MCM

Sketches from MCM Expo

We’re a couple of weeks on from last month’s MCM Expo but I still keep finding left over bits and bobs in our various boxes and bags. One such find was some pics of sketches that Steve did for a couple of fans during the event, so I thought I’d throw them up here:

Nice little sketch of our hero.

 

An unorthodox request for a sketch, but as always, Steve obliged.

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Reports of the Eagle Awards Death "Greatly Exaggerated"

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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.

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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.

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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!

Moon 2: Page 17 pencils

Page 17 of Moon 2 in all its ‘leaden’ ‘glory’ presented for your perusal. Work on Moon 2 is continuing apace and is looking really rather good for the extra effort. Many, many pages are already back from Iv’s South American palette. She continues to teach English to 11 different schools so is achieving an incredible feat by putting out any Moon pages at all. We remain as ever in awe of the lass.

But what is going on here? Both characters from the previous book and new to the series having a fight about something. But what? And what does it have to do with Moon?

We’re not telling you. Sorry. Maybe stop by the Moon table at a future con (perhaps not Kapow or MCM – sorry as it might not be available by then) or attend the Moon Launch and we’ll reveal all for a measly £3.50. Stop by anyway!!

In the meantime – why not grab another copy of Moon 1? Seriously – one for the week, one for Sunday best.

Moon Goes Walkabout at The Excel Centre!

Turns out that we weren’t the only people from the Bunker to be out exploring the MCM Expo last week. In a surprise turn of events we’ve discovered photos proving that Moon himself was also out on patrol! Over the course of the day he changed outfits (as well as heights, weights and genders) several times but never once did he stop protecting the good people of London from the terrors of the unknown!

Moon's rocks a more feminine look than usual

His name is Moon and you are ok by him!

Moon auditions for a place in the Justice League

Just happy to be there

Moon indulges in his favourite past time of recreating famous classical paintings

Blue Moon

 

Thanks to everyone who agreed to pose for us at MCM. Moon will make a welcome return to the convention scene sometime in the future.

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MCM Expo This Weekend! Batman and Cosplay and Moon, Oh My!

If you’re at a loss for something to do this weekend then we at the Bunker would strongly suggest that you come check out the MCM (Movies, Comics & Manga) Expo at London’s Excel Centre! With competition cropping up from other major cons, MCM have pulled all the stops out this year and it honestly looks like it’s going to be a fantastic day out. You’ll be able to play all the latest games (including Arkham City), watch the many splendid (and not so splendid) cosplayers parading their fancy outfits and of course pick up a copy of Moon! There’s also a chance to meet Batgirl/Secret Six writer Gail Simone, Dr Who writer Tony Lee and tonnes of other guests too.

Last time we went to MCM we met a robot who liked comics. If you come then you could meet a robot who likes comics too!

 

MCM is a fantastic show and the sheer number of things to do there is utterly mindblowing. If you’ve not been before then give it a go. I promise you will not regret it!

We shall be at the Beyond the Bunker stall in the Comics Village so please do drop by and say hello. We will have the usual comics, badges and limited edition DVDs available plus you’ll be able to ask any questions about the forthcoming release of Tales of the Fallen.

If you’re not able to make it then you needn’t feel left out as I’ll be tweeting the days events all through the weekend. Just follow me on twitter to join in!

For details and directions CLICK HERE! See you there!

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TWO Major Convention Appearances This October

Following a couple of phone calls today, I’m pleased to announce that we will be attending both the Entertainment Media Show and the MCM Expo this coming October! These are two of the biggest geek/comic cons in the calendar and we’re very excited to have Moon as a part of them.

The first port of call in our autumn tour of the capital will be a return to Earls Court on the 1st & 2nd of October for the annual Entertainment Media Show. Guests this year include John Hurt, Alex Winter and Mother Effing Bossk! EMS is a chance to meet the stars of geek film and TV as well as browsing hundreds of stalls selling everything from comics and artwork to swords and robots. Check out our gallery of photos from the London Film and Comic Con in July for an idea of some of the great stuff and cool costumes you’ll get a chance to see.

It’s also only £6 to get in so it’s well worth it if you want a fun day out with some mates and don’t want to break the bank.

You can find details and tickets at their WEBSITE

Not long after the madness of EMS we’ll be heading to the other end of Londinium for our second appearance at the MCM Expo. MCM takes place at London’s Excel Centre from the 28th until the 30th October and is about as big as UK comic cons get. Over 60,000 people will descend on the con over a few days, clad (well many of them at least) in some of the most elaborate costumes ever conceived by the mind of geek. The show will be hosting panels and demos of all the biggest comics, games and movies of the coming year so if you want to get ahead of the game then this is the place to go.

You’ll probably want to book a weekend pass for this one as the Comic Village alone can take a whole day to properly explore.

There’s also wrestling.

Full details can be found HERE

It’s gonna be a busy month!

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What is The Super Comic Convention?

Ever since we got word that a non-MCM event would be taking up residence in the Excel Centre next February there’s been a lot of speculation about the identity of the newcomer (I say a LOT of speculation, in all honesty the topic has been mentioned once or twice and then dropped again because there was no new information to go on). We knew it was going to be comics focused, we knew Harry Markos (of UK publisher Markosia) was involved and that MCM were a bit peeved. Now though, with tickets on sale, the organisers have started to offer up a little more information. In an interview with Bleeding Cool the mysterious group of anonymous backers came clean on some of the events goals as well as tackling the question of why it exists in the first place.

“London Super Comic Convention is being organised by a number of people that have been brought together for the express purpose of providing what the UK has been lacking – a comic convention with not just 2 or 3 American guests, but with a substantial amount of American creators spanning the decades, from 60’s through to present day. As such and given the enormity of the task, the collective encompasses individuals from both the UK and US, who have both financial acumen and experience in different fields, with one common denominator – All are comic fans, who want nothing more than to have a UK show that can go toe to toe on a guest list basis with the larger American Shows, and have a show that truly rivals its American counterparts..”

If that statement sounds familiar, it’s because it’s almost the exact same statement that Mark Millar made when he announced Kapow! back in 2010…it’s also very similar to some of the claims made by MCM in this year’s publicity. It seems that if you want to sell a comic con to a British audience then you better damn well make it as American as possible.

So how does the new kid rack up against it’s competitors? Well for all the similarities in marketing, there are some key differences between Kapow! and SCC. For a start the newbie is about 4 times the size of Kapow in terms of raw floor space (though anyone who’s been to the Excel will tell you that just because they have the space, doesn’t mean it’s actually filled with anything).Secondly, while Mark Millar revelled in the film and game aspects of Kapow, SCC’s organisers have promised 100% comics and nothing else. This of course raises the question, are there enough convention going comic fans to justify filling the entire Excel with them? I hope so, but I suspect that they’re going to have dip into the Manga market quite heavily in order to do the numbers they want. Finally, if the SCC cabal are to be believed, they have a budget at their disposal that would make other comic cons weep. For all it’s killer line up Kapow did suffer from having very few American creators (Leinil Yu and John Romita Jnr apparently paid for their own flights to attend the con) and while it’s perfectly possible to produce an A list line-up without going abroad, there’s a lot of people who would pay good money to meet the likes of Brian Bendis and Matt Fraction.

Oddly enough, despite sharing a venue, MCM may well suffer less than a lot of people think from the encroachment of the new dog. For a start MCM isn’t really a comic con (shock horror). Sure it has a comic section, a very nice comic section, but it’s far from the focus of the event. MCM is about Manga, Cosplay and gaming and the comics are there as an icing on the cake rather than any kind of major jammy filling. Secondly the MCM events take place in May and October, well clear of SCC’s February show. If anything we should be sparing a thought for the poor Cardiff Comic Con who have suddenly found themselves with a juggernaut of a con taking place on exactly the same day as them!

The MCM and the SCC target crowds do overlap, but I’m not sure it’s quite as big as some people are making out. Despite fears that Kapow would dilute the attendance rate for existing cons, 2011 is shaping up to be a bumper year for convention attendance across the board. With geek culture on the rise, I don’t see the market as being at saturation point just yet. If anything the addition of a major con in the normally bare spring may help to stir up interest for events throughout the year.

So what about SCC’s own merits? Well the lineup so far is solid (but the first names announced always are) however the continuous references to “stars of the silver age” sets of a few alarm bells for me. Getting in the guy who drew Superman 30 years ago is fine if those were landmark Superman comics, getting him in because you can’t afford the guy who draws Superman now, not so much.

But that’s speculation. Right now the presence of a major con with apparently bottomless pockets seems largely positive to me. If done right it will draw in new fans, offer another chance for creators to get their books noticed and force the other cons to stretch for new levels of success. If it fails, well there’s still a whole year of cons to enjoy.

As for whether we’ll be attending, that will have to wait and see. Exhibitor prices haven’t been released yet, but once we know those, we’ll have a better idea of whether we can expect to see Moon kicking in the doors and demanding the shady council of SCC unmask…or more likely, buying novelty T-Shirts.

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MCM In Pictures

Evening chaps,

Thanks again to everybody who came and supported BTB at the MCM convention this week. I’ve run the final numbers and it looks like we had a record show for sales of Moon! By way of thanks I thought I’d share some of the photos we managed to grab over the weekend, including one of a certain Watchmen artist.

The Excel Centre (the pointy white bits) as seen from outside my flat. I was tempted to walk to the show...but I'd have drowned.

 

Comic Village 2 hours before the doors opened on Friday.

The hordes await.

It's hard to describe just how many people attend MCM. This is just a small sample. It's overwhelming in a really good way.

Robots love Comics too!

I think pretty much everyone took a photo of this sign over the weekend. Awesome stuff.

Dave Gibbons picks up his Lifetime Achievement Award at the Eagle Awards.

Sunday night. All done and dusted.

MCM by night.

Well that’s the lot. Hope you enjoyed our little behind the scenes look. Guess it’s time to start prepping for the next one now!

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Welcome to Beyond The Bunker

Morning chaps,

We’ve just gotten back from three days of madness at the MCM Expo in London. I’ll write up a full report in the next few days but I wanted to take a chance to say hi to all the people who bought a copy of Moon #1 and are checking out the site for the first time.

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!

If you want info on our sister title Fallen Heroes then you can find up to date info 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!

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 COMICS, FILMS and GAMES.

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

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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