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Terry Hooper-Scharf

Wednesday 31 December 2014

Wah! - The Story Of The Blues (Part 1) (1982) (HD)

Alanis Morissette - Guardian (Video)

I have a choice: sit round feeling ill or work on new projects for 2015 (what else would I do tonight?) but...


To those of you who celebrate it.

Christine Cavanaugh, voice of Babe and Rugrats' Chuckie, dies at 51

BBC News Online

Christine Cavanaugh in 1996  
Christine Cavanaugh won an Annie Award in 2000 for providing the title voice on Dexter's Laboratory
Voice actress Christine Cavanaugh, who brought to life characters including Babe and Chuckie on Nickelodeon cartoon Rugrats, has died aged 51.

Her sister, Deionn Masock, confirmed the actress had died on 22 December at her home in Utah.
Ms Masock said the cause of death was not known.

"She was able to do incredible and amazing things with her voice and bring lots of smiles and many laughs to many people," her family said.

Announcing in the death in the Los Angeles Times, they wrote: "Her imagination, humour and intelligence were evident to anyone who had the pleasure of meeting her.

"Many know of her from the roles she played, but in each role there was a part of her showing through that the ones who truly knew her could see."

Cavanaugh was a prolific actor, providing the voices of dozens of cartoon characters in the 1990s.

She began her career with small parts on TV shows including Cheers, before landing her first big role in 1991 as Gosalyn Mallard on Darkwing Duck.
Still from Babe and Chuckie from Rugrats  
The voices of Babe and Chuckie from Rugrats were among Christine Cavanaugh's best known
The same year she was cast as the cowardly Chuckie Finster in Rugrats - a role she would perform for a decade.

In 1995, she gave her voice to the title character in the hit movie Babe, based on Dick King-Smith's 1983 novel The Sheep-Pig, about a talking pig who wants to be a sheepdog.

Cavanaugh also provided the voice to kid genius Dexter in Cartoon Network's Dexter's Laboratory for seven series from 1996.

She was twice nominated for an Annie Award for the role, before finally winning the prize in 2000.

Over her career, the actress also provided voices for animations including Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, Sonic the Hedgehog, The Wild Thornberrys and The Powerpuff Girls.

She retired from voice acting in 2001 and moved back to her native Utah to be closer to her family.
According to her obituary, a memorial for Cavanaugh has been held on Antelope Island in Utah.

Tempus fugit

Tuesday 30 December 2014

Comic Books Are WORTHLESS (Rant)

The Dark Night Detectives - Makes Orwell's 1984 Look Like A Boy Scout Manual

Ben R. Dilworth
50 Pages 
Black & White Supersuspiscion-o-scope
Price: £8.00
Its a world where if you stand up for what is right you'll be lucky if its just a beating you get. 
A world where people are starving (if poor) and the rich live in luxury. 
A world where you have to have birthing Rights. 
Where sacrificing someone to the Devil is acceptable -as long as they pay the wages. 
A world where if you DO NOT take that bribe you WILL be made an example of. 
Some of Ben Dilworth's most provoking and dark work in ages -and far too real in 2014!

Decisions Made

Like all of us, I tend to let myself think "its going to get better this year" or "This should sell" but my mind tends to kick me very hard. Dreams -feck: no one controls their dreams!!

Last night, after a very very depressing day I finally got about an hour's sleep and my subconscious pulled out two fine pump-action shotguns and blasted away -only think missing was Arnold Schwarzenegger in his biker leathers (that is a whole other dream I will NEVER talk about!).

Anyway, after 40+ years in publishing/comics and being ripped off, back-stabbed and defrauded and five years of the worst sales ever (and yet great quality books covering all genres) I made a decision.  As far as I can see it will not be reversible because, getting close to 60 (2017?) I just do not want to continue struggling on.

I have The Green Skies and a couple other projects I want to finish.  Clear my brain.  Now, yes, I know I am only a minor comic creator and I have never had a big ego to tell me otherwise, but I have seen similar creators to myself live the same life.  They die and suddenly their original art becomes sellable and the money they so desperately needed when they were alive goes to others.  I'm a comic historian  and I've seen this -no one was interested enough to even comment on the artwork Mike Western did for Comic Bits number 1 or the Leopard From Lime Street illo he pencilled and I inked.  Mike dies and suddenly I get offers of £200-300 BUT no.  They have sentimental value.

So, come 1st January, 2016, once everything has been scanned and printed, I will be burning a couple thousand or so pages of original art.  Nothing original will remain but anything I miss will be burnt as per my instructions.  Seriously, if no one has the slightest interest in the books or art while I'm alive like feck are they going to profit from stuff after I'm dead.  You are not supporting a dead artist!

It's simple logic. Six people in the lifeboat and five have skills vital to survival -sixth person goes in the sea. In this case that "sixth person" are my original art pages.  And my online store gets closed the day I retire. Another year which should be as bad as the last four so I'll be looking forward to that bonfire which will be a release in itself.

Monday 29 December 2014

Unheilig - Wie wir waren ft. Andreas Bourani

Unheilig are simply brilliant and this is one of my favourites!

No Trans-Hallucinogenic Drugs.....damn

HAPPY (Belated) Birthday Stan Lee.

I forgot.

HEY 0-he never sends me a happy birthday greeting!!

Happy 92nd Birthday to Marvel Legend Stan Lee (28th December)!

Of Course Smith's Dr Who Would Have Become Tougher....Pity He Let His Ego Decide To Jump Ship...

....Which means "Woulda, coulda, shoulda but I realised that my incredible talent needed stretching".  Who cares what bullshit an EX Dr Who actor spouts about a role he just dumped...oh, fan-boys/girls.  And as an actor not getting much publicity....

Here's what Dr Who 24/7 wrote:

Matt Smith has said his Doctor would have become “meaner” and “tougher” if he’d stayed in Doctor Who.

Speaking at +Wizard World, he said: “If my Doctor had carried on, he’d have become a bit meaner and a bit tougher. The universe would have weighed on his shoulders a little more which would have been cool.”

“Damn, I should have stayed,” he jokingly added.

Smith was joined at the event by Karen Gillan, who played companion Amy Pond, who spoke on what could have happened if she’d decided to stay with the show.

“Maybe there could be a series where we see Amy in therapy when she went through four psychiatrists,” she suggested. “She’s talking about the Raggedy Man and they’re like, ‘You’re crazy!’”

A fan in the audience later suggested the possibility of the two switching roles, with Karen playing the Doctor and Matt playing her companion.

“Wow, we should ask Steven [Moffat] if we can make that episode,” Smith suggested. “Yes, that means I’m a kissogram!”

“You’re hired!” Gillan declared.

Monday Moan -Complain And I''ll Make You Wet!!!

 Not quite sure that post titlke was as threatening as it was meant to sound.....

Ahhh. Ebay.  Home of tossers (I'm name calling if you are not from the UK and wonder what I mean!).

The latest bit of fun has been in completing my Dr Master Publications series.  All complete but I only had volumes 4-7of Kia Asamiya's series Junk: Record of the Last Hero. Not big into Manga but I really did like this series.

So, end of November I ordered a copy of #2 from a UK dealer. Nothing.  A month later I'm having to get Ebay to chase up the matter.

vol. 1 arrived today but it is not a Dr Master book Champion Red Comics.  And it's in ******** Japanese!!!!  "It's what you ordered"  Me:"No, it is not. Why would I order a Japanese language version?!" No other copies and the seller will not budge so complaint to ebay.  In the meantime I've ordered a new copy of 1 (in English) and 2 because my life is too short to wait weeks for some more bullshit.

This is why comics in the UK will never be taken seriously. If I wanted typical over-sized eyes, cutsy crap Manga no problem if its in English.  More serious Manga -I can get a copy of vol.3 for £17.99 + postage costs in the UK.  So, I ordered a copy for under half that....from the United States!!

Seriously -you can even buy back issues of Marvel, DC -whatever- from the 1960s to 1990s at a quarter to half the cost UK sellers are asking.   Remembering, of course, as these sellers point out, that 1980s-1999 comics are "vintage".  Crooked, slimy con-men. Try selling your comics to them at a decent price. No. But at a massive under pricing so that they can.....example.

Someone I know sold copies of the first volume of Alpha Flight to a comic dealer. For #1-40 he was offered £20.00 and he really needed cash so he was desperate enough to take the £20.00.  Each one of those issues is now on sale for between £10-!5.00 each (1-4 went to a private collector).  When the person I know queried this they seller responded, apparently smirking, "Sellers market, mate"

 I know. I give up.  What happened to all the comic dealers from mail order list days who never ripped you off?

We all know what everyone is answering -"Ebay"!

We eclectics always suffer!


It appears the seller I ordered from in November NEVER sent the book!  No quibbles. Full repayment after ebay contacted them. 

Sunday 28 December 2014

A Green Skies Up-Date

I know that most people out there do not care but I did promise to up-date readers "in a month" as to the progression of The Green Skies.  That was on the 3rd November.  Okay, I'm late but as I've already posted, there is no publication date for the third and final part of the "Invasion Earth" trilogy.

To show how slow I have been, on the 3rd November I had drawn (not lettered) 265 pages.  As of today, 28th December, 2014, the number of pages drawn stands at 273.  Now that is slow for me.

I have set myself a deadline to get the book finished by 6th June 2015 -my 59th birthday.  Then, if completed, I'll decide on a publication date.

In the meantime, volumes I and II are there to buy and read!

Ivan Ivanovich -The Green Skies

I have been doing work on The Green Skies though when it will ever be published I do not know.  But I was listening to Jonas Myrin's "Day Of The Battle" as one of my old characters met his end.  I actually got goosebumps and "emotional" and I wanted to scrap the pages but the lyrics at one point seemed to say it all.
Heroes fight for all of us and they do sometimes face that ultimate sacrifice.  

Farewell Ivan Ivanovich 1900-2014

Harry Potter actor David Ryall dies aged 79

Ryall was a good actor in both comedy and drama. This BBC News Online tribute was massive compared to the 2-3 lines he got on TV and radio news!

David Ryall David Ryall had a long and wide-ranging career across film, TV and theatre
Actor David Ryall, known for playing Elphias Doge in the Harry Potter Deathly Hallows film, has died aged 79. 

The actor passed away on Christmas Day but no more information has been given.

Ryall had a five-decade career across film, TV and theatre, including in movie The Elephant Man and on TV, The Village and Outnumbered.

Daughter Charlie Ryall said: "Please take a moment to remember his huge five-decade-spanning career outside of the more well-known TV & film."

In a tweet, Sherlock writer Mark Gatiss called Ryall "a twinkling, brilliant, wonderful actor I was privileged to call a friend. RIP".

Gatiss directed Ryall in TV movie The Tractate Middoth in 2013.

Outnumbered David Ryall played the grandfather in Outnumbered 
Ryall replaced Peter Cartwright as Elphias Doge in 2010's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.
His character was a close friend of Albus Dumbledore in addition to being a Ministry of Magic jurist and an Order of the Phoenix member.

His other film roles included parts in 2004's Around the World in 80 Days, 1990's Truly, Madly, Deeply and 1980's The Elephant Man.

On TV, character actor Ryall appeared in many well-known shows including The Singing Detective, Holby City, Casualty, Midsomer Murders, Goodnight Sweetheart and the Andrew Davies version of House Of Cards.

Most recently, he was perhaps best known as Frank, the grandfather who suffers from dementia, in BBC comedy Outnumbered.

He is also recognisable to TV viewers as Britain's oldest man Old Bert, the narrator of BBC One's The Village, who recalls his life through a series of flashbacks.

He also appeared in the Sky One comedy Trollied and in BBC drama Our Girl.
Celluloid Dreams  
He played alongside Diana Rigg in 1997's TV drama Celluloid Dreams

On Twitter, fans and colleagues of the actor paid tribute.

"So very sad to read of the death of actor David Ryall may he RIP," said Colette Mayer.

TV writer David Brown said: "RIP David Ryall - one of the best Inspector Morse baddies. Derek Whittaker - driving test psycho who tried to knife Morse."

Actor Clive Merrison added: "I'm so sorry to hear David Ryall has died. He was a wonderful actor and a dear colleague."

Ryall began his career on the stage before becoming a familiar face on British TV.

He received a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1962, during which time he won the Caryl Brahams Award for a musical.

Ryall went on to join Laurence Olivier's company with the National Theatre, during which time he was involved in several well-known plays, such as Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.
His work at the National Theatre also included Guys and Dolls, The Beggar's Opera and Animal Farm, Coriolanus, The School of Wives, Democracy and The UN Inspector.

Ryall continued to be a regular face in the theatre, with appearances in Patrick Marber's Don Juan in Soho at the Donmar Warehouse in 2007.

Ryall is survived by his son, music manager Jonathan Ryall, and two daughters, singer Imogen Ryall and actress Charlie Ryall.

Tempus fugit

Just A Few Brief Lines

Right, my Google+ views currently stand at 1,049,278 views.

I've also been counting up the number of books and other items reviewed on CBO this year with the promise of "real" copies later or "I'll see what I can do".......and NOTHING ever turns up.

31 times.

And the "We can't really afford to send a review copy" doesn't wash.  Two of the big offenders are quite large publishers.  They are blocked now.  No review copy -no review.  Simple.  Their events being promoted here such as signings?   No more.

Start as you mean to go on I say.

My blog.  My rules.

It's good to be the king!

Really must ask the doctor about my bowel movements....

Here we gooooooo!  

The Predicted Mayan Apocalypse

I hope everyone out there is okay?   The predicted  Mayan Apocalypse of 2014 WAS averted.  I'm in a lot of pain today because I'm getting too old for this stuff.  It was good to use the old service revolver again, though -they do not jam like automatics and so long as you can load fast....

Basically, a few Wiccans contacted me earlier in the year and we planned a big surprise for Ah Puch so as few as possible would get to Xibalba!  Couple Catholic priests trained in exorcism (cannon fodder), Church of England vicars and 12 priests from assorted faiths and my good old army chum Stumpy Jones.  Five sacred objects gathered by the Wiccans and....

Well, we found the Mayan cult beneath Bristol!  Well, we have hundreds of miles of forgotten/lost mine workings plus the Pen Park Hole which is cavernous.  Surprised me.  Also means those reports during the year of men dressed as Mayans kidnapping homeless people were not mass hysteria.

We started roughing it up at Midnight and I popped (shot)  the last cult priest at 0600 hrs.  So. if you see George Pants walking around with his sandwich board today say "Thank You" and buy him a meal -he managed to smash the Mayan Cult Object just as things looked very -VERY- bad.

Off to rest.  There WILL be a 2015.

Its what I do.

George Pants -Hero of the Hour!!!

Saturday 27 December 2014

WildC.A.T.S Zealot - Cosplay Calendar Making of #5

Longest "Modern Era" Dr Who Companion

As I pointed out a few months ago, while everyone was talking about Clara being killed off, the actress who plays her, Jenna Coleman, WAS to continue in the role.  But what do I know (again) heh?

Here's a fun RadioTimes Online item:

Jenna Coleman will overtake Karen Gillan to become longest serving modern era Doctor Who companion

Jenna Coleman will overtake Karen Gillan to become longest serving modern era Doctor Who companion

What a difference a few months can make. When rumours began to circulate in August that Jenna Coleman was set to leave Doctor Who, it felt as if she'd only just arrived. With season eight yet to air, we'd had less than one full series with companion Clara Oswald, during which the "Impossible Girl" had often seemed like more of a plot device than a character.

Now, 13 episodes later, confirmation that Jenna has had a change of heart and will be staying for another full series means that this time next year she'll be the longest-serving companion since Doctor Who returned in 2005.

By then, Jenna will have starred as Clara Oswald in 36 episodes – three more than previous title holder Karen Gillan as Amy Pond. Both have made other appearances  either in dream sequences, as different or returning versions of their characters or in completely different roles  but however you work it out, by the end of 2015, Jenna will come out as the Impossible Girl on top...

Here's how the three longest-serving companions will compare as of this time next year...

Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald

Doctors: Matt Smith, Peter Capaldi
Time in role: December 2012– end of series 9 (autumn 2015)
Episodes as companion: 36
Other appearances: 1: as Oswin Oswald in Asylum of the Daleks (Sep 2012)

Karen Gillan as Amy Pond

Doctors: Matt Smith
Time in role: April 2010–September 2012
Episodes as companion: 33
Other appearances: 2: as Soothsayer in The Fires of Pompeii (Apr 2008); as vision of Amy in The Time of the Doctor (Dec 2013)

Billie Piper as Rose Tyler

Doctors: Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant
Time in role: March 2005–July 2006
Episodes as companion: 27
Other appearances: 6: as Rose Tyler in Partners in Crime (Apr 2008) Turn Left (Jun 2008) The Stolen Earth/Journey's End (Jul 2008), The End of Time Part 2 (Jan 2010); as the Moment in The Day of the Doctor (Nov 2013)

Friday 26 December 2014

Christmas TV ratings

Brendan O'Carroll's comedy was watched by more than 7.6 million viewers

"Royalist Country" my ass.  Queen gets just over 5 milion viewers -she's at joint no.9!

Mrs Brown's Boys WAS hilarious.  But more people waited to watch it when broadcast after 10pm than the Queen....oh, I must stop laughing.

Dr Who at No. 7 -I think a lot of people thought it was "too much" having Father Christmas as a legitimate character -if they had watched they would have gotten the whole point.  But that's the BBC and Moffatt for you: sucking big time in programme promo (though Moffatt seems to have gone over board in a major way in keeping himself promoted).  And if you watched it you'll know that I was spot on about Jenna Coleman and the series....though no one ever mentions my accuracy on TV or movie news.

Now that Miranda Hart has become a "proper actress" her comedy, Miranda (you guessed??) has become limp and very very unfunny.

Soaps of one type or another -I include "Strictly"- take up the other places.

TV has steadily gotten worse over the years and the rather unfunny Professor Brainstawm, starring Harry Hill, that I was looking forward to was....limp. WHY show a kids show from 8.30-9.30 pm????

I think TV really did die this year -and I have over 50 years of TV watching to base that on.

BBC One controller Charlotte Moore said: “It’s fantastic to see millions of viewers choosing BBC One with the top five most popular shows on Christmas Day.

“Audiences tuned in for an incredible range of quality programmes from drama, comedy and entertainment.”

Yeah. Right.  Wake up.

Top 10 most-viewed Christmas Day programmes

1. Mrs Brown’s Boys – BBC One – 7.6 million
2. EastEnders – BBC One – 7.55 million
3. Strictly Come Dancing – BBC One – 7 million
4. Call The Midwife – BBC One – 6.8 million
5. Miranda – BBC One – 6.7 million
6. Coronation Street – ITV – 6.6 million
7. Doctor Who – BBC One – 6.3 million
8. Downton Abbey – ITV – 5.8 million
9= The Queen – BBC One – 5.7 million (Another 2.1 million watched on ITV)
9= Emmerdale – ITV – 5.7 million

Thursday 25 December 2014

Not Having A Great Christmas

I have now had three people ask if they can use this post from 2014.  All three are writing pieces about depression.  If you suffer from depression I know it isn't easy - bipolar or whatever.  I mean what I wrote back then and all I can do is repeat this: there are people out there who will listen to you and that should include friends and family.  Depression is NOT insanity but an illness.

Never ever give up.

I know there are going to be a few of you out there who are hating today.  And are very depressed. No miracle cures for depression and unless you really want to get heavily medicated then manic depression ain't so good either.

I know you won't feel like it but go for a walk.  Say "hello" to someone -or don't but just get out. If you've found computer games take your mind off things then get playing.  Hey -check out the videos on You Tube. Read comics. Do anything but just sit there because, yes, it DOES make it worse.

Read this, it might help you.

Above all, though, if your family and friends know you go through these things explain to them that it's hitting you now.

But you are never alone.

Tuesday 23 December 2014


1,040,165 on Google+ so THANK YOU once again.

And once again....isn't there any money in this for me????

‘Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor’, a five-issue miniseries featuring Christopher Eccleston.

Titan Comics have announced that to mark the 10th Anniversary of the show’s return to TV, writer Cavan Scott and artist Blair Shedd will both be collaborating on the title.

The official synopsis states: “Leaving World War II behind, the Ninth Doctor, Rose and Captain Jack discover that Time Lord technology, lost in the wake of the Time War, is being sold on the intergalactic black market. Now the threat of a NEW temporal war brews on the horizon. Can the Doctor stop history repeating itself?”

‘Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor’ #1 will be released on Wednesday, 11th March 2015.

If You DO Celebrate Christmas -Enjoy Yourself....But BEHAVE!!




'Allo 'Allo! comedy writer Jeremy Lloyd dies at the age of 84

Condolences to the family.  One of my favourite actors and writers.

BBC News Online

Jeremy Lloyd Jeremy Lloyd collected an OBE award for services to comedy in 2012
Jeremy Lloyd, co-creator of BBC comedies 'Allo 'Allo! and Are You Being Served?, has died aged 84.
Lloyd died in hospital after being admitted for pneumonia, his agent said.

He worked with fellow comedy writer David Croft on the popular comedy series set in a department store, which ran from 1972-85.

His agent Alexandra Cann said: "Jeremy was a great wit and always a mass of original ideas.
"He had a wonderfully original mind and will be greatly missed."

Actress Vicki Michelle, who starred in 'Allo 'Allo! as sultry French waitress Yvette Carte-Blanche, said via Twitter that Lloyd was "such a wonderful talent, mentor and friend. A complete joy to work with."

Lloyd was married three times, including to the actress Joanna Lumley for a short period in 1970.

Lumley wrote about their brief union: "He was witty, tall and charming - we should have just had a raging affair."

Six months ago he married his third wife, Lizzy Moberly, who Lloyd described as "beautiful, clever and sent from heaven on a mission impossible".

He was appointed an OBE in 2012 for services to comedy and said he was "astounded" to gain an honour for doing what he enjoyed.

The success of Are you Being Served? spawned two spin-offs - Grace and Favour and Come Back Mrs Noah - both of which he worked on with Croft, who died in 2011.

The series was based partly on his own experiences of working in a London department store as a suit salesman.

He recalled of his time there: "I was fired for selling soft drinks in a fitting room and smoking too much behind the counter."

The partnership's other great success was 'Allo 'Allo!, set in Nazi-occupied France. It was a huge success with audiences and was screened on the BBC from 1982-92.

Lloyd's other work included writing the music and lyrics for children's character Captain Beaky, with a song performed by Keith Michell making the UK top five in 1980.

Earlier in his career, Essex-born Lloyd appeared in a number of film comedies including The Rag Trade, and he had roles in The Avengers during the late 1960s.

He also had success in the US, with regular slots on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In where his upper crust accent was a hit with Stateside audiences. He also wrote material for the show.

Lloyd also appeared on the Billy Cotton Band Show where he first met his future comedy partner Croft.

Tempus fugit

After The Year I Had -Someone Handed Me This Christmas Card. Nuff Said!

Ahhh....It's That TIME Of The Year Again....

Comicsy and the new EU Vat Law

Monday 22 December 2014

Singer Joe Cocker dies aged 70

Singer Joe Cocker dies aged 70

Breaking news
Singer Joe Cocker, best known for his cover of the Beatles' With A Little Help From My Friends, has died aged 70. 

The singer song-writer from Sheffield had a career lasting more than 40 years with hits including You Are So Beautiful and Up Where We Belong.

His agent Barrie Marshall confirmed that he had died of an undisclosed illness.

He said he was "simply unique" and "it will be impossible to fill the space he leaves in our hearts."

THS: According to the latest news report, Cocker had been battling lung cancer.

Tempus fugit

Sunday 21 December 2014

Actress Billie Whitelaw dies aged 82

BBC News Online:

Actress Billie Whitelaw dies aged 82

Acclaimed actress Billie Whitelaw, famous for her roles on stage and screen, has died at the age of 82.
The Coventry-born star, who was made a CBE in 1991, worked in close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, who described her as a perfect actress.

She died in the early hours of Sunday at a nursing home in London, her son Matthew Muller told the BBC.
"I could not have asked for a more loving mum," he said.

"She had an incredible career - but first and foremost she was my mum - and that's who I will miss," he added.
Billie Whitelaw Whitelaw performed on radio, stage and screen over the course of her career
Whitelaw made her radio acting debut aged just 11.
In 1950, she made her first stage appearance in Bradford in a performance of Pink String and Sealing Wax, before moving into films and television.

She was well known for her role as Mrs Baylock in horror film The Omen.

Whitelaw also played a starring role as Violet Kray in The Krays and more recently appeared in comedy Hot Fuzz.

Samuel Beckett & Billie Whitelaw Samuel Beckett called her a perfect actress
Scene from the BBC series Dixon of Dock Green Whitelaw was a regular as George Dixon's daughter in Dixon of Dock Green
During her career, she won a British Academy Award for best newcomer for her role in Hell is a City. She also won Best Supporting Actress for her parts in Twisted Nerve and Charlie Bubbles.

Whitelaw appeared in a number of TV series, including BBC One's Dixon of Dock Green.

But in her autobiography Billie Whitelaw . . . Who He?, she said it was her work with Beckett that generated most interest.

Beckett 'cared'
Without their association, she wrote, "nobody would have been remotely interested in my autobiography."
She described Beckett as demanding and meticulous, but added: "Because I knew he was radiating love and he cared and he wanted you to be perfect... it didn't upset me."

In a 1997 interview with The Independent, the actress said death did not scare her.

She told the newspaper: "Death's not one of those things that frighten the life out of me."

She added: "Getting up on stage with the curtain going up frightens me more."

She was married to actor Peter Vaughan between 1952 and 1966.

Later, she married German actor and writer Robert Muller, who died in 1998.

Billie Whitelaw 
Many of us appreciated Whitelaw's acting and more than a few of us had crushes on her.  A sad day for her family and fans.
Tempus fugit

Chronos: Watchman!

Chronos Watchman

Chronos Watchman
Ben R. Dilworth
Black & white
 40 Pages
John Tempus, a world travelling adventurer travels by ship to Gull Island, a desolate place on which stands an ancient, war-scarred tower, left to him by an uncle he never knew. 
An uncle that he soon finds is far from dead. An uncle who reveals to him a family curse that he cannot avoid. A duty he will carry out until his death. 
John Tempus has now become the next Chronos Watchman and he is all that stands between our world and that of...KAOS! 
Ben Dilworth re-presents a new telling of the(1984)  origin of Black Towers "Man Between Two Worlds"... Chronos: The Watchman.

Return Of The Gods & The Cross-Earths Caper....Can YOU Resist Them??

The Return Of The Gods:Twilight of the Super Heroes

Terry Hooper-Scharf
Black & White
331 Pages
Price: £20.00
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 this truly the end?


 Terry Hooper-Scharf
Black & White
107 Pages 
Price: £10.00
Following the events on Neo Olympus and the Boarman invasion of Earth, many heroes and crime-fighters have withdrawn from activity. 
Some are trying to recover from injuries while others are fighting the mental scars left by the events. 
As heroes from other parallels who helped during the events return home, members of the Special Globe Guard are shocked at the sudden appearance of Zom of the Zodiac. 
Very soon, a group of heroes find a quick rescue mission turn sour as they become lost between parallel Earths and threats. Sometimes one Earth just is not enough. 
The complete story published in issues 7-10 of Black Tower Adventure now handy dandy book!

Friday 19 December 2014

The Green Skies Cancelled

I've decided that The Green Skies -voluminous as it already is- is cancelled.  No publication date for 2015 if at all.

There are enough books on the online store.

Just In Case You Don't Pay Attention To These Things.....

....Does anyone?

My Anomalous Observational Phenomena blog is being allowed to die a death.  Over 200 postings and almost 20,000 views and no comments or points to be made by those viewers? 

I'm posting nothing new there.

And do not think I won't close CBO in 2015 (I was going to do it now but I'm taking deep breath).

The New EU VAT Law And Small/Digital Publishers

 Here is an update on the situation.  Please read and do what you feel you need to. This is NOT the end for "micro-publishers!

It’s Not ‘All Ears’, It’s Action Too In The European Commission On EU VAT

Your voice is being heard On December 17th our team had a long conversation with a Cabinet Member from Andrus Ansip’s (European Commission Vice-President) office. These are the people responsible for the digital economy in the EU, so they’re the decision-makers and the ones who can help us to create the changes that are so desperately needed.

Here’s a summary of where we’re up to:
  1. Andrus Ansip is now fully aware of the impact that the EU VAT rules are having on the smallest businesses.
  2. He is taking action on your behalf, both writing to and meeting with senior people across the EU, in the last few days before Christmas, to try to find solutions that will allow everyone to keep trading.
  3. They are looking at short-term solutions and medium-term solutions.
    4. They are open to ideas from YOU as to what those solutions could reasonably be. They do not pretend to have all the answers.
    5. There are no promises, but there IS hope.

You ARE being heard.

Those in Andrus Ansip’s team now understand that:
  • Most of the smallest businesses cannot comply with the legislation because they can’t collect the required 3 pieces of location evidence. 90% are using basic PayPal buttons and the most they will be able to get is the customer’s account address – one piece of not-completely-reliable data.
  • Most can’t display the correct price on their sales pages because they don’t know where the customer is until after they have purchased, so have no way of applying the correct VAT rate during the purchase process.
  • Even if they could code the VAT rates into their payment solution, most platforms offer just one rate of VAT per country. It is very likely that some transactions will require two rates, for different kinds of products. This is not possible for the smallest businesses to manage during the checkout.
  • These businesses don’t get any of the data until after the transaction, so it creates a massive administrative burden of manually checking each transaction and then going back to a customer if the data looks incorrect, then analysing and storing the data to complete their VAT-MOSS return.
  • Our case studies show that each EU Member State’s interpretation of what is a ‘digitally-delivered service’ is different. Even if you comply with your own Member State’s interpretation, you could still be prosecuted by another Member State if the interpretations differ.
  • The legislative assumption was that most businesses sell through 3rd party platforms (our quantitative study shows it’s only 40%). The Commission now understands that most of the 3rd party platforms only heard about the new EU VAT rules in November 2014 and will be unable to comply by January 1st.

What We Are Campaigning For:

Given all of this, most businesses have a choice at the end of this month either to break the law or close or remove digitally-delivered services. How can we make sure they can keep trading?

  1. Emergency exception to allow the implementation to be suspended for micro businesses and sole traders for 1 year, whilst workable solutions are found.
  2. If this cannot be agreed before January 1st, then an emergency exemption to allow acceptance of the customer’s self-declared address as proof of place of supply for micro businesses and sole traders who don’t have access to the required 3 pieces of evidence (the 3rd being needed for the cases where the first two conflict).
What Andrus Ansip’s team needs from you:
Keep going with today’s Wednesday Action Challenge (writing to Andrus, Pierre Moscovici and Donato Raponi). Copy in your national MP and your MEPs.

PLUS lobby your equivalent to the Treasury (those who represent you on the EU Fiscal Attache) – we are compiling a list.

The reason the Commission needs you to lobby your representative on the EU Fiscal Attache is because if we want to get a legislative change, it is much more likely to be passed in a short timeframe if the Member States push for it, than if the EU suggests it. *** Your representative needs to lobby Pierre Moscovici. ***

So PLEASE do the Wednesday Action Challenge. And PLEASE also send your email to the Fiscal Attache member (we’re compiling a list) for your country, asking them to lobby for a sensible exemption threshold for micro businesses and sole traders.

And please have a quick look at the discussion thread for ‘how can we stay in business while we buy time for EU negotiations’ thread. (

And please share your inspiration on the thread for potential short-term and long-term solutions:

As I said, it’s not promises, but it IS hope. And, for me, it feels miraculous.
Thank you all for the part each of you has played.

We are making progress.
Clare & the EU VAT Action Team

Christmas Cancelled. English Law Proves Its A Joke

Right someone asked "What's happening?" re. my being prosecuted for whatever TV licensing made up (not watching a TV and not having a TV licence???). 

I put the whole matter before the court in writing which was totally ignored. 

So I got a £70 ($130) cost so its £250 ($500+). 

So, not just my health and business screwed but a SECOND court fine this year in which I was totally innocent but the court attitude was "so what?"  Another reason to not celebrate Christmas. 

I don't apologise when I say England can fuck off.

My New Look!

Decided to shave my hair and style the beard.  What do you think?  I was inspired by the Black Tower character The Thinker.


No, regarding the question, I have NOT closed my DeviantArt page.  I think some of you are searching for "Terry Hooper"/"Terry Hooper-Scharf" or "Black Tower".  You need to look for "Terrywerry", ahem.

But here is the link.

Thursday 18 December 2014

Buying Comics Because It's Your "Retirement Investment"? You're Being Conned!

This article from last year on the Bloomberg Business site and, basically, reinforces everything I've written about.  Lots of New Comic Chique Geeks are being ripped off -especially on Ebay and internet comic stores.  "This Avengers comic is hot! It'll be worth thousands if not hundreds!"

Anyway, read and weep.

Those Comics in Your Basement? Probably Worthless

Those Comics in Your Basement? Probably Worthless
Photograph by Paul Carstairs

Barry T. Smith, 44, spent most of his life collecting comic books. And he always considered them an investment. “These books would someday be college tuition, or a house down payment,” Smith remembers thinking. “I would lay them all out in my parents’ living room, sorting them, cataloging them, writing down entries on graph paper while cross-referencing them against the Overstreet Price Guide.”

After college he landed a tech job in Silicon Valley but held on to all 1,200 of his comics, including several hundred early issues of Marvel’s (DIS) X-Men, which his research suggested had grown in value every year. The comics sat in a storage unit, boarded and bagged, for close to two decades. When Smith found himself unemployed and in need of money to support his wife and two daughters, he decided the time was right to cash in on his investment.

The entire collection sold for about $500. “I’m not too proud to admit, I cried a bit,” Smith says.
He’s not the only would-be investor who’s discovered in recent years that his comic collection isn’t worth nearly as much as he’d hoped. Kevin J. Maroney, 47, of Yonkers, N.Y., decided to sell 10,000 comics, roughly a third of his collection, on consignment with various comic book stores in Manhattan. Thus far, fewer than 300 have sold for a total of about $800. He’s not surprised by the lack of interest. “A lot of people my age, who grew up collecting comics, are trying to sell their collections now,” says Maroney, who works in IT support for Piper Jaffray. “But there just aren’t any buyers anymore.”

Frank Santoro, a columnist for the Comics Journal and an avid collector himself, has noticed the same trend. “More and more of these types of collections are showing up for sale,” he says. “And they’re becoming more and more devalued. The prices are dropping.” He recently had to break the bad news to a friend’s uncle, who was convinced his comic collection—about 3,000 books—was worth at least $23,000. “I told him it was probably more like $500,” Santoro says. “And a comic book store would probably only offer him $200.”

Stories like these are a stark contrast to what’s typically reported. To go by media accounts, 2013 has been a huge year for the vintage comic market. A Minnesota man found a copy of Action Comics No. 1—the first appearance of Superman, published in 1938—in a wall of his house and sold it for $175,000 in June. Three decades ago a different copy of the same comic sold for about $5,000, a record at the time. In August, meanwhile, Heritage Auctions hosted a comic-oriented event in Dallas where a highly-graded copy of the 1940 comic Batman No. 1 sold for a staggering $567,625. A recent piece on the Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch website was especially enthusiastic about comics as an investment strategy, calling them “more predictable than stocks” and “recession-proof.” Old comics, the author suggested, could even save your home from foreclosure.

Outlandish claims and tales of amazing windfalls elicit only groans from Rob Salkowitz, a business analyst and author of Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture. He also happens to be, in his own words, “a guy in his 40s with a basement full of old comics.” He warns that too many people have been deluded into thinking they are sitting on a comic book gold mine.

“There are two markets for comic books,” Salkowitz says. “There’s the market for gold-plated issues with megawatt cultural significance, which sell for hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions of dollars. But that’s a very, very, very limited market. If a Saudi sheik decides he needs Action Comics No. 1, there are only a few people out there who have a copy.” And then there’s the other market, where most comics change hands for pennies and nobody is getting rich or even breaking even. “The entire back-issues market is essentially a Ponzi scheme,” Salkowitz says. “It’s been managed and run that way for 35 years.”

Bill Boichel, the owner of Pittsburgh’s Copacetic Comics, argues that transactions involving high-profile vintage comics happen in an entirely separate market. “Ultra-high-grade books sell for as much or more than ever to doctors, lawyers, brokers, and bankers,” he says. Comics like The Amazing Spider-Man No. 1—an Ohio man recently auctioned a copy for $7,900 to help pay for his daughter’s wedding—are considered a “blue chip stock of high liquidity, in that there is always a ready buyer for it.”

14 DC Titles Cancelled...More First Issues On The Way!!!

Swamp Thing #40 cover
Swamp Thing #40 cover

IGN and other sites are reporting that DC is to cancel 14 titles and that the old DC universe (WHICH one?) will be returning.

According to IGN

Check out the full list of cancellations below:
  • Aquaman and the Others #11
  • Arkham Manor #6
  • Batman Eternal #52
  • Batwoman #40
  • Green Lantern: New Guardians #40
  • Infinity Man and the Forever People #9
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us - Year Three #12
  • Klarion #6
  • Red Lanterns #40
  • Secret Origins #11
  • Star-Spangled War Stories Featuring G.I. Zombie #8
  • Swamp Thing #40
  • Trinity of Sin #6
  • World's Finest #32
While the solicitations for Earth 2: World's End and The New 52: Futures End don't make it explicit, we suspect both of those series are also concluding in March.

You can read more at IGN

Hot Toys: not your typical action figure

There Was An Ant-Man In The Comic Book Avengers? Yes. Read A Comic.

I love it when the newbie comic geek journalists write these things.  It's the current Di$ney Generation of Marvel Comics.  Still, more publicity for Marvel based movies....are DC making any movies based on their comics?

Ant-Man Was A Founder Of The Avengers?

It looks as though Ant-Man may have played a more important part in ‘The Avengers’ than we ever realised… as Evangeline Lily reveals that Hank Pym helped found the Avengers.

Ant-Man Was A Founder Of The Avengers?

It was a major part of Marvel comic book history – the creation of The Avengers back in 1963 as Ant-Man and The Wasp helped tackle Loki. But as we all know, that doesn’t mean that the comic books will translate directly to the screen. 

Thankfully, it seems that in this case, it may be a little closer than usual… and Ant-Man and The Wasp may well be the original founders of The Avengers.

During an interview with CNN, the lovely Evangeline Lily was asked about her character, Hope Van Dyne… and it looks as though she revealed exactly how Hank Pym fits into the wider Marvel universe.

“She is the daughter of the founders of The Avengers, Ant-Man and the Wasp,” she revealed. “She is a very talented, intelligent, capable woman and a force to be reckoned with.”

Of course, Ant-Man and The Wasp have been a mainstay in the comic books for years… and way back in 1963, helped Thor and Iron Man to establish the first Avengers line-up. In fact, it was The Wasp who came up with the snappy moniker for Marvel’s biggest superhero team.

But does this mean that Michael Douglas’ Hank Pym was a founder of the Avengers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

It’s certainly starting to look that way… and if you ask me, it would be a rather neat call back to the original comic books. But for now, we’ll have to wait and see. 

Either way, it looks as though ‘Ant-Man’ is shaping up to be one of Marvel’s biggest releases yet… and could open up the MCU to an entirely different kind of film – the heist movie.

“This one is very much a heist film,” she explained. “It has all the fun, tension and drama of a good heist film. The heist is being masterminded by myself, my father and Scott Lang.”

It’s certainly starting to sound as though Hope Van Dyne plays a much bigger part in ‘Ant-Man’ than we first thought… and could even end up taking the name of The Wasp as Scott Lang (played by Paul Rudd) dons the Ant-Man suit.
And it looks as though Lily has had a real blast…

“I’ve been astounded to discover how good to their teams and crew that Marvel are,” she added. “They’re so collaborative, so smart with their stories. They have rich, dynamic characters which are so much fun to play. I expected I’d be a cog in the wheel of a big machine — I wasn’t sure I’d like this experience. But I’ve been so astounded at how pleasurable the whole experience has been.”

‘Ant-Man’ heads to cinemas on 17 July 2015