Moon comic

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 Launch 2: The Build-up

We are very quickly moving towards Moon Launch 2. Final touches to the book still need to be completed, extra material, colours, graphics, bit of lettering and effects but as soon as those are complete Moon Launch 2 is a go. Currently scouts are moving through the underbelly of central London, trying to find the perfect location for just such an event Music license, music equipment, fine bar, good atmosphere, reasonably priced alcohol and a door from which the good Moon fans can pick up their brand new spanking copy of Moon 2.

This is the point at which the pressure is greatest, as the finished product forms right in front of our disbelieving eyes. The strange things is seeing how these things develop as each layer is put on. From the first panel of Moon 1 to the last page of Moon 2, little has changed in terms of story, humour and style, but slight tweaks and improvements to Moon 2 mean that it will most likely be a much more slick affair. No typos for starters – though one was indentified in 1 that neither me nor Dan had ever noticed and that no fan has ever commented upon. First to write the typo in the comments below gets a free copy of Moon 2.

BTB Film – The Original Moon Film

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c10qyeCe77s&w=853&h=480]

To kick it off we have the sketch that started it all. Produced back in 2008 by me, my now wife and my good friend (and great film maker in his own right) Paul Wade, “The Day The Moon Got Too Close” is the answer to the much asked question “where did you come up with a guy with a Moon for a head.” Basically the brief of the competition we were doing was to create a film based on the aforementioned title and whilst many people went for After Effects powered shots of giant Moons in the sky, we went with something a little…different.

It looks really dated now (especially the quality of the video) but it remains one of the most enjoyable films I’ve ever made. From hanging out of a speeding Vauxhall Corsa with a camera to having papier mache dripping on my face (yes that’s me under the Moon head), it was zero budget film making at it’s most fun. I still have the chipped tooth I gained from the headbutt shot.

Enjoy.

D
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Moon 2: Big Things are Happening

Watch the immediate space around your planet. The orbiting satelite is beginning to stir again after a long ol’ time in the icy cold. His partner in danger, a rebel traffic warden on the loose, gun toting mercenaries wrecking diners and a mysterious power that speaks with strange speech bubbles in the background of it all.

Who killed Councillor Hugh Griffiths? Only Moon can find out in the upcoming Moon 2…

Moon has been away too long and you will find that the updates here are going to decidedly more intense and significantly more original as the return of Moon becomes an certainty.

For all of those who have waited patiently and to those who have just discovered him – Moon is on his way back to see us and we can promise that the result is going to be unlike anything you’ve ever seen in British comic books (while still remaining vaguely familiar).

The Moon is among us. Watch out for his big Moony head.

Unfortunately whether or not we will hit London Film and Comicon is still in doubt however we are making sure that the best comic that we can put together is on it’s way. So keep your eyes on this space for more updates and goodies regarding our resident defender of Albion (nay, the world!!)

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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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
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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!

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
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Moon 2: Page 17 inks

We’re not showing you much of Moon 2 we admit – it’s a precarious balance between giving you all something to look forward to and giving away the plot – but there are great movements in the life of Moon – more perhaps than you’d expect. Enough, even to put him off of Coke Floats.

Will he be afraid of Coca Cola and Ice Cream? Will the events of Moon 2 change everything about the life of our hero? Yes, yes is the answer. Everything you know about Moon is open target in the rip-roaring new Moon book. Crazy Shennanigans!!

Who are the Agency? What happens to Ray? Why is Shades Rodriguez rowing with that woman? Where is Agent Seven? Who sent the Bingo Moles into battle? Who shot Councillor Hugh Griffiths? All this and more in the upcoming edition of Moon!

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 Digital Edition is Here!

Rejoice, fans of digital comics! Moon is now available to buy, download and read wherever you like! It will cost you just 99¢ (that’s about 69p to any fellow Brits) and can be viewed on your Desktop, Android, iPhone or iPad.

The book really does look stunning on a digital device and is well worth picking up, even if you already have the print edition (Steve and Iv’s artwork looks even more impressive when zoomed in close).

To check out a preview of the book, CLICK HERE and if you need a reminder as to why Moon is worth your time, here it is.

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