MOON LAUNCH LONDON IS HERE!!

It’s been a long working week. The sirens of crimes already committed blaze through the night. The unfortunate drones make their way back to the flats and homes too small to really stretch they’re legs out or have a good Nerf fight in. If this describes your Friday, or even if it doesn’t, how about a free comic book, comedy and entertainment? How about the warmth of a like-minded crowd having the time of their lives? Sounds to me like you’re looking for the Moon Launch 3.

Others may be asking how to get Moon 3? So many different ways. You could wait for us to appear at a London con (February) OR you can come to Dirty Dicks, Broadgate, Liverpool Street, London get a free comic at the door and enjoy the best in new music, comedy and novelty bands with a drink in your hand, music in your ears and friends around you! Never has socialising ever been easier.

‘What’s that? You have a copy of Moon too!? Let’s talk.’

We’re too noisy for the Square Pig (Moon Launch 1), too big for the Miller (Moon Launch 2) so now we’re in the Vault of Dirty Dicks at London Liverpool Street. Centre of commerce and easy trips home!!

CONFIRMED: 2-piece comedy duo and friends to the Bunker, COLD CALLERS and Ska 5-piece JOB SEEKERS ALLIANCE!

Moon Launch 3 Flyer Front

Torsobear. A gritty noir…with toys.

Some of our good friends are working on a collection of strips entitled “Torsobear – Yarns from Toyburg” at the moment and since it looks like a lot of fun, I thought I’d throw up a link to the project so that you can check it out for yourselves.

Some Assembly Required 01

The book is a collection of grim crime stories set in a world filled with action figures and soft toys and as you can probably see from the above page, it’s wonderfully silly. The book features work from our fellow Unseen Shadows creators, Cy Dethan, Nic Wilkinson & Pete Mason all of whom are brutally talented, as well as a bevy of other UK comic stars.

The book still needs a bit of help to reach the point of publication (or at least to do so in a way that the fine creators behind it get paid) so if you have a spare few quid and fancy checking out some fuzzy noir, pop over to their Kickstarter page and order yourself a copy.

On a more general note, I’m hoping to drop in to London Film and Comic Con, if only to catch the rebirth of the Eagle Awards, so perhaps I shall see some of you in a couple of weeks. It’ll likely only be a flying visit and it’s still dependent on sorting out a few other commitments but it would be nice to catch some of you fine people if the chance arises. Either way I’m pretty sure Steve’s there for the duration so you won’t go totally Moonless. If I don’t make it then I wish you all a splendid show and if I do, see you there!

D
x

 

An Alternative World Cup Anthem by The Free Kicks

I’d be lying if I said that football was exactly my sport, none of the participants have wheels and there’s nary a V6 in sight. However, once every 4 years I join thousands of others just like me by watching a couple of preview shows, pretending I now understand every aspect of the game and picking a team to support post quarter finals (a decision usually based largely on shirt colour).

One thing that I remain an unabashed fan of is a good world cup anthem and Cambridge band The Free Kicks have put together a cracker that I thought I’d share here. The Free Kicks are made up of members of several Cambridge artists including our old friends Fred’s House and Josh Broadstone, star of some of Jim and I’s short films. As you might imagine with that combo it’s very silly and stupidly catchy. Enjoy!

Thanks to everyone who has bought Moon in recent weeks. Stay tuned for updates on Moon 3.

D
x

“The Return” A webcomic by Dan Thompson and Jake Rowlingson

While Steve’s busily working on Moon 3, I’ve been doing a couple of side projects with the Unseen Shadows guys. The first of these to come out is a one page webcomic called “The Return.”

Bob Kelsey is the tragedy prone freelance journalist of Barry Nugent’s fantasy series and Barry asked a few of us if we’d like to do some short strips about Bob’s tribulations. I drew upon my own battles with terrifying monsters and created this spine chilling tale that was then beautifully illustrated by Jake Rowlingson. Hope you enjoy it.

20140308-123859.jpg

You can view more of these comics on the Unseen Shadows website.

D
X

Guardians of the Galaxy 15 Second Teaser is here!!

If there’s one thing both me and Dan agree on is that Peter Quill’s progression from 8os sci-fi Starlord to commander during the Annihalation crossover, leader of the cobbled together strike force against the Phalanx invasion and, finally, wise-cracking protagonist of Abnett and Lanning’s fully formed Guardians of the Galaxy was pretty much the best character development Marvel’s ever pulled off. He came from the edge of Marvel, teamed up with a Racoon and a Tree and put on a cool looking helmet.

Chris Pratt looking a little ill at ease at the helm as team leader Peter Quill

Chris Pratt looking a little ill at ease at the helm as team leader Peter Quill

5 years later Marvel’s lack of choices in it’s next movie franchise led them to a popular fringe title named Guardians of the Galaxy and here we are now. In the unlikely situation in which one of the silliest titles Marvel has ever put out is on it’s way to the big screen. Great times!!

So it’s with some excitement that we present the best news we’ve had in a while!! Guardians of the Galaxy first 15 second shot-fest trailer is here and it looks like fun. Visibly sticking to Abnett and Lanning’s zany run in the Guardians (Gamora, Starlord, Groot, Drax all present and correct) instead of the unecesarily retrofitted Bendis run. Director James Gunn insisted that he was resolutely sticking to Abnett and Lanning’s version of the team for the big screen release. Abnett himself told us that he’d been to the set and was really happy with how it was all shaping up.

There’s one character conspicuously missing though between the bomb bursts, aliens and beasties…..

Zoe Saldana as Gamora, the world's most dangerous woman

Zoe Saldana as Gamora, the world’s most dangerous woman

'I AM GROOT!': Not seeing the wood for the gunfire

‘I AM GROOT!’: Not seeing the wood for the gunfire

Screenshot from new 15 second trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy

Screenshot from new 15 second trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy

NZs Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer looking for his next victim

NZs Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer looking for his next victim

Djimon Hounsou as Korath the Pursuer asks the question many non-readers are probably asking

Djimon Hounsou as Korath the Pursuer asks the question many non-readers are probably asking

A Christmas message from Dan and…erm…Santa

We’re really excited about some of the things Beyond the Bunker are doing in 2014 so Dan decided to go enlist the help of the only man jolly enough to convey how awesome it’s going to be. This is the absolute truth and we most definitely did not sneak into a grotto after closing time and sit in the chair.

Thanks to everyone who bought the book over the last year, we hope you dig some of the stuff that we’ll be brining out in 2014.

Have a great Christmas and New Year everyone!

Dan & Steve
xNew MOON FEATURE 2

Moon unites with other indy comics to support Hood!

Hood

If you read a lot of British comics then you’re probably familiar with the work of Ant Jones. He’s a lovely chap, a fine writer and a regular at the Bunker convention table. Well, Ant has a new graphic novel project on the go and he needs some funding (via Kickstarter) to get the project off the ground. To assist him in this, he has assembled some of the brightest and best creators of the indy comics scene and then added in two idiots who do a comic about the Moon.

The book in question is called Hood and is a dark, modern retelling of the classic Robin Hood story. It might sound like you’ve heard it before but if you take a look at the team’s wonderful pitch video then you’ll start to get an inkling that they’re doing something a bit different this time.

hood1

The deal is simple. You pledge some money towards the completion of the book and you get a variety of goodies in return, one of which is a humble indy bundle containing comics from the likes of Jon Lock, Richard Worth and yes Beyond The Bunker. It’s a collection of books that any self respecting comic fan would love to own anyway but now you can do it in a way that helps another awesome book to come to life.

If you feel like checking it out then head over to the Hood’s Kickstarter page and see which of the rewards take your fancy. At the very least you should take a look at the t-shirts. They pretty.

I’ll leave you with some of the preview pages. Enjoy!

D
x

hood2

MOMBcast Talks Moon 2

SBcom-sb3-Home-Feature-960px-MOMBcast

With all the work that we’ve been doing on Moon 3 as of late (seriously these biscuits don’t eat themselves) it’s sometimes easy to forget that lots of people are still picking up Moons 1 & 2 for the first time. Reviews are difficult to come by once your first issue is out but in this case the lovely Michael Georgiou took some time on the latest MOMBcast to chat about Moon 2 a wee bit.

It’s great to know that new people are still picking up the book and digging what they find in there and in Michael’s case it’s especially pleasant as he’s a heck of a talented creator in his own right.

You can listen to the review by going here and you won’t even have to do any shuffling as Moon’s the first thing on the menu.

Thanks MOMB!

D
x

(P.S. Iv’s surname is pronounced Matilla, not Matilda. Matilda was the telekinetic devil child of children’s fiction. Iv does have telekinetic powers but this is purely coincidental).

New Characters IMAGE SLIM

 

Thor: The Dark World: A Beyond the Bunker review

Thor-The-Dark-World-Marvel-Wallpaper-

2013_thor_2_the_dark_world-widescreen_wallpapers

BTB Reviews Movie

Marvel’s got a hell of a challenge ahead of it, particularly with Thor. With Robert Downey Jr hanging up his french waiter moustache and goatee until Avengers: Age of Ultron, the weight of convincing crowds that Marvel has what it takes to make us deal out the dosh to see Captain America: Winter Soldier, Ant Man and Guardians of the Galaxy before the next team building exercise and universe bending threat to humanity falls on the not insignificany shoulders of the God of Thunder himself, this time directed by Game of Thrones' and first time blockbuster movie director; Alan Taylor.

Of the three (four) big hitters in the Avengers, Thor's films are by far the broadest in setting and effectively most responsible for setting the outer limits of the Marvel Universe, presenting a massive challenge. It was the villain of Thor (Tom Hiddleston's Loki) that represented the threat in the showcase movie Avengers (we don't call it Avengers Assemble here) after all – so while Thor is the least profitable (by a small margin) and arguably the slightest of the original three movie franchises that lead to Avengers in spite of capable direction from Shakespearite Kenneth Branagh – it carries with it the burden of being potentially the most influential. This film is no different, with Iron Man 3 resolving Tony Stark's story arc until the new Avengers film and the trailer for Captain America making it clear that it's focus is one of internal conflict and very human warfare, the onus is on Thor to kick the excitement for Avengers: Age of Ultron up a notch. This it does with absolute aplomb, a wry sense of humour and a sense of it’s audience rarely seen in an established franchise.

We find a cast very much changed by the events of Avengers, some of which finally have the opportunity to be developed more effectively with a plot that deals much more with the nine realms of which Earth (Midgard) and Thor's home (Asgard) are only two. Most improved are the formerly peripheral and comic book mainstays otherwise known as the Warriors Three (Hogun, Fandral and a slightly less voluminous Volstagg) and Thor's female interest in Asgard, Sif. Though Tadanobu Asano's Hogun is out pretty early on. The film pauses deliberately to present these characters a little better, Volstagg now better realised by the brilliant Ray Stevenson (Rome, Punisher: War Zone) and Zachary Levi as dashing Fandral stirs memories of old Robin Hood movies. Sif's clear love for Thor as a subplot is an interesting and welcome development in Sif's character, though she is used sparingly in action sequences and the first to be removed from the equation when the action begins to heat up, something regrettable as Jaimie Alexander is such a capable actress, Sif an interesting character and both are such bona fide hotties.

Rene Russo's Frigga, as Thor's mother takes a more prominent role in proceedings as well, as the influence she has over her husband Odin (Anthony Hopkins), her real son, Thor and step son, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is the linking subplot that allows three warring characters to find any common ground.

But, hilariously, it's the master stroke of Stellan Skarsgård's Dr. Erik Selvig and his burgeoning mental illness that wins the film over. Rather than sideline him as a result of him being driven mad because he 'had a god in my head', Selvig becomes welcome relief from earnest and worthy moments threatening to become too overbearing and tipping the plot into farce by taking itself too seriously. Kat Dennings' assistant Darcy Lewis and her 'interns intern Ian Boothby played by Jonathan Howard create very neat comic moments and IT Crowd's Chris O' Dowd as Dr Jane Foster's (still ably played by Natalie Portman) doomed alternative love interest rounds out a very well used set of side characters.

Playing Doctors and Norses: Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) meet up in a pub car park....

Playing Doctors and Norses: Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) meet up in a pub car park….

If I haven’t mentioned the primary cast of Hemsworth, Portman, Hiddleston and Hopkins (and Idris Elba as all-seeing Heimdall) it is because there is little change amongst any of them. They are uniformly great, with only Hopkins seemingly phoning it in a little at the very beginning. They occupy the centre of the plot brilliantly, each fulfilling the potential of the characters well. Hemsworth himself proves himself a generous and humble actor in scenes with others, giving a the god of thunder the depth of storm clouds in quieter moments and allowing other characters to share the limelight in one on one scenes.

It is perhaps the familiarity of the archetypes that causes the film to slightly dip in the centre however. Away from the cast of unusual and offbeat side characters the course the characters take is almost unavoidably predictable. Not boring at any point, and peppered with nice moments which will make you laugh unexpectedly. However, the main tract of the tale take second place to the decidedly enjoyable character moments. When the main plot takes over, it can’t help but become a slightly predictable, if exceptionally well paced and directed, fantasy fare.

Aside from occasional hiccups in the edit the film is littered with curiousities and odd decisions that are later satisfactorily resolved, which highlights how this film isn’t being written by template. It can be argued it under utilises a cast capable of greater emotional depth but it does so in order to remind itself that it is a superhero yarn and one that demands a heavy dose of fun and would suffer from too much hand-wringing. Never the less the relationship between Odin and Thor at loggerheads in the first film as a loving father and son incapable of agreeing on anything is satisfyingly realised here. The writing of a character as unpredictable as Loki leaves you guessing how many bluffs and double bluffs you’re seeing with red herrings subtle and layered as the God of Mischief tries to justify his actions enough to disappoint everyone all over again – a highly enjoyable tight rope walk for a sympathetic character – and one that pays off nicely.

Portman’s involvement draws parallels with the Star Wars franchise and there are touches of Padme Amidala in her appearance, but it is the blend between mythology and science fiction, well realised in this case, that makes Thor: The Dark World the film the Phantom Menace and Clone Wars should have been. The idea that technological advancement creates worlds reminiscent of fantasy epics works because secretly it’s an ideal existence, a comfortable blend between nature, control of physics (advanced science giving rise to magic that utilises great power) and balance. Here, the Marvel universe draws together the ideas that the Star Wars saga failed to and it’s exciting and impressive to behold.

Perhaps most notably for a resident of the denizens of London, it looked (with only one exception) like the city we know well, a refreshing change from interesting global landmarks used as interchangable backdrops for unintelligible action sequences or the foppish, lamp lit London of Richard Curtis romantic comedies. Neither does it rely on overly recognisable landmarks, this film is brave enough to put the action away from the obvious tourist track and for that it deserves credit – though recognisable landmarks to Londoners are used briefly and effectively to raise a smile. Having said that, those with a clear knowledge of the underground will definitely take umbridge with one otherwise well placed London Transport gag. Put simply, without showing the Houses of Parliament, St Paul’s, the O2, The London Eye or Trafalgar Square this film manages to depict a city both recognisable to Londoners and attractive to tourists. Something it’d be good to see in other films.

Enormous ideas are realised with effective visual shorthand and a recurring light touch. Happily, having watched a film that involved alien starships, multiple dimensions and gods the thing I admire most about it, particularly after the seemingly pointless carnage of Star Trek: Into Darkness and Man of Steel, is it’s self control. Thor maintains the Marvel tradition of understanding that devastation doesn’t have to be global, total or even city wide. With effective set pieces the final battle, while grand, is geographically contained (at least while limited to this dimension) but is more engaging as a result.

This an incredibly assured debut to mainstream film making, with the risks that Marvel are taking paying off film after film. If any of you are waiting for Marvel to falter, this film most certainly isn’t it. Based on the trailer of Captain America: Winter Soldier and the now traditional title sequence clips, Marvel isn’t going to slow down anytime soon. Unexpectedly, perhaps, the concern over the end of Downey Jr’s run as Iron Man as a franchise in it’s own right was misplaced, his absence now allowing focus to fall on extremely worthy elements of the Marvel Universe. We say more of this and Marvel will secure its place with one of the finest legacies in movie history.

Do you live in Kent? Come hang out with us tomorrow!

It’s Demoncon 6 tomorrow! If you’ve not been to Kent’s loveliest comic con (I think it’s Kent’s only comic con but that’s besides the point) then you really should give it a go. This will be our fourth appearance at the event and it honestly gets more fun every time. A relaxed, family atmosphere; a wide range of enjoyable ways to spend a Sunday afternoon and, due to the shocking number of professional writers/artists that live in Kent, a surprisingly top end guest list.

This year will feature the likes of Dan Abnett (Guardians of the Galaxy), Cy Dethan (various books that give you nightmares) and a couple of idiots who do a book about the Moon. There are also several new indy book launches, demo games, a raffle where you can win comics and original artwork and an appearance by the mighty 501st legion. In case you need any more persuading, here are three things that we got up to last time out:

1) One of the other artists left early so we stole his table and created the largest Moon booth we’ve ever had which Steve had to staff by himself because I had to play Dr Who with some kids. 

007

2)  Somebody asked Steve to draw a sketch of one of the 7 deadly sins so we put our heads together and came up with this interpretation of “Pride” (the look on the lion’s face still cracks me up whenever I look at it).

005

3) Peter Mason learned the price of lending pens to the Bunker clan as Steve promptly made off with his sharpies, leading to this poster being circulated.

004

So come on. It’s a Sunday, it’s raining and you’re probably hung over. What else are you going to do today? Housework? Forget that! Your house hates you. Show it who’s boss and come hang out with us in Maidstone.

Demoncon runs from 11am – 5pm at the Royal Star Arcade in Maidstone. Full details here!

D
x

(Oh and did I mention that Steve and Timaree did the poster)

1237498_236711416478102_70820396_n