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Sunday, 22 February 2015

Dead Shot Man by "Stim"

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.

However, here is some of his Swan Comics work.  Enjoy.



Acromaid: The Terror America Plot!

by Stransy & Labbat!

Monday, 16 February 2015

A 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
A4
405 pages
Black & White
Price: £25.00
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!

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

"Re-boot"? I Say "Get Knotted"!

Time for a little re-post for those of you who were not here in April 2014 -plus added art -oooooh!

*************************************************************************
 
The question has allways been, for me, do I ‘reboot’ UK Golden Age comic characters or do I leave them as they were?
Let’s be honest here: there was no big writer-artist teams in UK comics of the 1939-1951 period. No Simon and Kirby’s.  We’ve never really had an idea of what creators were paid in those days but I’m going to guess it was not a great deal.  Comics were cheap, throw-away entertainment that only cost a few pennies.


Gerald Swan is the best known publisher from this period and his attitude seemed to be that there was a huge gap in the market left by import restrictions (thanks to that Hitler bloke).  Swan was an entrepreneur and he paid what he thought was appropriate.

No doubt Harry Banger and others who could supply strips on a weekly basis got the best deals but even then the creator had to keep churning out the work.


I doubt that one of these men -or women- sat down one day and plotted a long term storyline for their characters.  This was not the “Marvel Age of Comics” and with all the restrictions facing publishers I doubt whether many even believed more work would be coming in and even if it was -for how long?
So, it was basically a strip with a few vizual gags and then a punchline or “wham bam action!” in the space of one or a few pages. No great characterizations.



Take Zom of the Zodiac by S. K. Perkins. One story in which Zom peeks around a corner, turns a bullied man into a taller, better looking man to trouncew the bully but when said man becomes too full of himself…Zom changes him back.  Yes, probably a moral in there and we Brits loved some morals in our comic strips!  But you have to ask -“What?” “Who?” “Why?”


I’ve used Zom now for almost 30 years and developed him into a more complex character but those questions still apply to a degree.  He seems to be friends with The All Seeing Eye, has had a hand in guiding super heroes/crime-fighters over the decades if not centuries but we still have no 100% answer to who or what he is.  The Green Skies will see a little more revealed and, perhaps, a glimpse or hint at who he might be.


And TNT Tom, and later his cousin Tina: given powers by aliens, Tom saves miners after a cave-in, stops a gang of cop-killers and even saves Earth from biological attack by aliens.  His main concern? That his dad does not find out “the Wonder Boy” is none other than his own son.

Luckily, the odd press photographer is avoided but imagine TNT Tom based in 2013 with all the
 
cameras, cell phones, dvrs and so on!

Characters such as Moon Man or Marsman had one off appearances but over the years they have been developed somewhat.  In the Black Tower universe there is life on Mars, albeit underground -even an explanation as to why the various Martian races took that root.  For the Moon Man, well, we have a very rich literary history of Selenite civilisation from the pulps onward.


Both Mars and the Moon races feature in Green Skies (the Martians referring to Earth people as “our biological cousins” which ties in with the belief that life on Earth may have originated from Martian meteorites).



Rodney Dearth, creator of The Iron Warrior has been a bit of a regular in Black Tower over the years -can anyone forget 2011s incredible The Iron Warrior Vs Big Bong??    Or 2014s The Collected Iron Warrior?  Dearth was, as I’ve pointed out in previous postings, a typical Colonial Britisher. To save you going all the way back to 2011 postings…and if it is still complete....

Was The Iron Warrior A Villain???

It occurs to me that,today,a lot of comickers who have no real knowledge of UK Golden Age characters will make things up or make bad guesses based on what they might have seen.

This can be said to be true when it comes to the Iron Warrior.

I can onloy find one source with any information on the character up to 1990 and that is the late Denis Gifford’s Encyclopedia of Comic Characters [Longman,London,1987].  In the entry for The Iron Warrior,Gifford writes:

..the most violent and bloodiest strip ever seen in British comics to this time,and for several decades to come.  Rodney Dearth,seeking the Jewels of Junius,arrives at the site of the Temple of Sloth in Central Africa,accompanied by his robot,the Iron Warrior. Captured by a White Princess,he summons the Warrior (‘wavelength 60,impulse 400′).  Crying ‘I come Master!’ and also ‘Ahrrr!  Whoo-roo!  Roar!’,the Warrior’s built-in chopper slices up the Sloths,cuts up a giant crocodile,and pulls the head off an outsize eagle.”


And from this we get entries in the Internationalheroes site:

“A robot controlled by Rodney Dearth, who used it to hunt treasure with him in Africa.

The Warrior isn’t really a hero, as it kills anyone who threatens its master, whose own goals are far from altruistic.”

Hmm.  But then we get,at the League for Extraordinary Gentlemen fan site:

“The Surrogate League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
When the government decided to form the Worral’s League they based it very closely on Mina’s first League, “When in 1946 it was apparent that Miss Murray and her colleagues had deserted our employ by going missing in America, MI5 elected to replace the group with surrogates in an attempt to recreate the impact of the 1898 ensemble…
  • The Invisible Man (Peter Brady) = The Invisible Man (Hawley Griffin)
  • Prof James Gray = Nemo (both submarine builders, Nemo even inspired Gray in League V2)
  • Worrals = Mina (female leads experienced in death)
  • Wolf of Kabul = Quatermain (both in the great white hunter tradition, they even both wear pith helmets)
  • The Iron Warrior = Hyde (both really killers pressed into service).
The Iron Warrior is a robot built by Rodney Dearth, Dearth was not a hero and had a more villainous overtone. He would command the Warrior to do various illegal things, including kill people, but mainly Dearth used him to hunt for treasure in Africa.”

YAAAR! RRRAHHH!  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Oh. I do beg your pardon.  Had a bit of an “Iron Warrior” moment there.  Seriously,I hate this whole “we know nothing about the character but it seems it was a killer controlled by a killer so let’s write that” crap.

“…Dearth was not a hero and had a more villainous overtone. He would command the Warrior to do various illegal things, including kill people.”

Dearth was not a villain or scheming killer.  Anyone read any old boys adventure books or H. Ryder Haggard?  By applying what the League page and Internationalheroes entry has written then we have to re-classify Alan Quartermaine as a cold blooded villain.  In fact,up until more politically correct times,most heroes would need to be re-classed according to this methodology.  Biggles takes on arch villain proportions.  Even Indiana Jones would be classed as out-doing the Nazis considering how many deaths he’s caused directly or indirectly.  Think on that.

Let’s get a little bit of perspective here.  Sit down kiddies because if you’ve not watched any films made between 1920 to…well…now,and if you’ve not read any history on the British Empire or American Imperialism [“Hey,Japan:we’ve gun ships and troops harbored offshore now do business with us ‘voluntarily’ or we’ll make you!”] -in fact any empire or power!- you may be shocked.

Most sea-faring nations such as Spain,Italy,England,France etc.,sent out exploratory ships/fleets to seek out new lands and new treasures and subdue the local population by any means including genocide [keep some alive for slaves,of course]. The Ashante were great at being slavers and made a lot of money out of it.  It’s a two-way thing you see -are black african slavers villains? Hey,slavery still exists today and amongst some of the West’s best pal nations.

But these Europeans were brave hero-explorers.  Anyone hear of a little group called the Conquistadores?  Dutch East India Company? The British East India Company -all had their private armies to,uh,”smooth things through”.

Ever read King Solomon’s Mines?

In comparison,Dearth was a limp-wristed liberal!  Hmm. If you were a British soldier at Rourke’s Drift with Zulu warriors rushing toward you would you throw down your rifle and wave -”Hello! I’m really against all this imperialism stuff -care for tea and a chat?”  Mind you,in Zulu Dawn,Denholm Elliott’s character more or less did just that -and was killed straight away!

Whichever city you lived in -London,Berlin,Paris- you would hear stories of strange lands,lost treasures and much more.  The urge to follow those tales continue to this very day.  If a chap was on his uppers and the old estate was falling to bits and,to be frank,the family coffers had been emptied long ago it was disgrace and destitution -but if you could find the “lost treasure” or anything worth a few quid you were saved!

I know that it is wrong to just go marching in,putting down the “locals” and stealing things that belong to them,whether they want to exploit it themselves or not –hey,I’m still for returning the Elgin Marbles and all those Egyptian artefacts we,uh,borrowed!




The context is that this was a totally different world.  Officers and troopers posing for photographs of themselves resting their feet on a heap of natives heads should have been totally unacceptable even in the 19th century but it happened -apparently “fun” hunts were organised with horse-riding officers carrying “pig-stickers” but I get a feeling the natives involved  weren’t having too much fun!

A white man would have his weapons because,even if a peaceful person,not all native persons were friendly in return [read some history].  I could write on the subject all day but it wouldn’t help.

The point is that we know,in the Iron Warrior strip,only that Dearth arrives in Africa with his creation.  If attacked he defended himself.  In volume 3 of the Black Tower Gold Collection,I published such a strip.  Dearth is exploring an area when a local priest stirs things up -Dearth is attacked and,though he could easily do so,he does not set about killing everyone.  In fact,he does fend off an attack by rushing straight at the warriors but then tries to use cunning to defeat the witch doctor.

Once the threat is sorted,Dearth goes on his way.  The one thing we see is that the Iron Warrior is far from some type of remote-controlled killer doing its master’s bidding.  It’s what would today be called a controlled vehicle or “power suit”.

Dearth get’s inside the Iron Warrior and operates controls and fires his weapons from here.  He also operates the axe-wielding arm.  Guessing at Dearth’s height the Iron Warrior has to be around 3-4 metres tall [10-12 feet]. But,it is still nothing more than a kind of hostile environment suit -almost similar to later [better designed] deep water suits.

What Denis Gifford wrote I have to take to be accurate -he did have a massive collection.  So,I’m guessing that there was  a remote control device and,it seems,a vocaliser of sorts.  This does not appear in the later strips I’ve seen.  That said,continuity was never a great strongpoint in comics back then.

Yes,the strip was violent but you have to recall that in early Tarzan films there were people being killed violently and arrows sticking out of heads. And,sadly,in war time Britain death was a daily event and kids [and adults] enjoyed a good “Darkest Africa” story with some white chap up against the natives.

So,do not think that,based on what people who have a narrow view of a character write,that Dearth and the Iron Warrior were just deadly killers.  They weren’t.

Now,back to Big Bong!

 THE IRON WARRIOR COLLECTION


The Iron Warrior vs Big Bong: When Giants Fought,  written & drawn by Ben R. Dilworth
 plus Jungle Terror by Terry Hooper-Scharf from Black Tower Adventure are available  in one nice comic album at   http://www.lulu.com/shop/terry-hooper-scharf/the-iron-warrior-collection/paperback/product-21157919.html

The thing is that you have to understand the age these characters come from.  Putting 21st century sensibilities or any modern day ideas into characters from the mid-20th century just make them horrible Marvel or DC style reboot

How does this work when the characters come into contact with contemporary Black Tower characters?  Well, buy the books and find out! Following Green Skies there will be a more formalised chronology for the characters so that there is a definite JLA-Justice Society (Earth 1 and Earth 2) vibe going on.  Though the characters have met before the Green Skies saga will clear things up for newer readers but -and I have to emphasise this- the characters are not changed and certain not rebooted!!

If you cannot treat characters with certain respect and try to stay true to how they first appeared then you have failed as a creator.  We do not have to reboot so that TNT Tom is afraid his father will find out he is the Wonder Boy because his father is a violent child beater!!

The reaction from people who first read the comics as kids 60-70 years ago and purchased the Black Tower reprints was that they were “over joyed” and thought they would never see their favourite characters again.  Okay, not great sales but just those few comments give me a big boost.


But you get the odd person who says: "But Stransky & Labbat's Slicksure is different from the one in the Black Tower Golden Age Collection!"  Yes, the character is the same but he is not drawn by Harry Banger -I think Gerald Swan would have loved the S&L Slicksure version because all it is, being honest, is drawn in a contemporary style.

You can add or develop these old characters but you MUST be true to what they were and, being honest, the industry is swamped in reboots, darkness, blurry-lined “good and evil” and just not enough fun.

To me, the up-dated Phantom Maid, Ace Hart, The Bat (which ever)  and others such as Krakos are only "up-dated" in the sense that they are being written and drawn by modern creators.   I would never dare to suppose that I had the right to drastically change characters.  Develop, yes, but never ever "re-boot"!
Yes, I’m an old fart but I think you still have to see comics as having some fun…

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Dennis M. Reader's Acromaid -Real or Fake Comic?

addenda: The conversation I referred to with Stransky over at CBO on this subject is in the comments following the Gary Stainsby art posting.  It was brief but my reply was longer -please see comments to this post.

I have had a disagreement with a couple of people who feel Gifford not referring to Acromaid means that it never existed and that this is a fake.  It is not.  I do not think I've alluded to anything other than this in the post title as it covers the question and point of the post itself.  

And...I have just checked Super Duper Supermen, published in 1991, and Gifford lists Acromaid as being created and drawn by Reader for Cartoon Art Productions (Glasgow) so years on from the Gifford catalogue he mentions the book.  Solved. THS
************************************************************************************************** 

 Mr Stransky, over at CBO comments, had a few questions about Dennis M. Reader's character/comic Acromaid and I thought I'd answer them more fully here!

 

Acromaid: well, it was not listed in Denis Giffords The Complete Catalogue Of British Comics (1985) so it led to odd rumours.

1) that it was an "insert in another comic" -NO.

Paper was rationed and you did not give away a free comic and it is priced at 5c (or 3d in reality) and you did NOT do that with a give-away because the tax man might wonder what was going on., There were LOTS of one-off comics back then because of the regulations. The fact that "3d" was included on the cover makes it clear that the book was for sale.

2) it is a fake and not by the real D. M. Reader.

To which I respond ****** off.  That is pure Reader.

I think it clear that either Denis got a copy after the book was compiled or he missed it. The man had a HUGE collection and I have no idea HOW he found anything (even stored in a never used cooker!).

Denis does mention Acromaid in, I think International Encyclopedia Of Comics and also in Super Duper Supermen of the Forties and Fifties.

 

 I think it was just an omission. There are books he had that he missed out referencing in other works. It happens. Are you missing something?

Acromaid suddenly appearing in action with no origin?  Odd you might think. But it worked this way.  You had a character, in this case an attractive looking woman and Reader LOVED to draw "hot gals", and you knew boys reading wanted to see action...I could have phrased that better.

BUT you had only enough paper quota for 8 pages and including an origin with the story might take 9-10 pages., Out goes the origin. After all, we only hear about Electro Maid's origin vaguely.

 Later, after paper rationing restrictions went, weekly comics could split an origin into 2-3 parts each of 2 pages But Reader and the others, even if they loved comics, were there to make money. It was business. So get to the gal. The fight.

nuff said.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

A Quick Note Of Explanation

I've had some feed-back (sadly not via comments but....) and there seems to be some confusion about the Ultimate British Golden Age Collection.

The Collection does not feature "re-boots" or modern takes on old Golden Age British characters.  I'm not sure why people thought that.  The book is 400+ pages of original Golden Age strips backed up by a few text features.

To those who think the book is a bit pricy -try finding all these strips in one or even two books for less!

Krakos.....The 'Key'

l know there are some who are not too keen on the more modern interpretation or art style of these UK Golden Agers.  The thing is they are still great characters and, as in this strip by Ben R. Dilworth, we keep them true to how they were presented originally.

Let's not forget that when Krakos The Egyptian first saw print (and that book/story is still the Holy Grail for us Swan fans!) he arrived in Nazi occupied Europe and....uh, well, he incinerated Nazis.   He did announce himself as "The Angel of The Burning Death" which meant he was no boy scout.

Also, in keeping with the legacy of the creators, known and unknown, Black Tower does not "re-boot" the characters into what they never were. 

I have, after 30 years, decided to give up the constant hunt for William Ward's original The Bat strip and I've done the same with the original Krakos strip.  If I see them or get scans then I'll make sure the stories DO see light of print again.

In the meantime, if you are in Bristol.  If you are a petty crook....avoid the house with the name plate on the door that reads "Krakos"!


Super Stooge by Banger. Need I say More!

Now, if you see these pages offered as scans from "scanner unknown" on certain sites and bottom page credit is removed....well, you KNOW.

New Funnies Album 1955  from Gerald Swan






Saturday, 7 February 2015

Ultimate British Golden Age Collection...Cover Change


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

Black Tower Comics -The Ultimate British Comics Gold Collection


 
 
Publisher Terry Hooper-Scharf (Ed.)/Black Tower Books UK
A4
Pages 405
Perfect-bound Paperback
Black & white
Weight 1.12 kg
Dimensions (centimetres) 20.98 wide x 29.69 tall 
Price: £25.00
http://www.lulu.com/shop/terry-hooper-scharf/the-ultimate-british-comics-gold-collection/paperback/product-20994399.html 

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
12-Jun-2014 
 
"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."

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
Paperback, 
A4
Black & White
53 Pages
Price: £8.00
Ships in 3–5 business days
http://www.lulu.com/shop/terry-hooper-scharf/dene-vernonthe-thing-below/paperback/product-21918919.html

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: Krakos -Sands Of Terror!



Terry Hooper-Scharf
A4
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!

Black Tower Comics: THE BAT TRIUMPHANT!



The Bat Triumphant!
Terry Hooper-Scharf
A4
60 pages
black & white
paperback
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.

Can You Resist Black Tower Comics & Books: THE IRON WARRIOR COLLECTION




Preview
Ben R. Dilworth & Terry Hooper-Scharf
A4
Black and white
 Paperback,
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 Super Heroes...Where UK Golden, Silver & Contemporary Ages Comic Strips Meet!


























Black & White
A4
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.

No Sales? At Least I'm Saving Trees!




Hello.
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!