Comics

Diary of a Bum Artist: Part 1 12.12.11

‘As you climb the ladder of success – make sure it’s leaning against the right wall.’

Kabbala

Only it wasn’t. It was an ad for the kabbala centre in Stratford. It’s rare you see words of wisdom on a wall in the London underground. Given that I stood at a three arm width distance from the ad taking a photo of it on my I-phone at the base of the escalators in Bond street with Oxford street shoppers, disgruntled office workers and less harried Westminster media types and commuters changing to the central line trying to pass me means it didn’t inspire an intelligent response, but it did give me my starting point for the first diary of an artist blog here on BTB.

‘Blogging is not writing. It’s graffiti with punctuation.’

Elliot Gould, Contagion (2011

I’d been struggling. I feel like an ongoing diary at undecided intervals – when something interesting happens – might be cool and helpful to others that come up behind us. Whether it’d be a diary on how not to do it is another matter and remains to be seen. At a recent con (thoughtbubble) much was discussed about the likelihood of the blog ever seeing the light of day. The problems facing the project were multiple…,

Firstly, time. Time is not my friend when it comes to these things. This is something I’ve since conquered slightly by discovering how to use an I-phone properly. It’s a common problem, particularly for artists- who need a zen like calm and paper and pens to be able to complete the work. But that is definitely coming up in a future blog so I’ll leave that until I have more ….(ahem).
Secondly, what would it be about. In spite a predilection for the use of the letter ‘I’ in my sentences, specifically at the beginning – I struggled to think of a reason to write this. What was the angle on this one. I don’t even tweet. If I was going to take a crack at this it was fairly obvious which one to go for. I’m going to write about the difficulties of getting started as an artist. Which brings me onto my next point.
What if I fail? Writing on a weekly basis about not working, living on beans and borrowing other people’s pens might make great reading. Frankly, for the sake of this blog I hope things don’t take off too quickly. However, in the real world – should beyond the bunker start to sell moon in their thousands to syndication and distribution around the world then screw the blog. I hope by then I’ll have suffered enough to make it a happy resolution for anyone who reads.
Fourthly, who cares? Guess we’ll just have to find out. If no one reads it that’s alright. I’d happily sit alone in a room talking about myself and my view on the world, marvelling at my own echo. But it’d be great if someone wants to take a look every once in a while. I’ll try to make sure it’s as entertaining as possible. Given my capacity for finding odd ways to achieve simple things and the fact that we write a comic book about a man with a moon head and my partner Dan is an ex stand up I’m pretty sure we can offer up some entertaining moments from cons all over the country. Hopefully, one day the world!!

So, to the basics of the blog – my name is Steve Penfold and I’m an artist (sort of). I hope to work with some of the greatest companies in the world and develop new and old characters in the pages of famous comic books. I run a website and comic company with Dan Thompson (writer) with whom I’ve developed a title involving the Moon dropping out of the sky in the early hours of the morning, putting on a suit, taking out a gun and fighting ridiculous crime. We think it could be quite popular. Only, to bring you back to the original quote at the top of the page, I’m not only an artist. To bring you up to speed – I am 31, I’ve accidentally ended up living with my Mum and Dad (again), have somehow found myself working as an actor for 5 years and am currently dressed as Santa Claus in a basement of a famous Oxford street department store. So not quite going to plan. My beautiful, adventurous, sexy, girlfriend lives on the other side of London to my computer and equipment. I plan, as promised, to make 5 short films in the next 6 -8 months based on a script by Samuel Lewis and have 3 issues of Fallen Heroes and 5 issues of Moon to complete (one currently on it’s way). At this stage I have no idea how to get into a studio and I’ll be unemployed as of Christmas Day. What will our hero do? Read on to find out… (honestly, I don’t know how this is going to work out so it’ll be interesting for all of us)

My current place of work - lovely and impressive but sadly not a comic book company or artists studio

Pulp Trailer – A Movie About The Men Behind The Superheroes

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6QHmTvrYkE&w=853&h=480]

 

A good friend of ours (indeed the artistic basis for one of Moon’s central characters) plays the villain in this upcoming British made movie about comic book creators. If you go to cons you may have seen them sneaking about with their cameras and it’s a joy to see that the film is almost ready for release. Here’s the official blurb:

“Tony Leary, the hapless owner of Junk Comics, is gearing up for one last roll of the dice. His new superhero title, The Sodomizer, launches at the International Comic Show. And if life wasn’t complicated enough, Tony is drafted by the police to identify another comic company that is laundering money for a gang of Geordie criminals. Aided by his trusty geek sidekicks, Rick and Keith, Tony must defy the odds if he is to become a real life hero.”

There’s no release date just yet but the movie looks like a tonne of fun. Check out www.pulpthemovie.com for more details.

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Hello MCM People!

Hi chaps,

It occurs that there are probably quite a lot of new people visiting the site this weekend as a result of the MCM Expo this weekend and we just wanted to once again take the chance to say hi and show you around the site a little bit.

I’m Dan, I wrote Moon. You can find my bio HERE!

Steve drew Moon and Fallen Heroes. You can read all about him HERE!

If you want to find out what the Moon comic is all about you can find up to date news HERE and a trailer/blurb HERE!

If you want to mail order a copy of the book then you can do so HERE!

Steve and I are heavily involved in the Unseen Shadows line of books and you can read about them HERE!

You might have noticed that we make films as well. You can find all of them on the menu at the top or by clicking HERE!

We try to update the site almost every day so we have a whole bumload of other features and articles for when we don’t have any Moon or FH news to tell you about. Here’s a few of them that you might want to check out:

THE PRACTITIONERS is a weekly blog by Steve which looks back over the careers of some of the most influential people in the comics industry. There are over 30 articles on there already so you’ve got plenty of reading to do. There will be a test at the end. I’d suggest using the menu at the top to navigate them so it doesn’t become too overwhelming! (hint: The Jeph Loeb one is very entertaining)

THE EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES OF MONSIEUR POPPALEUX is a weekly clipart webcomic which is honestly not written by me (honest) but rather by the famous 90′s children’s author and cat strangler, Dr Jean-François Bacharach. It’s about a maladjusted smiley face and a pie chart who lies.

On top of all this both STEVE and MYSELF both have blogs here and we often write articles about COMICSFILMSand GAMES.

Finally, if you are so inclined you can also follow MESTEVE and BEYOND THE BUNKER on twitter.

Given how many books we’ve sold to children as of late I should take a moment to say that we are trying to keep the site as kid friendly as we can, but bear in mind that certain parts of it (the films and Monsieur Poppaleux in particular) are intended for an older audience.

Phew! What a lot of links. Well that should give you plenty of stuff to keep you busy for a while. Please pop us on your bookmarks bar and check in every day to see what’s new and be sure to drop us a message and let us know what you think of the book and the site. You guys really are the backbone of this whole endeavour and it’s honestly very humbling to see how much interest you all take in what we do.

Welcome to Beyond The Bunker.

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He's Moon and you are OK with him.

Tales of the Fallen: Wrath of God Preview

As many of you know, Steve and I have a couple of new books coming out in November. “Tales of the Fallen” is a set of four one-shot comics based on the Unseen Shadows series of books by Barry Nugent.  To celebrate the upcoming release of the comics, we’re going to be previewing one of them each week in October. If you want to be one of the only people in the world to pick up signed copies of Tales of the Fallen you’ll need to buy a ticket to theThought Bubble convention in Leeds so you can be there for the grand launch. Enjoy the previews:

Wrath of God

Cy Dethan (Writer), Steve Penfold (Artist) Gat Melvin (Colours), Nic Wilkinson (Lettering)

The Reverend: a holy weapon forged in tragedy and flame – a murderous martyr whose cold judgement strikes with the force of a vengeful God. Despair, for the Reverend walks among you. He is the right hand of vengeance. He is Wrath.

For more information check out Unseen Shadows on the WEB, on FACEBOOK and on TWITTER

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Band of Butchers Artist Nominated for ICN Award!

It’s with great delight that I’m able to report that Band of Butchers artist Rob Carey has been nominated for Best Mainstream Published Artist in the 2011 ICN awards! ICN honours creators and comics of Irish origin and is a hell of an accolade  to be nominated for.

Deus Ex by Rob Carey with colours by Alwyn Talbot

Having worked with Rob on Band of Butchers I can honestly say that it’s an honour thoroughly well deserved. People throw the term “one to watch” around far too much but in all honesty if there is any justice in the world then you will be seeing a LOT of Rob Carey in the future. He’s a joy to work with as an artist and his work is a joy to behold for a reader. You just have to take a look at some of his work here in this post to see what I mean.

Cover for Band of Butchers

It’s not an easy fight though. Rob’s in a category that includes the likes of Nick Roche & Alan Nolan and so we at the Bunker are asking (nay demanding/begging depending on your reaction to such things) that you head to the VOTING PAGE and vote for Rob Carey to walk away with the title! If nothing else, it’ll add a few quid to the value of that signed Band of Butchers comic you’re planning on picking up at Thought Bubble.

Interiors from Band of Butchers. Art by Rob, Colours by Vicky Stonebridge.

Best of luck Rob. The Bunker’s behind you 100%.

Go!

Vote now!

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For more info on the ICN awards click HERE
For more info on Band of Butchers click HERE
For more of Rob’s work here at BTB click HERE 

 

 

Tales of the Fallen: Operation Solomon Preview

As many of you know, Steve and I have a couple of new books coming out in November. “Tales of the Fallen” is a set of four one-shot comics based on the Unseen Shadows series of books by Barry Nugent.  To celebrate the upcoming release of the comics, we’re going to be previewing one of them each week in October. If you want to be one of the only people in the world to pick up signed copies of Tales of the Fallen you’ll need to buy a ticket to theThought Bubble convention in Leeds so you can be there for the grand launch. Enjoy the previews:

Operation Solomon

Richmond Clements (Writer), Conor Boyle (Art), Paul Mclaren (Lettering)

On a Tour of Duty in the Persian Gulf, Lieutenant Steph Connisbee is signed on as the pilot on a top secret mission- Operation: Solomon. During this assignment she will uncover secrets and danger and step into the world of Unseen Shadows before she even knows it…

For more information check out Unseen Shadows on the WEB, on FACEBOOK and on TWITTER

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Tales of the Fallen: Band of Butchers Preview

As many of you know, Steve and I have a couple of new books coming out in November. “Tales of the Fallen” is a set of four one-shot comics based on the Unseen Shadows series of books by Barry Nugent.  To celebrate the upcoming release of the comics, we’re going to be previewing one of them each week in October. If you want to be one of the only people in the world to pick up signed copies of Tales of the Fallen you’ll need to buy a ticket to the Thought Bubble convention in Leeds so you can be there for the grand launch. Enjoy the previews:

Band of Butchers

Dan Thompson (Writer), Paul Mclaren (Lettering), Rob Carey (Art), Vicky Stonebridge (colours)

Clancy Wallencheck is a very bad man – the commander of an elite team that have nothing to live for and a whole lot of people to kill.

From the mountains of Pakistan to the waters of Venice, there have been a thousand corpses in Clancy’s life.

This is the story of the one that mattered.

For more information check out Unseen Shadows on the WEB, on FACEBOOK and on TWITTER

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Band of Butchers Line Art Completed!

Morning chaps,

I am pleased to say that I just woke up to yet another delivery of incredible art from Rob Carey. What makes this delivery different is that it is the final page of our upcoming Unseen Shadows comic: Band of Butchers! That means that the book is just a few days away from being totally finished and I could not be more excited. It now falls to Vicky Stonebridge to wrap up the last few pages of colouring and Paul McLaren to add the last few pages of lettering. All being well we’re expecting it to be in “Bullwhip” Barry Nugent’s (and yes, that is the first and only time I’m using that nickname, Barry) hands within the next week or so making it seem highly likely that we should hit our desired release date of November 19th (Thought Bubble 2011) with time to spare.

Not only has Rob created interior art that will blow you away, he’s also designed the cover for both this book and the main Tales of the Fallen anthology (within whose pages BoB will make its home).

I cannot stress how happy I am to have been a part of this project. The team we’ve assembled here are a truly exceptional group of people and the book that we’ve produced is going to blow your socks off.

Since I can’t show you the last bit of art from Rob (for obvious spoiler reasons), here’s the very first piece he did. A stunning concept sketch of the not-quite-hero of our tale, Clancy Wallencheck.

You can read a 4 page preview of Band of Butchers by going to the main UNSEEN SHADOWS SITE and you can buy tickets to Thought Bubble and be one of the first people to read it by CLICKING HERE.

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Moon #2 Update

Some of you will probably have noticed that we’ve been banging on about releasing Moon #2 at the end of summer for quite some time now. You may also have spied that it is in fact the end of summer and Moon news has been a little thin on the ground. With that in mind I thought it would be good to jump on and give a little update on where the book is at and how long you can expect to wait to get it in your hands. So let’s get the difficult yet obvious statement out of the way right now:

Moon #2 will probably be out in November.

The reasons for the delay are a mix of personal issues and scheduling clashes which unfortunately took Steve out of action for a couple of months. While that may not seem a big deal in the scheme of things, when you’re dealing with a creative team which spans two hemispheres and who all have other professional commitments to work on, a couple of months can really knock things out of sync.

We looked at the dates a week or so ago and realised we had two choices: do it fast or do it right and for all three of us there is simply no debate on that point. Moon is too good a comic and its fans too good a bunch of people to turn in a half baked end result. The support that we’ve received from both the public and the press since launching Beyond The Bunker has been utterly overwhelming and to publish a book that we were not 100% happy with would feel like a betrayal to all of those people.

So what’s the plan? Well Steve is now working night and day to get Fallen Heroes #2 & Wrath of God finished and away to the folks at Unseen Shadows so that he can turn his full focus to Moon #2. Iv is fired up and ready to deliver some more mind blowing colours and I’m trying to sort out some more distribution methods so that you can get your fix as soon as possible. Plan A at the moment is to hold a launch event in London some time in mid-November and then have the con debut at Thought Bubble in Leeds.  If we can bring the book to MCM in October, we will, but right now we can’t promise anything.

Are we happy about this? Obviously not. When we started BTB one of the main things we wanted to do was get away from the slow publishing schedules of a lot of independent comics. While we know you guys are incredibly patient, we’ve never felt like that gives us the right to be sluggish in delivering stories to you. We promised to keep bringing Moon comics and we will keep bringing Moon comics, but this one’s taken longer than we wanted and for that we are honestly very sorry. The good news is that we’ve tackled the issues that caused the delay and lunar-gods willing, we should be churning these books out at a more respectable rate from here on out.

We’re going to try and be a lot more communicative with you guys in the run up to the book’s launch in order to ensure that as many people can get their hands on it as possible as soon as possible. Please keep checking back here for regular updates and remember to follow us on twitter @beyondthebunker and @danthompson2099. Whatever other work we do, Moon and its fans will always be priority A number 1.

It’s great, it’s coming, thank you for hanging in there.

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Win a Signed Copy of Moon #1 (And Other Goodies)

Hi chaps,

I’ve returned from my honeymoon to discover not only a pile of incredible Band of Butchers pages from Rob Carey but also an email from our friends over at Liberation Frequency. You may remember that we met LF a month or so back at the London Film and Comic Con and they were kind enough to both interview us and post up a review of the book.

Well, they’re now running a competition over on their website to win a copy of Moon #1 signed by both Steve and I. All you have to do is drop them an email and answer the question:

“If you were writing a comic who would your hero be and what superpower would they use to fight crime?”

The winner will not only get the aforementioned bit of big Moony history, but will also receive signed copies of Mister Who, Electric Man and London Horror as well as pile of posters and T-Shirts.

To enter the competition go to the LIBERATION FREQUENCY WEBSITE and send them your answer.

Good luck!

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