In Inbox/Outbox, we document the rhythm of readers’ lives by sharing comics we acquired, the comics we finished, and the next comics we plan to read each week.
Inbox (Comics Acquired)
The Divine by Asaf Hanuka, Tomer Hanuka, and Boaz Lavie (First Second)
I first noticed the striking cover for The Divine in a casual scroll down my Twitter feed sometime last year. Who were these kids, and what were they doing with gold idols and hand grenades? More importantly, who were these artists and where had they been all my life? As it turns out, I was already familiar with Asaf Hanuka’s work with Ari Folman and Yoni Goodman on Waltz with Bashir, the animated documentary of the 1982 Lebanon War. I dragged the image to my desktop as a reminder to seek it out in the new year. Now it’s here and it’s lush and vibrant and violent and sobering, a tale of western opportunists thrust into a Southeast Asian nation called Quanlom, at war with itself and its gods.
Locke & Key Master Edition, Vol. 1 by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)
Some years ago I lent out the first two volumes of this masterwork and never got them back. I made peace with that and waited patiently for this inevitable deluxe treatment. This Master Edition collects those two initial arcs into one resplendent hardcover. If you’ve yet to partake in this inventive saga of eldritch horror and family legacy, there are now numerous formats from which to choose. This one goes up there with Preacher and Pluto as one of my favorite comic serials of all time.
Outbox (Comics Finished)
The Realist by Asaf Hanuka (Archaia, Boom! Studios)
Teleport, don’t run or walk, and pick up this collection of Israeli cartoonist Asaf Hanuka’s slice of life comics. This same volume is titled “K.O.” in France, but I think “The Realist” is a much more interesting label for Hanuka, who’s really something of a dreamer. In the first strip, originally composed for The Calcalist business paper, Hanuka relates his concerns about finding a new apartment in Tel Aviv with his wife and young son. He imagines his bed rising and drifting out of their current home and into the night. He worries about reports of abduction and terror, about running out of gas while dropping his son off at school, about his marriage, about dreams deferred. Thoughtful and insightful and magically real.
Oh, Killstrike #1 by Max Bemis, Logan Faerber, Juan Manuel Tumburus, Jim Campbell (Boom! Studios)
I learned about this new series from my pal Dave, who really responded to this love letter to the extremes of ’90s comics and the relationships we form with characters over time. Comics are so formative, even the weirdest ones. I really like what Bemis and Faerber have tapped into here, this notion of the adolescent male power fantasy literally vaulting from the pages and into the life of an adult comic fan. And he’s not Batman or Superman either; he’s essentially a Rob Liefeld creation from the early days of Image, huge knife, spritely feet, and pouches for days. Eager to see where they take this.
In the Queue (What I’m Reading Next)
Mobile Suit Gundam: THE ORIGIN, Volume 9: Lalah by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko
I’d be hard-pressed to name a manga series with a better presentation than Yasuhiko’s modern retelling of the original Mobile Suit Gundam anime. Most Japanese comics are printed in budget digests, a necessary concession given how long the stories run and how many volumes readers are asked to collect. Hell, Akira is still printed on newsprint in six big phonebooks, hardly the pomp and circumstance its cache and popularity would seem to afford it. Anyway, Gundam looks absolutely glorious on glossy pages and bound in heavy hardcover. I’m having a ball with this fast-moving space opera, thrilling to a galactic civil war, terrific mech action, and the outright pageantry of Char Aznable. Things are ramping up, and I’m eager for the introduction of the iconic Lalah Sune.
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