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The Bunker #1 - RWG Reviews
The Bunker #1
Writer: Joshua Hale Fialkov
Artist: Joe Infurnari
Publisher: Oni Press
Published on 2/12/2014
Review by Wesley Messer
The Bunker passed by me in the original digital release, which was my own gosh darned fault. Hearing about the print release and one of my fellow writers off the sadly defunct Comics Crux website, Chris Lear’s thoughts on digital run it is now time to rectify missing this the first time around. Oni’s first issue of The Bunker collects the first five installments of the digital series, which for anyone like me who missed it is going to love. That’s a lot of content for 3.99 to explore Joshua Hale Fialkov and Joe Infurnari’s story. Considering that Fialkov’s been a favorite of mine, especially with his work on Last of the Greats and I’ Vampire, still blows my mind I didn’t discover The Bunker sooner. That’s okay as now is as good of time as any to explore The Bunker for myself. Though by the end, I wished I wasn’t late for the party.
At first glance, Joshua Hale Fialkov makes you feel like you’ve entered an 80′s film. The story starts as such, five friends have graduated college and are about to go their own ways go to bury a time capsule. Heartwarming, charming, and while they’re not all on board, they’re going through with it anyway. On the surface all his jokes and happy times, until a surprising discovery is revealed. They discover a Bunker and through this Bunker their lives irrevocably change, as this Bunker comes from the future, their future. Knowing that much gives you no spoilers, as that isn’t the spoiler as it’s only the beginning of the effects of The Bunker.
The way Fialkov sets the story up blows your mind and blew mine by the end of the issue. The future these friends learn of is one explained through letters given to them via their future selves, and looking into the future to show what’s happening with their future selves. Keep in mind, this is the simple version of Fialkov’s story. Knowing the plot devices used here is only part of the gripping story that he’s telling. In dealing with these two time periods equally, the double sized nature of The Bunker is important in this version in giving the story time to breathe. The first issue gives you so much and this is only the start.
In fact what I love about The Bunker as well, among many things, are the characters. They’re all realistic as they go through The Bunker, they’re getting glimpses into their lives and it’s freaking them out. By the end of this first issue I felt that I just had a full meal of story and desperately wanting the second course. The story is gripping, the characters are well defined, and in my case I want and need to know more. The Bunker has it all story wise. Story: 10 out of 10
Joe Infurnari is a perfect fit for Fialkov’s story, these two flow off each other effortlessly. Make no mistake, the story is powerful as this is a writing masterclass. Within the art is where every haunting and effecting moment of the script hit me hard. Originally The Bunker was in black and white, now the Oni Press debuts the series in color and I am in awe. I’ve seen Infurnari’s black and white work in previews and it looked great. Adding color into his work takes The Bunker to a new stratosphere. The highs and lows of these characters are accentuated by Infurnari’s art and colors to push the moments vividly into your soul.
It’s the kind of art that you feel as if this story was meant for this person to draw. These two people came together making The Bunker a special comic reading experience. Storytelling wise, it’s all about the movement and the emotions of these characters. Scripting is one matter, the faces will hit you like a ton of bricks as you read. As I note movement too, I feel as if these characters could pop off the page between Fialkov’s words and Infurnari’s art. The final page of this still haunts me with that deep gray and a face that will never leave my mind. This is one team of creators that’s in sync with one another. Beautiful job on art and making The Bunker come to life. Art: 10 out of 10
Do I really have to say more than buy this comic, buy this comic now? I was an early adopter of Fialkov’s Last of the Greats and I so wish I could have been aboard the bandwagon when The Bunker first began. One of my lasting memories of Comics Crux is my pal Chris raving about this series, now I understand why he loved it so. No joking here, The Bunker is making me rethink the way I look at comics. Anything ever getting a perfect score out of me is going to have a tougher go after my experience with The Bunker. Joshua Hale Fialkov and Joe Infurnari, you two outdid yourselves and I look forward to reading the second issue. For the rest of you, buy this book and you’ll be impatiently waiting I like I am for the second issue. The Bunker, one of my favorite comic experiences of the year thus far.
Overall: 10 out of 10
We are proud to officially announce our lineup for Linework 2014!
Art by Special Guest Michael DeForge.
Whew! And we even have a couple of surprises left up our sleeves… Stay tuned for late-breaking additions, interviews with our exhibitors, and much more. Winnowing down to this final list was very difficult, and we had to leave lots of creators off that we would have loved to host at the show, but in the end we can’t believe what an amazing array of illustrators, cartoonists, and publishers have chosen to exhibit with us our first year! Thank you!
A Personal Aside Regarding THE AUTEUR
When I was talking to the fine folks at Oni Press about joining their team last year, one of the things my future Editor in Chief James Lucas Jones sent me for consideration was a PDF of THE AUTEUR #1.
I was intrigued by the title, but didn’t know much else before I tucked into that first issue. Clearly, I was ill-prepared for what lay ahead, which was essentially a shotgun blast of madcap creativity, dark, depraved humor, intensely vivid art, and an actual, no-shit statement on creativity and entertainment.
I think I read it three times in a row.
Frankly, this is a comic I didn’t think could exist. From page 1 (above), I didn’t think something this aggressive and frothing and hilarious would be permitted in the modern comics marketplace and I was impressed as hell that Oni was planning on publishing it—as an ongoing series, no less!
I was already a big fan of Oni Press, but now I knew: I need to work with the people who are putting out this madness.
It’s a book that practically vibrates with creativity and pushes the medium of storytelling like only comics can. It’s a spinning top with laser eyes and a thousand sharp teeth dousing everything it touches in hallucinogenic glory, and it’s privilege to be among those publishing and promoting it.
Today’s the last day to pre-order issue #1, and as many people know at this point, pre-orders are the absolute lifesblood of creator-owned comics. Pre-ordering is the proof-laden pudding that allows publishers to continue taking chances on comics without superheroes beating the Christ out of one another (not that there’s anything wrong with that). It tells retailers, publishers, distributors, and the press that these stories are worth telling and that there’s room for even more weirdness in our beautifully weird industry.
Obviously, I’m pretty damned biased when it comes to this book, but in addition to all of the official promotion I’ve been doing, I wanted to give a personal account of why I think THE AUTEUR is special and worth your hard-earned cheddar.
Whether you’re a comics fan, a film buff, or just somebody who likes consuming media made by people who think you possess an intellect worth challenging, I think THE AUTEUR’s got something for you.*
In any event, thanks for reading.
*If none of that sounds good, it also has butts, talking weiners, teen murders, snake venom-infused coffee benders, box office poison, courtroom drama, and wanton Spanish Fly abuse!
Movie Posters got a shout-out in Bleeding Cool!
Creatively unhinged yet measured and drawn with gleeful, precise abandon of an artist sure of his craft, THE AUTEUR is a hilarious study of Hollywood grime, slime, brain and heart. I intend to buy it every month.