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

Tuesday 31 March 2020

Diamond Comics Miss Payments | From Bad to Worse!

DC and Marvel cancelling their digital comics at this time? THAT is not good. Also this whole Diamond crisis would seem more like very bad business practice

Top 10 Action Figures of 2020 (So Far) - Enjoy The Agony

DC's YA Graphic Novels Peak Cringe

Dene Vernon -Ghost & Mystery Investigator Returns!

Price: £5.00 (excl. VAT)Prints in 3-5 business days

After more than 70 years John McCail's ghost and mystery detective, Dene Vernon is back. In this ClassicComic Fun reprint four of Vernon's terrifying cases -The Burning Heart! -The Terror of Steinlitz Castle! -The Evil From The East! and The Silent Pool Mystery.

Black Tower Comics & Books is the UKs largest Independent publisher of black and white comics!

Black Tower Comics was set up in 1984 and was a Small Press set-up publishing Black Tower Adventure and Black Tower Presents (2 issues) and to back up its Small Press distribution service, Zine Zone -when it later expanded there was a title change to Zine Zone International. In 1986/1987 Black Towers Previews Comic was published showcasing new and upcoming talent with some going on to work at Fleetway, DC and Marvel Comics.

Adventure was published sporadically ending the first volume with no. 59. An accident in the late 1990s saw virtually all of the back issue stock destroyed.

In 2000 two new publications appeared: Comic Bits, looking mainly at the UK Golden and Silver Ages of comics and The World's Comic, designed to promote and interview creators from around the world.

In 2009, with the new Print On Demand system, Black Tower Comics & Books was launched with the first titles being The Bat Triumphant!, Krakos: Sands of Terror and the text book, Some Things Strange & Sinister. 

Black Tower has over 100 books on its online store including anthology adventure, ghostly, science fiction-horror, action, crime and comic albums and graphic novels to the history of early hot air ballooning, Haiku, illustrated text, wildlife as well as the World Mystery Books covering everything from UFOs, Bigfoot/Sasquartch, mystery sea and lake creatures; mystery creatures on land including the Chupacabras, Barking Beast of Bath and many others.

We are the official home of British Platinum and Golden Ages characters from Dr Syntax, Ally Sloper, The Iron Warrior and many others -new comics featuring old (but NOT rebooted) characters and staying true to the motto "Comics Are Fun!"

With creators such as John Erasmus, Pierre Labatt, Joel Stransky, Ben R. Dilworth, Tom Elmes, Paul Ashley Brown, Darron Northall and others there is no stopping "The Tower of Power"!

Black Tower Comics & Books is the UKs largest Independent publisher of black and white comics!

For fun in these bleak tiomes, some (low res) scans of the BTCG "sampler" from a few years back...


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

Monday 30 March 2020

Cinebook Ltd: Newsletter 147 - March 2020

Dear Reader,
We hope that you and your loved ones are safe in these rather unusual times. As more and more countries are hit by the virus, and begin to impose isolation, we hope you’ll find solace and distraction in our comics.
This month, our first new title is our 11th Buck Danny, and we swear this one was programmed months ago. Join our fearless pilots as they face untested equipment, one of the harshest environments on Earth, a mysterious enemy, and the unexpected pangs of love … among other things!
Next in line is the second volume of Islandia. Follow young Jacques on his quest through 16th century Iceland, across vast, gorgeous open spaces and far less pleasant cases of sorcery and black magic. Get ready for some big surprises!
Finally, the fourth episode of Mermaid Project will take you back to sunny Brazil, following police inspector Romane Pennac in a world where Paris and New York are third-world capitals, methane production is the new oil industry, and some people would stop at nothing to restore the old racial order. All that, and dolphins too!
March with Cinebook – stay at home and read!

Buck Danny 11
Formosa & Zumbiehl
Vostok, Do You Read Me?
Tasked with testing the new F-35 in extreme cold conditions, Buck and his wingmen are sent to Antarctica – much to Sonny’s disgust. The F-35's recurring technical problems force them to make a longer first stop than anticipated on their crossing of the continent... Read more

Islandia 2
Marc Védrines
The Westfjords
Jacques continues his journey through the heart of Iceland, still looking for answers to questions even he doesn’t quite understand. However, he unknowingly leaves behind a trail of disasters and tragedies that strike everyone he’s come close to... Read more

Mermaid Project 4
Simon & Leo and Jamar
Episode 4
Romane Pennac’s niece has been kidnapped in Paris. Her genetic makeup, inherited from the experiments conducted on her mother – and Romane – in her youth, make her a perfect candidate for Algapower’s hybridisation experiments ... Read more
Authorised Happiness 1

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

My apologies for any bad language but....

There is one thing going on at the moment that annoys me more than 12 weeks (and probably longer) isolation at home.

I have seen one video after another on You Tube in which comic collectors/fans are bemoaning the fact that DC and Marvel printers are not printing new comics and the monopoly Diamond distributors are not distributing new comics. Faces longer and more genuine than during the COPPRA non-crisis.

These are people who are sitting in amongst huge collections of many thousands of comics and hundreds of long boxes not to mention graphic novels, trades and collected editions. But the world just ended "because of this damn virus doing the rounds -they've even cancelled comic cons!" Yes, you thick ass pieces of tripe and those events and other problems is because Covid19 is a global pandemic and it is only Trump who thinks that mass gatherings are a good idea.

These are the same comic collectors who will tell you they have 10-12 copies of one issue -"one for the collection, one good copy to look through and a reader copy". Right. One I watched stating (I've seen several state this) that he always buys a certain issue if jhe sees it "I must have 10 copies (counts them) 15 copies".

I have seen them explain how they know a book is worth around $75.00 as a collectible but gotthe seller down to $10.00 ("but gave her $15). When the seller is disposing of items belonging to her husband who is in a care home bragging about how you cheated her out of money that might REALLY be needed says more about you...especially as you show off two other copies of the same comic you just purchased online. You have money to waste but HAVE to con someone for another copy?

This is actually a mania. You MUST have that comic even if you are onbly going to put it in Mylar and then in a box with the other dozen or so copies.  "I saw ----- showing this one on his video" and, of course, he had to get a copy. Two in fact as one will be a "reader copy". These are the same people who spend a fortune getting their comics slabbed and graded but then argue that the grading is "too low. I'd say it was more a 9.5!"

Dammit they could not do a live round robin internet chat "for the folks out there" and "all the tech problems on the net".  No, wake up you dozy arses: more people are working from home doing work that helps keep your economy or little world turning. We all love comics but you are in a very egocentric little world of your own.

These people, and the mania may be to blame, are sulking. Actually physically sulking on videos the world can see.  Acting like spoilt little brats who did not get the chromium trimmed life support machine it wanted.

Yes, comic shops are going to go.  Some have already decided to close. "If that closes then the nearest comic store is over 2 miles away"  WTF?!  As a kid I walked to two main newsagents to get my comics (that were not regularly distributed back then) -one just down the road and the other other a mile away. Walking. You are an adult with a car.  The mentality here is "If that store doesn't have a copy I'll go to the other store -maybe grab 2-3 copies if the books are that hot"  Self, self, self 100%

The poor and homeless are worried about exposure to the elements, losing their homes, finding the next meal and hoping they do not get Corona19.  People are losing their jobs (because rich bosses are not paying out) and their homes.  All you are worried about is getting your fucking comics regularly week-to-week.

You are sitting on THOUSANDS of Golden, Silver and Bronze ages comics. Help lighten the mood and showcase some of your collection -a particular run or series. People do NOT want to check videos with miserable bastards who can onbly think about themselves -how about some of that "giving back to the community" by offering 20-30 minutes of escapist entertainment? Oh, right, because you know that there is no "community" -90% of them are egocentric like you.

Even amongst toy/figure collectors you are seeingthis behaviour BUT most move on and are offering looks at their collections or individual figure showcases. THAT is doing more good so there is no reason why comic collectors/fans cannot do this. I had planned some videos but my camera died on me (not Corona related) part-way through the first one.

So stop the self pitying. You say we need more young people getting into comics? Good -show them why comics are fun.

My apologies for any bad language but....

Sunday 29 March 2020

Epic Evocations - Making Spell Effect Markers for D&D



Writer: John A. Short 
Artist: Gabrielle Noble 
44 pages 
Full colour 
US size Square bound 
UK £7.00 -see website for details: 
This 42 page full colour self-contained comic is in prestige format.  
 "Amongst the high mountains at the heart of Europe, where even the power of the Christian church cannot reach, lies a hidden land… A haven for ungodly creatures of every shape and kind, living in relative peace with mortal men… Here lives a woman made from the dead remains of others, shocked into life rather than born. The daughter of infamous Victor Frankenstein. 
 The powerful vampire authorities have their eye on Helga and she cannot escape their gaze. And where does the mysterious bride of Christ stand in this conflict. Who’s side is she on and what could drive her to travel to such a Godless corner of the globe? 
 All will be revealed in the self-contained horror adventure: Blood & Taxes! Written by (National Comics Award winner) John A. Short & illustrated by Gabrielle Noble (Captain Wylde)" 

Now I'll be honest because all my previous Kult Creation reviews are easily checkable on the internet, I have had one consistent complaint about books from this publisher: they are far too short!!  (no pun of any kind intended there, either). 

It may just be the fact that I love seeing Noble's artwork or even that Short writes good fun scripts but I do regularly read my Reverend CrossSavage Jungle Princess and other Kult titles. They are good old escapist fun with more than a few corny puns included -the "serious" comics are great, too. 

This book has lovely art and some interesting characters -I never have a problem recommending these books and this one I think everyone should have in their collection. The potential for a spin-off series are there. I'm just waiting for Kult to announce its "Crisis Cross-Over" book! 

Noble and Short should have their books in comic stores but you know what? Distributors do not care. You do not even have to risk going to a shop to buy this -you can order online! What, you want someone to hold open the pages while you read it, too???  

Very economically priced. Great story and art....come on! 

I'm A Teapot by Geisha Girls

Friday 27 March 2020


THAT'S WELL ART SCHOOL-A Visual Journal(Parts the First & Second) by Isabel Greenberg   88 pages A5   £5 each
IT'S NICE TO HAVE A FRIEND SUCH AS YOURSELF-DIARY COMICS 2007 & THE PRESENT IS NOT A PURGATORY-DIARY COMICS 2008           by James Nash 48 pages 14.5 x 40 cm   £5 each
 Recently, I've been fortunate enough to have found myself re-acqainted with the re-emerging world of self-published zines. While they certainly haven't ever gone away since the heady days of Paul Gravett's Fast Fiction at the Westminster Comic Mart's, or our own erstwhile CBO Uberfuhrer Mister Hooper's Zine Zone, of the 80's and 90's, there does seem to be a certain new renaissance in the form. While previously the influence was primarily the comic book world, and it's own fandom, many of the new artists using this medium originate from the Illustration and Graphics courses around the country's Universities. Certainly ,as part of their courses, they are being taught the benefits of finding ways of promoting their work that allows complete control over it's presentation, and a way of finding oneself an audience directly, as well as a perfect mode of self-expression. Which is where the perfect vehicle of the self-published zine comes in. Of course, above all else, the content and it's execution are what truly counts.

So, what do you actually do for content, when you're just finding yourself as both a person and an artist ? There's an old adage that says, "Write about what you know." Which will usually result in a plethora of work that one can lump together as "Autobiographical". Now, I've an admission to make here. Whenever I see work which is  "autobiographical", I tend to want to run in the opposite direction. There are very few people who can produce work which is autobiographical, or personal, that is truly interesting, honest and revealatory. In comics I can only think of three off  the top of my head, Robert Crumb, Chester Brown, and Eddie Campbell's brilliant Alec strips. After all, there's only so much chronic self-indulgent masturbation a reader can take (see my problem with perception here ?). Frankly, the zine world, like the comic book  world, is full of hopelessly delusional losers, erk, sorry, um, quirky and interesting individuals who have a story to tell. But only some of them are worth reading. Two of which are James Nash and Isabel Greenberg, whose work I recently picked up at the Handmade & Bound and Alternative Zine & Book Fairs in Euston (see a previous posting by yours truly on CBO ).

What both James and Isabel's work have in common immediately is that they both produce what are essentially diary comics, small moments of their days jotted down and drawn out in seemingly simple and direct expressions within either a page or few panels. Funnily enough they also both feature briefly in each other 's work, after meeting each other I believe at one of the aforementioned events ( Yes, readers, the zine world is indeed a hotbed of incestuous artistic  relationships, hence this review !) Obviously, the content of the pages revolve around their interrelationships with friends, family and work colleagues, and here and there the odd stranger.

In Isobel's That's Well Art School, we follow Issy's daily observations while attending her Illustration course at Brighton, hanging out with her flatmates and boyfriends, and on holiday with her family. Her drawing is simple, direct and has a freshness and immediacy to it that works well in visually describing each daily snapshot. Her cast of characters are well delinated and recognisable, and she maintains a diversity in visual information that means that the content never becomes repetitive or dull. It helps that the majority of the dialogue and written exchanges are bright, witty and charming. There's a lovely sense of humour throughout, as well as a really sweet-natured outlook in Isabel's observations, that on finishing reading this, made me want to see more of her work. Thankfully, as well as the Visual Journal, she's also produced some other zines of more diverse material, including the wonderfully necessary Cheer Up Love, It's Only A Credit Crunch, a zine that offers stories of hope to warm your heart when you can't afford to switch on the heating ! This zine features the strip which won her the Second Prize in the Johnathan Cape/Observer Graphic Short Story prize. I recommend you visit her website for more details at

James' two zines are a collection of small diary strips, produced daily over the course of the last two years. Each 14.5 x 40 cm page of the 48 page collection contains 6 strips, usually 2 to 3 images in length, each a small observation or episode of James' day, whether working in his job at the bank, going to gigs and parties with his friends, or loitering around his flat in an abject funk of depression, as well as some insights as to producing the very work you're reading. At first, his drawing style takes a bit of getting used to, his characters, including himself, reduced to being described in a very succinct way, big heads with dotted eyes and a slashy mouth. Initially, this seemed as if it didn't allow for too much difference of expression, but on continual reading, the seeming economy of style is deceptive.I t's actually suprising just how much detail is contained within some of these strips. What impressed me greatly about James' work, was the incredible frankness and emotional honesty within it. He doesn't flinch from depicting himself as being flawed, or a jerk in dealing with his friends on occasions, and there's a real moving honesty in his depiction of going through what is obviously serious depression. This is brave stuff for someone so young. That's not to say it's all doom and gloom, there are also some really warm and funny moments, and some lovely tender episodes with his family. What also was impressive to me, was the sheer ambition and dedication in continuing to produce work on a daily basis over the period he has, to a level of consistency and quality that is to be applauded for someone still finding themselves artistically. I certainly recommend trying at the very least one of his zines, if not all of them. Go to Who knows, you may just feel the same.

 In my humble opinion, both Isabel and James deserve to find a wide audience for their work.Though both in their early twenties, there is already enough substance in their work to suggest they could well be very distinctive talents if they can obtain an encouraging and supportive readership at this early stage in the development of their artistic voice. I hope they can continue their work for a long while yet. You can certainly help by going and buying their zines !

Paul "Well Arty-Farty" Brown