March 2011

Even Sauron Loves Kinect!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zxr-4z5iWk0&w=480&h=390]

 

There have been some pretty groovy hacks of the X-Box Kinect since the device hit the shelves last year and with Microsoft moving to a stance of supporting developers rather than penalizing them, it looks like we’re set to get even more before all’s said and done.

In this video the guys at The Technology Studio have combined the Kinect with a Pufferfish spherical display unit to create this rather creepy bit of Middle Earth fandom.

And you thought an Ipad was a cool gadget!

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Moon Launch: T-Minus 1 Day


This is it. Effectively 24 hours before the biggest launch of a UK Comic book in recent years occurs!! Moon 1 in your hands at the door with eclectic, funny and frankly lavishly awesome acts playing live for your entertainment inside! What more can you ask for? Pictures of yourself with a Moon for a head? Yeah, I think we can pull that off? A great venue topped off with friendly staff and frankly (for London) very, very reasonable prices for drinks! We’re trying to make sure we do what we can to make your evening as top muvva luvvin’ poppin’ as possible because quite frankly, we is nothing without ye.

Its been a long old road but here we are – finally, we get to see some of you luvverly people getting to handle the goods we’ve been bleating on about. Following this its back to the drawing board to kick start the next installments of Fallen Heroes and Moon and some secret little projects we have tucked away somewhere. So we’re just gonna max it up fully like on the night before getting back to the grind to bring you yet more Moony / globe trotting hero adventure. Tuck that in your trousers and schmoke it.

So, collected below is all you need to know about the event taking place tomorrow night 6-11.30pm at the Square Pig, Holborn, WC1V 6NX (just next to the tube – staggering distance I assure you). IT PROMISES TO BE EPIC!!

Firstly Moon 1 itself. A book that has earned two very good reviews so far (hopefully with more coming soon). From new friend of the Bunker Joe Innes at the frankly amazing Goodcomicbooks.com ‘like if Blackadder had been made by HBO’ and from Geekplanetonline ‘Overall this is a very British book, from Dan Thompson’s script which winks at the reader without ever coming across as smug to Steve Penfold’s artwork which feels as British as 2000AD while having a distinct style of its own, Moon is a title to watch out for and deserves to become a breakout hit. If Beyond the Bunker can keep up this level of quality they have a bright future ahead of them.’

The Acts confirmed for tomorrow night are –
Mr Paul Sweeney he who puts Imp into impresario. He shall wrestle the various live acts like a Lion Tamer might control wild beasts for the audience’s delight. His way with the world will intrigue and harangue you, exposing your vulnerable mind to a smutty world almost certainly beyond your ken. He be the most unceremonious master of ceremonies imaginable – perfect for us I say!! Mr Paul Sweeney!!

The Coldcallers – player with the lyric, bender of the music. These guys will twist your love of music towards something darker, sexier and infinitely more looney. Flight of the Conchords but perhaps somehow with even less grip on the world around them – Ryan Brannon and Paul Rich will be introducing the Moon theme tune to your unsuspecting ears at an undisclosed time during what will be no doubt, an amazing set…
Following a brief interlude we will unleash Skyskratcher! An eclectic group that swings between diving melodies and hard walls of guitar sound to take you on a frankly awesome musical merry go round in which you might be sick… but you won’t care. Led by Jude Benjamin on lead vocals, the band play with the effects button of your soul with wild abandon! And I’m not just saying that…. (I might just be saying that…) but they are awesome – I just don’t know how to talk about music.
Damn Jammage will not be playing a set tomorrow night due to technical difficulties however they will be in attendance and propping up the bar – if you have any memorabilia might be a good chance to sign them up.

… and finally, purely as a surprise guest we have one of the greatest villains in comic book history present at the gig. Having heard that the Beyond the Bunker wagon had rolled into town he stopped skinning the cat and rode along town on a teenager’s bike (leaving said childer in the gutter with a broad smile on his face…. Ladies and gentlemen…. I am pleased to announce THE JOKER will be in attendance tomorrow night to see what he can see. The Riddler will be refused entry… (THIS IS NOT A JOKE, IRONICALLY, THE JOKER WILL BE IN THE BUILDING ON THE NIGHT).

So mix that in a cocked hat and then we tell you its all for a fivers entry. What do you say to that (I say we undercharged but what are you going to do). Consider Saturday night a thank you for joining us on a journey to the MOON (maybe not back!)

To sign off we will I think use a section of Joe Inne’s excellent review from last week… ‘In this day an age, there aren’t many reasons why you can’t think big, and it’s nice to remember that comics are only as restricted as the creators imagination… something you probably won’t need to worry about with Moon, because the sky is nowhere near the limit.’

Suckerpunch: It’s gonna….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrIiYSdEe4E

I decided a while ago that I would try and hate this film. Mr Thompson is of the opinion it must be shit because its Zach Snyder, though I was perhaps a little intrigued as to how the director of Watchmen would do with his own material even if he is a bit of a ‘copy and paste’ kind of director focussed predominantly on the visual. I have tried hard not to like it and thought that the trailer had given me an excuse. I thought the Mental Hospital was an orphanage – though I’m still a little surprised by the fairly impressive condition of the inmates. Can’t remember the last time I saw mental patients portrayed as neon blonde models but I’d guess this is from the ‘Chicago’ stable.

I’m seeing Rodriguez, Jackson, Tarantino and Wachowski in the design and cinematography but nothing that matches any of them. Snyder, I admit is a student of film rather than a practitioner in it but he handles his tools well. Its the obviousness of the enemies that perhaps bothers me most, as if Snyder has ‘realised’ that taking two cool things and putting them together makes them cool. It does but you always have to add an extra element so it’d be interesting to see whether he has. Samurai Demons with miniguns, German can’t- be-Nazi-but-seem-to-be (?) World War I zombies, Guardsmen androids on a steaming sci-fi train, oh – and a dragon. Snyder always lacks that final layer of intelligence just below the surface of his characters and I suspect that’s what we’re going to see here.

Almost certainly worth a look if you’re bored, alone and have some cash in your pocket but it doesn’t seem like one to see with your mates – more of a guilty pleasure – like 300 and Watchmen. However there is some beautiful design work in the associated anime films.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlKYYEQxbFQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htk54Ep83_E

The Extraordinary Tales of Monsieur Poppaleux #5 – Debate

In 1993, famous author and spring onion connoisseur, Dr Jean-François Bacharach created a series of books for children. The aim of the project was to use state of the art digital technology to educate and inform on a wide range of topics from maths and theology to poetry and tennis. Using pioneering clip-art techniques, he produced a staggering portfolio of work that continues to be widely distributed in schools across the world and Belgium. Sadly Dr Bacharach himself was eventually imprisoned due to his being ahead of his time and because he killed a quite staggering number of cats. However his work lives on here at the Bunker! We have secured the entirety of Dr Bacharach’s monumental work and now present it to you. C’est formidable!


London Comic & Small Press Expo Photos

Afternoon chaps,

As you probably know, Steve and I were at the London Comic and Small Press Expo a week or so two back. I had intended to get a full report of the con up on the site sooner than this but as you might have seen from all the stuff happening around here, it’s been a wee bit busy!

The view of the con from the BTB stand

The event took place in Goldsmiths College in New Cross which is, architecturally speaking,  about as lovely a room as you could hope to have a con in. Beautiful building, fairly centrally located, cash machine on site, all of these things make for a good comic book convention. Though I must admit that the discovery of a Costa on the site did eat into the day’s profits by a fair margin.

Small Press conventions are famous for the interesting and eclectic nature of the people who attend them and this was certainly no exception with exhibitors ranging from the commercial to the down right outlandish. To a man though, they were all charming, helpful and extremely tolerant of the two newbies faffing about with Moon banners around their stalls. Special thanks should go to Mr Tim Harries who was kind enough to keep an eye on the stand when we couldn’t be about as well as being a thoroughly nice chap who produces very very funny cartoons.

The BTB stand (check out our very ethnic table cloth)

The day started off slowly, I mean, really freakin slowly. We actually had to go and ask somebody if the event had opened. Still, it took us a good hour or so to get over the embarrassment of having forgotten to buy a proper table cloth for the stand and having to use a rather hippyish sheet from my storytelling days in its stead, so maybe that’s not such a bad thing. 😉 It also gave us a chance to go and make friends and plan what we were going to say at the panel later in the event and we did manage to land a few sales which was nice.

Things finally picked up just after lunch and by the time Steve went off to do the panel the comics were flowing nicely. I won’t go into a tonne of detail on the panel itself as I think Steve’s probably better placed to chat about it but suffice it to say it was a memorable one. Meanwhile I sold a lot of comics, made some friends, sold more comics, got wrongly chewed out by a kid over one of the books plot points (something of a right of passage for me as a writer I feel) and attempted to sound knowledgeable while giving feedback to a very talented aspiring artist (with varying degrees of success).

Moon sketch by Steve. He declined my suggestion that the woman have Charlie Sheen's face

In the end we went home thoroughly happy chaps. The book had sold almost twice as many copies as we were aiming for, we’d managed to say some interesting things about our views on Small Press without being chased from the building with pitchforks and (most importantly) we’d met some Bunkerites face to face and found them to be the very best of people. Sure, Steve threw his back out and I had to carry all the kit home, but you can’t have everything your own way in this crazy, rock and roll(ish) business, can you.

Thanks to everyone who came out to support and bought a comic, we hope you enjoy reading it as much as we did making it…actually probably best that you enjoy it more than we did making it. Next stop BTB Launch Party and then on to Kapow. Busy busy times!

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Best Captain America Trailer yet!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-J3HfllvXWE&w=640&h=390]

Another day, another new trailer, but this may well be the best Cap preview yet. We get to see a fair bit of pre-super-soldier Steve Rogers (I still have no idea how they managed to make Chris Evans look that small) as well as some previously unseen Tommy Lee Jones footage.

Ever since the first teaser appeared I’ve been totally on board with this film and this trailer has only increased that excitement. Along with Thor I have a feeling we may have two of the strongest Marvel movies yet on our hands here. It’s just a shame that Green Lantern doesn’t seem to be living up to these two. Still, it ain’t over until the credits roll, so let’s see how they pan out.

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Moon Launch: T-Minus 2 Days

With two days to go until the massive launch night for Beyond the Bunker and more importantly Moon 1 I can now announce that we’ve had another review in and its a great one. So much so that they contacted us straight back and requested an interview (which Dan was filling out pretty much all day today and will be available online very soon). How’s this sound….?

‘Overall this is a very British book, from Dan Thompson’s script which winks at the reader without ever coming across as smug to Steve Penfold’s artwork which feels as British as 2000AD while having a distinct style of its own, Moon is a title to watch out for and deserves to become a breakout hit. If Beyond the Bunker can keep up this level of quality they have a very bright future ahead of them…’ In a word, natch!!

Moon 1 will be available with every £5 entry to the Beyond the Bunker / Moon 1 Launch night at the Square Pig in Holborn, WC1V 6NX accompanied by some of the finest comedic and musical acts we could find! If the comedy musical acts of Paul Sweeney and Cold Callers doesn’t elevate your canoe (and frankly that’s massively unlikely) then Sktyskratcher’ll burn your socks right off! We’ve literally covered all ear bases.

Vibrant and poignant, alternative rockers Skyskratcher are nothing if not eclectic. They’ve re-invented the ‘power-trio’, with experimentation at the heart of the band sending him reeling adventurously towards new ideas and new ways of both writing and listening to music (sometmes simultaneously, so if front man Jude Benjamin gets a funny look on his face half way through a section he might be thinking of another way to come at it.
With a dynamic rhythm section they lay the foundations for a harmonic wall of guitar driven songs with colourful melodies, fusing a comprehensive array of influences to something uniquely their own!
Prep your earlobes for audio trips through delicate, whispered melodies, upbeat grooves, flat-out punk skin smashing and Mars Volta-esque guitar lunacy, a level of diversity which have seen them backing a broad range of other bands! A use of live vocal effects and carefully structured arrangements does not stop this band from tearing up the stage every time they play. They are manic, toneful and great to listen to and their playing at the Beyond the Bunker event whether you’re there or not. So it’d be a shame if you miss ’em!

The band’s debut EP, ‘Hearts & Vices’ is available now. Check out Skyskratcher.com for further details!!

Destroy All Robots 4: Blast Furnace

Trading Card design introducing one of the characters from Destroy all Robots by Darrin Grimwood, a novel in which a disparate group of robots specialised for specific industries are pitched against each other in a televised fight to the wrecking yard on an isolated Island on the South China Sea. Completed in 2010, Darrin is currently pitching the idea in the US. More info is available at www.destroyallrobots.com.

Commander Shepard Music Video May Be The Best Thing On The Internet

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiRDJLcYua0&w=853&h=480]

A buddy of mine just sent me this and I pretty much pooped myself with joy. The song is by Miracle of Sound.

We all know that the hero of the Mass Effect series is the king of all badasses but not until now did we discover just how truly amazing he is. You can fight like a Krogan, run like a leopard but you sure as hell will never be as good as Commander Shepard. Stick that in your BMX helmet and smoke it, Master Chief.

Geekout over…almost!

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Moon Launch: T-Minus 3 Days

Thought this’d be a good time to introduce some of the acts that will be available to you at the Beyond the Bunker / Moon Launch. Firstly Mr Paul Sweeney, Impressario, musician, comedian, lady-like buffoon there is no way to anticipate what type of hair Mr Sweeney will appear with or what filthy monkey-slur might launch from his impassioned silly mouth. A shameless self-publicist with delusions of politeness, Paul Sweeney is perhaps one of the most impressive improvisational wits and whip crack smart tongues on the circuit right now. With a deft collection of silly hats and a penchant for silly noises as well as a tight grip on light humour you know that having Mr Paul Sweeney as your master of ceremonies’ll give your night a sparkle… and a suspicious smear.
The inimitable comedy stylings of Mr Paul Sweeney will now be running the show… … followed by the offbeat musical comedy outpourings of messrs Brannon and Rich a.k.a the Cold Callers. Eclectic buffoonery of the most lyrical order with songs such as the heartfelt ‘Is it Gay..?’, the culturally aware ‘Posh’ and the poignant lunacy of ‘Sheffield Confessions’ topped off with the ‘Generic James Bond Themes’ and the first public play of the new ‘Moon’ theme tune.
Follow both acts on ColdCallers on Myspace and the only page I could find that advertised Mr Sweeney

Ryan Brannon (of Cold Callers) is a true gent and friend to the Bunker. Not only penning the tune Moon but his lady Imogen Banks will be moving about with a camera capturing the entire thing for posterity. Poor old Paul Rich (the other half of the Cold Callers) has effectively met us once and is literally doing this as a favour to Ryan. Can’t tell you enough how awesomely funny their tunes are so find out for yourself on the links above.

Or turn up to the Beyond the Bunker / Moon Launch on 26th March (Saturday – 3 days from now) and collect your free copy of Moon to boot.

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