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Monday, 11 September 2017

Apparently Image Comics REALLY Do Hate Me

I was willing to just let the first THREE times go.  But I got this:

We have received a DMCA complaint for your blogCOMIC BITS ONLINE. An email with details of the complaint was sent to you on 11-Sep-2017 and we have reset the post status to "Draft". You can edit it here. You may republish the post with the offending content and/or link(s) removed. If you believe that you have the rights to post this content, you can file a counter-claim with us. For more on our DMCA policy, please click here. Thank you for your prompt attention.


And the offending post was Jonathan Ross & Ian Churchill Signing Revenge #1 from February, 2014!

Yes, a four year old press release FROM........Image Comics.

The company that hit me with three other DMCA complaints recently because they did not like mild criticism.  Mild criticism outweighs all the positive things I wrote about them.

This seems to be a tactic used by Marvel and Image if you say anything they do not like or criticize them.

Like the trolls and the flamers ~those who are mentally inadequate~ you don't normally see these things but Image Comics wants to target me and this blog then they get a shout out. They seem to be aiming at getting this blog shut down.

Normally I would ask if you have a blog to mention this or pass it along social media but I'm guessing the response would be nothing again after all who cares if a comic company is attempting to stop free speech?

Saturday, 9 September 2017

I Forgot CBO Was Here

No sales.  No time to spend on CBO

'Thanks' for all your lack of support

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Sorry but.....

I'm bankrupt.  Can't afford to waste hours posting here.  I need to pay bills.

Buy my books.  Show how much you REALLY support the comics industry.

SJW


Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Marvel's VENOM (2018) First Look Trailer - Tom Hardy Marvel Movie

An Updated Update In Case You Never Understood The Last Update

I got an email when I got home.  I was asked why I am not updating CBO?

Please, are you reading the posts?

1)  Nothing to review so nothing to review.

2) As I have pointed out over and over, this blog does NOT pay my bills. My situation is that I cannot afford to waste hours writing and updating a blog when I need to eat and pay bills.

I have tried everything to keep things going even down to pushing my books and trying the PayMe support for the blog.  Nothing.

People come here for free entertainment and don't really give a crap about who does all the work or supporting the blog.

So why should I work like crazy?

There.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Comic-Review: Superman - Doomsday! - Der Epilog zu "Der Tod von Superman"

KILLING GUNTHER Trailer #1 NEW (2017) Arnold Schwarzenegger Comedy Movie HD

Sur LESCOMICS.FR #3 - CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS

Comic Trips: Webisode 76- "Up, Upstate, and Away!"(pt2)

Comics, Books, DVDs and Action Figures ~Why CBO?

Why should you try to promote your comics and  books (only printed copies are accepted no pdf or other online files), DVD, action figure line, etc., on CBO?

The short answer is that it is not compulsory. No one is obliged to send anything for review.  Publishers and companies decide that.  But there are reasons why it might be a good idea.

Absolutely no press or advertising campaign guarantees sales.  That is a fact.  However, to get people aware of your product and whether it is any good, though again not guaranteeing sales, is a vital part of business.

And getting people interested in action figures and pop culture to know your product is out there is something Comic Bits online can do.

I could post some staggering figures about how many sites feed off CBO postings, re~posts and so on. However, I decided to stick with only CBO/Blogger stats.

Page views daily              2~3,000
Page views last month     99, 543
Page views all time         3,147,092

So when a review or posting is published it is seen by 2~3,000 people.  As you will see from popular posts (to the right), some of those are quite old but still get viewed in high numbers such as Titan Books:The Secret Service -Kinsman which was first posted in 2014!  Others such as reviews for Cinebook The 9th Art titles and so on are still checked out in enough numbers to make them keep appearing in the stats.

CBO is not just about "post now. Forget it" and with a world wide audience new viewers drop by all the time and that means posts get a new audience. Far East, Africa, New Zealand, Australia, China, Europe, united States, Canada ~quite seriously, countries I never knew existed until they popped up in stats!  Sadly, though we get views from there, nothing really turns up from China to review.

The Kick Ass 2 DVD review is still being checked out. That surprises me.  Some of the old toy postings still get high views.  Comic history and pop culture related books that were reviewed  6 years ago still get checked out.

So, you may not want to pay for advertising but if you want your product to get noticed then CBOis the place.

Simple as that. CBO has been going since 1998 and on this current site since 2011 so it isn't a fly~by~night temporary interest project!

Initial contact by email please to:

blacktowercg@hotmail,com

Thanks!

Dragon Ball Z -Yes, I HAVE Changed My Mind




 Above: This is so similar to Hong Kong Manhua covers and posters not to mention splash pages that the mind tells you this is Manhua influenced.
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You see, I was working after publishing that Dragon Ball Z and Manhua influence and images started flashing up in my mind.  Art I had seen a long time ago but realised it wasn't Chinese.  Something was "off".

So, I looked around on my bookshelves.  Nope.  Searched some of my old web groups but accidentally came across one of the recalled images!

Above: VERY Manhua in style.
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It was from Dragon Ball Z and so I did a quick search and....well, I came up with a lot of very Manhua art, but altered so that it was more in-keeping with "the Manga style".

Far from being coincidental I think it is very likely.

First time I saw Dragon Ball Z I thought it was Manhua but looking closer you see the Manga influence and, to be honest, a Japanese creator HAS to include those popular Manga traits to get a comic published and sold.  The people who head businesses in Japan are VERY conservative and tend to look down at foreigners and things from outside Japan. 

 
 Above: This could well have been lifted from a Jademan comic. It screams "Manhua!"


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Working in a creative arts media Toriyama would have seen lots of material -also Chinese martial arts films became major outside Hong Kong in the late 1960s/early 1970s -when I went to see Bruce Lee, etc., in kung fu movies. Now, a Japanese businessman visiting, say, London or a European city -even the USA-  would have had to have been blind NOT to see this explosion of kung fu mania. And that leads to the question: "what inspires these movies that make so much money?"  And from that....Manhua.

I have looked at what I can find of Dragon Ball Z and you look at Jademan Kung Fu comics that burst on the scene in the early 1980s and the similarity is rather striking.  If you asked me to give a per centage figure on the likely probability of Manhua influence on Toriyama and this series...75% which is as far as anyone can go without being told "No" by the man himself.

So Derek Padula may well be on to something.

_______________________________________________________________________
Below: Do I need to say more?  Toriyama is famous, I'm told, for being reclusive. I'd really love to know what has to say because only he knows!

Ma Wing Shing, Chinese Hero: Tales Of The Blood Sword and more!

They were applauding his success and admiring his creative journey that is on show at Comix Home Base, the heritage building that's been turned into a creative space between Mallory Street and Burrows Street in Wan Chai.

When I first started, Hong Kong comics were deemed violent and vulgar. It has taken 30 years to change society's perception
Ma Wing-shing
It was in stark contrast with the old times.

"When I first started, Hong Kong comics were deemed violent and vulgar," says Ma, reclining in a single-seat sofa in his spacious office in Quarry Bay, pondering the contrast between then and now.
"It has taken 30 years to change society's perception."

Ma's unique brand of illustrations telling stories of the martial arts underworld from The Chinese Hero to The Storm Riders have mesmerised a couple of generations of Hongkongers.

Over that time, he says, the comics have slowly changed people's perceptions.

"Those who grew up with [our works] are now in their 40s or 50s. Many of our readers are now professionals or even school headmasters. They understand that Hong Kong comics are not toxic, and so they won't discourage their children from reading them," says the 52-year-old.

"The government's attitude has changed too, recognising Hong Kong comics as part of local culture, a kind of simple cultural and creative industry that can be initiated by individual artists as opposed to film and animation productions, which are costly and labour-intensive," he says.

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Ironically, despite improving public perception, the market is shrinking.

"Now it's not about developing a new market. There isn't even a market now," Ma says.

It is estimated that the number of weekly comics fell from the peak of 50 in the 1990s to about 20 today.
Hong Kong comics were a lucrative business when Ma achieved his fame. Studies show that their annual retail sales in 1990 reached about HK$17.9 million. Jademan Comics, founded by Tony Wong Yuk-long, was listed on the stock exchange in 1986.

Despite the frequent display of coarse language and depiction of sex and violence, scholars agreed that these comics were important cultural products.

In recent years the government has shown support for comics through its industry agency CreateHK. Last year, the Avenue of Comic Stars was opened in Kowloon to woo fans.

It features 24 figures that are up to three metres tall of classic Hong Kong comic characters and has sponsorship of HK$1.5 million to HK$2 million of taxpayers' money.

In July this year, the grade II historic Green House was revitalised as the HK$200 million Comix Home Base, dedicated to the culture of comics and operated by the Hong Kong Arts Centre.

The city has a long history of comics, evolving from political illustrations from early in the last century to the second world war period, then to the manhua serials in the 1950s to 1960s which were popular with the post-war baby boomers who were in need of reading material for children.

Old Master Q by Alfonso Wong Kar-hei, who published the title under pen name Wong Chak (his eldest son's name), and 13-Dot Cartoons by Lee Wai-chun were among the best-selling works in the 1960s.
The trend was then overtaken by a new martial arts genre in the 1970s under the influence of kung fu films and the popularity of Bruce Lee. Wong's series such as Siulauman in 1970 fitted the bill at the time but was criticised for its violence and vulgarity.

Ma, a disciple of Wong, took things further with his realist style of drawings in The Chinese Hero that was often compared to the work of Japanese manga artist Ryoichi Ikegami, creator of crime thriller Crying Freeman.

First published in 1982 as a supplement to Wong's Drunken FistThe Chinese Hero was recognised as a breakthrough in Hong Kong comics. Its popularity encouraged Ma to turn it into an independent series the following year. It sold 40,000 copies a week.

"I only wanted to show my creativity through my works," Ma recalls.

He started drawing when he was a teenager, earning just HK$150 a month. "A box of bean curd stick and fatty pork rice cost only HK$2 to $3 back then. I spent every penny at the end of the month, and I worked overnight in the office all the time. But I was very happy back then."

Ma left Wong in 1988 and in 1989 founded Tin Ha Publishing, publishing Tin Ha Pictorials, featuring The Storm Rider, which was adapted into a movie starring Aaron Kwok Fu-shing, martial arts hero Bo Ging-wan and Ekin Cheng as his comrade Nip Fung. Its overwhelming popularity has kept the series going, probably until next year.

But the end of the long-running series is in sight.

"If I keep drawing, I will disappoint my fans," Ma says.

"I've been in this business for almost 40 years. Long series always have a market, but do I have to do it my whole life? Maybe there's another story in my life. It's time to let go."

He began planning to conclude the fantasy series about the underworld of martial arts four years ago.
The Storm Riders is the most profitable [title], and giving it up is very difficult for the company," he says.
The first thing he had to do, says Ma, was to stop expanding so that the ending of The Storm Riders would not be a severe blow to the company, which now has about 30 people.

The series will be put out monthly before it all comes to an end in the next 10 to 12 months.

But Ma is not going to cut his ties with the comics world. He wants to become a freelancer and begin writing stories without the need to worry about the market.

He is also venturing into animation. Together with partners from Hong Kong, he is betting on an animation and merchandising project on the mainland. They have pooled 30 million yuan (HK$37.8 million) and hope to help revive Hong Kong's comics industry, which has reached a dead end in the market.

Before the series - of which Ma was reluctant to disclose details - goes to air in Beijing and Shanghai in mid-September, a range of toys and props will be manufactured based on market studies and will be ready for sale when the series hits the screen.

"This is a whole chain of production. Hong Kong is difficult because the comics industry is part of a broken chain," Ma says.

Ma, who is often reported in the media as a wise property investor, says that although his project is costly, chasing after a dream isn't.

"Creative people can live a simple life happily because they have hope. But today's young people don't have any hope except for buying a property," he says. "We need to give them more upward mobility."

MANGA,MANHUA AND MANWHA!



        
This was the introduction to my old 4T Chinese Manhua site. It still exists (it was set up in 2003) but has not been up-dated for years.  As I like to keep reminding people that Chinese Manhua has some incredible art...*****************************************************************************

It will be necessary to explain the differences between Chinese,Korean and Japanese comics.

MANWHA,MANHUA & MANGA......

Manhua is the Chinese word for comics. The character used are the basis of the characters used in both Manwha [Korean for comics] and Manga,the Japanese for comics.

There is a certain annoyance amongst some fans of the medium that three terms are being used to designate which comic comes from where. This seems more than a little odd but there are all sorts on the internet!

Wendy Siuyi Wong,in her fabulous book,HONG KONG COMICS:A HISTORY OF MANHUA [Princeton Architectural Press,2003],has divided Manhua into four categories:

[1] Satirical & Political
[2] Comical
[3] Action
[4] Childrens [adaption of ancient Chinese legends,etc.]

The term Lianhuantu will also be encountered when looking into the subject. Lianhuantu is a traditional illustrated story book consisting,usually,of full page illoes with captions but no word balloons.

Korean Manwha tend to be read left to right as per in the West. There is less focus on big eyes and more on expression and personality.  The spikey hair of Manga is replaced also for a more natural look. Characters don't usually possess magical powers but are instead fierce fighters -far more human.

The Korean Manwha I have seen [black and white samples] tend to use more ink spattering and other techniques -rather like old UK b&w comics.

Both Korean ,and especially the Hong Kong Chinese creators,have been influenced by Japanese Manga as they grew up. Therefore,strong Manga influences are evident.

However,it is only when you look at a selection of Manwha,Manhua and Manga that you begin to spot the real differences and how unique each can be. In 2003 there were more than forty locally produced titles in HK -excluding Japanese material.

FENG ZI-KAI

The foundations for the development of Manhua as an artform,according to Wendy Siuyi Wong,came in the 1920s. The word "Manhua" got more widely used after the famous writer Feng Zi-Kai published his very first collection of cartoons,Zi-Kai Manhua,in 1925.

Feng's fame drew attention to his use of the phrase "Zi-Kai Manhua" and it was soon in common use,associating his art style with Japanese  manga.

COMICS AND GENRES
It would be near to impossible to try to show the wide variety of Hong Kong comics,past and present,on this site. There are so many!

The best I can do is advise anyone interested to purchase a copy of Siuyi Wong's book -you may find a cheap copy on e-bay.

This site and the discussion group below are intended to at least give those interested some idea of what is out there and its not all DC or Marvel comics.

 

The Impossible To Find DR LEUNG'S COMICS [HONG KONG]





I came across a copy of 4D MONKEY quite by accident while browsing through boxes of old comics in Bristol's AREA 51 shop. It was in a sealed bag for the meagre price of 25p so I grabbed it!

Sadly,some moron had clipped out various bits from the interior,ruining the comic.

However,it is a very nice, futuristic, space version of Monkey, Pigsy and Sandy that many of us will be familiar with via the TV series and tales.





Yin Fei -The Chinese Ninja gets involved in the mystery of the "Ghost Village"!  Another accidental find in AREA 51 but I'd love to know how it got there;I don't recall ever seeing Dr Leung Comics during the late 1980s Jademan inspired explosion....someone's comic picked up on holiday?

Addenda
I thought that I would like  to get the rest of the issues in this series.  The only online source -the USA. To get five different issues would cost me $7.00 not bad.  It's the $50 total postage that makes me scream NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
Any sellers in the UK -I'll pay £3.00 per issue?

Chinese Manhua and UK Comics -Two Separate Markets.


In February, 2015, Jenbae, on Goboiano, posted "9 Chinese Manga That Are Ready To Beat Their Japanese Competition" 
http://goboiano.com/list/2450-9-chinese-manga-that-are-ready-to-beat-their-japanese-competition

 Interesting list. Benjamin and his work I  have covered before on CBO.  

However, China seems very Manga orientated with the exception of Benjamin's work and the incredible work you can see from The Ravages Of Time -I've seen this style before and love it. It is clear that the idea of selling comics to China would be a major problem as readers there have grown up with styles they are comfortable with.  Two separate markets.

So the idea is still more aimed at getting Chinese businessmen to invest into comics in the UK. That is going to be a battle in itself. 

1. The Ravages of Time

Kickass, incredible art, and an adaptation of "Romance of the Three Kingdoms". Need I say more?


2. Song of The Long March / Chang Ge Xing

A brilliant princess becomes a war tactician to survive after her father is overthrown. The art and realistic character development will cause you to intensely crave more.

 


3. The One

Fashion and a fierce race to the top punctate this romcom that rises above other shoujo with similar themes.


4. The Legend and the Hero / Feng Shen Ji

A sprawling epic with empires and a fight against the Gods. If you love color and not being able to guess what happens next, this manhua is what you've been looking for.


5. School Shock

Human weapons called "Vanguards" are the next evolution in weaponry and they don't hold back in battle or fanservice.


6. Playful Dragon / Hua Hua You Long  

Through kidnap and deceit, a young man becomes the wife of a leader of bandits that doesn't want to let him go. This hardcore yaoi will bring you to your knees with glossy art and compromising situations.


7. Ingènuo

A sweet photographer in training pretends to be a boy so she can work with her idol. Even though the manual labor is back breaking, her talent grows daily from practice and she might have found the love of her life.


8. Gu Fang Bu Zi Shang

A manipulative shoujo love affair with secrets, intellectual warfare, and equally strong leads who can also be vulnerable.


9. Orange (BENJAMIN)  

A young girl gives in to her empty life and reaches for suicide until a drunken man changes her perspective on everything. It's filled with undeniably beautiful artwork and a story about finding peace in a cold world.


 

On Chinese Ghost Stories...And Comics

...and a little Liu Yifei!


I have to say that  Oriental Ghost Stories: Tales of Mystery and the Supernatural was a little disappointing.  Almost two thirds (or more) deals with Japanese ghost stories rather that Chinese as the sellers indicated.  Really -did I think they had read the books?


But Strange Tales From A Chinese Studio has not disappointed.  Plenty of good stories, if not what many Europeans might think of as ghost stories. So a lot to go through!


Someone might think that I have forgotten my plan to research Chinese traditional ghost stories in the hopes of producing a number of Chinese Ghost themed comic albums.

I have not.

I'm hoping Pu Songling's book will fill in a lot of gaps in what I know (they are BIG gaps -come on I have never investigated any Chinese ghosts!). That and Lafcadio Hearn's (apparently he is better known and still respected in Japan) Oriental Ghost Stories: Tales of Mystery and the Supernatural.

Would they ever be as good as some of those old Charlton Horror comic strips set in Japan andKorea and drawn by Sanho Kim? 

Oddly, I used to have some Hong Kong horror Manhua but those simply vanished -I mean, who the ----- steals comics they don't understand (unless they were just interested in the art?).  Whatever, The Thinker (possibly) presenting some good Chinese horror stories would be fun.

In the meantime I have to find another source to buy Manhua from!  It seems the other large Chinese store in Bristol gets newspapers and magazines but not Manhua.  Oh the struggles of my life!  :-)



This was my original posting on the ideas I had, and still do.

Zhong Kui -The King of Ghosts!

I love Chinese comics and I love ghost stories.  I was hoping that I might find inspiration from Chinese comics but, sadly, cannot get hold of any of the horror comics.

It also seems my book of traditional Chinese ghost stories went missing years ago without me knowing.

I did remember one name and -voila!  Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhong_Kui

And with a title like "King of Ghosts" how can you not be inspired?


As related on Wikipedia -I remember the story being MUCH longer- this is how Zhong Kui became....

.... the King of Ghosts!!

According to folklore, Zhong Kui travelled with Du Ping (杜平), a friend from his hometown, to take part in the imperial examinations at the capital.

Though Zhong achieved top honours in the exams, his title of "zhuangyuan" was stripped by the emperor because of his disfigured appearance. In anger, Zhong Kui committed suicide upon the palace steps by hurling himself against the palace gate until his head was broken.

Du Ping buried him.

During his judgment, the Hell King saw potential in Zhong. Intelligent enough to score top honors in the imperial examinations, but damned to hell because he committed suicide.

The Hell King, judging Zhong Kui,  then gave him the title, as the King of Ghost, forever to hunt, capture, maintain and order ghosts. After Zhong became King of Ghosts in Hell, he returned to his hometown on Chinese New Year's Eve.

To repay Du Ping's kindness, Zhong Kui gave his younger sister in marriage to Du.





Yes, the story has the ring of many others over the centuries and then in comic books -Jim Corrigan, cop, gunned down and then resurrected by The Higher Power to combat evil.  And Atlas (Seaboard Periodicals) Grim Ghost was a betrayed highwayman, hung and resurrected by Satan to find and bring him evil souls as...The Grim Ghost.

Oh, and here is a tale!

 Zhong Kui's popularity in folklore can be traced to the reign of Emperor Xuanzong of Tang China(712 to 756). According to Song Dynasty sources, once the Emperor Xuanzong was gravely ill. He had a dream in which he saw two ghosts. The smaller of the ghosts stole a purse from imperial consort Yang Guifei and a flute belonging to the emperor. The bigger ghost, wearing the hat of an official, captured the smaller ghost, tore out his eye and ate it. The bigger ghost then introduced himself as Zhong Kui. He said that he had sworn to rid the empire of evil. When the emperor awoke, he had recovered from his illness. So he commissioned the court painter Wu Daozi to produce an image of Zhong Kui to show to the officials.


This was highly influential to later representations of Zhong. (see image below)



Forgive my ignorance if there has been a comic book adaption of this story but I think "the BlackTower treatment" is needed.  I see a whole Tales of Terror 2015 (volume 5) dedicated to Chinese and Japanese ghosts.  Hmm?



But first, those Green Skies need taking care of!

Oh, and if you are wondering about the photos they are of Chinese actress Liu Yifei -also known as Crystal Liu Yifei- in costume promoting the movie Chinese Ghost Story costume.  You can find more

 info here: 


And see a trailer here: 
Have fun!