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

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MOMBcast Talks Moon 2

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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!

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(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

 

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.

Cardiff Debrief!!

New CARDIFF
Firstly, apologies on being so late on writing up my testimonial of events in Cardiff. It’s been a busy couple of weeks, working on a secret project to be revealed soon.

Following on from the preview posted two weeks ago, you could clearly see that my anticipation for this event was a little inclined towards dread. This wasn’t for any particular reason, including malice towards the Cardaffians (as I have decided to refer to them).

It was because this would be the first convention I attended on my own (sans Dan). He gets left on a regular basis at cons but when he does he tends to get interviewed or photographed by roaming middle-age women (as occurred at the Super Comic Con the week before in an incident that saw me framed out of a photo of Dan in spite of standing directly beside him behind a table only two feet wide) so I had little concern for him being left to his own devices. The fear came from the fact that 1) I’m effectively the ‘roamer’ of the pair who has never sat behind a table for a whole day without suffering the effects of mild alcohol poisoning, 2) the detailed figures maintained by Dan on a little pad would invariably go awry if he did leave the table for a minute as I’d get ‘sale fury’ and lose the capacity to remember how many books I’d sold if a) there was more than one person b) I sold one or c) nothing happened at all.

So that, and rain, on my mind as I made my way to Cardiff I figured that this was my opportunity to prove to Dan that I can run the table without his sense of organisation and calm. As it happened it didn’t rain and I had a great time. Booked into the ‘exclusive’ 9 bed dorm at Nomads Hostel around the corner, I made my way around to the Balmoral Suite of the hotel in which it is always held (can’t be bothered ti look it up) to discover that I was back to back with a bunch of ne’er do wells I never really got on with who created some backwater title known as Lou Scannon. I think it sold like 3 copies the whole weekend. I bought two and I think I saw one other person at the table at one point, but they might’ve been browsing…*

(*basically won the weekend)

For the uninitiated, Lou Scannon is Red Dwarf, Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica, only more colloquial and with significantly more cock and bum gags. I love it. It is my favourite title out right now, purely because of my love of cock and bum gags. If Carry On made Space Operas it’d look something like this. Even down to the Sid James Yuk yuk yuk. Frankly, from our perspective, they must be stopped – but Lou’s creators Bampfield, Carter and Harris sent a few of their (significant) number of customers my way so they’re off the hook – for now.

To my right I had Razarhawk – by Ian Matthews and Dani Abram – which rocks! Abram draws the most exciting (and prettiest) flight paths / missile impacts I’ve ever seen, like watching a doodle with a hollywood budget. Matthews hits my buttons too with the introduction of monkeys (for no reason which is how monkey’s should happen) as well as a surprisingly cheerful script filled with Manga style Apocalypse! I’m back for issue 2 and I recommend others do the same.

Another title I tripped over by knowing people on the table, Stiffs, written by Drew Davies, PJ Montgomery and Joseph Glass, and lettered and coloured by Adam Cadwell is awesome and smells like Image potential if you ask me! Gavin Mitchell, on the art, seems to be channelling Mignola and Charlie Adlard, which punches me in the eye sockets with zombie mittens. This also features a talking monkey.

Messrs Mitchell and Harris did some Moon sketches for us (which we may well make prints to buy at the shop). Mitchell’s looks like it’s on some scrap paper that’s been in his pocket but that’s just photoshop trickery….

Everyone was great. Dani Abram ‘watched’ my table for me while I was away – meaning that she carried on while no one turned up. Grabbed a batch of the Indy Top Trumps (for a lazy Sunday at Bristol?) which I spent half the trip home reading, there’s like 60 of them.

I’ve got to say thanks to the people who bought Moon. Genuine enthusiasm and humour, with pretty much everyone getting the joke. Long are the moments when a non-believer starts to question our awareness of the Gregorian Calendar or stand looking for typos, but there was none of that at Cardiff. Just like my first trip, the attendees were the best thing about it. While there were massive lulls there’s nothing the event can do about that. It attracts a great mix of die-hard, fun-lovers and those there to meet their mates. Both Scannon and Razarhawk teams can attest to the fact that I sold to anyone who made the mistake of slowing down.

We’ll be back next year for sure. Cardiff went down as a big success with Moon now in the hands of plenty more folks outside of London. Moon is of course, the protector of the British Isles, not just the capital city, so this may be the start of us venturing further from the beaten track (Thoughtbubble).

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.

D
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The Stars Of Moon Launch 2

It’s 11pm the day after Moon Launch and I’m just about getting over the hangover. Suffice it to say it was an amazing night and I feel very proud to have played a small part in it. We shall endeavour to post up some photos as soon as possible but in the mean time I thought I’d chuck up some details of the real stars of the show, the acts.

We opened the night with Patsy & Tim, also known as master puppeteer Laura Bacon and musician Tim Berryman. Their cover of the Pokemon theme was easily one of the highlights of the entire night and they had everyone in hysterics for their entire set.

You can find out more about Laura’s puppet work on her facebook fan page.

We kept the comedy going with a barnstorming performance by musical comedy duo, Cold Callers. Ryan and Paul played at the first Moon Launch and were good enough to dust off the official Moon theme song one more time.

You can follow the boys on twitter, listen to some of their songs again on myspace and you should most certainly check out their podcast on itunes.

 For me one of the real highlights of the night turned out to be blues singer, JD Smith whose set caused me to dash outside and demand all the smokers drop their fags and come listen. If I can find a good quality youtube video then I’ll sling one up on the site but for now you can listen to some of his fantastic music on his myspace.

He likes Garth Ennis too which is always a plus.

 The night was rounded off by the reggae sounds of John Blood and the Highlys. The band were good enough to step in on very short notice and were superb from start to finish. The perfect end to an eclectic night of music.

If you want to catch more of John Blood and the Highlys then you can do so on their website.

And just to round it off, here’s one of their videos:

Thanks again to everyone who came, we hope you had a fantastic time and that you enjoy the comic. If you weren’t able to make it then don’t fret, the book will be available to buy on line in the next few days.

D
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Moon: Build Up to a Comic Book Cover: Part 4

To the cover!! Is this what we’re going with? Hm. Hard to say. Iv will kill me if I come up with another idea. We are now on what should hopefully be the final week (isn) of preparation for issue 2. There’s a lot of lettering going on, a lot of colouring, a lot of collecting material together to combine it all together in a fine visual delight that will be the second issue of Moon.

Good god it’s been a long time on this one but we are finally moving all the tiny meticulous little pieces ever closer together. There are plans to make up for the considerable wait that everyone has suffered. Never again, please god, never again!!

Fun is close!!

Moon: Build Up to a Comic Book Cover: Part 1

Welcome to the first stages of a very effective comic book cover (we hope). Some years ago I saw something very, very similar between two major characters of some very famous toy brand that had been put out as a fairly successful British comic book. The image seared into my head as one of the strongest images I’d ever seen. As such I have shamelessly sought to use it’s basic premise on the pages of Moon 2.

Covers are probably the most difficult part of the whole process. Something that effectively says what’s going on inside without giving the game away, grabs attention from a distance and holds up well under scrutiny. All this and it always has to carry numbers and titles (and maybe a review and occasionally -though not ideally – a barcode). It takes a tonne of thought and trial and error and has been the focus of my attention for some time.

With the artwork for Moon 2 complete we are beginning to move into the final stages of production (finally). This is a relief and I have to say I’m proud of the content – more so as I see the lettering and colouring come into existence. It’s at this point it becomes easier to figure out what artwork sums up all the takes place inside.

This is stage 1: Pencils, inks, lifted from the page by Photoshop and the basic layer of Moon image (applied on external and high detail images of Moon) to finish off what is effectively nothing but a neck in a suit up until this point.

These lines are with Iv and she will no doubt lovingly finish them off ready for the final page – something I personally can’t wait for. Stage 2 Next week.

Moon 2: The Promise of Chaos!!

Chaos is beginning to break out all over the pages of Moon 2. Not entirely sure how as initially the script for the second issue was looking clever, funny and a little sombre at times – but what wasn’t picked up was the potential for complete lunacy to break out.

Dan Thompson is a smart, witty and uncanny writer with a real sense for a one liner – something that perhaps hasn’t been as obvious since our main character doesn’t have a mouth. But it’s all there in Issue 2, more so than in Issue 1 as the fallout continues from the explosive first part!!

We can promise a certain number of things and two in particular; a lot of bullet cartridges in part one, with the potential for an explosion or two and a lot of rain in the second half. A lot. The rain has become something of a matter of pride for myself and our colourist Ivanna Matilla. Dan insists the introduction of every foreground rain drop – in detail – was in the subtext (something I’d have to agree with) but the astounding thing is the way Iv has dealt with the scale of the job. Every single raindrop has been recoloured – o astonishing effect and the tone and pitch of the English weather’d make you think Iv was born in Greenwich.

But the big reveal is still unrevealed – namely the killer of Counsellor Hugh Griffiths, now loose and wild on the streets of London town. New meaning to words ‘Baby on Board’.