Moon comic

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

Moon 2 Preview

Moon 2 is on it’s way folks!! We will try to make sure that updates are here every Monday from now on – though this is difficult to maintain so there are no spoilers – and what spoilers there could be!! Remember of course that Moon is currently at the mercy of the mysterious Bingo Mole soldiers and the mercenary killer that has shot Ray. Electrocuted, weakened and surrounded Moon will of course try to make his escape. However, will it go to plan? For starters he needs his car and it looks like it’s being nicked by a certain Shades Rodriguez….

Stay tuned to Beyond the Bunker on Mondays for the Moon face’s return… he’s coming back and we hope you’re looking forward to it as much as we are…

P.S. These are draft pencil and ink work and mock lettering – not the final look of the panel… just so you know…

Thought Bubble 2011 In Pictures

Well it’s now a week on from Thought Bubble 2011 and I figured it was high time we got our pics up online. In all honesty I was sceptical about TB when we booked it. I was pretty certain that the social side would be fun but the cost of trekking up to Leeds for 2 days had me worried about whether it would prove to be a very expensive holiday rather than a smart venture for the book. I’m happy to say that my fears were unfounded. Not only was the social aspect of the show everything we’d hoped for, but the good people of Leeds took Moon into their hearts with as much relish as their Southern cousins. The event itself was incredibly well organised and the general vibe was amazing too. We returned smiling, exhausted and very happy to have not only helped launch Tales of the Fallen but to have brought Moon to a whole new audience.

But enough of that, on to the pictures!

One of the real highlights of the show was getting to walk around Leeds itself. It's a genuinely lovely city.

The full set of collectable Moon badges that we debuted at the con. These are only available at live shows.

One of several sketches that Steve drew for our awesome fans.

Unseen Shadows: Tales of the Fallen rolls off the press.

 

Me holding down the fort while Steve wandered the freezing streets, handing out flyers. (Photo by Jon Lock)

Gloriously under-dressed at the Casino on Saturday night.

Myself, Martin Conaghan and Peter Rogers during the Unseen Shadows panel. (photo by Vicky Stonebridge)

Band of Butchers being discussed in the Unseen Shadows panel. (photo by Vicky Stonebridge)

Picked up some great books at the event but my favourite take away was this gift from Rob Carey: an original page from Band of Butchers. It's going on my wall.

The local Roller Derby team gets their skates behind Moon.

The girls were a huge help in drumming up interest in the book over the weekend. We repaid them by ruining this perfectly good photo with the addition of our idiot faces.

Thought Bubble has without a doubt become one of our favourite experiences of the year and it’s a con we’ll definitely return to. Lovely city, lovely people, lovely comic con.

Now onwards to 2012!

D
x

Moon Returns to Kapow Comic Con!

We’re very happy to announce that Beyond the Bunker will be returning to the Kapow Comic Con next May!

Launched by Kick Ass/Ultimates writer Mark Millar earlier this year, Kapow has already secured its status as one of the UKs top comic cons. It’s a grand day out and (unlike some other cons) is designed to appeal to both hardcore fans and casual fans alike. It’s a fantastic event and we’re really excited to be a part of it.

The Kapow website is in the process of being updated ready for the event but keep one eye right here on the bunker for updates on the guest list and other Kapow related news!

Kapow 2011 at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London

See you there!

D
x

 

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.

D
x

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.

D
x

He's Moon and you are OK with him.

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!

D
x

 

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.

D
x

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!

D
x

 

 

 

 

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.

D
x

Page 2 of 512345