PLEASE Consider Supporting CBO

Please consider supporting Comic Bits Online because it is a very rare thing in these days of company mouthpiece blogs that are only interested in selling publicity to you. With support CBO can continue its work to bring you real comics news and expand to produce the video content for this site. Money from sales of Black Tower Comics & Books helps so please consider checking out the online store.
Thank You

Terry Hooper-Scharf

Sunday 31 July 2016

Save Linda Medley & CASTLE WAITING

Apparently comic creators need to eat and pay bills -??

So, sue me if I want to help a talented artist/creator.

Please read.

Hello, I'm Linda and I'm an illustrator and cartoonist. Since 1994 I've worked on my own independent graphic novel series, CASTLE WAITING. 

Several years ago I was diagnosed with severe cervical spondylosis as well as carpal tunnel syndrome, and took some time off from creating artwork to rest, and adapt to new modes of working. Now I'm currently hard at work on CASTLE WAITING Volume 3 and hope to have the first 150-page installment ready for publication next year...but I'll need your financial help to be able to continue working on it.

I am raising funds to help cover my living and ongoing physical therapy expenses for the next year.  I will be losing my present living situation in the next month, and currently don't have enough to get into a new place. I really want to continue working on CASTLE WAITING and desperately need a secure home--and the peace of mind that comes with it!--to do so.

I've been freelancing since 1986 and have had work published by Golden Books, Grosset and Dunlap, DC Comics, and many others. CASTLE WAITING has managed to weather quite a few publishing storms over the years with two volumes (close to 1000 pages) in print, with editions translated into eight languages available all over the world.

Please help if you can. Producing artwork and stories for an ever-growing audience has always been crucially important to me. In all my years of freelancing I've never been in a position like this, and your advance support of the book will have my undying gratitude. 

Other ways you can help:
Pledge a monthly amount on Patreon 
Make a purchase from my Etsy Shop

Friday 29 July 2016

NOW It Appears UK Comic Shop Owners Are Putting On The Blindfolds (to not see what's happening)

And there is the punch to the jaw of UK comic retailers.

Looking at this week's UK comic pull videos as well as blog reviews it seems that the new prices have hit quickly.

On average it seems long term comic fans are now only purchasing between 6-8 (at the most) titles. They have cancelled all their other books because it is now too expensive and Marvel and DC are "not really producing much that good". From the reviews it seems 1 or 2 Marvel titles and maybe 2 DC titles and the rest are Image or IDW.

Some have cancelled Wonder Woman stating that they were interested in seeing what her "true origin" would be revealed as but "So far, the book doesn't seem to be getting anywhere.  It seems to be retreading over things it already covered".  No one will explain to me just WTF is going on with Wonder Woman so...meh.

If we take it that the eight I watch/read are cutting back to just 7-8 comics, and their friends are cutting back more in certain cases, that's a lot of cash comic shops in their specific areas are losing.  Some say their "comic guys" are being nonchalant and have adopted the "They'll all be back to buying the same number of books in a month!" stance.

Dumb is dumb.

Sadly, I don't get enough feedback from individual comic buyers to see what the real picture might be but if die hard fans are even thinking of dumping the 1-2 Marvel/DC comics that is not good. And, yes, remember all those posts of mine (and pre-"Brexit") stating that comics were going to kill shops off as well as themselves?

If anything I had hoped that on this one I was wrong (comic shop owners are their own worse enemies) and people keep pointing to the, uh, "burgeoning Small Press comics" (which many of them ridiculed and ridiculed me for supporting for almost 40 years but now it suits their arguments).

Well, wake up because 95% (more like 97%) of Small Pressers do not read comics.  They have no idea who is who in comics, that the movies like The Avengers or even Watchmen are based on comics.  They have no idea who Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko or even Gene Colan are.  The people who buy their zines or books are usually a group of friends or associates who do not give a crap about US comics or --sorry, I almost wrote "British comics"!

They are NOT going to sweep in and save comic shops and boost the dead UK industry. Comic shops will not stock Small Press comics so why would they go into one?

Wertham and others failed. But comic companies like Marvel and DC really do appear to be unable to stop stabbing themselves to death.

So, The TV Superman..... know, the one Supergirl tries to emulate?

He looks like a coffee bar assistant and is about as exciting looking as .....I can't think of anything ultra mundane. Your turn.

this is from Supergirltv:

Well here it is, the thing we've all been waiting for since we heard that Superman was going to be on the show! The first look at Tyler Hoechlin as Superman. We wondered if his \S/ would be full, or if there would be the red underwear, or even if he had the red stitching like Kara, well wonder no more. Check out the first image of SUPERMAN below!

Thursday 28 July 2016

Jerry Doyle July 16, 1956 – July 27, 2016

Very sad.  Quite liked him and, yes, Babylon 5.

Jerry Doyle, Babylon 5 star, dies

Jerry Doyle, an actor best known for starring on Babylon 5, has died, his family confirmed via Twitter Thursday. He was 60.
“The family of Jerry Doyle is sad to announce Jerry’s passing,” the tweet reads. “The cause of death is unknown at this time.”
According to TMZ, the actor was found unresponsive in his Las Vegas home on Wednesday.
Doyle played Michael Garibaldi on Babylon 5, a sci-fi series set in the future. He remained on the show throughout its five-season run from 1994 to 1998, and reprised his role in 1999 TV movie Babylon 5: A Call to Arms.
Following Babylon 5, Doyle went on to appear on television shows like Beverly Hills, 90210, Jag, and NYPD Blue. In 2013, he founded a media platform called EpicTimes, where he hosted a radio show on current events.
Tempus fugit

The Rocketeer: Di$ney Decides To Crap On Dave Stevens Creation

#1 Arschloch: "We've no ideas!"
#2 Arschloch: "Hey -the guy's dead now so let's shit on his creation and reboot!"
#1 Arschloch: "Hey, yeah.  But we gotta have a black lead -every character is having his/her sex and skin colour changed these days!"
#2 Arschloch: "Cool. A black chick!"

Do I sound like I have nothing but disdain for these moldy lumps of dog faeces? Good.

(Buyenlarge/Getty Images)
Disney could soon be blasting off again with a new take on The Rocketeer.
The studio is in the very early stages of developing a reboot of the 1991 period adventure movie, EW has learned.
Max Winkler and Matthew Spicer are writing the project, which is tentatively titled The Rocketeers and being eyed as a sequel-reboot.
The new story takes place six years after the original Rocketeer, Cliff Secord, vanished while fighting Nazis. In his absence, an unlikely new hero emerges: a young, black female pilot, who takes up the mantle of Rocketeer in hopes of stopping an ambitious and corrupt rocket scientist from stealing jetpack technology in what could prove to be a turning point in the Cold War.
The original Rocketeer, based on the 1980s comic by Dave Stevens, starred Billy Campbell as Cliff, a young pilot who stumbles upon a prototype jetpack that allows him to become a high-flying hero who faces off against Nazis, along with crossing paths with Howard Hughes and the FBI. The film was a box office disappointment at the time it was released, grossing just $46.7 million in North America, and placing fourth in its opening weekend. But The Hollywood Reporter — which was first to report plans of the prospective reboot — notes The Rocketeer later found a dedicated following.
Brigham Taylor (The Jungle Book) is producing the new Rocketeersfilm, with Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers and Ryan Kalil of the Carolina Panthers also on board as producers. Tendo Nagenda and Chaz Salembier are overseeing the project for Disney.

Sammy Davis jr - Ive Gotta be me.flv

Up-date: Dave’s Pop Art Exhibition

A message from Dave Gordon:

"Well the exhibit goes live in less than two days from as an incentive to anyone who's thinking of coming along, you can grab a postcard from a very limited set, first come first served, just for showing well as some thing to drink and eat. 

Hope to see some of you there on Friday after 6.30 P.M."
If you are lucky enough to live in Scotland here is something you should go and see...

Dave’s Pop Art Exhibition

You can find more details at the web site where Gill Pentland has written a nice introduction and bio for the genius that is David Gordon !

We're delighted to offer Gallery space at Alba Customs to Dave Gordon who will be exhibiting some of 
his 'Pop Art' from Friday 29th July until Friday 2nd September 2016.
Go see!

Guess What? Black Tower Comics & Books

Seriously, it may have gone past survival time but I am NOT going out without a fight...maybe a whimper!

 See why we are Europe's largest publisher of  Independent Comics.

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 earn -I get zilch!

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 willbe collectibles! 

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


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

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

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


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

Krakos -Sands Of Terror!

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

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

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

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

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

The Red Paper: CANIDS

But not all the prose books covered mysteries and wildlife.

And if there is one thing "Herr Professor" loves it is discovering and presenting long lost UK Golden Age (1939-1951) comic strips and characters from publishers such as Gerald Swan, Foldes, Denis M. Reader, Cartoon Art Productions and others.

Scanned and restored as best as can be considering the poor print quality of the rationing years -especially red, orange, yellow, blue and purple ink printing!

Ace Hart The Atomic Man!  The Tornado!  TNT Tom!  Dene Vernon!  Acromaid!  Cat-Girl! Bring 'Em Back Hank! Robert Lovett:Back From The Dead and so many other action heroes and humour strip characters -William A. Ward, Jock McCaill and a host of known and unknown creators contribute -either in single volume " Black Tower Gold" albums or all six collected into the 400+ pager -The Ultimate British Golden Age Collection!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Dene Vernon:The Thing Below

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

Chung Ling Soo 1Chung Ling Soo Man Of Mystery


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


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

 Osaka Brutal

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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