March 2011

Introducing Gat Melvyn: Colourist on Fallen Heroes

Following on from our introduction of Moon colourist Ivanna Matilla this week we thought we’d like to introduce the longest standing colourist associated with Beyond the Bunker. The SA based Mr Gat Melvyn. In the early days of Fallen Heroes I had run up some pencil and ink pages and drafts but was wondering whether to handle the colours myself. It was a line in the sand because I had never considered completing digital painting – and still remain a little slow at it. I was in contact via Deviantart an artist from South Africa named Gat Melvyn. I had found his work on a Marvel Heroes Forum where he had completed the colouring of Phoenix and Emma Frost, both reclining in front of a starfeild. The depth and clarity of colour and the use of natural phenomena and bold lighting and tones led me directly to it. Having asked him to work with us on Fallen Heroes he jumped on board with both feet and put out two of the most impressive pages I’d ever seen for pages 1 and 2. He then improved page by page. FH put up enormous challenges for Gat and myself as we found our way but I couldn’t have asked for a better partner in crime.

INTERESTS: Painting, Playstation, Magic: The gathering, clubbing, photography, drums, cinema

An editor at Boston City Campus, Gat is many things to many people in his home country of SA, simultaneously an old-fashioned gentleman, old-school metal-boy and hardcore Christian. Currently residing in Evendale, East of Johannesburg in South Africa where he’s lived all his life. As a kid, Gat says, he was quiet and whiled away the hours enjoying a blank page or a colouring book and box of markers and crayons. He’s tried as many different creative outlets before landing at the colourist stage as art took a back seat when entering High School. Turning his hand to Drama with a love of the stage became his main focus, learning to play the drums in mid 2002 and being a founding member of the band, Broken Lyrics, with their hit single ‘ Who the hell melted the Chocolate Chips?’ (yet to be released in the UK) but in his own and sort of Bono’s own words he ‘still hadn’t found what he was looking for.’
Studying film editing, scriptwriting, animation and directing, DGat graduated with a BA in Motion Picture Medium in 2006. It was only in late 2008 that Gat had a crack at digital painting (the acceptable adult version of sitting flat on the living room floor with your legs in the air and a pad and crayons). He describes his first works as “like a 5-year old on a sugar high, left with crayons and Mom’s wall,” but the possibilities that Photoshop offered him has grabbed him and refuses to let go.
A year later, he coloured his first story for and a few months later, a young Brit by name of Steve Penfold offered him the chance to work on a new project, FALLEN HEROES!

A great character, Gat’s colours are bold, gripping and exciting. Its mainstream colouring but with sweeping and beautiful attention to detail. The thing that sets Gat apart from almost every other colourist is the magic effects he pulls with smoke, dust, fire, air and light. Notoriously the most difficult elements in colouring because of their incredibly delicate and detailed nature, Gat handles them like they’re just flat mat wall paints. Enhancing battle and even dialogue pieces his light play and detail effects put him in the top percentile of technicians. I would classify Gat as an Engineer of light as his application of colours and tones is incredibly enhanced by his finishes and effects. Not to say that his initial colouring isn’t masterful. For someone who has spent so little time mastering his art, Gat’s work reflects a awesome palette for high arcane and superhero artwork in particular. Embattled throughout Fallen Heroes, he took constant alterations and reedits really well. While I knew he was swearing like a trooper somewhere in Evendale, SA, none of it reflected back – he was the epitomy of professionalism and determination. As such and because he held true I think Fallen Heroes his strongest work to date and I can’t wait to see his new work on FH 2 and another project – to be announced soon….

There was one crack though and frankly a brilliant one at the finish of Fallen Heroes Gat expressed a fat ‘with all due respect, Fuck You’ which was well placed given the amount of pressure he’d been placed under. Obviously, there’s no hard feelings at all between me and Gat (if I had the money I’d like to fly to SA and meet him in Evendale) because we got the job done (now available at in digital format) and I can’t wait to work with him again. He’s one of the rawest talents in the world and I consider him a partner on any project we work on. Even if he did call me Steven Pemrose in a recent E-mail. Pemrose? What?

There’ll be Gat spat all over this site every Thursday as we present a gallery of his work over the coming months!! Keep it here Bunkerites!!


Garfield Minus Garfield Creator Brings Us The Existential Despair of Charlie Brown

Back in 2008 Web Comic artist, Dan Walsh hit upon the unique idea of photoshopping Garfield out of his own comic and turned it into “a journey deep into the mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness and depression in a quiet American suburb”. It’s haunting, troubling and stupidly funny.

Now, several years down the line, Walsh is back with a new project entitled 3eanuts. In this project he has taken a collection of Charles Schultz’s Peanuts strips and removed the forth panel. Bereft of their punchlines, Charlie Brown and friends now inhabit a strange, lifeless world in which they chastise each other, wander around aimlessly and (with worrying regularity) long for the sweet release of death.

“Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comics often conceal the existential despair of their world with a closing joke at the characters’ expense. With the last panel omitted, despair pervades all.”

It’s every bit as funny as Garfield Minus Garfield and thoroughly deserves to attain the same cult status as its cat lacking sibling. Add it to your morning viewings, Bunkerites. You will not be disappointed.


The Greatest Cover Letter Ever Written

We know a thing or two about writing cover letters around here. It’s pretty much the most excruciating thing you have to do as a writer and there is literally no end to the things that I will do to try and put off writing one. This, however is the work of a man who does not fear the mighty cover letter.

Are you barfing rainbows yet?

According to Geekosystem What follows is a copy of a letter that was allegedly received by several publishing houses in the US. It’s a work of genius and you owe it to yourselves to read it. Is it real? Is it fake? Either way, the rules have changed.

Dear [Agent / Editor]

Prepare to be blown away. In your hands you hold the first four pages of my debut epic, VIOLET THUNDER. You have the truly unique opportunity to be one of the first to read a work that will undoubtedly revolutionize the publishing world. Borrowing tropes from the epic fantasy, supernatural detective, and harlequin romance genres, I have crafted the first wholly original masterpiece in probably at least a century.

I know quality writing, and know a lot of other people who know quality writing. A sample chapter presented to my mother’s book club was described as, and I quote, “like nothing they had ever read before”. My high school English teacher told me that I should submit it right away, even though I only shared the first half of the first draft.

Now, I understand that conventionally you are expecting to see the first five pages. I haven’t done that. Instead I am sending the first FOUR, so convinced am I that what you hold in your (no doubt trembling) hands is 20% better than anything you have ever read. Ever. Now, I am intimately familiar with everything you publish, but to avoid embarrassing any of your other authors I will not name names. Suffice it to say that when you finish VIOLET THUNDER it is very likely that you will forget them, and will likely shit joy and barf rainbows.

My story follows the adventurous life of Sir Reginald Garret Von White Castle, a 900 year old katana wielding swordfighter from Prussia who, despite his great age and staggering accomplishments chooses to associate with and speak exactly like a modern day high school kid. From the opening line “I always knew that, in teh end, I would be fucked by unicorns and glitter” to the mind blowing dénouement, Reginald leads you through a clandestine world of classic and completely new supernatural creatures who have all chosen to masquerade as high schoolers in a typical Midwest town with no defining features or characteristics. This is so a reader could easily imagine him- or herself there (VIOLET THUNDER will appeal to both genders, and anyone who is or ever has gone through a trying transition to adulthood).

VIOLET THUNDER begins when Reggie’s best friend Bob is kidnapped from the high school shower after third period gym. Bob is a figmentationist, a person who can make anything happen that he imagines, except that it is never useful or impactful, and generally only functions when it is convenient for me, the author, to have it do so. Obviously Reggie isn’t going to stand for this, so he sets upon a journey of discovery, where he confronts glowing magic vampires, a succubae sponsored lesbian biker gang, mean cheerleaders, the sexually repressed high school councilor who is also a troll, and many other things so shocking that you need to read them in context to avoid some sort of brain hemorrhage. In all instances Reggie starts with banter, but ends with a drawn katana and a decapitated foe. He is also a police detective.

Through twists and turns literally nobody has seen coming, Reggie ends up in a final confrontation atop an incongruous Midwest skyscraper facing down his ex-girlfriend who now rides a magic unicorn who poops glitter and controls zombies. I will not spoil the end for you, but suffice it to say that when they do it, it is totally hot. You will be amazed when you finally discover the totally hidden meaning of Reggie’s VIOLET THUNDER.

Please respond promptly, as I have simultaneously sent this to literally everyone in the publishing industry that I could find on the internet. If you do not happen to be the first person to snap up the rights to VIOLET THUNDER and all future sequels, I apologize. Judging by what I think authors make, this series should totally be worth at least a million dollars.

Thank you.

[Author’s Name Redacted]

Guess what book my friends will be getting for Christmas this year!


Best Star Wars Ads… Ever Part 3: Yoda and Flying Glass!!

We here at Beyond the Bunker are anti-in-your-face advertising however we’re well aware that things need to be sold and people need to be told about them. But its when a generation of Star Wars geeks reaches an age where they can define the direction of an ad campaign that you get to see some corkers- like these….

Crumbling pots Yoda must buy….

Attack of the themed Burger King glasses!!

Photos from Beyond the Bunker Launch: The Crowd

In the middle of the event was Imogen Banks, photographing furiously to bring you the finest pieces of photographic evidence of the events of the first Beyond the Bunker / Moon Launch party at the Square Pig in Holborn. People piled in from fairly early after we opened the doors and were a combination of well wishers, long time supporters, comics fans, friends to Beyond the Bunker, band crew and fans of the book itself. Based on the response to this event we hope to be able to have more in future.  Throughout the coming weeks we’ll be posting the pictures of the night to give you a perspective of how it all went down… but I think you need a rest after this visual onslaught. I’ll be collecting images from other photographers who were there – namely Sas Stewart (who came with Skyskratcher and Jeremiah O Connor – who had a very nice camera in his hands. Everything was so busy it was hard for Imogen to grab a clear picture of the look of the place but we assure it was rammed…

Shades Rodriguez (aka Alistair Reith), The Joker, Dan Thompson, Ray Barton (Aka Lee Ravitz) and Moon's idiot hick cousin

Two of our guests pose proudly with their copy of Moon 1

Two idiots (Ben Guibirelli and comedy act Paul Sweeney) pose proudly with their copy of Moon

Some other guests (Steve Curtis, Ben Blease and Laura Bacon) having a really rather marvellous time!!

Rosalind Lonsdale and James Eaton got theirs!

Colin Hubbard and Sharron Byrne enjoy Moon 1

The Joker enjoying the show

Dan’s Fiancee Fi in between arrivals

Why can’t all Airline Safety Videos by like this? Yeah!!

Now this relates to nothing on our site except that its bat-shit crazy and frankly makes the world a funnier place – and frankly takes a nice break from Moon related items. If all in flight safety videos were like this I’d never be scared of flying, though I would be a little on alert for leotards. Air New Zealand have come up with an original way to lighten up the usual reminder of potential doom, death and disco-bobulation that is your standard airline safety notice. The only problem I can see is that as I go crashing towards the ground the last thing I want is to be thinking of  US fitness guru Richard Simmons. Mental. Definitely one in the eye for Al-Qaeda, conservative Christians and parents on long haul flights, ‘Mummy – why did that man kiss that man?’ . Y’know, I think Richard Simmons might be gay.

Chris Nolan Justice League Movie in 2013?

The LA Times is reporting today that the movie version of The Justice League may not be quite as dead as everybody once thought. In an interview with The Times, Warner Motion Picture Group President, Jeff Robinov, said that his priority so far as superhero movies goes is to bring the JLA to the big screen in 2013. Let’s just go over that one more time: the man who has ultimate say in what movies Warner Bros. make says that he wants to see a movie featuring the Justice League within two years! Ok, breath.

This isn’t the first time that the League have almost found themselves in a movie. Back in 2008 a film version of the comic was all set to go into production when the writers strike and tax issues killed the project stone dead. Since then it’s been lurking in development limbo because nobody wants to upset the money tree that is Chris Nolan’s Dark Knight series by bringing out another movie with Batman in it. But with Nolan set to wrap up his Gotham opus next year, it looks like Warner is keep to pick up right where they left off. But oh lord, there’s more:

“We have the third Batman, but then we’ll have to reinvent Batman…Chris Nolan and [producing partner and wife] Emma Thomas will be producing it, so it will be a conversation with them about what the next phase is.” – Jeff Robinov

That’s right folks. Chris Nolan will be stepping in to produce the project. Ok, so it’s not the directors chair, but there’s plenty of time for a Hobbit esque incident to grant us that wish too. What’s more, scripts are already in production for both the JLA movie and the spin-off Flash and Wonder Woman movies.

A timescale, a script and Christopher Nolan? It looks like Warner may finally be getting serious about DC movies. Sweet.


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