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Five Questions with THE BUNKER’s Joshua Hale Fialkov

In celebration of the second issue of his new comic The Bunker (out now!), Joshua Hale Fialkov of Cataclysm, the Harvey nominated Elk’s Run, and I, Vampire fame, sat down with us to answer a couple questions about his creator-owned title. The Bunker tells the story of five friends who find mysterious letters inside a time capsule they buried long ago. And it’s no wonder none of them remember writing the letters; they’re written by their future selves. To add to the mystery, each one warns of an impending apocalypse, which they apparently caused. With a premise like that and an already stellar first issue illustrated by the wonderful Joe Infurnari, this is one series I’ll definitely be following.

Nerdist: What was the decision to self publish like?

Joshua Hale Fialkov: Sort of a no-brainer, really.  Joe and I both come from the indie world… I had a small press company for a long time, and Joe’s been making his own comics for years.   And the conversation was really about wanting to have a playground for us.  A place where we could tell our own stories how we wanted, when we wanted. It was a choice for complete freedom.

N: Had you and artist Joe Infurnari worked together before? How did you become familiar with his work?

JHF: We have a short story we did in Occupy Comics about the labor movement at the turn of the century that was sort of a trial run of working together. It was really eye opening, because I got to see just how much Joe brings to our collaborations.  He’s a brilliant storyteller and a true creative partner.  We met almost strictly by chance via Dean Haspiel, who, as you may know, is the hub to the wheel that is modern comics.  Everybody knows him, loves him, and trusts him.

N: What other time travel tropes are you a fan of and inspire you and Joe?

JHF: Well, Joe is also known for his amazing book Timefucker, which is available on the web.  Google it. Trust me.  I’m a HUGE time travel nerd. This book sort of serves as my non-sci-fi take on it, something that’s about the grounding rather than the big over the top version.  Joe and I talked a lot about films like Another Earth and The Sound of My Voice (both written by Brit Marling) and the way they handle the sci-fi.  I think that we live in complicated times, and adding complication to the narrative that we face every day works so compellingly… Also, I love Doctor Who and Back to the Future.

N:Do you see The Bunker as more of a character based story, with each person dealing with their own conflicts — or will it turn into an action story about these kids trying to stop the impending apocalypse? Both?

JHF: Very much character first.  As we march towards doomsday there will be more actiony bits, but the thing that attracts us to this story is the interpersonal drama between the characters and what their decisions do to each other and to the world around them.

N: If you were to write a letter to your past self, what would it say?

JHF: “I’m so sorry. So very sorry.”  Y’know, I’ve had things happen to me good and bad, and the realization that those things shaped me to be the man, the husband, and the father that I am is something I wouldn’t take back. Maybe a few less fist fights and broken bones.

Check out The Bunker #2, available now. Want more of Fialkov’s work? You can follow the series or Josh on Twitter or visit his website and Tumblr.

What would you write in a letter to your past self? What would you want your future self to tell you? I’d definitely tell mine to keep reading comics… which I DO! Let me know on Twitter or by leaving a quemment below!

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