|Black Tower Adventure Volume 1|
The Black Tower Gold Collection - the brainchild of Terry Hooper, who edits the ComicBitsOnline web site - covers the forgotten British Golden Age (1939-1951).
Terry uses lulu.com to publish the collections.
"While people have continued writing and talking about the Beano and Dandy from this period it seems that no one is really interested in the comics of the other companies," feels Terry, "Gerald Swan and Swan Comics, Secret Service Comics, Soloway, Cartoon Art Productions and others.
"This period saw the creation of Britains first occult detective, Dene Vernon (soon to feature in a new book of his own) not to mention Robert Lovett in Back From The Dead. Some may have heard of the British super-man Ace Hart (even if his continuity is a bit odd), but there was Wonder Man, Bring ‘Em Back Hank (a sort of time-travelling Tomb Raider); TNT Tom, given super powers by aliens he rescued. Tiger Man, who got cat-like powers after fighting a tiger… in Africa. The axe-wielding Iron Warrior – one of the bloodiest strips in British comics up until Action.
"There are also Cat Girl, Phantom Maid, Skybolt Kid, Speed Gale, The Phantom Raider, Streamline, Super Stooge and many others including some humour strips.
"The strips were printed in orange, red, purple, blue and even green and considering the throw-away attitude the quality was not perfect," Terry notes. "In some cases it has taken a month of work to remove sellotape repairs, foxing and just plain decayed pages.
"Quality ranges from high to medium - but then, if you are interested in this period or a comic historian these collections are about the only place you’ll find the strips and cover prices are low (ignoring all the work put into the books).
"They are a labour of love and definitely not big money-makers!
"The Iron Warrior, Krakos the Egyptian as well as The Bat have all returned in new stories but if you want to see British super heroes and crime-fighters as they appeared in the 1940s up to 1950 then these books are for you."
• Check out the Black Tower range at http://stores.lulu.com/hoopercomicsuk