March 2011

Introducing Ivanna Matilla : Colourist on Moon

We would like to take this opportunity on the run up to the big launch to introduce Ivanna Matilla, colourist on Moon 1. After the creation of the first 12 pages of Moon it became clear that the work required a deft hand. At Beyond the Bunker our intention is always to put out the best work possible and while there were possibilities of myself (Steve Penfold) doing the colour there were very good reasons why I should not. Namely that I was not adept enough at colouring digitally (as was required) and that I was no where near fast enough. I had already had experience of working with a colourist on Fallen Heroes with Gat Melvyn (introduced next week) and have enjoyed a good working relationship with him throughout (excluding a couple of hiccups – you’ll see what I mean next week) but nothing could prepare me for the sheer exuberant sweetness of working with Ivanna Matilla. Perpetually cheerful she has been brilliant throughout what would have been a really difficult process of bringing on a new creative and showing them the ropes.

NAME: IVANNA MATILLA
HOME COUNTRY: ARGENTINA
PREVIOUS PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: THE UNFORGIVABLE (Graphic novel) http://www.theunforgivable.com/
INFLUENCES: LIQUID (Christian Lichter) and SIMON BORK.
INTERESTS: Painting, Cinema, Teaching, Learning languages

An English teacher 200 miles from Buenos Aires in Argentina, Ivanna Matilla has a boyfriend with a comic book shop in the town in which they live. Making time to paint (digitally), Ivanna stands out as one of the best digital colourists out there. Totally self taught (‘because she didn’t have time to study’) she only has one professional job to her name (much like everyone else on Beyond the Bunker), a graphic novel named Unforgivable. (http://www.theunforgivable.com/). A late find in the search for a new colourist for Moon 1 her eclectic and abstract style was not immediately the first choice – as we were looking for a horribly commercial artist – but with second looks at her Deviantart page she completely won us over. Between her skin tones and clothing detail and her lighting and shading her work represented something we initially thought was too advanced for our comic book – but we thought nah, let’s treat ourselves. And we were wrong to ever doubt it, her style fits well with a story of a fairytale gone slightly sideways and she had been a pleasure to work with throughout. Moon 1 was completed within two months (an incredible feat considering it is neither her day job and Christmas and a trip to her brothers for a week coincided with it. But nothing stopped her and Moon 1 simply wouldn’t have happened without her. We (and you I imagine) look forward to more of her stuff in Moon 2 and we are really proud to have her as the third member of Beyond the Bunker.

She also has a habit of ‘marking’ my work with arrows and questions about what this means and what’s that for. Two characters would not have had had hands in Moon 1 if it hadn’t’ve been for Ivanna. She requested two air tickets to Britain for the ‘Beyond the Bunker launch party’ as payment for the work she’s done. Unfortunately we can’t stretch to it right now but if her work attracts as many people as it should we should be able to afford a private jet within a few months.

Every time I see more of Ivanna’s work I am more and more in awe of her talent. We hope we can work with her for as long as we can hold onto her as she represents an incredible talent. Well, take a look for yourselves…. we’ll be showcasing her favourite pieces from her Deviantart collection over the coming weeks.

Moon Launch T-Minus 4

Still a fair bit to arrange before the big gig on Saturday night. Meeting with Jude Benjamin of Skyskratcher tomorrow afternoon to scout the venue (that’s right man) and the Cold callers might put their heads round the door for a swift pint if I’m lucky. The design of badges seems to be a running theme at present. Who wants badges!!! Yeah, you do. I’m not gonna throw up a bucket load of stuff today – frankly you can talk too much – except to say – 4 MORE DAYS TO GO! Good time keeping the least of the services available here at Beyond the Bunker!!

Click for details of BTB's new comic

Practitioners 23: Leinil Yu

Leinil Francis Yu (born July 31, 1977) is a filipino comic book artist, working, prominently, in the American Comic Book market.

In an in interview published in Mavel’s Daily Bugle Newsletter, he has described his style as ‘Dynamic Pseudo-realism.’ This seems fair as his grasp on Human anatomy is compounded by his considerable capacity for presenting it kicking ass!! His compositions are always wild and aluring, appearing spontaneous and explosive but within a moment present a much more impressive grasp on detailing and nuance that imbeds the image with more natural feeling. Its a circular effect that feeds both aspects of his style and zeroes in on minute detail in mad action sequences.

Leinil Francis Yu was first recognised after winning Wizard’s Drawing Board Contest, his first published work. Signed up initially by Whilce Portacio to do some work for Wildstorm, that work fell through unexpectedly. Portacio passed on Yu’s work to Marvel who immediately hired him to take on the Ol’ Canucklehead himself, Wolverine in one of its flagship titles. Few artists have catapulted so quickly to the forefront of one of the largest comic companies in the world but the decision was well justified. Yu’s combination of one-two knock out action sequences and ferocious line work gave him considerable notoriety among fans. Mostly positive, his loose lined inking style drew a more scattered and abstract look from his work which more story minded readers struggled to get to grips with. Artistically however, this was powerful, forceful stuff, the more vivacious line work offering more emotional punch to the action, communicating more than the panel might have with a more steady hand. Innovative work however can polarise and while many more were drawn to Leinil’s unique style some were put off (Dan Thompson of BTB for one).

Following his run on Wolvcerine he moved on to work on Marvel’s flagship X-Men title in 2000, written by legendary X-scribe Chris Claremont. Yu blazed a trail with his pen through the upper echelon of Marvel titles such as Fantastic Four, Ultimate Wolverine Vs Hulk and New Avengers working with the foremost creators. In the same period he co-created High Roads with writer Scott Lobdell at Cliffhanger, Superman: Birthright with Mark Waid and Silent Dragon with Andy Diggle at DC Comics.

Individual legends of the medium were queuing up, most likely to see their character drawn in the Yu style. It was different than what had been seen before and his wave of effect can be seen across the comic book fermament. New artists now offer greater naturalism and can apply more artistic flare perhaps following the arrival of Leinil Yu. His artwork representing a higher plateau of draftsmanship in mainstream comics, augmenting the existing standard into visceral and at times abstract line work. Movement depicted in high detail, not with cross hatching but with disparate, fractal scattered lines sometimes following the line of air across a moving figure or to emphasise effort and movement, light and shadow.

Leinil Yu worked on the edgy incarnation of the Avengers with New Avengers, featuring perhaps for the first time a team of outsiders to the Marvel Universe, Dr Strange, Luke Cage, Spider-man, Hawkeye (now Ronin), Jessica Drew and Echo (from Daredevil). His work matched well the disparate, kinetic and edgy nature of these characters and his line work became more clean and commercially accessible perhaps than before. Somehow, rather than being a shame it enhanced Leinil’s work and certainly broadened his appeal. His work on Marvel’s New Avengers finished with issue 37 so he could begin with Secret Invasion with New Avengers writer Brian Michael Bendis. Secret Invasion involved every major character in the Marvel Universe pitched against an insidious Skrull invasion. His depiction of the Marvel cast against the highly individual Skrull warriors makes clear how good Yu is. More than 100 figures occupy a double page spread and Yu’s composition maintains speech bubbles coherently keeping the various battle cries and Bendis’ dialogue functional and understandable throughout.

Leinil Yu continues to go from strength to strength and has now matched luminaries like Romita Jr, both Kuberts and Epting as synonomous with quality and unflappable content no matter the requirement. Though he carries more zest and raw vigour than the afore-mentioned artists he still instills the same values in his artwork. His work is reminiscent of sketch works by Master artists at the same time as encapsulating what makes a legendary comic artist.

Photos from Bagend: Filming for the Hobbit begins….

Since 1937 it is a book that has captured the imaginations of millions and introduced literary characters such as Bilbo Baggins, Smaug, Thorin Oakenshield and Gandalf. It spawned a broader, darker tome named The Lord of the Rings and in the early 21st Century it represented the basis for a set of films that were and are the epitomy of seamless storytelling and cinema and a benchmark in special effects technology making an audience forget that Middle Earth doesn’t exist. It revolutionised the tourist trade of an entire nation off the coast of Australia and and made JRR Tolkien and Peter Jackson household names.

I am very pleased to announce that initial filming on The Hobbit: There and Back Again has begun and that the cast and crew have already begun to express their genuine happiness at the beginning of what has been, at times, a project that may never have seen the light of day. Following disputes over royalties, threatened film studios, being potentially helmed by two genius directors, a union dispute, a major operation and an Earthquake finally, Bilbo Baggin’s journey has begun again for an entirely new generation. Collected below are the first photos to be sent from the set, including an old cast member, a new cast member and everyone’s favourite Director.


A very different Peter Jackson walks in to Bagend (Bilbo’s home in Hobbiton – still intact from the first film) after a long road back to the Director’s chair.


Peter Jackson at the seat he sat at so many years before at the beginning of the production of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy (below).



…. and finally, the star Ian McKellan (Gandalf the Grey) posted the photo below (with James Nesbitt) from rehearsals with the caption ‘Bofur and Gandalf at our first Rehearsal.’


Beyond the Bunker will try to keep pace with the production as it goes on and bring you any major highlights over the next year and a half of filming before the release of the first installment some time in 2012 (hopefully Christmas).
Jackson’s assistant, Matt Dravitszki, told New Zealand’s Sunday Star-Times that production will last through 2012.
“We will be filming in our studios in Miramar, [Stone Street Studios at] Wellington, and in locations throughout New Zealand,” he said.

McKellen provided more specifics, writing that he found himself “in various places which are all the same place.”
“I was on flat land the Maori called Whataitai until renamed in 1872, Miramar, or ‘Behold the Sea,’ which is indeed nearby,” he wrote on his blog. “I was in Stone Street Studios in the heart of a modern suburb, with some light industry.

The first installment of “The Hobbit” is expected in December 2012, and the second will be released in 2013. According to online sources New Line Cinema has reportedly registered the following two titles:

The Hobbit: There and Back Again and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

… and so a very much intended and yet slightly unexpected journey begins. We’ll keep you posted as it goes.

C.O.B.R.A. Theme Song

Afternoon all,

You may have realised by now that all the great things that happen here at the Bunker do not happen as a result of Steve and I alone. We have a whole network of amazing people who help make all of this possible. One such friend of the Bunker is mr Lee Ravitz, a professional actor and mad-genius.

This backdrop actually follows him around. You get used to it after a while.

Lee often drops little bits of glorious silliness into my inbox but this time around I just couldn’t resist sharing it. C.O.B.R.A is by far my favorite silly-name-for-a-real-government-organisation and it’s high time that it was given it’s own theme song. You can find out more about one of Lee’s big projects by heading over to the PULP website (something we’ll be doing a feature on at some point, I’m sure) but for now, over to the man himself.

Hi gents,

I was away over the weekend filming, so I was surprised by the news given on Yahoo that a cobra was in talks to decide the next move on Libya. But this was, in fact, not a super sleek assassin snake that had been specially reared by David Cameron to take out Gaddaffi – it is, in fact, merely a very spurious acronym for a Whitehall association that the PM would like everyone to think is cool. And, in honour of that, I have unearthed the theme tune to the animated action series that would accompany the actions of COBRA.

THEME SONG

COBRA!
Cabinet Office Briefing Room A!
COBRA!
Chaired by the PM, and men in grey
Ensuring that the fate of the Libyan nation
Is defended by the Local Gov’ment Association
COBRA!
It’s not the White House Situation Room
COBRA!
To ranting dictators it spells doom!
And that’s spelt…
C-O-B-R-A-
COBRA!
(except on less exalted occasions, when it is generally relegated to being spelt COBR, and doesn’t sound like a deadly snake).

Apparently it's Nick Clegg under the mask.

D
x

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