Moon 3 Page 1 Pencils…. Evil Wears a Furry Face

Moon 3.1.1

So, it’s that time again. The third instalment of Moon is beginning to hove into view. With it is the introduction of a very special kind of evil. Revealed briefly in Moon 2, BunBun Warmheart is a villain that had everything going for him. Now his crimes against humanity mean not even his cute little face can get him off. Our hero, Moon and Shades will be facing this little bleeder directly. What will they find out? What will they glean from this little furry bastard?

This is very much the start of the first story arc for Moon. The introduction is over – now it’s all about the investigation! Moon and his new partner, Shades Rodriguez are about to start dog paddling in dangerous waters, and there be sharks there. Heavily armed, laser guided, furry faced sharks that want to bite their legs off. With guns. And things. Threats will come from directions you’d never expect. You have been warned.

Evil is back. And it’s sitting on a raised chair in an interrogation room at the heart of the Agency.

DAH-DAH-DAAAAAAAAAH!

Moon 3.1

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Demoncon VI Poster designed by Beyond the Bunker

Demoncon Steve Penfold Timaree Zadel

On September 15th, we will be in attendance at Royal Star Arcade, in Maidstone with Moon. A new venue for the Grinning Demon’s charity event that attracts both the indy and the professional. Confirmed guests so far are Lloyd and the Bear’s Gibson Grey, Moon print designer Grant Perkins, Tinpot Hobo and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle artist Jack Lawrence, Grainne McEntee and Matt Rooke with Apes n’ Capes and Bertie Bear’s Andy Clift. We also know that Cy Dethan and Nic Wilkinson (Cancertown, Reverend: Wrath of God) and Dan Abnett (Guardians of the Galaxy, Legion of Superheroes, the Hypernaturals) are confirmed and friend to the Bunker and DJ to the stars Keiron Gillen (Uncanny X-men, Iron Man) may be in attendance.

After 5 Demoncons and 5 very distinct posters, Graham Beadle, Demoncon organiser and owner of Grinning Demon comic shop came to the Beyond the Bunker table and was nice enough to ask me to design the new poster for Demoncon VI. Because of the nature of the convention as a charity event, the posters themselves are more lively and varied than anywhere else. Right from the beginning, Demoncon posters have mashed up mainstream and indy in a visual bash up. Dredd stands beside Frostica, Wonderwoman by the Moose. That lack of limitation is irresistable for an upstart comic book artist like me so I was honoured to be asked frankly. The end mix as you see above.

But i couldn’t do it on my own so I was aided by the incredible talent of Timaree Zadel (who also coloured the new prints that were available at MCM). With Ivanna Matilla currently waylaid by teaching English in 20 different schools, Timaree was her chosen colourist. As you can see, no reason not to be over the Moon with this work.

The Great MCM Retrospective 1

IMG_1108

Okay, we’re late with this but it’s been a busy few weeks since MCM. In particular taking into account the fact that it took a week to recover from. It was an enormous success for the pair of us. Better than we anticipated. MCM is always a boomer for us but we love it even more when we see the regulars and those we’ve met at MCM before.

One of the highlights for us at this stage is seeing new fans mixing with older fans coming back for a little more Moon action. Massive, genuine thanks to everyone who came back from Moon 1 or came to see us having read the first two and recommended us to others who had just arrived at the table. The fun we had this time out, a combination of the event and the reception means we now have big plans for the next MCM and we hope to see you there!

In a momentary lull I got a chance to head on out into the crowds and grab some shots of some suspicious looking Moon characters. The Princess Leia one was a little awkward as she was slightly offended that I wanted her head covered but it’d’ve been reverse sexist not to frankly and I’m standing (slightly uneasily) by that.

IRON MOON vs Spider-Moon

100,000th!

We don’t mark stuff like this very often but the BTB hit counter ticked over the 100,000 mark today. For a young site, entirely run by 2 people, it’s a good number and we’re very proud of it.

Thank you for all the support that has been shown to this site since we opened our doors just over a year ago, we’ve grown massively and we continue to grow every day. Please keep telling your friends about us, checking back for new content and (if you can afford to) buying our comics. In return, we will continue to put out as much content as we can over the next 100,000 hits. More Practitioners, more comic and movie articles and of course much much more Moon.

Here’s to the future, Bunkerites!

Dan & Steve
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A BTB Landmark

I was checking in on our daily stats (because I’m a titanic loser) and noticed that we dinged 300 hits today making it by far and away the busiest day we’ve had since…well yesterday which was also a record day. Regardless it means that August was our best month ever and since the big 300 is something of a milestone for a relatively new site like ours, I thought you all deserved a treat.

Here’s a photo of Steve and I looking really really happy.

See you at the 600 mark!

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Welcome to Beyond The Bunker

Morning chaps,

We’ve just gotten back from three days of madness at the MCM Expo in London. I’ll write up a full report in the next few days but I wanted to take a chance to say hi to all the people who bought a copy of Moon #1 and are checking out the site for the first time.

I’m Dan, I wrote Moon. You can find my bio HERE!

Steve drew Moon and Fallen Heroes. You can read all about him HERE!

If you want to find out what the Moon comic is all about you can find up to date news HERE and a trailer/blurb HERE!

If you want to mail order a copy of the book then you can do so HERE!

If you want info on our sister title Fallen Heroes then you can find up to date info HERE!

You might have noticed that we make films as well. You can find all of them on the menu at the top or by clicking HERE!

We try to update the site almost every day so we have a whole bumload of other features and articles for when we don’t have any Moon or FH news to tell you about. Here’s a few of them that you might want to check out:

THE PRACTITIONERS is a weekly blog by Steve which looks back over the careers of some of the most influential people in the comics industry. There are over 30 articles on there already so you’ve got plenty of reading to do. There will be a test at the end. I’d suggest using the menu at the top to navigate them so it doesn’t become too overwhelming!

THE EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES OF MONSIEUR POPPALEUX is a weekly clipart webcomic which is honestly not written by me (honest) but rather by the famous 90’s children’s author and cat strangler, Dr Jean-François Bacharach. It’s about a maladjusted smiley face and a pie chart who lies.

On top of all this both STEVE and MYSELF both have blogs here and we often write articles about COMICS, FILMS and GAMES.

Finally, if you are so inclined you can also follow ME, STEVE and BEYOND THE BUNKER on twitter.

Phew! What a lot of links. Well that should give you plenty of stuff to keep you busy for a while. Please pop us on your bookmarks bar and check in every day to see what’s new and be sure to drop us a message and let us know what you think of the book and the site. You guys really are the backbone of this whole endeavour and it’s honestly very humbling to see how much interest you all take in what we do.

Welcome to Beyond The Bunker.

D
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Moon #1 Review Roundup

Most of the reviews are in for Moon #1 now and so I thought it was about time that we collected them all together so you can see what the critics have been saying about the book.

Geek Syndicate –  5/5 – “Iconic”

Major Spoilers – “Very impressive”

The Void – “A great cast of characters”

Small Press Big Mouth Podcast – “Very slick, very professional, very witty…you’ll love it.”

Geek Planet Online – “Deserves to be a breakout hit.”  (Heres a LINK to the interview I did alongside the review)

Good Comic Books – “Like if HBO made Blackadder…awesome fun!”

Hi-Ex! Blog – “Complex and exciting…Buy it!”

Comic Buzz – “Huge fun and was a pleasure to read. I’ll be back for Issue Two and I’m willing to bet that everyone who reads this will be too!”

We had faith that people would like the book when we put it out there but the sheer level of enthusiasm that people have shown for it has been frankly staggering. We are hard at work on issue 2 right now and we’re still aiming to have in in your hands by the end of summer. If you’ve not bought a copy of the book yet please order one online or come and see us at Bristol, MCM or any of the other cons we’ll be visiting this year. The faster we sell issue 1, the faster we can put issue 2 out. Bunkerites, we need YOU! (I may even stop calling you Bunkerites if you help us sell a tonne of them 😉 )

Please, please, please take a bit of time to hop on twitter/facebook/whatever and give us a quick shout out. We really appreciate the help you guys give to this rapidly accelerating project.

D
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Moon Compared to The Tick, First Editions Almost Sold Out & More Reviews Are In – News From The Bunker

Afternoon chaps,

Wow. We’ve had a whole tonne of stuff going on since Kapow so I thought the best thing to do was just chuck it all together and give you a bit of an update on what we’re up to right now.

Steve and I signing copies of the book at Kapow

First off, massive thanks go to everybody who bought a copy of Moon at Kapow and to those that have ordered copies of the book via the website. We were expecting the level of interest in the book to pick up a bit after some of the reviews came out but it has utterly floored us just how many people seem to want to read about our big Mooney hero. To give you an idea of where we’re at, we had predicted that our initial print run would cover us for about six months and it’s almost completely sold out in two. Yikes!

On that note, if you are thinking about picking up a copy of Moon #1 but have yet to do so then you should know that we are now almost completely sold out of “First Edition” copies. The second print run of the book will have a slightly different cover, so if collecting is your thing then you’re going to want to get your order in as soon as you can. Once the First Editions are gone, they’re gone for good. Which reminds me…I should really reserve one of them for myself.

If you want this sexy cover then you'd best be swift.

We’ve had a couple more reviews come in this week as well. I’m going to post up a full page of links to them once the last few are in but in the mean time you may wish to know that The Void thinks Moon has “a great cast of characters” and that the Small Press Big Mouth Podcast generally loves the book (I’d suggest enjoying the whole podcast, but if you just want the Moon review then skip to around the 10min mark). The Small Press Big Mouth one especially blew me away as it’s one of the most positive reviews we’ve had so far. They seem to genuinely get what we’re trying to do here and the fact that they likened the book to The Tick makes me happier than you can possibly imagine.

Ok, well I have a tonne of writing to do if I’m going to get Band of Butchers done in time, so I must return to the laptop. Take care of yourselves Bunkerites, thanks for all the support so far and please keep spreading the good word.

D
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Kapow Diary 4: Frank Quitely, the Guinness Book of World Records and the Trouble with Gibbons (Pt 1)

You should always try to meet your heroes. There is a reason they’re your heroes. Frank Quitely is a genius. Capable of mixing line work with beautific composition like a parisian master in between the erratic highs of victorian period heroin and a sharp dose of Absinthe. Man’s a magician of the highest order and I respect him greatly. He is an Alan Silverstri. One of those artists that you pull out of the drawer when you want to make a million bucks on a comic book. You could write about Ingrid Bergman’s feet – nobody cares because Silvestri or Quitely’d make them look better than Ingrid’s herself!!

It should also be said that there is a fine art in the meeting of your heroes. One of them is not to tell them loudly about your mate’s baby’s unnaturally hard head. But I did and that was the least of it. I didn’t even limit it to my all time hero, I scattered my absurd intros to any legend of comicdom that’d stop and listen. For f@ck’s sake don’t make eye contact with me – I’ll tell you my Nan’s name!

I arrived at the Kapow Comicon on Saturday with a zen-like attitude towards what would take place. As far as I was concerned I’d roll up with the kit, set up the tables, sell some books and make our way. But this plan was shot to buggery. Firstly, its important to understand that artists do enjoy a certain degree of anonymity as they move around these comic cons. People know them for their work but they don’t know them on sight. Some artists defy this by looking exactly like you think they will. John Romita Jr looks like he’ll plug yer as soon as look at yer on some newspaper strewn street, Dave Gibbons looks like the friendly old penciller you’d expect to see sitting quietly and calmly at a drawing board under a arm lamp finalising the finishing touches on his latest piece, Brian Bolland looks like a gentlemen who can’t let a page go ’til he has lovingly and caringly cross created it like a kindly Gepetto fashioning his wooden boy and so on. Simon Bisley looks like a biker etc, etc. But only when you know who they are – by dint of they’re career they are an invisible presence. They’re an unseen hand, leaving a slap mark on the rump of the comic industry without anybody getting a good look at them.

But they are also the bass guitarist to the Writers lead singer. The artist, at his height is what gives the fans what they need and drives the lyric and lead guitar forward. You get an action sequence, that my friends is the artists guitar solo. Pyow, Nyoooow, rooooooow. (Ahem). They have the capacity to enthrall and infuriate. Its on the strength of their work alone – except for extremely gifted autistics who can read a book front to back in a second – that a book is initially picked up. They’re the good guys who never say a wrong word – cos they never write one down. And I was about to run into a few of them.

The Guinness Book of Records event was being set up at the far end of the event, by the IGN stands and the entrance. An intention to create a comic book using the greatest number of artists in one day. The original script being written by Mark Millar and then possibly expanded upon, I later overheard, by other script writers. It was a great idea. The pages split into three panels, an artist taking on one each and producing a full length comic book to be printed by Marvel comics that afternoon.

Having missed the E-mail I went down to the stand it was all taking place at (by the IGN stand at the front) to sign up which I did. Up on the stage was Leinil Yu and Frank Quitely, quietly finishing their panels. This was a quiet sight with not many people around and the Guinness Book of Records crew oblivious to who was sitting there. They didn’t care. They don’t read comic books. They read the Guinness Book of Records and the Roy Castle Autobiography. Anyway, I found myself in a strange predicament as I was the only one aware of the importance of the two gentlemen sitting in front of me. These were giants of the industry. These were the poster boys for the industry I’m trying to break into. However, they were also practitioners of the art I want to be part of and so should be afforded professional courtesy right. Professional courtesy probably extends to not bothering them while they’re working on a taped off raised table but what the hell – this was Frank Quitely and Leinil Yu.

I said to one of crew ‘, Woah. That’s Frank Quitely and Lienil Yu.’
‘Oh’, he replied politely in a way that I would if someone had said ‘Woah. That’s Tamara Beckwith and Natalie Pong,’ (I made the second name up which gives you some perspective).
‘Who are they?’ The Guinness representative inquire, helpfully, realising he might need to know.
I did well here in keeping calm but I mentioned ‘All Star Superman, X-Men, Hulk, Wolverine’ ‘Geniuses, ‘ and ‘in awe’ at least once.
‘You should meet them.’ the Guinness representative said. What a prick. What f@cking unhelpful, cheerful, friendly prick.
‘No I shouldn’t,’ I said – thinking on some level that I shouldn’t.

In this discourse Leinil Yu stood up. signed off on his panel and started moving off the stage. As he did so Lucy Unwin, the organiser, moved in to shuffle him off. Yu seemed kinda placid and calm. I moved forwards with the intention of talking to him. I stopped short of saying touching him. What would I want to touch him for? Weird. Whatever. It actually wasn’t about touching but by now Lucy was very efficiently whisking Leinil away. However, still sitting unguarded by the surrounding Guinness Book of Records representatives, still oblivious to the pure legend they had sitting amongst them quietly unaware, was Frank Quitely. Now I could be properly mental. As the Guinness representative insisted ahead of me that I should introduce myself as he’s my hero – I felt that pull. The feeling I get when I’m entering uncertain psychological territory and the edges of my behaviour begin to thin. I focussed sharply, trying to occupy my mind on simply introducing myself to my long time hero. So I went the other way. Not wanting to be a fanboy.

So I caught his attention. ‘Vincent,’ I said.

The thing you have to understand is that I had written about Quitely, and Leinil Yu and many other of the other Practitioners present at Kapow (Mark Millar, John Romita Jr, Brendan McCarthy, Dave Gibbons) in a series of articles I’ve written for this site – never once thinking about what it would mean when I met them. I can tell you right now when you’re faced with a hero and hopefully, one day, a colleague you admire and respect the weirdest thing to know – and something I don’t usually – is what school they went to – or their real name. Frank Quitely’s is Vincent, Vincent Deighan. And I’d just used it like I knew him. And I don’t. Never met him in my life. And obviously, neither has he. And now he was looking at me wondering if I knew him.

So things had changed now. I knew Frank Quitely by name and he’d turned and expected a mate or a colleague but it was a man, scruffy like an ancient sheep who came to tell him he loved him. Using your actual name and then telling them you love him didn’t seem apt. So my brain opted for another angle. One that justified the use of his personal name…

BEN MORGAN! Ben Morgan was my partner on the original Beyond the Bunker and lived in Edinburgh. He had claimed a short while ago that he had been drinking with Frank Quitely. ‘If you’re lying Morgan I’ll fly to the South side of the Forth and nut you you bear tree mother f@cker’ I thought at that point. Frank acknowledged the association and said he hadn’t seen him since before he had his son. He then waited quietly while I told him that ‘ things have been rough for Ben recently, he’s only just got a job.’ Who the f@ck cares about Benjamin Morgan my brain was telling me on some level – give him your book, tell him you love him – his WORK – YOU LOVE HIS WORK (F@CK’S SAKE!)

This was supposedly enough of a connection for me so I asked if he was going for a drinks tonight and he said ‘yeah, he most probably would,’ and he asked where was good to go. I didn’t know. I’d been drinking round the area in recent weeks and had completely forgotten the name of any pubs. So now I was arranging to go for a pint with the guy on the basis and that he had had a drink with one of my mates in Edinburgh and a three minute conversation.

I chucked him Moon 1, saying we were making it available to legends (thereby swinging back into fanboy territory again). He seemed to like it, politely flicking through it and nodding occasionally saying it was good.

It’s hard to know what the right response you’re looking for is. ‘This is the finest piece of artwork I have seen for some time! I would like to mentor you and introduce you to the commissioning editors of DC,’ would be nice. So I accepted his acknowledgement that he could see a marked improvement in the work as the book progressed which was nice of him.

I maintained the pub talk and suggested I’d let him know where we were all going if I saw him about the place again. As I maintained the conversation I could feel the dread moment, I could feel mysef heating up as the steady realisation that I was maintaining a sensible conversation with one of my heroes began to dawn on me. I had to back out before I said something stupid (something I proved was an accurate concern later on) and I’m pretty sure my eyes went all boggly. I’m not sure its a visible tick but they were definitely wider than they were meant to be. So I legged it, booked in at 3.30pm to come back and do my stint on the Guinness Book of Records stand.

BE BACK HERE TOMORROW TO SEE WHAT HAPPENED AT 3.30PM

Kapow in Pictures

Evening all,

I’m still recovering somewhat from the mania that was Kapow Comic Con. We got a lot of interest in the book over the weekend and it looks like we’re gonna be pretty busy for some time to come, which is rather nice. I’m pretty neck deep in work on the Clancy Wallencheck Fallen Heroes spin off this week, but I have managed to find time to upload some of the many photos from the event so that those of you who couldn’t make it can feel like you were really there.

Seems like everybody took this photo at some point during the day. It’s rare that you get such a good vantage point and can really appreciate the scale of an event like this. It also shows of just what a lovely venue the Business Design Centre really is. I know the temptation is going to be to move it to a bigger venue in years to come, but I really hope they stay put. It’s a splendid place.

The Warner Bros Stand was directly opposite the Beyond the Bunker one. This meant that not only were we driven insane by the Arkham City Trailer but we got glared at disapprovingly by Superman for 2 days straight.

One of our fellow exhibitors drew this fantastic pic of our Moon headed hero which I sat grinning at for the rest of the day. I genuinely love it when people do stuff like this, especially when it’s as good a pic as this one.

The BTB stand at the end of Saturday. We sold almost every copy of the book that we brought with us on the day (and we brought a lot of em). I probably could have retaken this one so it was less blurry, but I don’t think I’d have gotten as good an expression as Steve is pulling here. Really sums up the mood at that time.

Bidding a fond farewell to Kapow at the end of a busy day. It’s odd, I’ve been doing stand up gigs around Angel for years and yet I’ve never once noticed the BDC before. This probably has something to do with it not having a massive Hal Jordan slapped on the front of it during that time but it could also be because I don’t pay enough attention to exhibition centres.

We’ve got a few more pics still to go up (including some of the Beyond The Bunker stand itself) so check back later for those. In the meantime, if you want to really recreate that Kapow experience you can go to the BTB store and buy a copy of Moon for yourself. Always working. 😉

D
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