Moon Launch T-Minus 4

Still a fair bit to arrange before the big gig on Saturday night. Meeting with Jude Benjamin of Skyskratcher tomorrow afternoon to scout the venue (that’s right man) and the Cold callers might put their heads round the door for a swift pint if I’m lucky. The design of badges seems to be a running theme at present. Who wants badges!!! Yeah, you do. I’m not gonna throw up a bucket load of stuff today – frankly you can talk too much – except to say – 4 MORE DAYS TO GO! Good time keeping the least of the services available here at Beyond the Bunker!!

Click for details of BTB's new comic

Moonday: Moon Preview (Moon)

As we move towards the final date before print we will post up previews of what the series will offer a few previews. I’d like to be able to tell you more than that. To begin with some sketches of some of the central characters;

The man himself. Trapped in a world he may not understand, armed only with a Glock Desert Flagle 9mm and a host of obscure and unreliable powers will this deity of love have what it takes to battle it out with the nefarious evils on the streets of modern day London? Will he prove himself to his partners and superiors within the Agency? Will Health and Safety ever realise they have an employee with no mouth, no eyes, no nose and no ears? Hard to say. The answers come thick and fast in Moon.

Moonday: Moon Preview (Shades Rodriguez)

As we move towards the final date before print we will post up previews of what the series will offer a few previews. I’d like to be able to tell you more than that. To begin with some sketches of some of the central characters;

Introducing Shades Rodriguez. Rogue Cop. What are his intentions for Moon? Will his personal conflict between personal sense of duty and overriding hatred for the man with the Moon for the head be the death of them both? Will his application to the NRA and Happy Monday’s Fan Club ever come back? Find out in the pages of Moon.

Under The Influence 1 – Due South

If you watched the Friday Film this week (and there’s no reason you shouldn’t dammit!) then you might have noticed a couple of gags about Canadian television. As a little background to the story, I was doing some Stand Up gigs over in Alberta some years ago and so I had found myself regularly searching my brain for Anglo-Canadian topics to talk about. There was plenty of mileage to be gained from “aren’t American’s dumb” gags but what I really wanted to find was something positive that our nations shared rather than just taking cheap pops at the US. I was during one of these gigs that I, on a whim, decided to have a rant about the absurdities of the Canadian made, Due South. The second I made reference to the unforgettable Benton Fraser and his mythical ability to track serial killers by licking crap he found on the road, the room lit up with a kind of childlike amazement. It was like I’d taken the lid off an old box and revealed to the audience some long lost treasure that they’d forgotten they ever owned and for a moment we all just sat and giggled at the memory of this rather silly TV show.

So what is Due South? Well if you’ve not seen it before I’ll give you the basics, however I can pretty much guarantee that your eyebrow will go up at least three times during the next paragraph.
Due South was a Canadian made police comedy-drama that ran for 67 glorious episodes between 1994 and 1999. It told the story of a Canadian Mountie by the name of Benton Fraser, who is forced to move to Chicago after uncovering an environmental corruption scandal in his homeland. Once there he teams up with a straight talking CPD detective named  Ray Vecchio and proceeds to solve crimes aided by a deaf wolf called Diefenbaker (who adopted Fraser after saving his life) and the slightly mad ghost of his murdered father…who’s also a Mountie. Still with me? Good. Fraser has no idea of how American culture works, but he does have the aforementioned ability to obtain stupid amounts of information about a case by licking dung he finds at crime scenes – he doesn’t have any powers, apparently all Mounties can do that. The parts of Fraser and Ray were played by Paul Gross and David Maraciano respectively, except for the latter two seasons in which Maraciano is replaced by an actor named Callum Keith Rennie, the backstory being that Ray has gone undercover and so a new person has joined the force in order to impersonate him so that the mob don’t get suspicious, thus everyone has to refer to him as Ray even though he’s clearly not Ray. Still with me now? I’m not sure even I am to be honest!

The late Leslie Nielsen appeared in several episodes as legendary Mountie, Buck Frobisher.

Yeah, it was utterly bonkers, but that was the point. It was packaged as a police drama and played totally straight, but make no mistake, Due South was a comedy at heart. A deadpan love letter to the way Americans and Canadians see one another. As well as an exercise in cross border relations, the show was also a masterclass in the theatre of the absurd. Writer/Creator Paul Higgis (who went on to write Million Dollar Baby, Crash and Casino Royale) would take the most unimaginably outrageous storylines and then blast them off into the ether to see if the audience would go along for the ride – in one episode Fraser tracks down a suspect by sniffing the breath of a passing rat in order to determine the brand of barbecued ribs it had been eating! It’s an exercise in silliness which, in my opinion, is only equalled by Batman (that’s the Adam West version in case you’re in any doubt…unless Chris Nolan is even more crafty a writer than I thought).

The crazy thing is that among all this, the show still works as a police drama. The cases are interesting, the characters compelling and the relationships believable. It’s just great TV writing and something that I, even now, occasionally throw on if I’m looking for some inspiration (I have in the past described Moon as a love letter to Due South, it’s not strictly true but it’s not entirely untrue either).

Sadly the American audience never really agreed and despite the show being a hit in the UK and Canada, it was cancelled after 4 series. The DVDs can be a bit of a pain to get hold of, but if you can track them down then I highly recommend it. If nothing else it’ll give you an insight into our work.

Now get on your horse and RIDE!



Moonday: Moon Preview (The Chief)

As we move towards the final date before print we will post up previews of what the series will offer a few previews. I’d like to be able to tell you more than that. To begin with some sketches of some of the central characters;

Introducing Chief, no fuss director of the Agency. Without Coffee a force to be reckoned with; with Coffee; a significantly more focussed force to be watched out for.

BTB announced as guests for London Comic and Small Press Expo 2011!

This coming March sees the return of the London Comic and Small Press Expo and Beyond The Bunker will be there in force! Not only will you be able to be one of the first people on the planet to pick up issue 1 of Moon, you’ll also have a chance to get your greedy hands on a copy of Martin Conaghan and Steve Penfold’s comic book adaptation of Barry Nugent’s best selling, Fallen Heroes! Best of all, you’ll be able to meet the team, laugh at their silly hair and (if your so inclined) force them to sign your comics.

Fallen Heroes

When? – 12th March 2011
Where? – Goldsmiths University London
Why?  –  Because first edition Moon comics smell of awesome.

For more info and a list of exhibitors check out the LCSPE website!



Moonday: Moon Preview (Ray Barton)

As we move towards the final date before print we will post up previews of what the series will offer a few previews. I’d like to be able to tell you more than that. To begin with some sketches of some of the central characters;

Introducing Ray Barton. Best friend, long term partner and confidant to Moon.

Pages? Where we’re going we don’t need pages.

Evening all,

As well as playing an insane amount of Fable 3, I’ve been doing a bit of site redecorating as of late so I do hope you like the way things are going. There’s a few more changes in the pipeline (including a fair bit of rather exciting Moon related news), so keep an eye out for those in the next few weeks.

I’m freakin in love with the Comixology app on my iPhone at the moment. I chewed my way through most of the free comics in about a day and am now well and truly a slave to Robert Kirkman’s Walking Dead epic. I’m notoriously bad at resisting cool looking digital stuff and at £5.99 for 6 issues I’m having to make an active effort not to blow all my spare cash on zombie related goodies. The book itself is as awesome as everyone says it is. More than most, Kirkman really knows how to end an issue in a way that makes you go right out and buy the next one. It’s like the first season of Lost…but with fewer bears. The thing that’s amazed me so much is how quickly I’ve grown to love the Guided View style of reading comics (essentially the screen flows panel to panel, rather than showing you the entire page). The biggest difference is that you no longer have the idea of each page being a mini story and instead just push on continuously to the end of the issue. It’s a different style to the one I’m used to and given how much time I spend working on page layouts, I should probably be less enthusiastic about this change in the way our stories are told. But then, it wasn’t that long ago that we thought every issue had to start with a splash page or that thought bubbles were a good idea. Our form of storytelling is, by it’s very nature, a very fluid one and if new technology allows us to tell our tales in new ways then I that can only be a good thing…up until the point we’re all struck down with RSI at least.

Now if you’ll excuse me, me and my dog, Growlbion, have got a kingdom to save/wreck.


Steve Penfold is shitting himself

Dan has failed violently to post up his Friday Film. It is now 4.30am on Sunday. I tried to give him enough room to slap it all up before I started posting up again so I’m just going to blog and I have insomnia so am trying to fill the time before morning.

It could be said that I am shitting myself due to the fact that we have less than 11 weeks to complete Moon 1 before we know that we have missed the printing date for Cardiff and London conventions. This involves completing 22 pages of colour, 6 more pages of pencil and pen. Get them print ready, sent to Florida (at present) via Ka-blam printers, printed and sent back in time to start selling.

It could be that I am shitting myself as I will be responsible for the design of the cover, thereby causing me to be responsible for its success / failure in numbers of sales. Or that I won’t be able to put in for the banners in the background or the printing itself if I don’t get enough work between now and January- and that January is typically a seasonal dip for all industries I occupy.

Part of it is likely that I’m actually scared of the potential success of Moon. A life coach (or Guru as I like to call him) that I had a fear of success and that I taught myself in a classroom as a child that if I hid my intelligence I would be more popular, beginning a lifetime of very convincingly proving to the world that I am stupid by (but not limited to) trying to cut my own hair with a bic razor, eating a map needed to cover the final route on a 200 mile journey en route, losing a brown beach hut among three rows of brown beach huts because it had been repainted white,  putting contact details on a CV intended for a job my Dad had lined up in Australia as prompting the receiver to enquire if it was a joke, turning my back on Dan during a firefight and most recently throwing away the bin lid with the rubbish without realising. Another is of course, the length of the last sentence.

However, most likely its because I’m going paint balling with my girlfriend in just a couple of hours. I genuinely don’t know what to expect on this one.

Friday Film: The Day The Moon Got Too Close

Every Friday we descend into the vaults here at Bunker HQ and dig out one of the many fine (and occasionally not so fine) films that we have produced over the years. Come join us for another instalment of cinematic silliness.

We have a fair few old film projects to get through over the next few weeks, so I thought it made sense to start with the one responsible for this whole daft endeavour. This is the origin of our beloved Moon. A 90 second film, produced several years ago for some Motorolla competition. The brief was to make a film based on the tagline “The Day The Moon Got Too Close” and after a quick brain storming session with Paul, the cop with a Moon for a head was thrust upon the world. The guy playing this early version of Shades is a buddy of ours from a band called Silvers who are rather wonderful. Apologies for the image quality, it was uploaded back in the days when youtube only liked very small files, there’s a better quality one over on the (infuriatingly hard to embed) vimeo page if you prefer.

It is now my birthday and there is fudge to consume.


-edit- Steve worked out Vimeo embedding so I’ve replaced the Youtube link for the vimeo one. If you’re particularly fond of Youtube then you can find that version of the vid here.

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