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Thursday, 31 May 2018

Crayton fragt | Wieviel Prozent eurer Comic-Sammlung habt ihr eigentlich...

Yes, it is a dumb question but one I have been asked    a few times myself: "What percentage of your comics have you read?"

It may be that people confuse me with a collector who buys comics to bag and board and wax lyrical over details...but has never actually READ the comic.  Oh there are PLENTY of those out there. I once chatted with a fella, back in the 1980s -I have mentioned him before as he invested in comics and years later found he practically paid to give them away- he told me how many hundreds of comics he had bagged and boarded so I asked which was the one with his favourite story and art?

There was silence as he just looked at me.  It turned out that he had not (obviously) read any of the comics he had.  Comics were hip and a big investment. Why would he handle and read them -this was a man who once took every copy of a specific title of a store shelf and took out a magnbifying glass to check the staples on a brand new comic.

Now, I have read comics since I was 5 or 6 years old?  I'm 61 on the 6th. I have thousands of comics (as I have shown in the past) and many hundred comic albums, graphic novels and trades.  Some not in English (but good sequential art SHOULD tell you the story) and, yes, I have read them all. I have forgotten more about comics than a hipster has hairs on his manicured beard.

WHY would I buy comics -when it comes to technical and other prose books you can add a few hundred more)- and not read them?  I have to read review books.  I can pick up a comic from 1969 that I have not read in 30 years and before I can start reading it I remember the whole story!  I still read through it though.

Chinese, Russian, Korean, Polish, Finnish, French, German -doesn't matter. If I have had them I have read them.

I've had a very sad life!!

Bristol Comic and Zine Fair 2018 -ME??

I was seriously asked (SERIOUSLY) if I would be applying for a table for this year's event?

Firstly, the event has NEVER had anything to do with comics -it is a small press event. I've seen and met people who travelled a long way to comics.

Secondly, the way I was treated....kiss my ass.

Welcome Peru. Welcome Moldova!

Sadly I know nothing about comics in your countries but I hope you find something of interest on CBO!

How Will Brexit Affect UK "Creative Artists" (Comics do not involve creatives nor artists)

Worth mentioning.

The Arts Council England on the subject (pdf doc):

ICM conducted a survey of 992 arts and culture organisations to understand the impact of EU exit on their businesses. The survey offers new detail on issues including:
  • 64% of organisations currently work inside the European Union, with ‘touring exhibitions’ and ‘sending UK artists abroad’ being the most popular types of activity.
  • 40% need to regularly move equipment and objects between the UK and the EU.
  • Nearly half believe it is important to their organisation that both EU and UK citizens can work at short notice in either jurisdiction for short periods.
  • A third of organisations employ EU nationals, however this rises to over half in art forms such as Dance
The vast majority (89%) of organisations reported that artistic development was the most important reason for working across borders.

So what do the artists who are not involved in CGI, orchestras, etc. think of all this? Well, it seems that we have two camps -artists ion favour or Brexit to create "true British art" and those who feel it is important to be creative in Europe.  There are the Face Book pro and con groups and the rallying call to stand up to the 'bullying of pro-Brexit/anti-Brexit factions.

Yes, those people who have nothing better to do with their lives than stencil 'street art' onto canvas and call it a masterpiece...or someone who is so bad at art that they cannot draw a bunch of bananas but "it IS art!" Stroke the beard Princess.

We have the "artists" taking a stand against Brexit: Artists Respond to Brexit

The pro-Brexit group seem to be people with massive egoes and little talent (well, that applies to both camps really) but who see isolation as their opportunity to become a "British iconic artist".

Mia Frostner -Rosalie Schweiker

Mia Frostner -Rosalie Schweiker

Then you have the British Nazi Nationalist Party (BNP -who I am NOT giving a link to) supporting creative artists like the Who singer Roger Daltrey and their pro-Brexit stance. Oh yeah, you thought the comics SJW-Anti SJW foppery was over the top, silly and childish!

I do apologies but I had to go and change my trousers.  The BNP taking the moral high ground... hahahaha...need to go change my trousers again now...and Roger Daltrey always was a Conservative arschloch anyway.

Anyway, for those pro Brexit:

Oh, and if I wet myself over that BNP crap this made me collapse from lack of oxygen -lungs couldn't work as I was laughing too much!

I am sorry but..."Artists FOR Brexit"...bwahahaha.. "needs a graphic designer"...bwahahahahaha.  Do you not see the irony in that?  Seriously?

Odeith -Upfest
Now I have absolutely no interest in the multi-millionaire music stars, TV or film actors (we all know who they are) who call for the NHS to be nationalised, break free of Europe and all the rest of the bull-shit because they ALL live in the United States or other parts of the world and only return to the UK for work and fleeting visits.  Screw them.  They don't live here but they do love all the benefits when they get back here. Daltrey, Michael Caine :-P

I have read and watched and listened to all the tripe today about How "creatives in the arts" will be affected by Brexit.  "Creatives in the arts" are, apparently, CGI companies who work on Hollywood movies and employ a lot of EU people, big orchestras and -this really angered the BBC- the BBC!!!  Perhaps if the BBC had remained unbiased in its reporting and leaning heavily into the Pro Brexit camp (someone was obviously getting a pay-off) it would not see its "millions" under threat from having to complete lots of new paperwork, apply for licences and so on. BBC...tough tits.

There was a trendy hipster artist -I use that title out of politeness- who drew like a nursery school pupil who I think was having an orgasm while looking at his own work (no one pointed out that the hat on his head was 4 times too small but Princess moved on).

I mean, what about real artists -well the ones who are good were probably too busy working to pose around.  Sculptors and Fine Artists have no idea how to draw crudely in Crayola crayons and jump up and down shouting "Look what I did! It's a masterpiece!"

Now I did look but I could not find any really good pro Brexit art by UK artists.  Plenty of good art on the subject by European artists but not British artists.

Absolutely nowhere was there even a mention of UK comic creators. 19th century US publishers were, apparently, inspired by the UK comics to produce their own -they were also heavily influenced by German creators such as Busch. Well over 100 years of British comics (until the UK industry died) but what else did UK comic creators do?  Killing Joke, Watchmen...two examples there but more importantly UK creators saved the US comic scene because in the 1980s it was going down the tubes and that is a fact that can be backed up by many reference works. Brian Bolland, Dave Gibbons...I mean, do I need to draw up a list?

I could also point out that work by UK comic creators is reprinted around the globe -SE Asia, Indian Subcontinent, Australia -well, where ever there are comics there is work by Brits. Anyone heard of Marl Millar? Comics, TV -movies? No.

You see, the UK is a nasty little spot for anyone who really creates art -works at a drawing board or types scripts and synopses every day for hours on end in the hope of trying to make some money.  Most give up and that's okay for the media because it helps them ignore comics -unless you mention the walkiing dead Dandy and Beano because, after all, those are the only comics most of the middle class media twats have ever heard of or read.  For them the ONLY comics to have ever existed in the UK.

People who do real art and people who write and draw comics are never even thought about when there is talk of "creative media artists" because we only draw comics, right?  The real creative media artists have well paid jobs with orchestra, big CGI companies and so on.

I recall when the Dandy or Beano had some anniversary a few years back I was contacted by BBC Radio Bristol who were "doing a feature on comics in the UK" and they asked whether I'd like to take part?  Well I did.  I got to the studio and was immediately asked by the show producer (in a cramped little cupboard they called the "studio suite" where guests waited) if I could draw a comic strip quickly featuring the studio before I was in the studio "in about five minutes". I pointed out that I had not been told I was going there for anything other than to be interviewed on comics -I had no paper or pencils and, beside, "It takes more than a few minutes to draw a studio and likenesses of the people in it".  Someone handed me a biro and an A5 notepad because, yeah, that's what us artists all draw on, right?  I never even had my glasses so I drew a picture of me looking downright miserable.  They were content with that. I say no more.

Once in the studio I was introduced "Terry Hooper who runs Europe's biggest Independent publishing house specialising in comics" I thought this could be interesting until..."So this anniversary of the Dandy. Big event, isn't it?  How is the comics industry celebrating?"


I pointed out that I was told this was part of a feature on UK comics?  "Yes, the Dandy anniversary".  So I looked at him and replied: "The Dandy has no real relevance or importance these days. Independent comics have higher sales and I should think that for 98% of anyone involved in comics creation the anniversary has no real significance. Independent comic creators and their comics have more relevance to people today".

He squirmed slightly but HE was the presenter "But Lord snooty is iconic, right?"  I pointed out that a strip about a titled kid  who slummed it with the lower classes was not really iconic. So he continued: "We invited Kev Sutherland and (two other names I forget) to come in and chat about the anniversary today but they were busy so we contacted you---" I simply stared silently . A brief silence as he looked out at his producer.  I responded: "The fact that those people were 'too busy' to come here shows how significant an event this is. Independent comics are --" at which point he interrupted about 'sadly' having to stop there but it was great looking at a big tradition like the Dandy.

He was not happy. The producer was not happy but one look at my expression prevented his venting his opinion. I pointed out that I had lost three hours of my day travelling to and from the studio and waiting for a five minute chat that had nothing to do with any "feature on UK comics".  He blathered and I walked out but turned to point out that BBC Radio Bristol was now on my black list.  Local BBC TV had been black-listed before as had the BBCs Natural History Unit (less unit more "mess") simply for misrepresenting things and time wasting and above all NOT paying me when they were supposed to ("was anything in writing?").

If you were in, say, France, and asked to take part in a feature on French comics I doubt very much the sole comic mentioned would be Pilote!

The whole Brexit for "creatives" are just fairly well paid musicians and technicians (and the BBC of course) and how they might lose money.  Oh and the hipster who got an art degree from Armpit College of Art for their two toothbrushes stuck to a piece of card (titled "Decadence" no doubt).

Why do comic creators such as Tommy Ross quit?  Why is it that creators such as David Gordon or Paul Ashley Brown produce great work yet cannot make a living from it?  Proper comic/graphic illustrators who work hard but are not trendy hipster princesses stroking their beards while explaining how their cutting and pasting stuff or stencil and spray painting something on a wall or even drawing like a kindergarten pupil is "cutting edge. Visceral (they love that word)".

UK is dead for comic creatives and there are only three avenues out. One is for an overseas entrepreneur to invest in a UK comic publishing business.  The second is the United States -good luck with that. The third is Europe but the problem has always been "they don't speak English". Creatives limiting themselves through basic ignorance excuse.

But will the Media realise comics are made by artistic creatives?  Yes they will -on the day Britney Spears kidnaps me to use as a sex slave.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

D-Day 1:72 Scale Model Film

Total Posts For May and Total View Numbers

As it is the last day of May, 2018 I can tell you that there were 87 posts and the total number of views for the month stand at 79, 316.

So don't say I don't work at this for you.

Now go buy one of my books!

Worth a try?

Der Internationale Comic-Salon 2018 - Erste Nachrichten aus Erlangen

Cinebook Ltd Newsletter 125 - May 2018

Dear Reader,
This month, let us take you across space and time with our finest temporally-displaced titles!
Starting with a new, extraordinary adventure of Spirou and Fantasio. Being friends with the Count of Champignac has its perks, but it also means being on the front lines of cutting-edge science – and the occasional calamity. And what could be even more complicated than knowing a De Champignac, if not making the acquaintance of a second one … who claims to be from the future?!
Then we have a new adventure of Valerian & Laureline, where time-travel, along with the Shingouz's greed and business ineptitude, combine to create some serious trouble for our heroes. Then again, that is pretty much what spatio-temporal agents are paid to sort out, isn't it? Created by Matthieu Lauffray (Long John Silver) and Wilfrid Lupano, this new story doesn't change the series' ending, but adds a new, hilarious chapter, with the original authors' blessing.
It's a more mundane form of time-travel – the kind historians practice every day – for XIII, as he finally discovers the truth about his ancestors and their legacy. Turns out that his inheritance isn't just problems and mortal threats; but will the good things outweigh the bad, or be worth the price to pay?
Finally, we'd like to welcome a new series, available in digital format from Izneo: Distant Worlds, by Leo (The Worlds of Aldebaran) and Icar. In the distant future, young Paul and his family arrive on Altair 3, a Human colony, to join their father and make a fresh start on a new world. But their father is nowhere to be found, and the planet full of mysteries. And so begins a fascinating quest for Paul – one where the stakes are far greater than anyone imagines.
May with Cinebook: wibbly-wobbly, timey comickey!
We'd like to say a big thank you to everyone who paid us a visit at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival this month. We hope it was as much fun for you all as it was for us. Thank you, merci !

Spirou & Fantasio 14 
Janry & Tome
The Clockmaker and the Comet
Spirou and Fantasio are spending a few days at Champignac Castle, keeping an eye on the estate while the Count is away visiting family. One night, as they are preparing to watch a comet pass in the sky, Fantasio's clumsiness causes them to lose consciousness... Read more

Valerian & Laureline by … 1 
Lauffray & Lupano
Shingouzlooz Inc.
An apparently simple mission – apprehending a speculator-droid – turns into a race against time when the Shingouz drop in uninvited mid-arrest, begging Valerian and Laureline for protection against someone who means to kill them. To the agents' surprise, it's an old friend who soon pops up in hot pursuit, guns blazing... Read more

XIII 23 
Jigounov & Sente
Jason McLane's Inheritance
Still with Annika, Jason McLane has the documents his godfather left for him to find in the Netherlands deciphered. Once translated, the text offers revelations of breathtaking importance – enough to change the geopolitical map for ever. But the killers sent by the Mayflower Foundation are still after them... Read more
Gomer Goof 3
Gone with the Goof
Trent 3
When the Lamps Are Lit

North-American readers, to locate a comic book shop near you that stocks or can order these titles and many more, us this handy Read more 

Or, if you're a retailer yourself, please go to: Read more
Cartoonist Club – Simon Chadwick
Comic Art Podcast – Ian Loxam, Nicole Bates, Pete Taylor, Mike Williams
Comic Bits Online – Terry Hooper
Comic Book Daily – Scott VanderPloeg
Emily Loves London – Emily Cannings
Geek & Sundry – The Wednesday Club – Amy Dallen, Michelle Buchman, Matt Key and Taliesin Jaffe
Graphic Policy – Shean Mohammed
Now Read This – Win Wiacek
Pipeline Comics – Augie De Blieck Jr
The Slings and Arrows Graphic Novel Guide – Jamie McNeill, Karl Verhoeven and Frank Plowright

Der 18. Internationale Comic-Salon 2018 in Erlangen - Vorschau und Rückb...

CBO Cartoon by Dilworth

What Kind of Crazy Person Does That -answer that one!

"Pity you deleted that book. I wanted to buy it"

I read that and I call out "liar". The person involved has been on my groups since 2000 and the book in question was on the online store for ten years.  Reduced in price as a special offer, kept at a low price after that. You haven't bought a book you want to get in 10 years you ain't ever going to buy it....unless he was grubbing for a freebie?

Checking on something unconnected I saw all the high numbers for posts on Black Tower posts but then I noticed that the announcement in March that books were going to be deleted got 1,066 views.

I don't get it.  I really do not. Why check out all the book for sale posts but then not buy something -or better put, why does nothing sell if the posts get such high hits as they are clearly headed as Black Tower book posts?

meh. Publishing and blogging.  What crazy person does that?

A Green Skies Up-date

Someone on one of my Yahoo groups asked what had happened to the third part in the Earth Invasion Trilogy -The Green Skies?

To recap: the Invasion Earth Trilogy Part 1: Return of the Gods:Twilight of the Super Heroes was published in 2011.  The original book was 197 pp and comprised of Parts 1-6 from Black Tower Adventure #1-6. I added more pages to make it well over 300+ pp and it was entirely re-lettered.

Copies of ROTG (as it was abbreviated) went off to Japan, Finland, Germany and the US and the reviews were very positive.  It made all of the work worthwhile.

I sold a total of 1 (one) copy.

The follow up Invasion Earth Trilogy part 2: The Cross Earths Caper was again published in Black Tower Adventure but then put into a 107pp trade.  Again, good reviews (I am definitely NOT my own biggest fan so good reviews always surprise me).

I sold a total of 0 (zero) copies

The third and final part Invasion Earth Trilogy Part 3: The Green Skies is or was set to be even bulkier than ROTG. It was scheduled to appear in June, 2014.  It never did.

For me completing the trilogy is important because it pulls together things I started in 1984 and whether the Black Tower Universe survives even I do not know at the moment.  I never do scripts -I just sit down with paper, pencil and pen and draw as it comes to me.  In the past this has resulted in the deaths of some of my favourite creations. I could have gone back and drawn it differently but it was the story. Unlike other companies, if a character dies in the BTC Universe he/she DOES NOT return. Death is final (unless we are talking about the paranormal characters such as vampires and ghosts!).

The pages for The Green Skies at the moment number well over 400.  Yes, there are deaths -the attack on Mars, the Moon and much more that I am obviously not going to reveal! Deaths of comic characters should not really affect you, should they?  Mind you, these are old friends.

There is no major rush for a couple reasons.  Firstly my hands.  Have you ever had your hands accidentally or deliberately stamped on?  That's what my hand feels like after drawing -except the 'stamping' goes on for hours!

There is no major call out for Part 3 to be published.  Selling one copy of one part of a Trilogy in 8 years does not indicate much interest.  Why rush and endure the pain -take my time.

So many people ask for things like "more UK Golden Age reprints" but do you know what? Out of the single volumes only one sold since 2011.  The major 400+ Ultimate Collection...3 copies.

I'm guessing that there is the hope that someone will scan all my work and offer it up for free but first someone would need to buy and scan the pages because I DO NOT offer downloads.  Also, as that scanner will have purchased the book from the online store not only will all the order and buyer details be there but something unique is added to each printed copy. Which means the potential scanner is identified and the policy is to take legal action.

Considering the amount of money I lost from illegal downloads of my Fantagraphic Books I'm not letting that happen again.

So Green Skies is not cancelled. I'm just taking it slow.

Monday, 28 May 2018

It’s spring cleaning time for Blogger

At 04:00 hrs I switched off the computer and total views stood at 5,897, 300.  I switched the computer back on at 09:00 hrs and found this message:  

Blogger no longer supports OpenID. Existing OpenID comments and your OpenID settings may have changed

Hi everyone,

To make room for some exciting updates coming soon to Blogger, we’re simplifying the platform to enhance the blogging experience for all of our users.

Updates include:
- Changes to features: G+ widget integrations, OpenID, and Localization & Blogspot ccTLDS.
- Retiring features: Third Party Gadgets, Next Blog, Polls Widget, and Textcube.
- Introducing new features: HTTPS for Custom Domains, Multilogin, Spanner, Google Takeout, and Video Management.

Make sure to check out our latest blog post here to see more details on all of the changes coming to Blogger.

We realize these changes may raise some initial questions, so we wanted to address some of these questions upfront:

Q: Why are you making all of these changes now?
A: Blogger has been working hard to incorporate some exciting updates to the platform, so we thought it made sense to retire features that had very low usage and update some of our current features to coincide with these upcoming changes.

Q: Are you going to bring any of the "retired" features back?
A: At the moment, we do not plan to bring back any of the features we will be retiring. However, the team is working diligently to make sure Blogger has all of the necessary features and tools to make your blogging experience seamless - so stay tuned for more updates coming throughout 2018 and beyond!

Q: Where can I learn more about the new features coming to Blogger?
A: Make sure to check out the Blogger Blog! We'll make sure to post any important announcements there. Also, feel free to check out the Blogger Help Center for more detailed information on our tools and features.  

More questions? As always, please feel free to post here in the Blogger Help Forum.

Have a great day,
Kelly on behalf of your Blogger team

WTF?? This is how they reduced by total of 3.5 million Google+ views  Now I can only count views by month.

Everything looked okay though.  Then I saw the top of the page total...2 million had vanished. I then asked a few other bloggers who told me they had found that Blogger was now totally unreliable when it came to view counts -they had seen their total views drop by a couple hundred overnight.

These companies make changes to suit themselves and aid only money making.  The bloggers are not important.  It may take a while to see what happens but if only anonymous people can comment (?) then Comments will be turned off to prevent any abuse -I've noticed a LOT of "Unknowns" posting spam here.  As no one really comments no great loss though.

Very soon we may well have to return to printed fanzines.

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Wake Up In The Morning and Everyone Wants To Take The ****

I said I will not use Patreon to try to keep CBO running because it is like begging.

The PayPal donation button to the right I have doubts over.  Been there a long time and one person at least showed faith a contributed.  No one else.

I would rather people buy a book from the online store to show support and then at least they HAVE something solid to show for their support.

Now I did my once a week account checks. No sales on the online store
                                                                    No comments on CBO

Ooh! A message from PayPal. Right, apparently it seems I am not making very "effective use" of the donation account. Did I need help promoting it?  It would only cost ME money.  No.

Really -everyone wants money FROM me but no one wants to GIVE any.

Something went wrong somewhere.

So, please -PLEASE- at least consider visiting the online store.

Thank You

Friday, 25 May 2018

Has Marvel Comics Finally Stopped Using Fans As Cash-Cows?

Don't be silly.  You are the mugs who will not support Indie comics but will pay through the nose for a book that will not be of any real financial value for at least 50 years!

Oh, and the "Because you demanded it"....really? REAL fans wanted the title back. Nowhere have I seen or heard please for.....

17 variant covers. 

FOC 6/4/2018, On Sale 7/4/2018
24”x36”/ MAR188169…$8.99

1. Cover by ESAD RIBIC


Since the end of SECRET WARS, there’s been a gap in the Marvel Universe. A void no other team can fill. And it’s time for the world to move on. But can it? A life-changing decision by the Thing! A momentous declaration by the Human Torch! A clarion call-to-arms that summons Doctor Doom! And a signal in the sky that heralds the return of hope to the Marvel Universe! All this, and Alicia Masters adopts kittens! So cute! Plus, the Impossible Man!

56 PGS./Rated T …$5.99


There Are Very Good Reasons WHY I Do Not Use it

I do not really want to explain this all again so pay attention.  I was asked again why I do not use adsense to make money from CBO.

Firstly, I have no say in what adverts Google/adsense put on my blog.  The last time I tried adsense I specified quite clearly that alcohol, tobacco and gambling were strictly no go on the blog as this is a general readership blog and in some countries those type of things can cause readers problems.

Ahem. Well, gambling ads appeared. I had made  fair amount from adsense then I got an email stating that one advert was from a company highlighted in news fraud stories. I clicked on the ad and checked. Yes, it was indeed very suspicious.  I contacted Google and explained all of this and also gave them links to the news stories.

An hour later CBO was banned from having an adsense account. I had breached the very unclear and undefined rules of Adsense.  You see, I had clicked an ad on my own blog -no matter for what reason- and BOOM! Blocked. The money I had earned? Gone. When I asked I was told I had forfeited the earnings through misappropriate use...I clicked an ad.  Even had I thought "Wow.  That is something I have been looking for" and clicked the ad and bought something -violation.

Just checked and a good few years later I am still blocked.

I am not going to agree to advertising on this blog that I have no say in.  It can be misleading and who gets the brunt of blame if someone clicks and advert and gets screwed over? Me.  Even though I have nothing to do with it. It is on MY blog.

That is why I do not use adsense -would not want to and am blocked any way.

Any future questions on this subject go into Spam.

It Has A Use After All!

Just having to agree to everything for the EU cookies and data law and noted Followers on my Twitter. Some 29 all involved in comics or related media plus previously hidden followers.

Well, well, well.

A question sprang to mind -and I do appreciate people who follow any of the blogs or pages I run- how many re-tweet posts?  How many re-tweet posts about Black Tower Comics and Books?

Similarly, all those who "Like" a Face Book post -how many share that post they liked?

I am guessing none.  Annoying but there's no law says anyone has to share or re-tweet and I keep reminding myself of that as try to scrape enough together for a meal!  One day I'll laugh about this. For now I need to go something...