Comics

The Moon And The Stars – One Week Til LFCC!

It’s been a year of showing off for the rapidly expanding UK convention circuit with mega cons old and new all duking it out to put on the best possible event for fans. Next week is the turn of one of the veterans of the scene, The London Film and Comic con and if the guest line up is anything to go by LFCC intends to come out of the corner swinging.

LFCC All Stars (left to right): Gillian Anderson, Karl Urban, Charles Dance, Alex Winter, Gates McFadden, Adam Baldwin

LFCC always have an impressive line up and this year is no different. Fans will be able to meet like likes of Alex Winter (Bill & Ted), Karl Urban (Lord of the Rings, Dredd), Gillian Anderson (X-Files) and about half the cast of Game of Thrones and Star Wars. They also have a real life Batmobile and the usual army of dealers who will be happy to sell you everything from light sabers to figurines.

The exciting thing for us however is that for the first time LFCC is hosting a dedicated comic book section, complete with signings, industry experts and (naturally) a certain Moon headed detective. Beyond The Bunker will be at LFCC for all three days so feel free to come and chat to us about comics, the creative process or whatever you fancy really. We’ll have some new badges and our fine selection of prints for sale as well as the award winning comic itself! As always, there’s a free badge with every copy so if you know anyone who doesn’t own Moon yet, drag them along and badge them up!

No copies of Moon #2 just yet but ask us about the impending Moon Launch Party for some insider info.

LFCC is next weekend at the London Olympia Grand Hall. Tickets can be bought on the door and cost a mere £6 (for regular entry)

See you there!

D
x

10 Mistakes Made by Amateur Letterers

Nate Piekos knows a thing or two about lettering comics. Not only is he the creator of Blambot Comic Fonts but he’s also lettered books for the likes of for Dark Horse, Marvel, etc and created a fair few comics of his own. Recently Nate posted this handy guide to common mistakes made by amateur letterers. Since it’s a skill that many of us in the indy comics scene are trying to perfect, I thought I’d throw it up here. All credit for this work goes to Nate and I strongly suggest you check out the rest of his work to see these examples in action.

D
x

Tout L'Armour: Iron Patriot shots from Iron Man 3

Yo and behold – Iron Patriot spangles up proceedings in Iron Man 3. These on-set shots from the new Avengers movie (already in production – good work Marvel!!) reveal a very starry eyed surprise for one Mr Anthony Stark. Interesting choice of Bad Guy that might’ve suggested that yet again, the Mandarin has been put on the back-burner for the new movie. But no…

While Ben Kingsley and Guy Pearce have already been confirmed to take on nemesis roles in the upcoming film, it seems that there is another villainous character on the scene.

The discovery of Iron Patriot as a potential third villain (played by James Badge Dale) suggests things might be getting a little crowded on set for part 3. Considering that no comicx book adaptation with more than one full-on super villain has ever truly worked it seems like a weird gambit on Marvel’s behalf but if anyone’s gonna pull it off… watch this space.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2152633/Iron-Man-3-villain-James-Badge-Dale-seen-Iron-Patriot-set.html#ixzz1wTVwUG8i

Reports of the Eagle Awards Death "Greatly Exaggerated"

20120531-133241.jpg

While live tweeting the Eagle Awards last Friday I reported the shock announcement by MCM’s Brian Cooney that the Eagles would be ending their 30 year run with immediate effect. Well, it turns out that things are not quite what they seem.

Eagle Awards organiser, Cassandra Conroy issued the following press release today, stating that not only was the announcement false but that MCM had made it without the permission of the Eagles themselves.

I wanna say quickly that full credit for this story goes to the guys at Geek Syndicate. I’m merely passing on the press release they were sent. The Eagles’ relationship with MCM is something of a quagmire and I’m trying not to be one of the many people who has a loud opinion on the matter, but I figured since I was one of the people who broke the original story, it was only right to report the response.

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release

Thursday, May 31, 2012

EAGLE AWARDS CONTINUE TO FLY HIGH

“People often say ‘Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet’ and this is one of those times,” announced Eagle Awards chair Cassandra Conroy.

Referring to an announcement made by MCM Expo’s Bryan Cooney at the conclusion of 2012 Eagle Awards ceremony on Friday night, she added, “To paraphrase Mark Twain: The reports of the Eagles’ death have been greatly exaggerated.

“Neither my father (Eagle Awards founder Mike Conroy) nor I attended Friday night’s ceremony, which we were boycotting in response to actions that are now being reviewed by my lawyer. Thus we don’t know exactly what Bryan said,” she explained. “However, with Bleeding Cool posting that Friday night’s ceremony was ‘the end of the road for the Eagle Awards after 30-some years and from next May, there’d be something called The MCM Awards instead.’ and others suggesting that next year the Eagles would be transformed into entirely new awards. I feel the need to put the record straight…

“The Eagles are neither dead nor morphing into anything else. MCM Expo is in no position to announce, imply or indicate otherwise,” Conroy stated. “In fact no third party can casually discard what my father has developed over the past 36 years. The Eagles will continue to soar into 2013 and beyond. We’ll be announcing further details of our plans for next year in the near future.”

I imagine we’ve not heard the last of this rather messy situation. It’s a shame to see two organisations that I like very much going at it like this but I guess all’s fair in love and comic book awards.

D
X

Dan's Blog: MCM Debrief

For my part, I spent Sunday cosplaying as white trash.

The very first year that Steve and I appeared at the MCM Expo the event fell upon the same day as a Millwall game. It’s not a detail that I would remember were it not for the fact that it meant that my first experience of the con was sitting on a packed tube full of confused skinheads and teenagers dressed as cats. There has probably never been a more perplexed railway carriage anywhere in the world and I found myself developing an instant fondness for this oddball of a con.

I mention this story first because really the teenagers dressed as cats (and Pokemon and cardboard boxes and pretty much anything else you can imagine) are the heart of MCM. That’s not to say they are the only audience there (in terms of floor space, it’s probably the biggest comic con in the UK) but at its very core the event is about people who say the word “random” a lot, cutting loose and having fun. As a result, MCM has always had a kind if energetic buzz about it that you just don’t find anywhere else and it’s this buzz that is the key to why this year’s event was so successful.

MCM has taken some flak over the years for its rather diverse (random, you might say) range of exhibits. While other cons focus on comics or movies or trading or whatever, MCM goes for a bit of everything but in times such as these it’s exactly that kind of diversity that you need. If you’re only going to go to one comic con then the obvious choice is the one that lets you see as much as possible. MCM is not so much a comic convention as a convention for the sort of people who like comics. It’s a subtle distinction but one that breeds the kind of extremely loyal fanbase that descended in droves upon the Excel Centre last weekend.

Shot of the convention floor. It’s very hard to convey the sheer scale of the event.

For our part, we were taken completely by surprise by just how busy the con was. We brought our usual hefty amount of stock, expecting it to last the entire event (especially given a slightly disappointing audience turn out at Kapow) but instead found ourselves completely sold out of copies of Moon by 5pm on Saturday. The result was that Steve had to scurry back to Essex on Sunday morning, while I tried to learn how you sell prints of characters from a book you don’t have (turns out, you generally don’t). By 11am we were back up and running however and went on to smash our all time sales record by some way.

Moon #1 completely sold out.

I should mention, in the interests of fairness, that we had a much better pitch than at Kapow, being as we were right next to the auditorium and the booth for ASDF (who I’d never heard of before the weekend but who I’m pretty sure most teenagers would readily kill for.) This naturally translated into better sales but the fact that we took more than twice what we made at Kapow and paid less than half for the table left me pondering whether we’ll keep Kapow on our calendar next year.

Organisation wise we’ve got no complaints. Comics Village (who run the comics side of the event) have gotten very good at pre-show communication this time around and having every table get a small blurb in the program was a nice touch. Despite the huge crowds, there was always a volunteer on hand when needed and they were (as has always been the case) extremely helpful and friendly.

The aftermath. Huge thanks to everybody who bought the book and to those who have sent us such kind feedback on it. You guys are awesome.

The one part where the organisation fell down slightly was in the execution of the Eagle Awards on Friday night. The Eagles themselves are probably a topic for another day but the very low audience turn out was a bit of a shame. Steve and I certainly appreciate being able to hog the free beer but I can’t help but think that if they were properly publicised and perhaps held on the Saturday night, the turn out would have been far better. We ran into only two non-comics industry people at the awards and they confessed that they’d only found the event by chance. Given the announcement about the demise of the Eagles, I wonder whether the lack of publicity was a deliberate move to send the awards off quietly with an eye to focusing on next year’s new “MCM Awards.”

The Eagles is but a small part of the overall event however and a low turnout for one small part is not enough to spoil the experience of what was in all regards a fantastic convention experience.

D
x

If you picked up a copy of Moon #1 at MCM then we’d love to hear what you think. Send us an email at btbcomics@gmail.com or let us know on facebook or twitter!

The First Gameplay Trailer for Marvel MMO

So here it is!! Marvel have gone even closer to taking over the universe by introducing a Massively Multiplayer Online Game (note the lack of RPG at the end of the title). I had to look all those acronyms up and I’m uncertain as to how it’s Massively Multiplayer but not role play as I thought the Role Play part was pretty straight forward to add. Clearly you can’t dress Wolverine in a tutu or make Iron Man a mystic with a goat as a pet – but you kind of have to ask – why not? In spite of this, the idea of being able to be any of possibly hundreds of Marvel Heroes is pretty fun. Available on the PC, at some point…

Dan's Blog: Kapow Debrief

I was pretty tired in this photo. If you have a chirpier one of me, please let me know!

Kapow’s something of a special convention for us. The con’s first outing last April was also the first time that Moon saw action at a major convention and Kapow 2011 remains one of my highlights from last year. In the end Kapow 2012 turned out to be something of a mixed bag, not awful by any stretch but certainly a very different to last year.

It was pretty hard to get a sense of the overall vibe of the con as we were kinda tucked away in the new Artist’s Alley on the upper level but on the whole the atmosphere definitely seemed somewhat muted compared to 2011. That’s not to say that people weren’t enjoying themselves but the electricity which permeated the air last time was lacking and the audience numbers certainly looked to be down (though this is pure speculation).

Ultimately I think you have to put this down to the decision to postpone the convention until May in order to allow Marvel Comics to attend (they were a little busy in April with a certain movie). This move placed Kapow exactly a week before one of London’s other Goliath cons, MCM and just 2 weeks after the Bristol expo. To be fair, all three cons have slightly different audiences but cramming them all into one month was always going to force fans to pick one or two and both Bristol and Kapow appear to have been hit by this (though, let me again stress that this observation isn’t based on concrete attendance figures).

The Kapow Floor begins to fill up.

One thing that wasn’t lacking was the work that the guests and exhibitors themselves put into the event. Of the few events I got to see the Lucha Britannia‘s wrestling shows remain the highlight for me. Wrestling shows at comic cons have become a pretty common sight but the Lucha Britannia guys put on by far the best show I’ve seen in this country and I heartily recommend that you catch one of their shows if you get the chance. Jonathan Ross also continued to carve out a reputation as the ultimate convention guest, at one point even diving into the ring to help the good guy wrestlers win the day.

Lucha Britannia

Reactions to the new Artist’s Alley seemed to be kinda mixed too. Some people enjoyed the quieter atmosphere as it allowed them to talk to fans without clogging up the isle and certainly for the fans who found their way up there it offered a lot of opportunities to spend time meeting creators. Of course the down side is that not all the fans found all their way up there and because the layout didn’t funnel people directly past tables, it was tough for exhibitors to strike up conversations and ultimately sell books.


 In all honesty, use of the upper levels of the business design centre was inevitable given how crowded the main floor got during the day. I take some issue with the price that was charged for the tables in the Alley, given that they were always going to be inferior to the main floor in terms of sales. Other cons justify the existence of these less desirable plots by renting them to small press publishers and creators for a reduced rate. It’s a deal that works for everyone as you essentially get what you pay for. Kapow’s stance has always been that they don’t do small press and everyone pays the same for a table. This was fine last year, we paid a premium sum but we got a premium table in a premium location. This year however I can’t help but feel that we paid way over the odds for a less desirable location. Die hard critics will leap on this as “another example of Kapow stiffing small press” but I’m not sure I see it in quite such extreme terms. The Artist’s Alley was a new venture and it takes a year or so to work the bugs out of things like that. Jumping to conspiracy theories serves nobody and it’s far better to offer organisers constructive feedback than jump down their throats. So here’s the feedback, Kapow: The Artist’s Alley works, it’s a good addition but it’s too expensive and you need to make it clearer during the booking process that it’s located on the upper level…oh and if you could book even more luchas, that’d be great too.

While we’re on the subject of feedback, I want to offer one additional thought. Kapow, your wristbands suck. They look like creepy, escaped hospital patient bracelets and they are scratchy as hell (my poor wife has the scars to prove it and that’s just from rolling onto my arm in her sleep during Saturday night). Give exhibitors lanyards. Lanyards are cool, you can take them off at night and they sound like the name of a family from Game of Thrones. There’s no reason not to use them.

Scratchy scratchy!

On the whole, the weekend was a lot of fun for us. Despite the disappointment of our table, we sold reasonably well, met a lot of incredible Moon fans (seriously, you guys are incredible) and had a lot of fun. I want to send out some congratulations to Band of Butchers artist Rob Carey who not only successfully launched his Lightning Strike project but (justifiably) had big name editors drooling over his artwork. Never get tired of seeing people I know get recognition they deserve. Also want to give some thanks to Stuart Gould from UKComics for coming through again with some amazing print work for us. If you make comics and you don’t use Stu for your printing then you’re possibly mad.

Kapow closes down for the night.

I now have four days to “relax” by doing my day job, meeting with my film writing partner Jim Eaton to work on our next big project and finalising the new Unseen Shadows comic I’m doing and then it’s off to MCM for three more days of madness. I’ll be live tweeting the Eagle awards from @danthompson2099 on Friday and given how much free beer they gave me last time, this should be something that’s worth tuning in for.

Well done, Kapow for pulling off the difficult second album. There were some logistical issues but every fan I spoke to had a cracking time. Here’s to another year of a very unique convention.

D
x

A New Unseen Shadows Comic From Dan Thompson

Those of you who follow us week in and week out will already know that we had a really nice time at Demoncon last Sunday. The part that we didn’t mention at the time was that I had a meeting with Barry Nugent while we were setting up. Barry approached me a few months back with regards to maybe doing another Unseen Shadows comic for the second US anthology, “Tales of the Forgotten” and obviously I said yes because I’d had such a blast working on Band of Butchers last year. I finished the script a couple of months back but we’ve been keeping it quiet while we search for an art team to make the book a reality and that’s where chap called Peter Mason comes in.

Peter is currently in the process of drawing the second book in Cy Dethan’s outstanding Cancertown series and had gotten talking to Barry during the opening stages of the convention. He showed Barry some of his portfolio, Barry passed it on to me and both of us were utterly blown away by the kinetic energy and sheer quality of his work. Long story short, we pretty much offered him the job on the spot, he said yes and just like that, we have a new comic in the works!

The book is called “Ashfall” and it’s a one shot comic about a veteran paranormal investigator called Nathan Ash. Nathan is the mentor to Unseen Shadows poster boy, Napoleon Stone and features heavily in Barry’s best selling novel “Fallen Heroes.” In this story we’re going to be exploring the relationship between the two men, as well as creating a kick ass adventure story which you can enjoy whether you’ve read the novel or not.

I don’t have a release date for the book yet but I’ll keep you updated on any major developments. You can also follow the project over at the Unseen Shadows Website.

Now why not enjoy some of Peter’s incredible character sketches for the book?

Napoleon Stone by Peter Mason

Nathan Ash by Peter Mason

 

D
x

100,000th!

We don’t mark stuff like this very often but the BTB hit counter ticked over the 100,000 mark today. For a young site, entirely run by 2 people, it’s a good number and we’re very proud of it.

Thank you for all the support that has been shown to this site since we opened our doors just over a year ago, we’ve grown massively and we continue to grow every day. Please keep telling your friends about us, checking back for new content and (if you can afford to) buying our comics. In return, we will continue to put out as much content as we can over the next 100,000 hits. More Practitioners, more comic and movie articles and of course much much more Moon.

Here’s to the future, Bunkerites!

Dan & Steve
xx

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance Clips

Here’s a clip from the upcoming Ghost Rider movie to see if it revs your engine. First a high speed car chase through the desert to whet your appetite!! There are two directors, both of whom look to be stunt specialists. This sequence definitely bares that out.

And before we write this off – take a look at this – Ghost Rider’s ability to infest any vehicle with his willpower takes new and brilliantly entertaining twists. I like the way he laughs as he does it. Wouldn’t you?

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

Hmmm.

Page 1 of 41234