There's no denying Joshua Hale Fialkov is a busy man, reviving a Golden Age character for Dark Horse, and helping to relaunch the Ultimate Universe for Marvel Comics. Luckily, he has still been making time for some more personal work of his own.
The digital comic series The Bunker has proven to be popular for its intense and personal view of the end of the world; so much so that it’s spreading outside of your digital devices and into your local comic shop and bookstore.
Originally debuting back in August, The Bunker follows a group of teenage friends who uncover an underground bunker with secrets about themselves and their future. The information they find tells a story of their future selves living lives and being key players in a cataclysmic end of the world scenario. They discover that the bunker, and the information it contains, was sent back in time by future versions of themselves. Questions arise doubting the veracity of these shocking revelations, but as the bunker spills the beans on information only they would know, the friends stop questioning the facts and begin questioning each other.
So for a comic dealing with an end of the world scenario, it’s no surprise that series creators Joshua Hale Fialkov and Joe Infurnari might want to put out their comic series in a format that you can hold in your hands and read even when the power goes out. On February 12, Oni Press will release The Bunker #1 with the first five chapters – 60 pages in total – of the serialized digital comic, and beginning with issue 2 the series will be released simultaneously in print and digitally every month thereafter.
“When we first launched the digital version we got a ton of interest from publishers about making the switch, but it was Oni who really got what we wanted to do, and was willing to let Joe and I run the show,” Fialkov tells Newsarama.
Both Fialkov and Infurnari have worked with Oni in the past on other comic series, but the writer says translating the digital The Bunker material for a print format has been “a lot of work.” That being said, it was done to deliver the same story to readers no matter what format they read it in.
“It's 100% the same story. Nothing's different, missing or changed,” the writer, who is also launching Ultimate FF for Marvel Comics in April states. “But, what Joe did, and I can't emphasize how painstaking it was, he went through the story panel by panel and literally rebuilt the comics from the ground up. In addition to coloring every page himself, he made sure that the book reads as beautifully as it did digitally. I'm constantly in awe of the job he did.”
Although the story remains the same, Infurnari did use the second chance to work on the first chapters that the print edition supplied to elaborate the color palette. Infurnari is responsible for the complete art component to the series, from the illustrations to the coloring and lettering.
“It's one of those things that we'd wanted to do digitally, but, it would have been too expensive and time consuming for Joe. “But, again, now that Oni's come on board, Joe has the time to actually make the book look the way he's always wanted it to look. And, I think that coloring really adds a level of depth to Joe's stunning artwork.”
The Bunker joins a renaissance of serialized comic titles being released by Oni Press in 2014, from the stalwart The Sixth Gun to recent success stories such as Letter 44 and Stumptown. The publisher, who is best known for the graphic novel series Scott Pilgrim, has been working to create a tight but energetic line of titles and The Bunker was acquired to bolster that line-up.
“Oni is busting their asses to get great books into people's hands, and, while there's a lot of noise out there, they're doing a stupendous job.” Fialkov, a long-time independent comics creator, explains. “I think you're seeing one of the most productive and satisfying periods in their history. We're just psyched to be a part of that.”