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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Practitioners 7: Joe Madureira

As a catch up for all new visitors to Beyond the Bunker, we’ll be representing the original Practitioners series 1-55 (Simon BisleyChris Bachalo and featuring the most influential comic creatives in history). Thoroughly incomplete but featuring legends like Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Frank Miller and Alan Moore already more will be hitting the site every two alternate weeks. For now though, sit back every Tuesday for a run-down of the men and women who created the comic industry we know today. (Or check the full list in the menus above). This week: 2000AD Legend and Judge Dredd creator Carlos Ezquerra.

A controversial choice this week with Joe Maduriera. Known to everyone as Joe Mad, Joe Madureira’s style combines Western comic book convention with the wildest and broadest Japanese manga style and has been creditted for helping the latter to influence the western comic book market in recent years – clashing the two in a way that has not been matched before or since. Most reknowned for his work on Marvel Comics Uncanny X-men he was a bold choice. His populist and cartoon-like visuals have made him a foil of ‘credibility-hungry’ critics throughout the years however the reason for his inclusion here is sheer, raw, distinctive talent, perhaps not his diligence on release of independent series as will be revealed below.

Few artists in the history of Comic Books (Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Frank Miller, Alan Silverstri all of whom will appear here) have had a bigger effect on the ebb and flow of the comic industry than Joe Maduriera with their own natural drawing style. He drew comics out of love of it and this is illustrated most clearly by how little there is to tell about his working history in the field. He arrived high up, splashed around – made his mark – and left.

Maduriera’s first published work was an eight page story for the anthology title Marvel Comics Presents featuring Northstar, a fringe character in the Marvel fermament. He became the regular penciller on Uncanny X-men in 1994 with issue 312, seeing through the formation of Generation X, the tenure of Sabretooth and the stuff of legend that is ‘The Age of Apocalypse’. His work even influenced the title itself. Archangel and Wolverine pitched headlong into an Eastern adventure in order to save the soul of Psylocke – an adventure that ran for three consecutive issues – involved none of the other characters, no Blackbird, no mansion and no other mutants. A complete departure from continuity that seemed in the reading as a neat excuse (as well as hinting at Psylocke’s oriental half-self’s mystical past) to showcase Maduriera’s distinctive and fun artwork.

Ultimates 3 (2008)

A hint at the effect his artwork would later have on the much later 2008 run of Ultimates 3 1-5 with Jeph Loeb. Critically and publically lambasted for its near total disregard for the conventions introduced and made popular by Mark Millar’s run on the series it was an enormous hit for Marvel. Its secret to longevity? The immersive and unabashedly shame faced comicdom taking place in every panel – the luxurious redesign of the character’s making the continuity jump worthwhile.

Battlechasers (2001)

It was his independent title, Battlechasers, published under the Cliffhanger label, which Madureira founded with J. Scott Campbell (Danger Girl) and Humberto Ramos (Crimson) that stirred the biggest fervour. Set in a high fantasy setting and utilising steam punk and sci-fi genres the story follows four central characters – most notably Red Monika and the outlawed War Golem, Calibretto. A simple enough premise but one that showcased Maduriera’s work faultlessly – which was exactly what he had in mind. It is this title’s production he has received the most criticism for, producing 9

Red Monika of Battle Chasers

issues in 4 years – constantly pushing up the value of the title rather than reducing it as fans anticipated the next instalment with ever increasing enthusiasm. He cancelled Issue 10 and placed the series on permanent hiatus after forming a game development company, Tri-lunar with Tim Donley and Greg Peterson.

Upon the announcement he would be returning to comics for Ultimates 3 he was asked about a conclusion to Battlechasers to which he replied ‘”one of those things that I think about every once in a while, and not having finished it bums me out… I would love to do it at some point, but it would be very far out.”

In July 2007, Vigil Games’ Darksiders was announced, of which Joe Madureira was creative director. It follows War, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, on his quest to find out who prematurely triggered the apocalypse. It was released on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on January 5, 2010 and September 23, 2010 on PC.
Madureira has also provided cover artwork for Capcom’s Marvel Super Heroes for the Sega Saturn and Sony PlayStation, and the Sony PlayStation game Gekido: Urban Warriors.

Battlechasers for Cliffhanger 2001

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.

Practitioners 6: Carlos Ezquerra

As a catch up for all new visitors to Beyond the Bunker, we’ll be representing the original Practitioners series 1-55 (Simon BisleyChris Bachalo and featuring the most influential comic creatives in history). Thoroughly incomplete but featuring legends like Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Frank Miller and Alan Moore already more will be hitting the site every two alternate weeks. For now though, sit back every Tuesday for a run-down of the men and women who created the comic industry we know today. (Or check the full list in the menus above). This week: 2000AD Legend and Judge Dredd creator Carlos Ezquerra.

Judge Dredd (2012) is lifted from the early days of Dredd developed but Wagner and Ezquerra

In the modern day of high detail precision artwork Carlos Ezquerra might seem like an odd choice but he is the visual grandaddy of heavy weaponry, science fiction city scapes and the most famous Judge ever to walk the streets of Megacity One, spawning a major movie featuring Sly Stallone and a generation of Judges under the awe inspiring steely gaze of the foremost tough guy in British Comics. It is easy to underestimate the effect that the design work that went into Judge Dredd had as like all genre defining moments it becomes a feature of everything that comes behind it. The weird part is that Carlos Ezquerra wasn’t the first to see his artwork on the title in print.


Carlos Sanchez Ezquerra was born in November 1947, in Zaragoza and has worked under the alias at times of L. John Silver. A Spanish artist who find a home in the British Comics Industry and inspired a generation of young budding artists to pick up a pen and never be scared to draw a weapon at whatever scale we felt like. He loosened the rules and maintained plausibility simultaneously. An emotive and beligerent artist who pummelled the page with aggressive and broad visuals in a very clear and distinctive style,

Be in no doubt that the most easily recognisable British Comic Book character – aside from Desperate Dan and Dennis the Menace (now there’s a crossover we all wanna see) was brought to life visually by Carlos Ezquerra. British Comic book writing legend John Wagner sent Ezquerra a poster of Death Race 2000 with the central character, Frankenstein in black leather on a motorbike as the source of inspiration for the character. Ezquerra sent back Dredd – armoured, leather covered with zips and buckles and the world reknowned badge pinned to his chest. His conceots for Megacity One and the equipment and clothing was deemed too advanced for the title as it was intended and so Pat Mills – who had taken over as writer after Wagner left disillusioned over financial arrangements behind 2000AD – pushed Dredd further into a post apocalyptic future. Now that’s a sign of a great concept designer – advancing the designs so much it alters the original pitch for the better.

Unfortunately for Ezquerra, newcomer Mike McMahon was to introduce Dredd to the world in Prog 2 of 2000AD – Dredd a scrawny shade of his original self. Ezquerra, enraged at being removed from the strip he designed left and returned to ‘Battle’ comics. Until Prog 9 – in which Wagner’s ‘Robot Wars’ story line began with a rotating art team – including Ezquerra. The strength of the storyline saw Dredd become the most popular character in the magazine. Ezquerra’s work became synonomous with the stone faced law man.

While it can’t be argued as faultless – his grasp of anatomy stops at long chins and gollum faces its his lasting legacy that secures him a position in the annuls of comics history. The Dredd and the Strontium Dog he created visually perfectly embodied the strength and hard bitten nature that was needed in the environment that had been developed for him to stride through. Ezquerra, like many other exceptional artists, has a sparing and economical style that carries as much information as his more precise or detailed peers. But its in the simplicity that he communicates better what many others have struggled to in page after page of meticulously rendered panels. When two tough guys walk out onto the Cursed Earth just how many lines do you need? – thankfully Ezquerra’s chosen for you.

A determined and clear minded individual who stuck to his guns as well as any lawman he ever drew – Ezquerra was removed from his post and could have been left to the annuls of comic book history. But he returned and stood out alongside his creation and perservered to receive the credit he deserved. He represents the optimism and determination needed to be a comic book artist, subject to the whims and turmoil of an ever shifting industry.

As of today a new section to Beyond the Bunker is starting. While Moon, Fallen Heroes, Unseen Shadows and all other projects will continue unabated I am now going to try to get started as a freelance artist full time. Beyond the button above is the portfolio section of Beyond the Bunker with a list of all the projects I’ve been involved in recently and examples of my work. It still has a few updates needed which will be taking place over the next few weeks. If, say, you’d like a commission contact me at Steve.penfold.artist@gmail.com.

In the mean time – hope to see you at Comicon this weekend!!

Cheers!
Steve P

Moon: Seven II



Just a few more sketch works of Moon’s first nemesis. Agent Seven wants nothing more than money to fulfill his job. That, and to cave in Moon’s stone head with a giant club hammer. The combination of the two proves irresistable when the contract on Moon is up for dibs. As for what happened to Agents 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Who knows. Seven remains the lowest number among the Bingo Mole ranks. Are they really called Bingo Moles? No. No, they’re not. We’ll call them soldiers. How’s that?

The Inventory

For those of you who are thinking ‘these guys are clearly heavily equipped to produce the sort of incredible high end stuff they put out every week’. Think again!

We’re running on;

  • Four HB Staedtler pencils.
  • 1 standard metal sharpener.
  • 1 almost spent Daler Rowney kneadable Soft Putty Eraser (small).
  • Four A3 (297 x 420mm) Acid Free 130gsm Cartridge Paper pads.
  • A set 5 of Copic Multiliner pens 0.3 to 0.7 with 7 type B cartridges.
  • One T Square.
  • 100 WHSmith DVD-R Recordable DVDs (4.7 GB, 8x Speed, approx 128 mins)
  • 100 Verbatim Paper CD Sleeves
  • 1 PC (Built for Games)
  • 1 Mac Pro with 2 Disc Drives, 16GB RAM, 2 2.66 Xeon ‘Westmere’ 6 core processors (12 core), 1TB of Memory space, 1 Supermouse.
  • 1 Adobe Creative Suite 5 Masters Edition (all the Adobes), 1 broken copy of Final Cut Pro, 1 download of OpenOffice.org.
  • 1 copy of Microsoft Word, 1 copy of Microsoft Excel.
  • 1 TB ‘Mybook’ External Hardrive and 1 160GB ‘My Passport’ external harddrive.
  • 1 Canon Lide 700f Flatbed A4 Scanner
  • 1 PD150 DV Camera
  • 1 Tripod 7ft (bubble spirit level)
  • 1 Wide Angle Lens, 1 Matte Box, 5 Lens Filters (insert into Matte Box), 1 Front mounting light, 1 Battery Pack for light (clips on belt).
  • 12 Sony Mini DV Digital Video Cassettes (60 min).

… so we’re basically running on nothing. Not even a directors chair. Tut.