won’t recognise them from these. According to Stransky (in a thick Midlands accent): “Imagine me with no beard. No hair. Oh the cries from on high!” And Pierre Labbat…well: “This is how I see meself. Dark, suave, sophisticated. Not pissed out of my head with food stains on me best shirt!”
This is all just fun. Labbat and Stransky (well, Stransky mainly) say: “We’ll go to our graves as ‘that mysterious duo that worked for Black Tower’ and the quest to find out who we really are will go on and on -unless you blab!”
Me? No, oh mage of the Midlands!
Anyway, news to follow…at some point.

Luckily, before anyone saw them, I deleted photographs of the duo -which would have killed the mystery of anonimity. Stransky emailed: "I saw the photographs and thought 'has he gone ****** mad?' I was prepared to storm the very gates of Hell and then -they were gone!"
I'm guessing he means the photos and NOT the Gates of Hell...I hope.
Labatt just emailed:"I had my sketch-book with me when I visited mum over the weekend. She was going through it and looked up rather puzzled. I asked "What?" and she says: "Why've you drawn yowsel like that -and drawn ------ with all his hair and beard gone?" I thought no one would see it but she did."
So, I've looked but I cannot tell its the actual duo so...
Joel Stransky -scribe supreme and, in my opinion, unidentifiable minus all the hair, beard and jewellery.
Pierre Labatt -talk about artistic licence!!

Stransky says that he is going to have "fun without being expected to churn out some huge cosmic or socio-political saga!" 

Labatt: "I thought that I'd never really be able to disguise my art style and even though I don't usually ink my own pencils the art would be a give-away. But then you said that Ben Dilworth had to cut back on his art and I just yelled 'YES!!' because I love that loose style he has. I thought it would be great to continue in that sort of 'house style' as it were but put my own touches to it -no one but no one is going to guess it's my work!!"

So get prepared people for the biggest premiere appearance of....uh,..Stransky and Labatt in Black Tower Comics. We need far moore people to recognise these people because otherwise how'm I gonna make money out of them???

It was a very good, late night idea...I should have waited until morning before agreeing.

Who are Stransky & Labatt.....

The Return Of The Gods:Twilight of the Super Heroes


     t
Paperback, 
A4
Black & white
331 Pages 
Price: £15.00 
Ships in 3–5 business days

New updated

-It begins slowly with Earth’s heroes 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 there is a huge alien Mother-ship near the Moon and strange orange spheres chase some of Earth’s heroes who vanish into thin air –are they dead?
Then black, impenetrable domes cover cities world-wide. 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!
And no one suspects the driving force behind the events that could cause destruction and chaos throughout the multiverse —assaulted on all fronts can Earth’s defenders succeed or will they fail...is this truly the end?
The Black Tower hit of 2012 expanded to 318 pages from 196!

The Ultimate British Comics Gold Collection


Paperback
A4
405 pages
Black & white
Price: £20.00
Combining volumes 1-6 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.  

Features Ace Hart, TNT Tom, Electrogirl, Wonderman, The Phantom Raider, Captain Comet, Acro Maid, Phantom Maid, Dene Vernon,The Iron Boy, the complete classic Back From The Dead, The Boy Fish,Professor Atom and MANY others!

A cavalcade of fun, action, adventure and horror!