Rob Carey

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.

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His Name is James Bond

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aT8lJEgEuTk&w=853&h=480]

 

Very much not safe for work but very very funny. Turns out that on reflection James Bond is a complete tool and so Youtuber Running Corners decided to make a song celebrating this. It has a definite Adam & Joe vibe to it, albeit with a lot more swearing.

Perhaps not surprisingly, this came to my attention via the twisted and brilliant Rob Carey. He has some new art on his blog and you should go look at it.

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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: 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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Band of Butchers Cover Revealed

A lot of you already know that I have a new comic coming out in November and the publishers went public with the cover today so I’m finally allowed to let you have a wee look. It’s the tale of a former Marine coming to terms with the killer he’s become. It’s also about lots of people getting shot. The cover and interior art is by Rob “Indifference Engine” Cary, colours are by Vicky Stonebridge and Letters come from Paul McLaren.

It’s being released as part of the Unseen Shadows: Tales of the Fallen collection and is shaping up to be really really good. I really can’t wait to see this one in print.

Oh, and it’s also not quite as kid friendly as Moon…sorry.

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Fallen Heroes 2, Page 2: Full Preview

Page 2 of the upcoming second issue of Fallen Heroes, due to be released at Thought Bubble in November. Work continues apace on the collected edition of Unseen Shadows, featuring 5 of its central characters (Ben Ashodi (The Hand), Clancy Wallencheck, Napoleon Stone, Stephanie Connisbee) in one shot stories in one tome. Featuring work from Dan Thompson, Pete Rogers, Richard Clements, Cy Dethan, Corey Brotherson, Roy Huteson Stewart, Rob Carey, Conor Boyle, Cormac Hughes, Gat Melvyn, Vicky Stonebridge, Paul Mclaren, Nic Wilkinson and myself (Steve Penfold).

Check out www.Unseenshadows.com for more deets.

Band of Butchers Colours

A couple of weeks back I posted up Rob Carey’s pencils & inks for page one of Clancy Wallencheck: Band of Butchers. Well, since that time the very talented Vicky Stonebridge has been hard at work on the colours and it is now my great pleasure to show off a little of her work. I continue to be blown away by the talent of everyone involved in this comic and I really can’t wait for you dear bunkerites to have a chance to read it. Head over the the UNSEEN SHADOWS OFFICIAL SITE for some more colours as well as details on how YOU can be involved in the upcoming Unseen Shadows Audio Drama.

Band of Butchers is out in November.

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(I’m afraid that there is no Monsieur Poppaleux this week. Charles Crimpsphincter has been arrest on allegations of phone hacking and the Poppaleux archives have been seized as evidence. Oddly enough Monsieur P himself remains at large.)

First Page From Band of Butchers

I held off on posting this for a while because I wanted to give the other guys a chance to show it off, but with Page 2 already in my inbox and preliminary colours starting to roll in as well, I think it’s about time to show it off. The pencils and inks here are the work of Rob Carey and I hope that you’re as excited about them as I am.

Band of Butchers is a one shot comic, written by myself, which details the early career of mercenary, Clancy Wallencheck. For regular updates on the project keep coming back here or check out the UNSEEN SHADOWS WEBSITE.

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