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Terry Hooper-Scharf

Thursday 30 August 2018

Anreise zum Werner-Rennen - Weitere Pilger zur Comic-Kultstätte werden e...

Cinebook the 9th Art: Newsletter 128 - August 2018

Dear Reader,
We're debuting a new series this month with the first volume of IAN. If you like I, Robot, Westworld or Humans ... if you have questions about the nature of humanity and the soul ... or if you like a solid adventure story with plenty of futuristic action, then this series is definitely for you. Ralph Meyer's gorgeous art is a nice bonus, too!
For the kids of Alone, the future is ... well, nebulous, and full of things from the past, like castles and spears and torture racks ... Their 'life' is getting more and more complicated, but the time has come for a big reveal that'll change everything.
Lucky Luke, on the other hand, remains his usual stalwart, unflappable self as he lends a hand to the Earp brothers during one of the most famous kerfuffles in US history – the famous gunfight at The O.K. Corral!
Finally, volume 6 of The Complete Valerian will soon grace your bookshelves with more gorgeous content in hardback format. Only one more to go after that!
August with Cinebook – laughs, deep thoughts and plenty of thrills!

Alone 9 
Gazzotti & Vehlmann
Before the Midnight Child
In the arena, the Campton kids have won their 'citizenship' of the In-Between-World's strange society. Now free to come and go as they please, they've left town for the mountains, following Dodzi without really knowing why ... Read more

IAN 1 
Meyer & Vehlmann
An Electric Monkey
Intelligent Artificial Neuromechanoid... Ian. It's the name of the newest recruit in Team 21 of the SRS — the 'Special Rescue Section'. Ian is an android, impossible to tell from a human being with the naked eye, and his creators claim that he's controlled by a true artificial intelligence.. Read more

Lucky Luke 70 
Morris & Fauche and Adam
The O.K. Corral
Everyone's heard of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral: the most famous shootout of the Old West, between the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday on the side of law and order, and the Clanton brothers and their gang. A legend told many times in books and films, in sometimes contradictory versions ... Read more

Mézières & Christin
The Complete Collection 6
With volumes 16 to 18 collected here, we find Valerian and Laureline suddenly rich beyond their wildest dreams, and this new situation brings the differences in their personalities in stark contrast: where Laureline remains true to herself and her love of life, Valerian finds himself idle and disoriented ... Read more
Distant Worlds 1
Episode 1
Largo Winch 17
Morning Star
Lucky Luke 71
A Cowboy in Paris
The Complete Collection 7

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

22 and 23 September, 2018: Cinebook will exhibit at Thought Bubble, Leeds City Centre, Leeds, UK

Werner-Rennen in den Nachrichten - Comic-Kult in Schleswig-Holstein

Book Imprint Launch 1st September, 2018

After re-organising the online store it was decided that Black Tower Comics & Graphic Novels would be treated as a separate imprint from the company.

The re-organisation has led to the following imprints being created and which will launch on 1st September, 2018:

Nature Series -Wildlife related books

World Mysteries -encompassing everything from the paranormal, cryptozoology, ufology and more.

Technical Study Books -the first is UFO Contact? and would be considered far more in depth (at 500+pp) on subject matter.

All of the books -Some Things Strange & Sinister   Some MORE Things Strange & Sinister   Pursuing The Strange and Weird   The Truth About Spring Heeled Jack and Mysterious Beasts & Creatures - have had re-writes to some degree and extra photographs and other images added and all carry the "World Mysteries" logo.

More information on 1st September.

Monday 27 August 2018

They never even tried half the things I did.

I say that I have given this comic business everything -and I have tried everything to promote Black Tower.  There is, of course, the online store and all the prose books, comic albums and graphic novels.

Since 2010 I have offered the books at 50%   cover price off to promote them (losing me money)....not a single sale.

I then  reduced prices on the larger books like Return of the Gods....not a single sale.

I offered the books for sale (again reduced cover prices) direct from CBO (5 times)...not a single sale.

Twitter, Google+, Face Book and so many other anti  social media networks....not a single sale.

I've gone into this before but until I moved a rather large package this afternoon I had forgotten the number of special offers made.

Break Out!  and Black Tower Block Buster -two comics offered at £1 each...promoted as much as possible. Not a single sale and you are not going to find cheaper comics.

How about the £1.20 Black Tower comic?  Offered on CBO and via all the usual places.  £1.20...not a single sale.

remember Come On! Action Comic at £2.00?  The Bristol Comic Book at £1.00?  Black Tower Block Buster -Roar!....not ring any bells?

There are others put together with Ben Dilworth.  We tried everything. Even...get this...even as give aways at a Small Press event Black Tower Block Buster could not get rid of any copies.  No one even looked at them when offered.

I have three big cardboard boxes full of stock and I've had those full boxes since 2013.

I had two phone calls last Saturday (long phone calls, to!) each from a publisher now giving up. They asked why comics as an industry and fandom in particular had "become so toxic"?  Why is no one buying comics now even after special offers?  I could not answer those questions though we know comics in the UK died after the fan boys got into running them.  Same thing in the United States but they JUST managed to survive.

As for the toxicity of comics and fandom...the internet and millennials.  It is as simple as that. Before the internet we had fanzines and the odd spat (via letters of comment) snuck in but that was it.  Now all the lazy little bastards don't even have to write on paper and post their turds. Rather than read and enjoy comics you have every little shit head wanting to attack some aspect of it.

It is NOT the fault of the internet.  It is the people using it.

There are real comic fans out there but their lack of support means the internet asses win the day.

Those two publishers who spoke to me were breaking down -you could hear that.  The truth is that in the UK there are no comic fans nor is there an industry of any kind (apart from the one that has people blatantly ripping of project submissions I made in the 1990s).

I am shocked that American comic buyers and those in Europe appear to0 have no interest. I guess the same applies there.  Further afield, in other parts of the world it might be that there is no local printer working with the Print On Demand company I use.  I just do not know because absolutely no one out of the 3+ millions who have visited CBO even leaves a comment.

I need to plan for 2019 and that will not include the UK.

For now, for my own enjoyment, I am putting together a big 50th Anniversary D-Gruppe book.  guess what? The first D-Gruppe book (in new format) was published in 2010.  German super heroes and the posts on them get very high views (especially from Germany) and I have sold....not one single copy.

I feel very sorry for all the small publishers who went out of business in 2017/2018.

They never even tried half the things I did.

Saturday 25 August 2018

How Can You Go On?


I just spent two-and-a-half months pushing and promoting my books -comics and prose.  Working 18-20 hours a day (don't worry I really paid for it physically).

I up-dated books. adding new material. Dropping some prices.

Posting daily to the three blogs -AOP, Black Tower and CBO as well as Face Book page. Google+, Twitter and gods know where else.

That is thousands of views from all around the world and I'm not kidding -I've looked at this before on CBO- including "the" comics country, the United States.


Not one single comment.

Not one single sale

I was going to write something...really you do not care.  You come here for what you want then leave. Sorry but you are the one killing independent comics and the comics industry.

Go watch your SJW/anti-SJW videos and then read your Big 5 comics.  Nothing here for you

Friday 24 August 2018

Bemalung: Nighthaunt / Geister / ghosts für Age of Sigmar (Tabletop-Mini...

Digesting Dreams - Sandman Universe #1

D-Gruppe -created while The Beatles were still music chart toppers!

Last time (June) I tried to contact German comic events regarding 2019 and a table I got zero responses.  Two friends (Germans) and some of my family there pointed out that Germans were "still pissed at the English over Brexit".

Hey, I'm half German and I never voted for Brexit.

I was planning on doing something with D-Gruppe since it's over 50 years since I created the heroes and team.  Yes, someone pointed out to me that if I created them when I did that is well over 50 years...I'd sooner not think about that!

I was thinking about translating the work into German but my German is NOT that good!  Also, enough German comic fans buy US comics, which are in the English language, so is there that big a need to translate? I’m still in two minds over this aspect of the project.

At 04:15 hrs this morning I was even reconsidering redrawing everything (again) but decided "It is what it is -move on".  I have never claimed (despite what some claim –they know who they are) to be the greatest comic artist around and I drew the series out of necessity after one artist after another decided to move on for various reasons. To me the style I was happiest with was the one of my pencils with Ben Dilworth inks –to me that defined “the look”.

Another month and it will be a year since I last heard from Ben Dilworth in Japan. There were things planned but to be honest I have no idea if he is still alive!

But things are so far behind schedule with D-Gruppe: although the team has appeared in Return of the Gods –part of the team vanishing while chasing a UFO which would have led to –D-Gruppe: Lost in Space. They also feature in The Trial (in Black Tower Super Heroes) and The “other guys” –Task Force Germany- should have been integrated into D-Gruppe after The Days of Darkness story.  Both teams do appear in The Green Skies but all plans can be chopped and changed.

Things have changed since the 1960s.  No, really they have.  I come from the past and can confirm that.  I think the “top tech” D-Gruppe had in the 1960s was the telephone (not the mobile ones), walkie-talkies and meeting room with video-link monitor.  Although the stories (in drawn form) no longer exist the stories are still gathering memory dust in my head.

Yep. 2019 I have to do something special!

Thursday 23 August 2018

Dragon Ball Band 1 - Das Geheimnis der Drachenkugeln | Manga Review | De...

ComicIn! Shopping-Tour #40 - Ich surfe wieder durch das Marvel-Universe...

Comic Book Palace (Ep. 27)

Books Launching 1st September, 2018

On the 1st September, 2018, I will be publishing the up-dated versions of the following books under the World Mysteries imprint:

The Bizarre Legend, Crimes and Truth about Spring Heeled Jack

Some Things Strange & Sinister

Some More Things Strange & Sinister

Pursuing the Strange and Weird: A Naturalist's Viewpoint

"World Mysteries" was chosen as the books are not classed as solely cryptozoological, Ufological, paranormal or whatever. They cover all of these and more from around the world.

UFO Contact? is in a separate category of its own since the intention was that this be a technical paper that got kind of out of hand!

Mysterious & Strange Beasts is also covered by the World Mysteries imprint.

The Girt Dog of Ennerdale and The Red Paper: Canids are all classed under the Nature imprint

Cruisers of the Clouds comes under the History imprint, naturally.

Monday 20 August 2018

Comic Book Reviews - Disconnect

No One Noticed, Did They?

Yup. Not been posting here but still plenty of views.  Like that fella said, people out there (you) would sooner see CBO vanish than comment or show support.

For THREE SOLID MONTHS I posted to all my blogs, promoting my books and even reducing the cover prices of some. Not one sale.

Somehow I think the Print On Demand sales graphic says it all!

And those books listed note the 0.00 value.  Those were review books sent to people who asked for them...then never reviewed or responded to emails.

You get the CBO you deserve.

Saturday 11 August 2018

Ghost Critic's The Collection - Fantastic Four '60's & 70's, 80's pt 1 & 2 and '90s pt 1

Superman (Rebirth) #12 | Comic Review | Neue Superman History verständlich?


Authors: Jean Léturgie and Pierce; illustrated by Morris and Pierce
Age: 8 years and up
Size: 21.7 x 28.7 cm
Number of pages: 48 colour pages
Publication: June 2018

We all know Lucky Luke, the man who shoots faster than his own shadow. But even he was once a child, and back then he was already having grand adventures in the Old West! The young boy is travelling with an old, grumpy, alcoholic prospector in search of gold, when a conflict with the local Indian tribe leads to kidnapping – and he now finds himself the adopted son of a nagging native mother!

I am one of those people who HATES it when they do "Young -whatever" (but not Young Frankenstein!) and I saw this cover and title and said something rude. But I have to review what I get so....

It was not as bad as I expected! Lucky Luke but at a younger age and it was good to see his early connection to not just the Indians (native Americans) but the US Cavalry.  Connections that were a staple part of the LL series.  And, yes, this is album number 69 so the next one -O.K. Corral- will be number 70....without being too sarcastic that wasn't that difficult to work out, was it?

I do have one hope, though, we see Young LL here but one day I hope Cinebook can get together a collection of the early strips from the late 1940s -you know Morris created the character in 1946, right?  He looked a tad different 70 years ago!
But for now we have volume 69 and I think most fans are waiting for Lucky Luke 70 at 70 (or something like that).  Yeah, I know I may be a year or so off but I don't care. The series is still great fun for all the family.


Authors: Jean Léturgie and Xavier Fauche; illustrated by Morris
Age: 8 years and up
Size: 21.7 x 28.7 cm
Number of pages: 48 colour pages
Publication: April 2018

In 1874, President Grant authorises the construction of a bridge over the Mississippi. Until then, passage between St. Louis and East St. Louis was only possible on ferries. But the ferry company is owned by two brothers who have been getting rich by forcing passengers to wait in the hotels and restaurants they own on both sides of the river.

The two crooks are doing everything in their power to prevent the bridge from being built – until Lucky Luke arrives, of course...

I was amazed when the Lucky Luke comic album series hit number 20.  That had not been achieved in the English language before. With number 30 another milestone was made. Then 40...50 and 60 -now the series has reached 68 (hehehehe -that's going to change with the next post!).

With this album we see the usual action but also the verbal and vizual gags.  What more can you wrtite about Lucky Luke after 68 albums?  The colour work by Studio Leonardo is really nice and clean and I like that the cover looks very much like a "vintage" cover style.

In all honesty, if you have not purchased a Lucky Luke book yet you may need to seek the help of a psychiatrist.  Anyone claiming to be a comic fan needs at least two LL books in their collection...oh -and there is a page of "proper history" at the back of the book. Educational, too!


Authors: Bob de Groot; illustrated by Turk
Age: 8 years and up
Size: 21.7 x 28.7 cm
Number of pages: 48 colour pages
Publication: June 2018

Holidaying in the country, Clifton receives the unexpected – and unwelcome – visit of a MI5 bigwig. He finds himself reinstated against his will, and tasked with finalising the training of a promising new recruit of the Intelligence Service: Sir Jason. The young man is sharp, well-educated, knows both techniques and theory like the back of his hand... The problem, as Clifton soon discovers, is that when the time for action comes, he is inevitably paralysed by fear!

James Bond was never like this.  Welcome to the world of Jimmy Edwards moustached village bobbies and where Mission Impossible would probably start the way this book does -with an argument over the right temperature toast should be served to a guest. Hey, it's a big problem.  Hot beans on toast means you'll not notice as the sauce will give the toast that soggy consistency.  With poached egg on toast (yeuch) you get soggy toast but the heat from the freshly poached egg.  Cheese on toast is a ....oh right.

Uh, comic album. considering this is a humour comic you would be surprised at the amount of fighting, gun-play and car chase scenes.  European creators seem to be able to balance the action comic-mixed-with-humour genre well but this is Turk and deGroot so what would you expect? Fun for all the family -kids and parents (and grandparents....just don't mention the EU!).


Author: Tome & Janry
Age: 8 years and up
Size: 21.7 x 28.7 cm
Number of pages: 48 colour pages
Publication: May 2018

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.

They awaken to the very noisy arrival of de Champignac aboard one of his strange machines – except that the old man claims to be not the Count himself, but one of his descendants ... back from the future!

The fighter pilot never deserved that egg in the face over the Azores. Just saying. What can you expect from Spirous and Fantasio other than some really daft idea that is going to be full of gags and humour? Conquistadores? High octane fuelled military action...resulting in an egg in the face. Time travel. If it helps out -I got a paper cut from the book!  Owchie.

Something that hit me straight away was the colour.  Not sure whether it is the tones used or what but they really catch the eye (notice I never mentioned like an egg in the eye? Oh.). This is a fun series and I think the cover says it all -for a series I was unsure of at the outset it's becoming very enjoyable!

So many views..

So many views of the Cosmic Oddity post. How many of you will buy the book(s)? I can guess.

After the current spate of reviews things will be slim-pickings on CBO.  No one cares -it's just a grab-and-go so why should I knock myself out?

Friday 10 August 2018

Dave The Cosmic Oddity. Return of the Cosmic Oddity. And now: DEATH of the Cosmic Oddity!

There is a reason why these books are selling like hot cakes -get copies while you can because I don't want you crying later!

Book 1:  Dave -A Cosmic Oddity

In case you missed it here was my review of the first Dave book.

Black & White
106 Pages
Price: £12.99
The biography of Dave Gordon, often called the Uk's Manara. Detailing Dave's origins and relationships, this is an insight into one of UK comicdoms creators.

I got this book handed to me by the postman (mailman if you are American) at 1300 hrs and by 1500 hrs I had read it through.

This is David Gordon -the UKs very own Milo Manara- telling his story.  From his birth and adoption three days later through family life, school, university, work and later trying to contact his birth mother -the outcome of which is still currently open.

Dave takes us through his life and troubled relationships with himself (2014) narrating and flashback images and sequences of events.  The style he uses in this book, being honest here, I saw at a glance and thought "not sure about this".  However, I realised the clever way the art had been designed and drawn -photos, etc.- actually worked. Even the cartoony flashback-to-situation pages (see below).

What can I write about this?  Gritty -yes.  Factual and being brutally honest and to be equally honest here I do not think I'd have the guts to quite literally open up my chest and let some of these experiences out.  Being pushed away by his adopted family is bad enough but then having to go through his (adoption) father dying of cancer -bad enough.  But we then learn about the abusive relationships (physical and emotional).

There is still the matter of his birth mother and how that might end.  However, Dave is now happily in a relationship with Lesley (I've met her and she seems quite nice for a prison officer -not even a moustache!) and that gives us a sort of happy ending.  But, oh boy, what happened before.

Let me tell you something.  For years I was also an agent for comic creators.  You see good art, you know the writers or artists are reliable so, as an agent you put a spin on things to sell the work.  I've read and reviewed comics and graphic novels for publications and online now for over 30 years.  I see a couple hundred books of one sort or another a year -the crammed bookshelves and floors attest to that.

I cannot think of one book where a creator has taken us through his personal life and things have been so dark and gut-wrenching -even preparing for suicide- that I have said out loud "F***!" so many times. My sister even said "What are you swearing at?"

If this were an independent film it would be getting some award.  A publisher should be paying Gordon to allow them to publish this!  This is superbly written -and it must have taken a lot of thought to put this together without going over the top or exaggerating.  To make it a sequential story interspersed with illustrated text pieces....this is truly what Will Eisner described what graphic novels should be: telling a true and honest story that grabs the reader and pulls them in.

You people out there deciding who gets nominated for an Eagle Award should read this book.

This book should NOT be ignored. If you think "I'll buy just one Independent book...." then PLEASE make it this.

The book has surprised and shocked me - I have heard some snippets over the years but never the whole story.  In fact, you really need to read it yourself because nothing I write here can even adequately do it justice.

Then we had Return of the Cosmic Oddity
This began with Dave finally meeting his birth mother and he tells her story as well as the often dark way his adopted mother and family treated him -his adopted father being the exception.  It is later in the book when Dave tells us of his final chat with his dying father and the trauma it caused: seemingly spurring on the rest of his adoptive family in their negative behaviour.

There is a light in this story, however, having met his now wife, Lesley (book 1) we see him take the big step of asking her to marry him.  Does she?  I think I gave the answer to that away just now.

But this is not all darkness.  There is a lot of humour including Dave being interrupted  by Dave (the one with the wrong t-shirt) and learning what Paranoia looks like physically....not to mention Depression and Anxiety! I'm just glad to hear other creators argue with themselves.

There are flashy-backs to family life, a mention of the work he did with Warren Ellis and why that collaboration started, negativity in the UK comics scene, his early comics work -and how it was treated- as well as meeting some devious piece of work named Terry Hoo---hang on. Meeting one of the greatest men in comics Terry Hooper.  Then comes the collaboration and working for Fantagraphic Books and let's not open that can of worms again.

Dave continues on looking at his post Fantagraphics work and the awful treatment he got at the hands of the (as I call them) "Scottish comics mafia".  I can attest to that.  If you look to the right on this page the David Gordon interview is still listed as one of the post popular and it still is: published on the Blogger version of CBO in February, 2011 it has been viewed some  17,402 times.  When it was first posted I had every sort of threat tried to get me to remove it because "he's trouble".  Those people are...nowhere to be seen these days. So don't take that part as fiction!

And, of course, Dave looks at his exclusive Chang3lings line of custome designed dolls.  Continuing the love of toys he has had since the 1970s -and in this book he looks at his cherished 1970s Micronaut toy. Dave's Chan3lings work is mentioned here:

Now we come to.....Death of the Cosmic Oddity!

100 pages
Black & White

“Everyone has a story to tell, this is the continuing story of ‘Dave’. Like all of us, he tries to make sense of his life, memories of a turbulent past bring both tragedy and comedy together in one of the best graphic albums you’ll read this year.”

Well, that is what the blurb says. In this case it more-or-less tells the truth!

There’s a funny artist v artist confrontation to start the book off and once the "Other Dave" is taken care of comes Arrowmageddon….seriously. A lovely comedy sequence and something some artists may relate to. 

Dave and his musical influences which include, if you have not guessed, David Bowie. did I mention Dave meeting David Bowie?  Well he recounts that chance meeting at a concert back in the day. We also see how his attempt to paint Bowie on his bedroom wall ended. Turns out Dave is also a Toyah fan (problem?).

We also see how, rather brutally, Dave was told that he was adopted at an early age. Now you have to wonder why he grew up depressed, paranoid and with anger management issues! But there are still the humorous chats and the revelation that the “nudey playing cards” Dave found as a youngster…are still in his possession!  Which leads into one of his other loves –The Kenny Everett Show and dance group Hot Gossip, Saphire and Steel and the memories surrounding them. Now if you purchased his Dr Who Sketch Book and Groove Tube Memories you'll know that!

He also tells of an embarrassing meeting with singer/actress Claire Grogan.  I laughed but I seriously sympathise with him over what happened.  Youth!

The stories of Dave's "Adopteds" and Real family life are interspersed with a look at his love of Cinema as well as his painting work (Dave’s Pop Art) and exhibitions -already mentioned but some art pieces were shown here:

 Then comes the health scare and being rushed to hospital on top of more family twists.  Who needs TV soaps -this is real life and as dirty, gritty and funny as it can be. On the last page we see Lesley, Dave's wife, receiving the news….

Dave is gone.

Don’t for one minute think that this series has been about moaning and “I never had anything good happen” –I have read SO many of those over the years.  Everything I said about book 1 applies here.  This book draws you in and the bad memories are balanced out well with plenty of humour –between Dave and "Daves" or in the flash-backs to school days, Playboy magazine and his mate "losing a testicle" -you have to read that to see why it was so funny!

The “cartoony” flash-back style interspersed between the “serious” art works well and I can’t see why anyone would have a problem with this. Really, if there were real publishers out there they would dump the “only one story in me” young art college ‘talents’ they give a graphic novel to and jump in on this series.

I really hope that one day the books will become one big book and people will pay attention because this knocks seven shades of doo-dah out of what is being published in the UK at the moment. Sad to say that in a country like France, this work would draw a lot of attention.

But it’s “only comics”, right?

You want a read that will make you wince, at the twists and turns, some very painful, but also give you a laugh then Death of the Cosmic Oddity is the one for you and I have only skimmed over some of the contents.