November 2010

Practitioners 6: Patricia Mulvihill

Admittedly, occasionally there is a pecking order in comic books. The content and context attributed to the writer and the visual acuity always attributed to the artist (penciller) with the remaining accolade available to the inker- presuming its not also the penciller. However, one relative unknown in the comics industry enhanced the shape of an already exceptional series created by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso. While her name never appeared on any front covers of the 13 Graphic novels generated by its run, 100 Bullets would never have been so affecting and impressive a read for the reader without the skills of Patricia Mulvihill.

Taking the lines of Eduardo Risso – and taking on the torch passed by Grant Goleash after issue 15 of 100 Bullets (that ultimately ran for a further 85) – Mulvihill emellished and enhanced the contours and shapes formed by the stark black and white detail of Risso’s inks. With a simplistic and uncluttered layout it is perhaps too easy to overwhelm and distract from the artwork but Mulvihill brought the artwork into even greater focus with an advanced and misleadingly simple-looking palette of colours. A profound understanding of the correct use of opposing shades and colours – simple environments – even those rendered by an artist such as Risso – were converted into emotional spaces. Ignoring conventional lighting and tonal rules a powerful display of colours was applied generating tension, clarity, danger, fear, wonder and languishing emotion and lust. It is a true professional who makes something so delicate and precise look so infinitely simple and I believe Patricia Mulvihill deserves recognition for her contribution.

Mark Millar Announces Major Comic Con in 2011!

Morning chaps,

I know we don’t as a rule cover breaking news here at BTB, but sometimes things happen in our industry that are worth talking about as much and as soon as possible. As of late many of these things seem to have started with the words “Mark Millar” and this is no exception.

This week, the creator of Kick Ass, Wanted and The Ultimates announced the Kapow Comic Con, a major international comic and film convention to be held in central London next April!

Millar’s been on a crusade to put Britain back on the global comics map over the last year. Clint was a nice idea which is showing some real long term promise (and is a fantastic read), but a convention of this size could well be a massive step forwards for British comic fans and creators. As with any new venture, we’ll have to see how it pans out, but with names like Dave Gibbons, Lenil Yu and John Romita Jnr already announced, this really looks like it could be a big one.

Colour us excited!


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 Classic: Caelum Priory 3

Caelum Priory was a sprawling battlefield drama set in the provincial future city state of Caelum Priory. Written by Thomas Boosz it sadly never managed to live up to its potential as the exhaustive nature and scale of it required an enormous amount of development work. Pages and pages of architecture, technology, character designs and weaponry and vehicles were generated. More so than for any project I’ve worked on before or since. Almost all of it (including pages of the book) were lost when a low standard hard drive took a slight knock and broke the pin that reads the information. According to the retailer it’ll cost £700 to retrieve any information from it. An enormous amount of work is still on it and it sits on the back of my desk in the blind hope that one day, before the technology becomes entirely redundant I’ll have the money to retrieve the data. Frankly folks, it’d be a treasure trove of old artwork – only a fraction of which I have available to post here without it. Still, its about the new and interesting, right?

Mystery Colourist: The applicants

Ladies and Gentlemen I give you – the colourists. Those assembled here were the respondents to our request to find a colourist using an ad via our colourist for Fallen Heroes. Included here are some of the most talented unsigned colourists the world has to offer. Its quite a thing when you are presented by such a massive group of talented and enthusiastic individuals – particularly when you realise they come from almost literally every corner of the world. However, from this bunch we have chosen and the colour work of our colourist for Moon and the colourist for Fallen Heroes are both visible in this set. Please take a good long look at the exceptional work available here and if you want to see more head over to my deviantart page ( and click on the links in my journal showcasing these same guys to be transported to their specific galleries on DA. Every one of them is worth a look. Our colourist for Moon (and Fallen Heroes) will be revealed next week.


Cheers. Steve P.

BTB Film – Bush Fucker Smile

Our theme of dredging up dodgy stuff from our university days continues this week. In 2005 I performed my first solo stand up show subtly titled “Bush Fucker Smile”. It was all about how a nice middle class boy learns to be an activist and why the Iraq War was a really silly idea. The show itself was kinda hit and miss (hey, it was my first try) but the opening video was actually pretty good in a silly, low-fi kinda way. You’ll recognise Al Crow and Andy Cherry from The Day The Moon Got Too Close and this is as good a chance as any to once again plug their band Silvers as they have a gig next week in Brick Lane.


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!



The Inventory

For those of you who are thinking ‘these guys are clearly heavily equipped to produce the sort of incredible high end stuff they put out every week’. Think again!

We’re running on;

  • Four HB Staedtler pencils.
  • 1 standard metal sharpener.
  • 1 almost spent Daler Rowney kneadable Soft Putty Eraser (small).
  • Four A3 (297 x 420mm) Acid Free 130gsm Cartridge Paper pads.
  • A set 5 of Copic Multiliner pens 0.3 to 0.7 with 7 type B cartridges.
  • One T Square.
  • 100 WHSmith DVD-R Recordable DVDs (4.7 GB, 8x Speed, approx 128 mins)
  • 100 Verbatim Paper CD Sleeves
  • 1 PC (Built for Games)
  • 1 Mac Pro with 2 Disc Drives, 16GB RAM, 2 2.66 Xeon ‘Westmere’ 6 core processors (12 core), 1TB of Memory space, 1 Supermouse.
  • 1 Adobe Creative Suite 5 Masters Edition (all the Adobes), 1 broken copy of Final Cut Pro, 1 download of
  • 1 copy of Microsoft Word, 1 copy of Microsoft Excel.
  • 1 TB ‘Mybook’ External Hardrive and 1 160GB ‘My Passport’ external harddrive.
  • 1 Canon Lide 700f Flatbed A4 Scanner
  • 1 PD150 DV Camera
  • 1 Tripod 7ft (bubble spirit level)
  • 1 Wide Angle Lens, 1 Matte Box, 5 Lens Filters (insert into Matte Box), 1 Front mounting light, 1 Battery Pack for light (clips on belt).
  • 12 Sony Mini DV Digital Video Cassettes (60 min).

… so we’re basically running on nothing. Not even a directors chair. Tut.

The Practitioners 5: Eduardo Risso

Following on from the previous feature on Brian Azzarello we’re looking at the other creative that made 100 Bullets what it was – a pivotal, gravitational piece of visceral and memorable power.

Only an artist with the craftsmanship to make a coffee machine a focus in a scene filled with tension and intrigue could have maintained the awe inspiring integrity and scope of a series like 100 Bullets. Every once in a while an artist will simply prove the power of a black line on a white canvass and no one shows the clarity and purpose of line placement better than Eduardo Risso. He is the dangerous surgeon of the practitioners – his knowledge of anatomy, feature and form informing a sharp, efficient and unflinching style that tears the page between pitch blackness and sharp simple colours – a playground for colourists Grant Goleash and Patricia Mulvihill. In a yankee-centric medium Risso is now synonomous with Brian Azzarello and 100 Bullets, however Eduardo Risso is a multinational artist reknowned in North and South America and Europe for his graphic, noirish linework and efficient and poster-natural artwork. As a western reader, embedded in American comic books anyone’d be forgiven for believing his name was made in the US. Not so.

Like a wandering Mariachi, Risso was born in Leones in Córdoba Province, Argentina and started as a cartoonist in 1981, drawing his first collaborations for the morning paper La Nación and the magazines Erotiocon and Satiricon in his home country. In 1986, he worked for Eura Editoriale of Rome, Italy, and in 1987 he drew Parque Chas, scripted by Ricardo Barreiro. The series was first published by Fierro in Argentina, comic history, and then by Totem in Spain, Comic Art in Italy and finally the complete series as a graphic novel in France, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Holland, Poland and the United States – no doubt catching the attention of comic industry decision makers there. In 1988, he drew Cain, again scripted by Barreiro, again in Black and White giving rise to a clear inking style that was unforgiving to detail. With each new series Risso’s work has increased in clarity and precision.

He is prolific in his work – every year of working on 100 Bullets turfing up other work including Batman 620-625. Most recently he can be found in the pages of Logan 1-3. The canuckle head giving a character that could’ve been born with Risso in mind to Risso’s gritty and dominating style. While 100 Bullets remains Risso’s most prominent achievement (covering 11 years of his working history and earning him an Eisner for Best Artist) we haven’t seen the best of him yet.

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.

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