Over 7 Million Views....and climbing! Help Continue The Work by Supporting CBO

Monday, 31 July 2017

I DID Warn Everyone

I made it clear months ago that financially things were beyond desperate.  My books were my only income and they do not sell.

Despite winning my legal case two weeks ago I apparently lose. I have no idea how that even works.

I'm not going to repeat my "please support by buying my books" because that hasn't worked after a year.

No cash. That means struggle for every day living and the internet is not a priority so I can't see Black Tower Super Heroes 2~8 nor The Green Skies appearing.

Comic 'fan' apathy finally killed things off.


DO NOT LEAVE COMMENTS AS I WILL NOT SEE THEM. My email account or, possibly via Face Book is best

Jeanne Moreau 1928~2017

BBC NEWS  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-40774985

Actress Jeanne Moreau, one of French cinema's biggest stars of the last 60 years, has died at the age of 89.
Moreau is probably best known for her role in Francois Truffaut's 1962 new wave film Jules et Jim.
She won a number of awards including the best actress prize at Cannes for Moderato Cantabile in 1960.
She also worked with Orson Welles on several films and won the Bafta Award for best foreign actress for Viva Maria! in 1967.
Moreau was found dead at her home in Paris, the district's mayor told the AFP news agency.
Paying tribute, French President Emmanuel Macron said Moreau had "embodied cinema" and was a free spirit who "always rebelled against the established order".

Analysis - Nick James, editor of Sight & Sound magazine

Of the three most iconic French actresses of her generation - herself, Catherine Deneuve and Brigitte Bardot - Moreau was the one with the most on-screen authority. Post-war French cinema is unthinkable without her.
So many key directors owe important, often breakthrough successes to her - Louis Malle's Lift to the Scaffold and The Lovers, Francois Truffaut's Jules et Jim and Jacques Demy's Bay of Angels, for instance.
Her famous sensual presence was backed up with formidable timing and technique, so much so that every major director wanted to work with her - Orson Welles, Michelangelo Antonioni, Joseph Losey and Luis Bunuel among them.
She was, perhaps, the female equivalent of what Welles called a "king" actor - someone who cannot help but be the centre of attention. Certainly, over time, she became almost everyone's idea of the ultimate magnetic French movie star.

Moreau was born in 1928, the daughter of a French restaurateur and a Tiller Girl dancer from Oldham.
She pursued an acting career, despite her father's disapproval, and got her break in the 1957 films Lift to the Scaffold, which had a jazz score by Miles Davis, and The Lovers.
Known for her husky tones, her other films included 1961's La Notte, directed by Michelangelo Antonioni; Luis Bunuel's Diary of a Chambermaid (1964); and Tony Richardson's Mademoiselle (1966).
Welles, who worked with her on films including Chimes at Midnight and his adaptation of Kafka's The Trial, once described her as the greatest actress in the world.
She famously turned down Mike Nichols' invitation to play Mrs Robinson in The Graduate, and instead reunited with Truffaut for 1968's The Bride Wore Black, an homage to Alfred Hitchcock.
She was also known for her singing voice and performed the refrain Le Tourbillon de la Vie in Jules et Jim.
Moreau had a prolific career and continued acting into her 80s.
In an interview with the New York Times in 1989, she said: "I work more now because at this time of my life I am not disturbed from my aim by outside pressures such as family, passionate relationships, dealing with who am I - those complications when one is searching for one's self. I have no doubt who I am."
Her theatre career included a role in 1989 as a matchmaker in La Celestine, a 15th Century Spanish play by De Fernando de Rojas.
Moreau won one of France's highest acting honours, a Cesar for best actress, for The Old Lady Who Walked in the Sea in 1992.
A feminist icon for many, the actress once declared: "Physical beauty is a disgrace."

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Comic book storage tips that even pros don't do.

Comic Review | Curse of the Spawn Band #2 | Januar 2017 | Image Comics/P...

Or is it? The Best Of Tarzan's Jungle Adventures! And A Bit More About UK Tarzan

Okay, firstly those high priced Ebay auctions by one dealer appear to be rigged. Absolutely no bids on a book so I did and within 5 minutes I'd outbid by an anonymous bidder (same ID no,). In fact, this bidder then bids up to £20 ($40) on books not valued above £1.50 each.

I tried an experiment and bid three times on books that had no other bids on them.  Each time the SAME anonymous bidder suddenly shows up. Once, okay.  Twice....well.  Three times....this is odd. Five times..no, this is not coincidence.

Seriously, if you are dumb enough to pay up to eight times the actual value of a UK reprint comic go ahead.

See, I made the mistake of going for the UK comics because I'm a British comic historian/collector. I went for the UK editions because they should be £1.50-2.50 each depending on issue number and I have three first issues that cost me £1.50 each.

Dell/Gold Key Tarzan comics or even the 1950s UK Tarzans are cheaper.  Dell/Gold Key is the main publisher that UK reprints come from and those should be the collectible ones and, yes, I could have bought these by now because the prices are lower than the prices on the  over inflated UK versions.

A better dealer I just purchased two mint copies of the Tarzan Monthly and of the Tarzan Weekly from for £5.00 including the postage.

Which brings us to Tarzan Of The Apes Bumper Album No. 1 (Top Sellers, 1970).  Bought this for, again, £5.00 and if I tell you £2.00 of that was postage you'll see what I mean.  Now, the cover blurb reads: "The Best Of Tarzan's Jungle Adventures!"

I've seen the comic 'experts' refer to this as a UK Comic Annual dimension format. That would be 8 inches by 10.75 inches (20 x 27cms).  It isn't.  So you can believe the "Comic annual format" description of this book as much as you can believe the  Vulcan Comic Annual is a "hardback" (it isn't -it's a paperback).

The format is US comic size but the "Best" of Tarzan's adventures?  Not really.  You see,it's a Double-Double Comic.....

Below: See -three comics under a make-shift cover.

I know, you are asking "A Double Double Comic? What-?"  I have written about them before but, basically, Thorpe & Porter, the Leicester based distributor/publisher had a problem.

If comics were returned then they had books they could not do much with.  Most were dated and although Alan Class avoided this problem by not dating his comics, those US books T&P/Top Sellers had the dates on them -as did the Tarzan UK reprints.
Strange Adventures Double Double Comics No 1
Someone realised that very few kids in a comic hungry country took notice of the legal indicia at the bottom of page 1 of comics.  So, tear off the covers and push three into a new cover: often the same cover would have different comics within because it really was just throw what you had left over in -it was all money!

And this is what the Tarzan Of The Apes Bumper Album No. 1 was. Nothing more than three issues dumped inside a double sided cover. Apart from a slight tear along the top of the spine this is a near mint copy with clean pages.

What you get are the Dell/Gold Key reprints:

The first story has its title removed.  In fact a couple of caption boxes also has this -see below:

*Tarzan And The Forbidden City Part 1 (untitled)
*A 'Ndorobo Custom (text)
*Leopard Girl The Intruders
*Tarzan And The Foreign Legion (AGAIN!!)
*Boy And The Bark Canoe
*Leopard Girl -Gorash Has Gone!
*Tarzan And The Forbidden City Part 2 -The Father Of Diamonds
*Numa And The Man Cub (a rather cutsey strip)
*Leopard Girl -The Beast Man
 *"Happy warrior" A text story and what might have been intended as a cut-out mask?

Hmm. Cut-price and home produced inside back cover art advertising Korak Son Of Tarzan!
Below: Leopard Girl another back-up feature of the DellGold Key Tarzan comics.  Again it ends with "To Be Continued" so I'm guessing there was another part to this?
Seriously, Tarzan And The Foreign Legion seems to be reprinted everywhere.

And when you read that the UK comics and annuals of TV Tornado are a "must buy" if you are a Tarzan comic fan....reprints. The odd text story with an illo but the strips are more of the same.

Again, I'll warn that if you have the Burne Hogarth Tarzan books then you have what was published in the UK in the 1950s -but these would be more worth getting and most seem cheaper than the 1970s/1980s reprints of Dell/Gold Key Tarzan comics or the material published by Byblos which is still reprinted material.

I've listened to what comic collectors and fans say and do you know why they collect the Dell/Gold Key Tarzan comics?  The painted covers.  Alter Ego magazine from TwoMorrows, even did a feature on this and even a couple of features on the cover art of Tarzan comics.  It is the cover art.  The stories are not that great -no "Even An Android Can Cry" or "Somne Say The World Will End In Fire...Some Say In Ice!" stories.  I still love the daftness of "The Lost Empire" but here is the basic plot guideline to Tarzan comic stories:

#1 -Tarzan fights an animal and kills it.
#2 -Tarzan kills and animal.  No reason -things were just going that way.
#3 -Tarzan is feared by superstitious natives because he is The Great White Ape. And that's code for          "Tarzan is a White man therefore superior to the uppity blacks."
#4 -some princess or white woman goes all gooey-eyed over the great hunk.
#5 -Tarzan kills an animal....he hasn't done that in a few panels so....
#6 -Tarzan finds a lost city or empire.....jeez, they ever heard of maps or basic "how not to get lost"?
#7 -Tarzan gets captured and leads a revolt.
#8 -Tarzan gets to kill an animal.  Donna Barr said it "Tarzan movies are just animal snuff films" and            that says it all.

I mean, he comes across a fella about to fight a very badly drawn T-rex type critter and thinks: "Dinosaur...supposed to be extinct a hundred million years ago!" then "KREEGAH! TARZAN BUNDOLO!" and he gets all stabbie and snuffs the dino.   Also, Tarzan seems to go from being quite intelligent to  not that bright.

Oddly, #1-8 above sums up the whole Hal Foster and Burne Hogarth newspaper strips. I decided to re-read the collected books and at one point (it was 0300 hrs) fell asleep and the pages of the book flipped and when I woke I continued reading until I realised the woman who had gone all googly-eyed over Tarzan looked different!!  I also started realising even more just how casually Tarzan killed animals -oh and "His" apes were different from ordinary gorillas....?

Unsavoury.  Even the UK reprints -in Tarzan Super Adventure Quarterly- followed this theme.  A white hunter-guide "only" wanted to lead his party of businessmen to shoot a rhino but, you guessed it, the natives were getting uppity again! So Tarzan goes along to ensure the white guys get to kill their rhino...I like the whole lost cities and fantasy type of stories and whereas comics should have been educating kids that animals were not just there to kill for fun, they were saying "They are wild animals -it's our right to kill them".

I have a great Tarzan story where he is called before a Council of Animals and judged. But Tarzan is copyrighted and ....

So, if -if- you want to collect Tarzan comics that will accrue in value then go for Dell Comics but be aware of certain things: the cover -the cover- has to be in mint or near mint condition because that is what most collectors are looking for.  Pages inside have to be white or just "off white" -yellowing or browning and you've knocked 75% off your value.  And it has to have the Dell/Gold Key logo.

This is the type of thing collectors want:

The original Gold Key covers.  Not the blank logo box with a date and title in it and a "Gold Key Book" (see bottom of cover above this one) at the bottom because that couyld not be removed or blotted out.

It also needs to be remembered that BSV/Williams were reprinting these all across Europe and, I hear, beyond.  So reprints you can collect in most countries but the UK dealers charge the highest prices. It is a con. And it shows that these people have no idea about comics or they would know all about Dell/Gold Key and why those are the collectors books.

I'll tell you something else...sat here typing my loin-cloth has gone right up my lost valley.

Books, Graphic Novels, Comic Albums, Anthologies ~we Got 'em: Now Prove Your Comic Geek Credibility!

The Return Of The Gods:Twilight of the Super Heroes


T-Shirts, Mugs, Caps, Comics and more -Black Tower Stores

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:


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! 

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!



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.


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