The wickedness of mankind has moved the Creator to destroy the world by way of the flood. Noah has been tasked with building an ark to save his family and the animals of the world. But this is not Noah's story.
Darker powers have commanded the sorcerer Shrae to build his own ark and save the unnatural creatures of the world—such as the vampires, the dragons, the naga, and the manticore. But what will happen on a vessel crawling with monsters, where insidious intrigue and horrific violence are the rule of law?
Dark Ark Volume 1 is set to release April 2018. Check out our interview with creators Cullen Bunn and Juan Doe below!
Published by: AfterShock Comics
Written by: Cullen Bunn
Illustrated by: Juan Doe
Format: SC, 120 pages, Color,
There aren’t many people who wouldn’t recognize the story of Noah’s Ark, but DARK ARK takes an interesting twist on the biblical tale by taking “unnatural” creatures into account. What was the inspiration behind DARK ARK?
Cullen Bunn: I’m not exactly sure.
Rainy days and too much time spent thinking about monsters?
For me, DARK ARK started as something I would think about just to amuse myself. I didn’t really think I’d ever do anything with the idea. I just daydreamed about possible stories that might unfold on an ark full of monsters.
Of course, once AfterShock decided to publish the book, I started thinking about it a little more seriously. If I was going to do this story, I wanted it to be compelling and interesting. I wanted it to be a little more than a fun experiment. I wanted this story to have some weight and give readers something to think about.
While we are introduced to several supernatural creatures on the ark, there are a handful that become part of the core cast including the manticore, the naga, the vampires, and the unicorn. What led you to choose these creatures as the main ensemble of the conflict on the ark?
Cullen Bunn: Many of the core creatures took the spotlight simply because it was the right thing for the story. The vampires and the naga, for example, were the perfect characters to kick off this kind of murder mystery on a ship populated by the worst of the worst. The manticore, Kruul, is another story. He clawed his way to a starring role simply because he is fun for me to write. I started thinking about how he might interact with the other monsters... and with the humans... and some really creepy elements started to take shape.
The unicorns have been part of DARK ARK since I was just daydreaming about the story. I always thought it would be funny to have some creatures who deserved to be on Noah’s Ark, but they somehow missed the boat. In this version of the story, they’re still humorous, but they’re tragic, too.
Juan, your art is the perfect match to Cullen’s engrossing and supernatural story-telling. Can you give us some background on how you came to develop it? Do you prefer to hand draw before you digitalize or do you digitally paint much of your comics?
Juan Doe: I am a big fan of monsters and the supernatural so when I was offered this project, I was instantly excited about the visual possibilities. Cullen was great in identifying the creatures he wanted to cast and there’s a rich mix of monsters from a variety of mythologies and it was so much fun getting all these characters in the same room. It gave me endless possibilities with the visuals and I had a blast getting to bring some of that to life.
For the art, I pencil and ink everything by hand and finish it off with digital colors. It’s a great union of traditional techniques partnered with digital.
Can you two describe what the process is like creating a world and setting a story like this into it? There is so much readers are dying to learn about not only life on the DARK ARK, but what the world has to offer after the storm; how do you maintain a balance between the micro- and macro-stories at play?
Cullen Bunn: It was important, I felt, to start the story by focusing on those humans and monsters stuck on the ark. We don’t really see a lot of what the world looked like before the flood and we don’t really hint at what lies beyond. The only thing we glimpse is Noah’s Ark at the very beginning.
I wanted the first story to really cement the idea of these characters with the readers. Now, as we go into our second season, we’re going to see much more of the world. We’re going to spend time with Noah. We’re going to see flashbacks to how Noah and Shrae built their arks. We might even get hints at what awaits after the waters recede. There’s a bigger world to explore, but I want to take my time getting to it.
Juan Doe: For myself, I’m very fortunate to get a well thought out world complete with scenery and details from Cullen. His scripts are so compelling on their own that as an artist it’s quite fluid for myself to get into this universe and begin coming up with images instantly. For the first volume Cullen staged everything so perfectly that I was sucked into the drama and dynamics going on in this DARK ARK.
When I read the first script for volume 2, I was ecstatic to see some of the macro aspects come into play and get an opportunity to build out this story beyond our initial setting. I think readers are going to be wowed with where DARK ARK is headed and how these elements will blend themselves to maximize the awesomeness of this story. I’m super stoked to bring the visuals to this book but I am more excited about where the story is headed. Cannot wait to see where it ends up.