The Great MCM Retrospective 1

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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

Dan talks comics with Lazy as Funk

I think it’s fair to say that MCM was pretty insane. We have honestly never been busier than we were over those three crazy days and it was great to be able to introduce so many new people to Moon.

Amidst the selling though we did get a chance to chat with some lovely people and among them was the wonderfully named “Lazy and Funk” youtube channel. Have a look and enjoy me talking about MCM while Steve hovers like I’m about to rat him out for a murder. Stick around to the very end to get an insight into just how much I love the newly re-printed Moons.

We’ll be posting up some more stories and pictures from MCM over the coming weeks so keep checking back. Thanks again to everyone who came to say hi!

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Moon by Peter Mason

I’ve been a big fan of Peter Mason’s art for a while now. You’ve probably seen his preview art for Ashfall on the site and while Pete’s no longer involved with that book he did manage to find the time to do this fantastic drawing of ol’ crater face himself. Honestly, I think it’s the mismatched socks that are really winning it for me.

Moon by Peter Mason Remember we have a brand new Moon print by Grant Perkins to unveil soon as well as some original Penfold ones too. If you like Moon then MCM is gonna rock.

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New Moon Prints by Grant Perkins

Moon by Grant Perkins

At Supercomicon it was decided that we’d like to see some alternative views of Moon from other artists with styles vastly different to what we’ve already seen. These are going to be available as prints at MCM, along with some new artwork completed by myself and Ivanna Matilla. It’s always best to keep things fresh.

This is the first example of these alternatives from the irrepressible Grant Perkins. No one lays down an alternative view of a character better than Grant Perkins. It gives you lines and framing you never imagined from your own work and gives you new ideas for all the Moons still to come.

We’re also expecting work from Boom’s Steed and Mrs Peel’s Yasmin Liang. For now that’s your lot but based on the response to those there’s a very real chance that we may well recruit more of the best from the small press – maybe one or two of the big guns to bring you new and alternative versions of our favourite law enforcing satellite.

There’s far more news on it’s way – it’s our feeling that everything needs a complete refresh every 2 years and we’re moving very quickly towards that point so expect news regarding exactly that in the next few months.

Dan’s Blog: London Super Comic Con Debrief (Photos)

Well the convention season is back on with a vengeance and the second London Super Comic Con more than lived up to expectations. After two months off, it was great to get back into the game and put some copies of Moon #2 in people’s hands.

012Even without the draw of Stan Lee the Excel had a great buzz about it for the event and while it’s still not MCM, LSCC is more than managing to pull in the crowds. We met plenty of new fans as well as some familiar faces and everyone seemed to be having a good time. It was especially good to catch up with other creators and see some of the awesome work they’ve been putting out since we last crossed paths (read Lightning Strike yet? You should). The impromptu pub trip on Saturday night added a nice social element to the event but it was a bit of a shame that there wasn’t an official after party like at Thought Bubble. It would be cruel to hammer this point too much in the cons second year, but with plenty of hotels and bars next to the convention hall it’s certainly something for the organisers to think about in the future.

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There’s no rest for the wicked however. As we’re off on the road again this coming weekend (I say “we”) to attend the Cardiff International Comic Expo. Following a last minute booking, Steve will be grabbing a couple of boxes of Moons and heading to Wales in order to bring you more comics and more cool sketches like this:

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After that we’ve only got one weekend off before we’re off to Demoncon 5 in Maidstone (f you’ve not checked out the wonderful posters for the event then have a look now)! It’s not all good news however. In something of a shocker, Thought Bubble sold out in under two hours this year, leaving us somewhat out in the cold. It’s a big disappointment for us as we were hoping to launch some new material and maybe even get in on a panel or two at the event but TB is the best con in the country so you can’t blame them for being popular. We’re working on solutions at the moment and hopefully we can still find a way for Moon to head north in 2013.

019On a final note, Barry Nugent showed me some new artwork from Peter Mason and I’s upcoming comic “Ashfall” during a quiet moment at the event and good lord this is going to be a great book. I swear Peter’s work gets better with every stroke of the pen.

Thought Bubble or not, 2013 is going to be a busy year and I for one cannot wait.

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Dropping Science: The Entire Known Universe in One Video

I love these kind of films and this one is truly breathtaking. It’s a combination of The American Museum of Natural History’s “Known Universe” video and the music of Hans Zimmer. The video takes us from the Himalayas to the very edge of the known universe and includes every single object ever observed at the scale and in the location that it should be. It does this by drawing on the museum’s Digital Universe Atlas, which is the most complex four dimensional map of the cosmos in the world.

Wonderful.

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(We’re down at the MCM Expo this weekend and we’ll have news about when Moon #2 is out and when our next Moon Launch party will be. If you’re down at the con then come find us in the Comic Village to learn more!)

Moon’s Song Of The Week – Superhero Music by Fingathing

 

I’ve had a week off from the site in order to get a few bits done (one of those being my 30th) but we’re back this weekend for more music and science. This week’s track is a jump into the archives for a song by Fingathing which is somewhat appropriate for this site. Drum Bowskill (who you’ll remember from the Mad Tree short we did a few weeks ago) gave me a USB full of music as a birthday present so don’t be surprised if I delve into it on more than one occasion over the next few weeks.

How this song has not made it onto the soundtrack of a movie, I will never know.

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(We’re off to the MCM expo tomorrow and we’ll have news about when Moon #2 is out and when our next Moon Launch party will be. If you’re down at the con then come find us in the Comic Village to learn more!)

Sketches from MCM Expo

We’re a couple of weeks on from last month’s MCM Expo but I still keep finding left over bits and bobs in our various boxes and bags. One such find was some pics of sketches that Steve did for a couple of fans during the event, so I thought I’d throw them up here:

Nice little sketch of our hero.

 

An unorthodox request for a sketch, but as always, Steve obliged.

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Reports of the Eagle Awards Death “Greatly Exaggerated”

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While live tweeting the Eagle Awards last Friday I reported the shock announcement by MCM’s Brian Cooney that the Eagles would be ending their 30 year run with immediate effect. Well, it turns out that things are not quite what they seem.

Eagle Awards organiser, Cassandra Conroy issued the following press release today, stating that not only was the announcement false but that MCM had made it without the permission of the Eagles themselves.

I wanna say quickly that full credit for this story goes to the guys at Geek Syndicate. I’m merely passing on the press release they were sent. The Eagles’ relationship with MCM is something of a quagmire and I’m trying not to be one of the many people who has a loud opinion on the matter, but I figured since I was one of the people who broke the original story, it was only right to report the response.

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release

Thursday, May 31, 2012

EAGLE AWARDS CONTINUE TO FLY HIGH

“People often say ‘Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet’ and this is one of those times,” announced Eagle Awards chair Cassandra Conroy.

Referring to an announcement made by MCM Expo’s Bryan Cooney at the conclusion of 2012 Eagle Awards ceremony on Friday night, she added, “To paraphrase Mark Twain: The reports of the Eagles’ death have been greatly exaggerated.

“Neither my father (Eagle Awards founder Mike Conroy) nor I attended Friday night’s ceremony, which we were boycotting in response to actions that are now being reviewed by my lawyer. Thus we don’t know exactly what Bryan said,” she explained. “However, with Bleeding Cool posting that Friday night’s ceremony was ‘the end of the road for the Eagle Awards after 30-some years and from next May, there’d be something called The MCM Awards instead.’ and others suggesting that next year the Eagles would be transformed into entirely new awards. I feel the need to put the record straight…

“The Eagles are neither dead nor morphing into anything else. MCM Expo is in no position to announce, imply or indicate otherwise,” Conroy stated. “In fact no third party can casually discard what my father has developed over the past 36 years. The Eagles will continue to soar into 2013 and beyond. We’ll be announcing further details of our plans for next year in the near future.”

I imagine we’ve not heard the last of this rather messy situation. It’s a shame to see two organisations that I like very much going at it like this but I guess all’s fair in love and comic book awards.

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Dan’s Blog: MCM Debrief

For my part, I spent Sunday cosplaying as white trash.

The very first year that Steve and I appeared at the MCM Expo the event fell upon the same day as a Millwall game. It’s not a detail that I would remember were it not for the fact that it meant that my first experience of the con was sitting on a packed tube full of confused skinheads and teenagers dressed as cats. There has probably never been a more perplexed railway carriage anywhere in the world and I found myself developing an instant fondness for this oddball of a con.

I mention this story first because really the teenagers dressed as cats (and Pokemon and cardboard boxes and pretty much anything else you can imagine) are the heart of MCM. That’s not to say they are the only audience there (in terms of floor space, it’s probably the biggest comic con in the UK) but at its very core the event is about people who say the word “random” a lot, cutting loose and having fun. As a result, MCM has always had a kind if energetic buzz about it that you just don’t find anywhere else and it’s this buzz that is the key to why this year’s event was so successful.

MCM has taken some flak over the years for its rather diverse (random, you might say) range of exhibits. While other cons focus on comics or movies or trading or whatever, MCM goes for a bit of everything but in times such as these it’s exactly that kind of diversity that you need. If you’re only going to go to one comic con then the obvious choice is the one that lets you see as much as possible. MCM is not so much a comic convention as a convention for the sort of people who like comics. It’s a subtle distinction but one that breeds the kind of extremely loyal fanbase that descended in droves upon the Excel Centre last weekend.

Shot of the convention floor. It’s very hard to convey the sheer scale of the event.

For our part, we were taken completely by surprise by just how busy the con was. We brought our usual hefty amount of stock, expecting it to last the entire event (especially given a slightly disappointing audience turn out at Kapow) but instead found ourselves completely sold out of copies of Moon by 5pm on Saturday. The result was that Steve had to scurry back to Essex on Sunday morning, while I tried to learn how you sell prints of characters from a book you don’t have (turns out, you generally don’t). By 11am we were back up and running however and went on to smash our all time sales record by some way.

Moon #1 completely sold out.

I should mention, in the interests of fairness, that we had a much better pitch than at Kapow, being as we were right next to the auditorium and the booth for ASDF (who I’d never heard of before the weekend but who I’m pretty sure most teenagers would readily kill for.) This naturally translated into better sales but the fact that we took more than twice what we made at Kapow and paid less than half for the table left me pondering whether we’ll keep Kapow on our calendar next year.

Organisation wise we’ve got no complaints. Comics Village (who run the comics side of the event) have gotten very good at pre-show communication this time around and having every table get a small blurb in the program was a nice touch. Despite the huge crowds, there was always a volunteer on hand when needed and they were (as has always been the case) extremely helpful and friendly.

The aftermath. Huge thanks to everybody who bought the book and to those who have sent us such kind feedback on it. You guys are awesome.

The one part where the organisation fell down slightly was in the execution of the Eagle Awards on Friday night. The Eagles themselves are probably a topic for another day but the very low audience turn out was a bit of a shame. Steve and I certainly appreciate being able to hog the free beer but I can’t help but think that if they were properly publicised and perhaps held on the Saturday night, the turn out would have been far better. We ran into only two non-comics industry people at the awards and they confessed that they’d only found the event by chance. Given the announcement about the demise of the Eagles, I wonder whether the lack of publicity was a deliberate move to send the awards off quietly with an eye to focusing on next year’s new “MCM Awards.”

The Eagles is but a small part of the overall event however and a low turnout for one small part is not enough to spoil the experience of what was in all regards a fantastic convention experience.

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If you picked up a copy of Moon #1 at MCM then we’d love to hear what you think. Send us an email at btbcomics@gmail.com or let us know on facebook or twitter!