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Terry Hooper-Scharf

Monday 28 February 2022

Madame Foretell -"Shakespear's Sister"




Author: Franquin, Yann & Batem

Age: 8 years and up
Size: 21.7 x 28.7 cm
Number of pages: 48 colour pages
Publication: August 2021

£7.99 incl VAT 

ISBN: 9781800440265

In Palombia, the president is throwing a lavish completion ceremony for a colossal project: a dam across the mighty river Huaytoonarro. An event that couldn’t leave the Marsupilami more indifferent, for he has other piranhas to fry: Mrs Marsupilami has disappeared. Our friend’s nose tells him that it was the doing of Bring M. Backalive, the famous hunter, and he rushes after the kidnapper, soon followed by Sarah and Bip … and then the situation becomes even more complicated!

If you've read any of the books in this series before you know what to expect -visual and other gags, a bit of adventure, devious humans and trappers and...Marsupilami. "tampered with" sugar cubes and a roach, hypodermic darts and...and Marsupilami getting darted?? Is this the end of our heroic....thing? Will the yellow and black spotted one end up on display in a cage?

Spoiler: no.

Kids should love this and I know one adult who is totally hooked on the series so he should be very happy!

Sunday 27 February 2022

Striking Like Lightning -Electro-Girl: Bullet For Maxine


The British Super Hero

 I get a few mentions in this book by Chris Murray including as a publisher so its odd that when he looks at the continuation of modern super heroes in the UK the history of Black Tower Comics and Books (1984- ) does not get a mention.

There are some gaps or missing connections in the book but overall its a good read. Of course, I am NOT going to review it because for over 20 years the rule has always been everything received is reviewed but books I buy myself I do not review. This is based on the fact that if someone does not think I am worthy enough to review their aint worthy of a mention.

It's an expensive book but fun to go through and I received it today just as I was going through the files on some of the old and obscure heroes. 

Sunday Comic Strip -"Work"


Friday 25 February 2022

It's....COMIC BITS!!

  Each 80pp issue contains lots of art as well as a few rare to very rare photographs (something Black Tower has specialised in). That's 80pp for the (UK) price of £8.00 which is the bare minimum price it could be offered at to encourage those with an interest in the subject to purchase. 

£6.00 for a couple of months work with articles and information it might take you a year or so to find for yourself is not bad. 

If interest picks up in the future the title can be bought back to life but until then only the first two issues will remain available.

Text, comic strips and some rare photographs!

The return of THE British Golden Age of Comics magazine! 

Interviews with Mike Western, John Cooper and Jon Haward plus a look at Ally Sloper on film, Defining the Ages of British Comics, William McCail plus a lot of art and stripwork. At this price -cheap!

Ed T Hooper-Scharf
80 pp

The second issue of the magazine celebrating creators, titles and characters of the British Platinum, Golden and Silver Ages of comics. 

In this issue William A. Ward finally gets some long deserved recognition for his contribution to comics John McCail gets "bigged up" something rotten!

 We look at comedian and actor Bob Monkhouse's comic creation career 

Steve Dowling -Father of the Garth newspaper strip speaks to Denis Gifford (the ONLY interview he ever gave) 

There is a look at Dennis M. Reader and his comics work that spawned some of the UKs first super heroes. 

also a look at William Fletcher Thomas, Ernest Wilkinson, Jos Walker, Mary Byfield and William H A Chasemore... oh, and LOTS of lovely art and stripwork!

Thursday 24 February 2022

Cinebook Ltd: Lucky Luke 80 -The Alibi

 Authors: Morris &  Claude Guylouis

Age: 8 years and up
Size: 21.7 x 28.7 cm
Number of pages: 48 colour pages
Publication: September 2021

£7.99 Incl VAT

ISBN: 9781800440388

Lucky Luke is contacted by a rich individual with an unusual request: he wants to hire the Lonesome Cowboy to escort his stepdaughter Gisella on a trip across the Wild West. He wants her to see for himself the hard life of settlers and frontiersmen at least once before she settles into a comfortable married life. Luke arranges a few fake, safe incidents to entertain the young woman, but she’s no shrinking violet, and tends to charge headlong into trouble …  

I stated from the outset that I thought we might get 20 translated Luke albums, though others were saying it would be a miracle if 3 were published "no one is interested in European comics" (you know who you are). So then we got to 30 albums and I was all "Wow. More than I expected!" until we reached 40 albums...then 50....60.... you know where I'm going, right?

Eighty albums. And no publisher goes on printing books that are not selling. I say with a smile on my face that we have a new generation growing up reading Franco-Belgian comic albums.  The smile gets bigger when I think of the nasty little worms grinding their teeth in frustration!

They ought to stop grinding their teeth and pick up Lucky Luke 80! The, uh, brothers are back. No, not the religious order of brothers from any particular faction. You know who I mean. Okay, you want me to write it: the Dalton Brothers is back! Oh yes, and are things going to plan for them in a colourful book full of gags and Western action?  Big clue is the exclamation: "Oh No! Lucky Luke!"

Hey, come on I could be tricking you. Maybe the Daltons paid me to makle it look bad for them when all is going well for them.  Things look to be going mighty fine on page 45.....what a difference a panel makes.

Anyway if you love Lucky Luke, and it looks like a lot of you do, then her is the 80th book for your shelf. You might need to reinforce the shelf a bit as 80th books crashing to the ground at 3 am is scary!



Author: De Gieter

Age: 8 years and up
Size: 21.7 x 28.7 cm
Number of pages: 48 colour pages
Publication: December 2021

£7.99 incl VAT

 ISBN: 9781800440395

Theti-Cheri asks Papyrus to accompany her to the temple of Mout-Sekhmet, where she is to conduct a ceremony to appease the goddess’s wrath, kindled after the previous high priest committed crimes. Unfortunately, the day chosen by the princess is viewed as extremely inauspicious by the superstitious peasantry, and Papyrus, born among the simple people of Egypt, refuses the young woman’s request, angering her. By the time he changes his mind and joins her, there are evil plans afoot …

This is one of those books that is drawn in a deceivingly cartoon style until you look closer and I love the details De Geiter gets into the panels. The colours are lovely and bright nd, as always, the printing quality is superb.  But what about the story itself?

Evil priest, strange lizard creatures, a female held hostage and a fight to free her and plenty of  shennanigans along the way along with the final confrontation -this could almost be a Conan adventure. If you fancy leaving cold Cimmeria for much warmer Egypt for adventure then this is the book.

If you are a fan of Papyrus then you will not need me telling you this. Never read a book from the series before? Sytart here!

Cinebook Ltd -EU Shipping Notice


Tuesday 22 February 2022

Henry Louis Diamond and Target Publications -Terry Hooper and Black Tower Comics and Books -What's The Connection?

 My brother and his partner are looking into the family history. As you might expect from Hoopers and Cases there are a few mysteries and odd goings on. However I was then told that there was an Olive Diamond related to my grandfather and that she was listed as "Childrens paper editor" -in the 1930s. She also lived in Bath.

I laughed and said that the only Childrens papers (comics) company I knew was Henry Louis Diamond who ran Target Publications from Bath.

Thought no more until I was informed that Iwas in fact related to Henry Louis Diamond! I got far too excited for a man of my age. Double and triple checked the documents supplied and, yes, it is true.

So, I guess comics editing, writing, drawing and getting ripped off by publishers is in the DNA.

I own some old Target publications and...well. I am chuffed but sadly never met the old boy who died in 1966 when I was still a youngster but a comic reading and drawing strips in old books.

Merry Midget. by Louis Diamond 1931
'Micky's Christmas Day' (Merry Midget, 26 December 1931).

Henry Louis Diamond was a British comic artist, editor and publisher, who ran Target Publications in Bath. As a publisher he launched various comic magazines, including The Rattler, The Dazzler, Chuckler, Target, Rocket, Sunshine, The Bouncer and Ovaltiney's Own Comic. These were vital for offering various British comic artists career opportunities throughout the 1930s. But Diamond was also a rare example of a comic publisher who also wrote and drew for his own comic series and magazines.

Early life and career
Henry Louis Diamond was born in 1904 in Bristol. His father was an iron moulder. Diamond's graphic career took off as a postcard designer. He worked for newspaper The Daily Herald and made his first comic strips for the magazines published by Fleetway Press from 1924 on. Among his earliest features were 'Sweet Hortense' (1924) in The Monster Comic and 'High Jinks at High School' (1924) on the front-page of The Golden Penny Comic. This was replaced in 1927 by 'Pot T. Pot and his Pet Patient, Piecan' (1927-1928), an oddball strip about an asylum keeper and an escaped lunatic. From 1926 on he also worked for the Amalgamated Press, drawing 'Ginjor the Turk' (1926) and 'Rose Budd' (1926) for Butterfly, and 'The Tomboy Two' (1926) and 'Wild West Wally' (1926) for Comic Cuts.

'Pot T. Pot and Piecan'.

Provincial Comics
In the 1930s he briefly drew picture strips like 'Oswald the Odd Job Man' (1931) for DC Thomson's illustrated boys' magazine The Rover, but was mostly involved in magazines published by the smaller publishing firm Provincial Comics, ran by Jack Long in Bath from 1931. Diamond drew the title comic 'Mickey Midge the Merry Midget' (1931) for the front-page of The Merry Midget. For that year's Christmas issue, Diamond drew himself and the magazine's staff as characters within the story. Diamond also drew 'Alfie, Auntie and Annabel' for Provincial's The Sparkler (not by be confused by the Amalgamated Press title of the same name, which started in 1934). Diamond eventually also served as editor on these titles, although Provincial already went out of business after a couple of months.

Target Publications
Diamond subsequently turned to publishing, starting with the weekly story libraries CID (Crime, Intrigue, Detection) (December 1932-July 1933) and Target Library (March-August 1933). In 1933 he established his own comics publishing company, Target Publications, in Bath's Lower Weston suburb. Diamond's former colleague from Provincial, Bert Hill, became one of his lead artists. Besides Hill and Diamond himself, Target's artist team consisted of S.K. PerkinsHarry Banger and G. Larkman. The magazines were worth their money, as they contained 12 to 16 pages, compared to the 8 pages of the Amalgamated Press titles.

Target's magazines
Over the decade, Target launched numerous magazines. August 1933 saw the publication of The Rattler (on pink paper) and The Dazzler (on yellow paper). Both comics ran 294 issues. Chuckler (on orange paper) hit the market in 1934, for which Diamond drew the characters 'Sammy Smile' (1934) and 'Harry Coe, Our Has Been' (1936) before Bert Hill took them over. In 1935 he published Target and drew the first issue entirely by himself. This included the feature 'Tom Tip and Tim Top the Tricky Toddlers', which was also taken over by Bert Hill from issue #2 on. The same year Rocket was launched as well. Diamond was also the man behind the Ovaltiney's Own Comic (1936-1939), a giveaway supplement magazine based on Harry Hemsley's popular radio show 'The Ovaltineys', which came with Rattler, Dazzler, Chuckler and Rocket. The latter featured Diamond's 'Bertie Bounce the Bonny Bounder' (1935-1939), a cheerful chap with big bow tie and little bowler hat. In 1938 Sunshine appeared in print, followed by The Bouncer (sixteen pages for a penny) in 1939. The Bouncer ran Diamond's own dramatic picture story 'Pauline's Peril'. Those efforts didn't last long, because in April 1939 Target Publications was bought out by the Amalgamated Press, who incorporated Dazzler, Sunshine and The Bouncer into Golden, Jingles and Jolly comics.

Later comics work
H. Louis Diamond was allegedly promised an editorial post at AP, but this never happened. He then returned to freelancing, and supplied Amalgamated Press titles like Crackers and Jester with artwork, including the feature 'Buster Button'. During the war he worked for the Admiralty at Lansdown, Bath, while making his first adventure strips for publisher A. Soloway, such as 'Caleb King's Mine' (1943) in Comic Capers. In the post-war period he served as editor for the comic titles produced by Martin & Reid, such as Jolly Western, and contributed to mostly smaller publishers until the early 1950s. Diamond for instance worked on celebrity comic strips for Fizz Comics (1949), the comic book edited by Denis Gifford and Bob Monkhouse. One of Diamond's final comic strips was 'Happy Hal' in Mick Anglo's British superhero comic 'Wonderman', published by Paget Publications. He additionally worked as an Income Tax officer. Henry Louis Diamond passed away in 1966, at the age of 62.

Merry Midget. by Louis Diamond 1931
'Micky Midge'.

Thursday 17 February 2022

Another Afternoon Wasted -gun to the head re-pricing!

I have spent the past 2-3 hours re-pricing most of the books on the online store. Yes, I know I said "**** it" but I received this out of the blue:


Dear Lulu User,


For the last twenty years, we have done our best to make sure every Lulu order you receive is perfect. To that end, we use the best quality FSC certified materials and environmentally responsible manufacturing processes, alongside award-winning customer service… and that will never change.

Unfortunately, one thing has changed: the increased costs in our supply chain.

On March 15th, 2022, Lulu will be implementing an annual price update. At that time, print costs for most projects will be adjusted. This update reflects the global changes in materials and manufacturing costs.

Projects That Require Attention

One or more projects in your Lulu account will earn $0 revenue after this price update. We strongly recommend that you use the Pricing Tool to update your list price.


If you do not update your price prior to March 15th, 2022, we will automatically adjust your list price to ensure you continue to earn revenue from your sales.


Looking at the price increases THEY were going to make even I would baulk at buying. Anyway I updated all the prices but this still keeps any "profit" low -brought home to me after three books totalling over £25 'earned' me £5.65

I cant get out of the mindset of being a comic fan!  But I have to consider the other creators I work with. They put the time into the illustrations, the comic strips as well as the text and comic scripts. That is hours and days of their time and so I increased prices on some of those and decided against putting the price so high that no one in the US (whch hits me for taxes all the time on sales) would buy.

Lulu likes to think it is the publisher which iot is not. They hold the pdf files for the printers and both of them want more money. The actual real publisher -people like me- get no support as there is no money in it for them. 

Another afternoon wasted.

Friday 11 February 2022

JOACHIM WITT "DAS LEBEN IN MIR" Video von Jasmin Taiebi

THE FLASH Trailer (2022)

BLACK ADAM Teaser Trailer (2022) DC Heroes


Well.....this left me TOTALLY unimpressed

Cinebook Ltd: Buck Danny 13 -The Pact!


Authors: Frédéric Zumbiehl; illustrated by Gil Formosa

Age: 10 years and up
Size: 21.7 x 28.7 cm
Number of pages:  48 colour pages
Publication: September 2021 

£7.99 imcl VAT 

ISBN: 9781800440364

Despite every effort on Lady X’s part, Buck and Sonny have survived, and with them the antigens needed to create a defence against the Antarctic virus – a failure that puts the mercenary woman in an extremely precarious position with her employers. 

When those shadowy figures decide to move their plans to release the virus forward, no matter the cost in human lives, a race against time begins to save millions … 

If you are expecting just superbly drawn fighter jet action it's there but this story takes in so much more. As usual the weaponry, scene sets and locations are wonderfully rendered and the colour adds even more tone to the story telling.

This goes well beyond fighter jets. It has elements of the best secret agent movies -action, twists and so on. However, there is definitely also a science fiction horror scenario that brings back memories of 1965's (1965??) The Satan Bug

I had to look at the cover to make sure this was a Buck Danny book. The series is developing beyond anything it was in the past. As for Lady X..... I doubt that last page will be the last we see of her!

Wednesday 9 February 2022

Buying Comics Is Now....a Thing Of The Past

 Avengers #53 (2022) published today. In the UK it will set you back £11,50 to absolutely ludicrously £75.00 but its a $3.95 comic.


Tuesday 8 February 2022

Mr Dilworth...

 six months -everything okay.Emails unanswered.



Authors: Jean Van Hamme, Peter Van Dongen & Teun Berserik

Age: 12 years and up
Size: 21.7 x 28.7 cm
Number of pages: 72 colour pages
Publication: December 2021

£10.99 incl VAT

ISBN: 9781800440494

Several months after the end of the Third World War – won thanks to the Swordfishes, the formidable jet bombers designed by Professor Mortimer – England is dismantling its base in the Makran, from which the final counter-attack was launched, and where the surviving airplanes are still kept. But in the shadows, devious schemes are being hatched, and while Mortimer is busy preparing his Swordfishes for repatriation, Blake is in Ireland, where rumour has it the IRA has some sinister plans – and even worse allies …

These are coming out at odd intervals but one thing I do know is that I do not recall reading about World War Three (I'm ure another will be along soon). Just checking...right never got vol. 27 The Call of Moloch so if the war was in there...oh...I see the war is in this volume I was expecting more mushroom (no, that conversation with Moebius is not involved here!) clouds.

This is very much like a cross over with the 1965 movie Operation Crossbow. The art and colouring are as good as always in a B&M book and Van Hamme scripts a tightly woven story with all the shocks and surprises you expect from him -the man is a legend!

I am sure Edgar P. Jacobs would be proud.



Authors: Dorison & Allart
Age: 15 years and up
Size: 21.7 x 28.7 cm
Number of pages: 56 colour pages
Publication: October 2021

£8.99 incl VAT

ISBN: 9781800440357

In tomorrow’s world, the global economy will rest upon the listing of humans on the stock market. But what sort of price will those whose shares are traded have to pay for their prosperity? The final volume of a painfully plausible trilogy.                                                                            

Felix’s meteoric rise to the top has brought him much, but it also cost him dearly. Rachel has left him. His shareholders keep demanding ever more from him. Desperate, horrified, the young man is losing himself – but even that he is not allowed: Simon, the father of the HSE himself, puts him back on the right track by force. Because, in the public’s eyes, Felix is a success story, hope … And for the HSE, he’s the future of finance.

I still love the 1960s style covers. Simplistic but eye catching. I cannot really give any spoilers away on this. I never give spoilers otherwise why read a book??  The art, design and colour work are all spot on and this does feel like one of those 1960s semi urrealistic dramas -anyone remember Burt Lancaster in The Swimmer (1968)? HSE would have been a great movie of that period -wedged between The Swimmer and 1973s Soylent Green.

It's only three volumes and to be honest well worth the read. Comics and comic albums are not all about super heroes and science fiction. Some times we need a story where we think "This could happen" and HSE is it.

Friday 4 February 2022

Cinebook ltd: Miss Endicott Part 1 & Part 2


Authors: Jean-Christophe Derrien & Xavier Fourquemin

Age: 12 years and up
Size: 21.7 x 28.7 cm
Number of pages: 80 colour pages
Publication: July 2021

ISBN: 9781849185448 


After many years abroad, Prudence Endicott is back in England to bury her mother. Hired as a nanny by a wealthy London family, the young woman immediately begins to spend her nights in the more working-class neighbourhoods … For Miss Endicott is now the new Conciliator, she who helps the poor and the humble to solve their problems when society ignores them. A difficult task – especially as something sinister appears to be brewing underneath London …

Size: 21.7 x 28.7 cm
Number of pages: 80 colour pages
Publication: July 2021


Miss Endicott’s life as a Conciliator is off to a bad start: a strange plot is being hatched in the tunnels beneath London, her headquarters have been torched, the child whose nanny she is by day has disappeared while following her at night … and to top it all, her mother, whom everyone believed dead, has reappeared! A blessing, or a curse? Can two Conciliators together defeat the mysterious master – assuming two Conciliators could ever work together?

These books have that cartoonish style that at first makes you wonder whether you should botherreading the book but, as I have found many times before, the artwork is deceptive. The various scenes and action as well as the period clothing all work well together and the art style simply works.

As for the contents andthe story. Well, where to begin? Characteristion is lovely  and the body movements drawn in a style that works for drama, comic relief and dire threats. Oh, and in case you think this is a Mary Poppins style story -don't.

Miss Endicott is far more Buffy -Vampire Slayer (but without the vampires)  with an ending that might be seen as sad by some but which made me wonder "Where will Miss Endicott turn up next?" 

I was not really into wanting to read the two books but I did in one go. There are cerytain series that draw you in like that and for myself I would like to see far more of Miss Endicott!

Cinebook Ltd: Swan Song Parts 1 and 2

 Authors: Xavier Dorison, Emmanuel Herzet; illustrated by Cédric Babouche

Age: 15 years and up
Size: 21.7 x 28.7 cm
Number of pages: 64 colour pages
Publication: September 2021


ISBN: 9781849185486

1917. Nivelle – ‘the butcher’ – commands the French Army, and the attacks he keeps ordering are pointless slaughters. The soldiers can’t take it any more. Discontent is turning into rebellion, and a petition is being circulated in secret. When it makes its way to the men of Sergeant Sabiane, something snaps in them, and what begins as a simple cry of defiance becomes a full-blown mutiny when a handful of them decide to take the petition to Paris …

Number of pages: 72 colour pages
Publication: October 2021

ISBN: 9781849185493


Kazinky has finally proven his loyalty once and for all to his small band of rebels. The ambush he set for their pursuers with Sergeant Sabiane destroyed their vehicles and even injured their leader, Morvan. But ‘the Puzzle’ never gives up on a prey. Soon, the mutineers must face the hardest choice of all. Continuing means killing other Frenchmen. Stopping means abandoning their friends, maybe even betraying them. In the end, do they even stand a chance of succeeding?

The story here is dramatic with twists and turns and, as you might expect, the violence is graphic considering the subject. The thing that I cannot get around is the artwork of Babouche. It is almost sketchy with a sub-anime look to it and to be honest I have to say that I felt it detracted from the story. At points I was looking at the art then finding it jarred with the dialogue.

The covers look nice but show something of the style but it is "clean" compared to the interior work. I had to look online for a page example (no scaner or camera)

If I read it again in a week might it grow on me? I doubt it and the point is that as a reviewer I have to be honest even about a book published by my favourite company. I have to go by first read as well as the first 2-3 looks at the art.

Nice big books but not for me.