Colourist

Practitioners 6: Patricia Mulvihill

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: 100 Bullets and Loveless clourist and long-running Azzarello creative partner, Patricia Mulvihill.

Admittedly, occasionally there is a pecking order in comic books. The content and context attributed to the writer and the visual acuity always attributed to the artist (penciller) with the remaining accolade available to the inker- presuming its not also the penciller. However, one relative unknown in the comics industry enhanced the shape of an already exceptional series created by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso. While her name never appeared on any front covers of the 13 Graphic novels generated by its run, 100 Bullets would never have been so affecting and impressive a read for the reader without the skills of Patricia Mulvihill.

Taking the lines of Eduardo Risso – and taking on the torch passed by Grant Goleash after issue 15 of 100 Bullets (that ultimately ran for a further 85) – Mulvihill emellished and enhanced the contours and shapes formed by the stark black and white detail of Risso’s inks. With a simplistic and uncluttered layout it is perhaps too easy to overwhelm and distract from the artwork but Mulvihill brought the artwork into even greater focus with an advanced and misleadingly simple-looking palette of colours. A profound understanding of the correct use of opposing shades and colours – simple environments – even those rendered by an artist such as Risso – were converted into emotional spaces. Ignoring conventional lighting and tonal rules a powerful display of colours was applied generating tension, clarity, danger, fear, wonder and languishing emotion and lust. It is a true professional who makes something so delicate and precise look so infinitely simple and I believe Patricia Mulvihill deserves recognition for her contribution.

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’.

Moon 2: The News

Hello all!! Thanks for bearing with us as the almighty engineering process that is Moon 2. Ivanna Matilla – colourist to the gods – continues to complete the pages in pencil and ink. Once completed they are coming back here to Bunker Central to be finished – and we are well passed the half way mark. Stu at Ukomics waits like a coiled spring with an orange cap on and will put Moon 2 to print as soon as it comes in. So to clarify, the final colours will soon be in – lettering has begun. As soon as that’s completed it’s going straight to print.

We understand it’s been a hell of a wait for Moon 2 and we’re confident that it’ll be worth the wait – with major reveals, major plot moments and dramatic changes ol’ Moon Head. Everything you understood in Issue 1 may change – or will it? Frankly, it depends on how much you understood.

Much discussion has taken place at the various cons we have attended regarding the physics of bringing a Moon down to Earth. To that we say this; this will be firmly dealt with in Moon 2. We know who is responsible for all this and we are finding them. We here at Beyond the Bunker know that the truth must now be revealed. It’s very simple as you will find out…

Also – following Kapow and MCM we can confirm what we told many who came to see us (so many in fact we sold out on the first full day of MCM) that with the completion of Moon 2 preparations will begin for Moon Launch 2. Following the success of Moon Launch 1 and frankly the strength of the pun it seems inevitable. We will be looking at booking a venue in London town (as central as possible to ease the journeys of those not in the capital), throw in some comedy and musical acts – from our extensive contacts we accidentally picked up while doing stand up and artwork – charge a nominal fee at the door with which you will receive a copy of Moon 2 – numbered, signed and hopefully with an alternative cover – or a signed Moon 1 to anyone new to Moon! So determined are we that this will take place that I spent part of my Bank Holiday Monday trying to complete a logo for the new Moon Launch.

Moon

Sketch week!!

Not all of the work we do at Beyond the Bunker makes it up on to the site. These are the delirious, subconscious scratchings of an artist fighting to finish our title, Moon 2 in time for our proposed deadline. Still, I took a minute to knock this up to show – I dunno – some of the stuff lying around the work space at any given moment. More random pieces of artwork will be appearing here very soon. Please keep an eye on Wednesdays for Beyond the Bunker Classic as well as some scraps to illuminate the edges of the work we do here at the Bunker.

Introducing Gat Melvyn: Colourist on Fallen Heroes

Following on from our introduction of Moon colourist Ivanna Matilla this week we thought we’d like to introduce the longest standing colourist associated with Beyond the Bunker. The SA based Mr Gat Melvyn. In the early days of Fallen Heroes I had run up some pencil and ink pages and drafts but was wondering whether to handle the colours myself. It was a line in the sand because I had never considered completing digital painting – and still remain a little slow at it. I was in contact via Deviantart an artist from South Africa named Gat Melvyn. I had found his work on a Marvel Heroes Forum where he had completed the colouring of Phoenix and Emma Frost, both reclining in front of a starfeild. The depth and clarity of colour and the use of natural phenomena and bold lighting and tones led me directly to it. Having asked him to work with us on Fallen Heroes he jumped on board with both feet and put out two of the most impressive pages I’d ever seen for pages 1 and 2. He then improved page by page. FH put up enormous challenges for Gat and myself as we found our way but I couldn’t have asked for a better partner in crime.

NAME: GAT MELVYN
HOME COUNTRY: SOUTH AFRICA
PREVIOUS PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: Www.Toshigawa.com (www.toshigawa.com)
INFLUENCES: ALEX SINCLARE, NEI RUFFINO, BEN10, SPAWN, GREEN LANTERN, GEN-13, BATMAN, DC Tv SERIES, DISNEY
INTERESTS: Painting, Playstation, Magic: The gathering, clubbing, photography, drums, cinema

An editor at Boston City Campus, Gat is many things to many people in his home country of SA, simultaneously an old-fashioned gentleman, old-school metal-boy and hardcore Christian. Currently residing in Evendale, East of Johannesburg in South Africa where he’s lived all his life. As a kid, Gat says, he was quiet and whiled away the hours enjoying a blank page or a colouring book and box of markers and crayons. He’s tried as many different creative outlets before landing at the colourist stage as art took a back seat when entering High School. Turning his hand to Drama with a love of the stage became his main focus, learning to play the drums in mid 2002 and being a founding member of the band, Broken Lyrics, with their hit single ‘ Who the hell melted the Chocolate Chips?’ (yet to be released in the UK) but in his own and sort of Bono’s own words he ‘still hadn’t found what he was looking for.’
Studying film editing, scriptwriting, animation and directing, DGat graduated with a BA in Motion Picture Medium in 2006. It was only in late 2008 that Gat had a crack at digital painting (the acceptable adult version of sitting flat on the living room floor with your legs in the air and a pad and crayons). He describes his first works as “like a 5-year old on a sugar high, left with crayons and Mom’s wall,” but the possibilities that Photoshop offered him has grabbed him and refuses to let go.
A year later, he coloured his first story for www.toshigawa.com and a few months later, a young Brit by name of Steve Penfold offered him the chance to work on a new project, FALLEN HEROES!

A great character, Gat’s colours are bold, gripping and exciting. Its mainstream colouring but with sweeping and beautiful attention to detail. The thing that sets Gat apart from almost every other colourist is the magic effects he pulls with smoke, dust, fire, air and light. Notoriously the most difficult elements in colouring because of their incredibly delicate and detailed nature, Gat handles them like they’re just flat mat wall paints. Enhancing battle and even dialogue pieces his light play and detail effects put him in the top percentile of technicians. I would classify Gat as an Engineer of light as his application of colours and tones is incredibly enhanced by his finishes and effects. Not to say that his initial colouring isn’t masterful. For someone who has spent so little time mastering his art, Gat’s work reflects a awesome palette for high arcane and superhero artwork in particular. Embattled throughout Fallen Heroes, he took constant alterations and reedits really well. While I knew he was swearing like a trooper somewhere in Evendale, SA, none of it reflected back – he was the epitomy of professionalism and determination. As such and because he held true I think Fallen Heroes his strongest work to date and I can’t wait to see his new work on FH 2 and another project – to be announced soon….

There was one crack though and frankly a brilliant one at the finish of Fallen Heroes Gat expressed a fat ‘with all due respect, Fuck You’ which was well placed given the amount of pressure he’d been placed under. Obviously, there’s no hard feelings at all between me and Gat (if I had the money I’d like to fly to SA and meet him in Evendale) because we got the job done (now available at Fallenheroescomic.com in digital format) and I can’t wait to work with him again. He’s one of the rawest talents in the world and I consider him a partner on any project we work on. Even if he did call me Steven Pemrose in a recent E-mail. Pemrose? What?

There’ll be Gat spat all over this site every Thursday as we present a gallery of his work over the coming months!! Keep it here Bunkerites!!

FALLEN HEROES 1 IS AVAILABLE AT KAPOW COMIC CON 9-10th APRIL AND ON DIGITAL DOWNLOAD AT WWW.FALLENHEROESCOMIC.COM.

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.

Mystery Colourist: The applicants

Ladies and Gentlemen I give you – the colourists. Those assembled here were the respondents to our request to find a colourist using an ad via our colourist for Fallen Heroes. Included here are some of the most talented unsigned colourists the world has to offer. Its quite a thing when you are presented by such a massive group of talented and enthusiastic individuals – particularly when you realise they come from almost literally every corner of the world. However, from this bunch we have chosen and the colour work of our colourist for Moon and the colourist for Fallen Heroes are both visible in this set. Please take a good long look at the exceptional work available here and if you want to see more head over to my deviantart page (http://penners.deviantart.com/) and click on the links in my journal showcasing these same guys to be transported to their specific galleries on DA. Every one of them is worth a look. Our colourist for Moon (and Fallen Heroes) will be revealed next week.

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Cheers. Steve P.