Beyond the Bunker and Moon

Moon #1-4, Art Credit Steve Penfold/Beyond the Bunker

While I was attending MCM London last month, I stumbled across a marvellous independent comic by the name of Moon. This was one of the only comics I picked up from the comic village, despite spending a large amount of time there.

My introduction began shortly after I arrived at MCM London. While wandering through the comic village, I found myself having a conversation with someone manning the Beyond the Bunker stall about the abundance of Deadpool cosplays at conventions, and a small lament from the stall runner about this. However, shortly after this she turned and asked me a question that led me into the world of Moon. I was asked simply “Have you ever looked up into the night sky and wondered what the moon does when he’s not up there?”

Turns out that Beyond the Bunker knows the truth, when the moon is not floating in our skies, he is down on earth, working with a short-tempered traffic warden in order to solve the most convoluted and bizarre crimes happening throughout Britain. As odd as this concept sounds, the story is absolutely fantastic. On my first day there, I picked up issues 1 and 2, making them my first purchases at the convention, and read them on my first night. Reading issues 1 & 2 succeeded in piquing my interest, and on my second day there I rushed back to the stall to pick up issues 3 & 4, completing my collection of the current issues available.

The premise, while insane sounding, actually makes for a brilliant story, which is well-balanced in the issues and works brilliantly as a comedic storyline while mixing in elements that bring a sense of urgency, reality and danger to this fantastical story. I was impressed when I looked at the credits page for the comic and saw the few names that have created this piece. Only three people are credited for the work, these being writer Dan Thompson, artist and letter Steve Penfold, and Colourist Ivanna Matilla, as well as a few names under special thanks.

HeisenMoon and Dr Moonge Prints, art credit Steve Penfold/Beyond the Bunker

I was lucky enough to meet Steve at the convention, and got him to sign all my issues, along with two prints I purchased of Moon as some pop culture characters. Having a brief chat with him, I learned that the Moon saga began back in 2009, and he, Dan and Ivanna have been collaborating together to produce these comics. While only having published four issues in this time (as well as an adult colouring book), these comics are absolutely incredible, and apparently the intention is to try to publish another issue before the year is out. Personally I would prefer that the team take their time to ensure they keep this level of quality.

Speaking to the woman manning the stall on the first day (unfortunately I did not catch her name, which is a shame as she was very friendly), she informed me that Beyond the Bunker attend most UK-based conventions. However what I noticed more was her excitement and enjoyment about working at the stall, and being part of the team of Beyond the Bunker. Her enthusiasm for the comic was astounding, and to be honest her discussion with me about the comic was part of the reason I purchased the first couple of comics, although once doing so both the story and the artwork made me come back for more.

Beyond the Bunker stall at MCM London Comic Con 2016. Image taken from Beyond the Bunker’s Facebook page

If you find yourself at any UK convention in the future, be sure to check in the comics village for the team from Beyond the Bunker, and pick up at least issue #1 of Moon if not more. I am certain that if you do you will be heading back as soon as you can to pick up the next few issues. However, if you are not attending any conventions, you can also find Beyond the Bunker online, where you can also purchase any of the comics, as well as any of the various images of Moon as various superheroes, TV characters and video game characters. Be sure to check them out, they deserve the support.

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