Monday, 2 November 2015
"Can anyone can tell me which Class title and issue (pre-decimal 1/-) had my two favourite stories ? The Dreamer, about a terminally ill man visited by aliens who cure him so that he can be a peace ambassador, and a Mysterious Traveler story where he rescues Laika the first dog in space, saying, "Sometimes I am forced to intervene"."
Sunday, 27 September 2015
There have been a few people who have read and commented on postings here. I am VERY appreciative of that because it does mean a lot to know that people do read and think about postings.
However, in 2016 I need to make a few changes and my blogs are the things that need to go. I know the Class fans are a small group and our only genuine presence on the net are the Yahoo Alan Class Group and this blog. Neither are interested in ripping people off, though both have had contents pilfered and used by others as their "own work".
For that reason, and because I am all out of ideas on what to do with this blog, it will "sort of" close. Basically, it will remain here just as an archive presence -like the Yahoo group- and unless something really fab happens, it won't get up-dated.
So, from 1st January, 2016....adieu.
Thursday, 24 September 2015
The Hooper Interviews!
To celebrate, at the time of publication, over 25 years of interviewing comic creators -writers, artists and publishers- this 365 pages book was produced.
Interviewees included Yishan Li, Marv Wolfman, Dave Ryan, John Cooper, Mike Western, Donna Barr, Roberta Gregory, Sonia Leong, Emma Vieceli, Pekka A. Manninen, Alan Class, Karen Rubins, Kate Glasheen, Ron Fortier, Jon Haward, Franco Francavilla, Rick Geary, Tania Del Rio, The Etherington Brothers, Olivier Cadic (Cinebook the 9th Art), Holly Golightly and MANY others.
Profusely illustrated with art and photographs!
Reduced in price until October to £16.80 -an odd price but it's what the printer and lulu.com earn -I get zilch!
All Black Tower comic albums (that is A4 format) are in black & white. Once you've had black and white you won't go back to colour, baby.
BTCG has specialised in presenting original material covering super heroes, crime, adventure, sci fi, horror as well as illustrated prose -not to mention ground breaking books on "world mysteries" and wildlife. Oh, and even a huge book of interviews with comic creators and publishers.
All the books are, naturally, available for overseas licence -but we cannot translate work: that will be up to any licensed publisher.
What follows is a brief glimpse at some books but you can visit the online store to see more details and books at:
You can also find some on Amazon and other sources but they do not make me much money so, come on, buy from the online store and remember that at least these books will be collectibles!
To contact me please check out "About" at the top of the page -thanks!
Black Tower Comics began in 1984 as a Small Press publisher of A5 (US -Digest size) titles such as Adventure,Presents,Windows and Hanley's Garage. Then came the news, reviews, previews and interviews publication backed up by the mart and mail order service -Zine Zone (later Zine Zone International).
In 2009, with the innovation in publishing of Print On Demand (POD), Black Tower jumped in head first!
One of the first titles to see print in the new comic album format (A4) was The Bat Triumphant! This saw the complete story, begun in Black Tower Adventure vol. 1. William A. Ward's long lost 1940s character once again saw print as he fought a host of enemies in an attempt to reclaim his homeland.
And while The Bat may have fought fist and nail to reclaim his homeland, another 1940s Ward creation, Krakos the Egyptian, seemed far from willing to claim a new Egyptian Empire as promised to him by the Gods. Tackling a number of foes and even encountering the Many-Eyed One, Krakos turned his back on the gods and the final panel of Krakos -Sands Of Terror, delivered a true twist!
Of course, the flag-ship title had to return! And so Black Tower Adventure -eventually reaching new heights when the legendary Ben Dilworth jumped on board! Volume 2 consisted of ten issues. Just look at these covers....
And, with something like 40 years worth of files and investigation reports could all that much delving into UFOs, lake and sea creatures and many other mysteries not result in a book or two...or three? Some Things Strange & Sinister, Some More Things Strange & Sinister as well as Pursuing The Strange and Weird: A Naturalist's Viewpoint set a precedence.
Whereas for decades those involved in "UFOlogy", "Cryptozoology" and "Forteana" declared many mysteries, that photographs were lost "to history" and so on, these three books swiped away the false claims. Alleged lost photographs -found. 'Mysteries' solved by doing actual research work and reading the sources -something others had never done.
And, of course, mention natural history and Black Tower Books broke new ground with that in The Red Paper: Canids.
But not all the prose books covered mysteries and wildlife.
And if there is one thing "Herr Professor" loves it is discovering and presenting long lost UK Golden Age (1939-1951) comic strips and characters from publishers such as Gerald Swan, Foldes, Denis M. Reader, Cartoon Art Productions and others.
Scanned and restored as best as can be considering the poor print quality of the rationing years -especially red, orange, yellow, blue and purple ink printing!
Ace Hart The Atomic Man! The Tornado! TNT Tom! Dene Vernon! Acromaid! Cat-Girl! Bring 'Em Back Hank! Robert Lovett:Back From The Dead and so many other action heroes and humour strip characters -William A. Ward, Jock McCaill and a host of known and unknown creators contribute -either in single volume " Black Tower Gold" albums or all six collected into the 400+ pager -The Ultimate British Golden Age Collection!
Another great love is Centaur Comics from the United States. Right at the very start of the American Golden Age of Comics Centaur had creators who were ahead of the others! Before Plastic Man there was Plymo! Before The Human Bomb there was TNT Todd! Before Green Arrow and waaaaaaay before Hawkeye there was the mysterious red hooded archer called The Arrow! And, to just break your comic mind world there was even a Black Panther -decades before Kirby came up with his character of the same name.
The Eye Sees All. The Owl. The Iron Skull. Amazing Man. The King of Darkness. The Invisible Terror. The Blue Lady. The Shark. Mini Midget & Kitty. Mighty Man. Super Anne. The company may have been short-lived but it's characters -oh boy!
The two volume Centaur Heroes Collection has been compiled into one sweet 140 page comic collection!
Horror. Ghost stories. The twist-in-the tale. Did you think that a publisher who is a big horror comic/film fan would ignore these?
Nope. Each year since 2010, BTCG has published a Tales Of Terror anthology album and 2014s included some fun and spooky lost Swan Comic strips. I mean how can you go wrong -even Ben Dilworth is in these!
The Church Of England has it's own basher of dark forces in the Reverend Merriwether -"God's Demon0-Thumper" as the press billed him. From an ancient Egyptian demon to a village of the damned and Varney the Vampyre, werwolves and a final confrontation with Satan himself -Merriwether pulls no punches and offers no compromise. And in those last few seconds between life and death, Merriwether's mind recalls past cases -thanks to Ben Dilworththe Tall Man of Osaka.
Merriwether: God's Demon Thumper and Merriwether: The Test Of Satan are available as individual comic albums or in one swanky book The Collected Merriwether: God's Demon Thumper.
Oh, did I forget to mention Dene Vernon -British comics' first investigator of the supernatural and strange mysteries? I did? Unbelievable since Gavin Stuart Ross drew the 1948 based Dene Vernon: The Thing Below!
And did you know Ross also drew the two adventures of Victorian mystery man Chung Ling Soo? Chung Ling Soo: The Curse Of The Jade Dragon and Chung Ling Soo: The Case Of The Thames Serpent were two cracking tales of magic, adventure, murder and deception -still available as single comic albums or collected together to form The Adventures Of Chung Ling Soo!
Ben Dilworth is no slouch either! Chung Ling Soo's police "counter-foil" isnone other than old London "Jack" (police man) Inspector Wilberforce and when Dilworth says "Here's a Wilberforce one-off: PUBLISH IT!" you do not argue!
And did you know you can be a Gold Master of Japanese Haiku? Well, neither did I -but guess what? Ben Dilworth is such a master and his Osaka Brutal features his Haiku in English!
Old saleman that he is, Dilworth just keeps on going. He produced Aesop's Fables -a darker version of the childrens tales and then went on to write two well illustrated prose albums looking at spirits and demons -Dilworth's Japanese Yokai and Dilworth's Western Yokai. Osaka and the Yokai books were combined with Aesop's Fables into the one volume The Collected Ben R. Dilworth -though the single volumes are also still available.
Horror comics yes but also some nice illustrated prose from Dilworth in...Dilworth's Horror & Ghost Stories but for the connoisseur those stories were collected together with the Phantom Detective comic strips into The Complete Phantom Detective!
And could anyone forget the sensational Iron Warrior Versus Big Bong:When Giants Fought? But add to that the various Iron Warrior strips from Adventure and you get The Iron Warrior Collection -When Giants Fought! In the 1940s, William A. Ward's creation was to be the most graphically violent comic strip seen until the 1970s. That is some legacy. It continues....with a touch of fun!
In case you are wondering, yes, obviously there are super heroes. Mix in ancient pantheons of gods, giant robot, alien invasion, Lovecraftian dark ones and so much more that the book runs to over 320 pages then you have part 1 of Terry Hooper-Scharf's Invasion Earth Trilogy" or as it is titled Return Of The Gods: Twilight Of The Super Heroes! And epic ending with the words: "Dr Morg has killed us all" -and if you have never read the mind altering counter actuality that is The Dr Morg Trilogy you may be saying "What? Who-?"
And part 2 of the trilogy The Cross Earths Caper ought to get you in the mood for 2015s big 31st Anniversary third part of the trilogy The Green Skies.
If you pass the ESTC (Epileptic Seizure Test Cover) on Dr Morg well, you are fit and healthy enough to read it and to check out all the Black Tower Comics and Books at the online store -see why we are the UKs largest publisher of Independent Comics!