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Thursday, 26 February 2015

Return of the Vlog

Yes, yes, yes.  It is AWFUL but it's been so long since I did a video I had to see if Windows Movie Maker worked and if my brain would (watch me get distracted as pigeons, collared doves, rooks, jackdaws and other birds try to hit my window).  

Next one ought to be better planned.

Super Stooge "In Days Of Old" by H. E. Banger

Sunday, 22 February 2015

The Mighty Atom by "Murdoch"

 We know "Stim" or "Murdock" was Murdock Stimpson a comic artist, funny postcard illustrator -and illustrator of childrens (non-comic) books. 

He was active from the 1920s to 1950s according to comics authority Alan Clark. However, there are (like many others) no known photographs of Stimpson and we do not even know when he was born or in what year he died.

I have seen "comic experts" list "The Mighty Atom" as one of the lost British super hero strips of the 1940s -even that it might be an American comic strip re-titled by Gerald Swan. 

Always remember: "X" =The Unknown and "Spurt" is a drip under pressure.


Monday, 16 February 2015

A Quick Note

Just a heads up. I've already let members on my various Yahoo groups know.

The situation with Black Tower Books is quite grim. Nothing has been decided 100% yet but it seems as though I may have to close down the online store for reasons complicated and that I really don't want to get into.

Depressing enough. There. Told.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

YOU Demanded! The Ultimate British Comics Gold Collection

You NEVER demanded it?  Well, I think you'll find that someone did!
Ed. Terry Hooper-Scharf
405 pages
Black & White
Price: £25.00
Ships in 3-5 business days.
Combining volumes 1-6 of the BT Golden Age British Comics Collections (minus adverts) this is the ultimate for any Golden Age collector or historian or just plain comic lover. 
Features Ace Hart, TNT Tom, Electrogirl, Wonderman, The Phantom Raider, Captain Comet, Acro Maid, Phantom Maid, Dene Vernon,The Iron Boy, The Boy Fish,Professor Atom, The Tornado, Powerman, Wonder Boy, Slicksure, Masterman, Dane Jerrus,  Alfie, Tiny Tod, Maxwell The Mighty, Back From The Dead, Zeno At The Earth's Core, Colonel Mastiff, Ally Sloper, Super Injun, Super Porher  (oo-er, no, Madam, ooh),Tiger Man, King Of The Clouds, Captain Comet and MANY others! 
Plus text features defining The Ages OF British Comics (Platignum, Gold, Silver), the artist William A. Ward and more.
If you knew nothing about British comics of the Platignum, Golden and Silver Ages then once you buy and read this book you'll be a goddam omic intellectual dinosaur! Yipes!
All in that beautiful Iron Warrior cover exclusively drawn for Black Tower by that meta-gargantuoso talented Ben R. Dilworth!
I sold my family to be able to get this book out! Help me buy thewm back by purchasing your very own whizz-o copy today!

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Ultimate British Golden Age Collection...Cover

If you are thinking of buying the 400+pp collection there will be a new cover.  If you want the current cover it will remain until TUESDAY of next wee.  After that it changes to this...

Friday, 6 February 2015

From Messrs Stransky & Labbat -Always Slicksure!

Black Tower Super Heroes...Where UK Golden, Silve r& Contemporary Comic Strips Meet!

Black & White
47 pages
Price: £5.00
Where the British Golden Age meets the Silver and Modern Ages!
from Jack to TNT Tom to Johnny Neg, Merriwether and many others.


Ben R. Dilworth & Terry Hooper-Scharf
Black and white
49 Pages
Price: £8.00
In the 1940s, Rodney Dearth and his exploratory fighting machine known as the Iron Warrior left Africa to travel to South America in search of lost explorer Percy Fawcett. Crocodiles, giant snakes, hostile natives and..Big Bong -the terror of the Amazon!

This collection presents a 1940s William A. Ward strip, Ben R. Dilworth's Big Bong, Amazon Adventure and a couple special pages, and Terry Hooper-Scharf's Black Tower Adventure strip The Iron Warrior: Jungle Terror plus text features!

Black Tower Comics: THE BAT TRIUMPHANT!

The Bat Triumphant!
Terry Hooper-Scharf
60 pages
black & white
Price: £8.00
During the 1930s, The Bat sets about modernising the backward Duchy of Stahl, over which his dynasty has ruled since 1410 A.D..

In 1941, with the German war machine threatening Europe,  The Bat is  involved in experiments with the infamous Count Cogliostro. One of these experiments involves suspended animation and The Bat decides that  he will be the test subject. When he wakes,The Bat finds that not days have gone by but 51 years!

Worse, his kingdom is in ruins and an enclave of of Stahlias greatest historical enemy -Kamora. The Bat tries politics to win back his homeland and when that fails he decides to fight for it!

However, he is unaware that some old, and new, enemies are lying in wait to stop him and all of them want one thing: The Bat dead!

Originally a back up strip in Black Tower Adventure in 1994,The Bat proved very popular as an anti-hero. The story was never completed. It is now. New edition -added art pages

The Bat Triumphant! was published as a comic album in July 2010 and was the first of the new look Black Tower range.

Black Tower Comics: Krakos -Sands Of Terror!

Terry Hooper-Scharf
64 pages
black & white
Price: £7.00
Created by William A. Ward for Swan Comics in the 1940s, Krakos was one of Ward’s supernatural anti-hero types. 
Used, with Swan’s permission, in Black Tower Adventure strips in the 1980s/1990s, this is the character’s first solo outing.

But will Krakos fulfill the Goddess Isis’ dream and become the new pharaoh of a New Egyptian Kingdom that will encompass all of the Middle East?

Did anyone actually ask Krakos?

The book contains information on Ward and his work plus sample pages rescued after 60 years of neglect!

The second of the Black Tower new line, published in July, 2010...when the Middle East was 'slightly' more predictable!

Dene Vernon: Ghost Investigator!

... Though that job description was flexible.

Dene Vernon:The Thing Below

Dene Vernon:The Thing Below

W -Terry Hooper-Scharf   A -Gavin Stuart Ross
Black & White
53 Pages
Price: £8.00
Ships in 3–5 business days

Dene Vernon the first UK comic book investigator of the supernatural faces his greatest challenge as he investigates and confronts The Thing Below London. Classic British horror set in the ruins of blitzed London docks in 1949.

Dene Vernon was one of those unique characters from the Gerald Swan "Swan Comics" -created and drawn by Jock McCail.  Swan seemed to specialise, whether he realised it or not, in characters steeped in the supernatural -Krakos The Egyptian being one of the others.  Stories of the true ghost hunters -some VERY scary- used to make newspaper news in the old days.  Harry Price, Elliott O'Donnell and a selected few others were well know household names.   Vernon is of that ilk.

In his time he dealt with supernatural curses, horrifying hauntings and, later when the whole thing exploded into the public consciousness, flying saucers.

In 1996 I wrote a script that was intended for D. C. Thomson (let's not go there)  and then Egmont showed interest...and decided it didn't want to do comics -a policy it has stuck to in the UK.  So, ITV thought it might make a good TV series....deregulation of TV killed that.  The BBC....well, if they ever followed through on anything it was a miracle.

Gavin Stuart Ross had been in touch with me a long time before and eventually drew the Chung Ling Soo series of Victorian mystery comics (there is a collection you know).  I thought, perhaps, if I begged, Gavin might give Dene Vernon a try.  He did and so Dene Vernon: The Thing Below came into being.  Finally!

It has been said many times that "horror is best in black and white" and that is true.  I cherish my old Charlton horror/ghost comics and German Spuk Geschichten and Gespenster Geschichten but black and white horror is king.

Incidentally, though it does not mean you will have to buy it as all BTCG books are stand alone, in The Green Skies you will learn exactly why Vernon is recovering and "not quite the same" any more.  That's a teaser.

But Dene Vernon: The Thing Below is just for you horror fans -it even has a slight Quatermass feel to it. Don't believe me?  Buy a copy and see!

Black Tower Comics -The Ultimate British Comics Gold Collection

Publisher Terry Hooper-Scharf (Ed.)/Black Tower Books UK
Pages 405
Perfect-bound Paperback
Black & white
Weight 1.12 kg
Dimensions (centimetres) 20.98 wide x 29.69 tall 
Price: £25.00 

Ships in 3–5 business days
Combining volumes 1-6 of the BT Golden Age British Comics Collections (minus adverts) this is the ultimate for any Golden Age collector or historian or just plain comic lover. 
Features Ace Hart, TNT Tom, Electrogirl, Wonderman, The Phantom Raider, Captain Comet, Acro Maid, Phantom Maid, Dene Vernon,The Iron Boy, The Boy Fish,Professor Atom and MANY others! 
Reader review:  
By ben dilworth
"A wonderful read - nothing like it ! Examples of comic strips from the Golden Age of British comics. If they weren't here, many of them would be gone forever - so thanks for the memories, Terry - and I hope that you've got a few more examples of these old classics up your sleeve. Keep the faith."

I Look At It Positively: No Sales? At Least I'm Saving Trees!

Yes -I'm doing a brief posting so that you all know that I am still alive if not totally sane.  Well, a bit sane but I need that the write posts.

Why have I not been posting?  The answer is simple: seeming total lack of interest from people.   The Black Tower single volume British Golden Age books have been out several years now and I think one sold.  I combined all the volumes, with a bit extra, into The Ultimate British Golden Age Collection. Over 400 pages that you are not going to find in print anywhere else.  That came out in 2012.  Sales -ZERO.

Even my Yahoo British Comics Archive Group which deals with the Platignum, Gold and bit of the Silver Ages gets no responses -though they are left as they are a valuable reference resource.

It just isn't about The Beano, The Dandy or some Amalgamated Press title.  Therefore, most UK comickers have looked down their noses at the comic material.  Rude comments about the publishing quality of books by publishers such as Swan (there was a ***** war on, Morons!).  "No significance" in these books I am told -until someone wants to sell one at an over inflated price.

Even bringing back Krakos the Egyptian and The Bat (William Ward's not George McQueen's -though he has been brought back) back in 2010 resulted in, if memory serves, oh yes -zero sales.

In 2013 I decided to mix Golden Age, Silver Age and contemporary strips into Black Tower Super Heroes.....nothing.

WHY is it that while the US rediscovers, resurrects (if badly some times) and even have magazines such as Alter Ego centred on Golden Age characters the UK seems more obsessed with Beano, Dandy and a few Amalgamated Press/IPC/Fleetway war or humour comics?

Even the UKs first investigator of ghosts and all things occult -and later flying saucers- Dene Vernon is revived and three years later still no interest?

I really have no idea  As it stands, however, I have put in many years of work -and I do mean work- on getting strips publishable and even spent quite a bit of money gathering material.  The results are those single volumes or the collected book and now Black Tower Super Heroes -and Yahoo Group's British Comic Book Archive.

And some of the Golden Age characters, and Silver Agers, have had cameos or books.  The Iron Warrior, Return Of The Gods: Twilight Of The Super Heroes and even The Cross Earths Caper and the next major book -The Green Skies.

So why no more Golden Age books?  I think I just answered that question.  People do not buy then there is no customer base.  At the end of 2015 I may be closing the online store and though I'll have copies (NOT to sell) in my collection they will, for any practical purpose, be gone forever.  That will be sad but that's life.

I will put up a few ads for the books and occasionally I will post on the subject but no feedback just cements the point of view that there is no real intrerest.

This is the point where I look blankly at my books and say out loud: "D'oh! I've wasted my life!"

Until I become a millionaire -Keep chuckling!