Not knowing anything about this graphic novel before opening the pages, this really took me by surprise and blew me away (in a good way).
What would you do if you discovered a letter to yourself, clearly written BY yourself, describing a future atrocity, in which you play an integral role? This is the basic story. There’s clearly a Phil Dick sensibility to this, which I love. There’s the shock, horror, and disbelief in the initial message, and then there’s the desire to correct or prevent the atrocity. Add to this the miscommunication, distrust, and general human failings among a group of individuals, and you have one very powerful story.
Author Joshua Hale Fialkov has written a science fiction/mystery/horror story that is very engrossing. With five main characters, there is ample opportunity for the story to shift perspective and keep the reader turning the pages, anxious to stay connected with each story-line. Annihilation of the planet is certainly high stakes, and if you’ve read some of my reviews, you might now that I want the stakes to be high whenever possible. And yet, Fialkov roots the story with people. Friendships, betrayals, affairs, likes and dislikes. What it is to be human is at the core of this story, and that is part of makes this really wonderful.
The art by Joe Infurnari has a color sketch/unfinished quality about it. At times this really worked well for the story and other times it bothered me a great deal. I wasn’t always able to recognize the characters on sight, and that should never happen.
Complicating the visual aspect of the book was the lettering. A hand-writing font was used that made reading not as smooth as it could be. I could see no reason not to use a more standard font for this.
I was really taken with this book and will look forward to volume two.
Looking for a good book? The Bunker is a graphic novel with a powerful story that will draw you in, though the drawings could be sharper.
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The Bunker, Volume 1
author: Joshua Hale Fialkov
artist: Joe Infurnari
publisher: Oni Press
paperback, 128 pages