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)
Akame Ga KILL!, vol. 1 by Takahiro and Tetsuya Tashiro (Yen Press)
Akame Ga KILL! centers on an earnest young warrior named Tatsumi who heads to Capitol in order to raise money for his impoverished rural village and, in doing so, make a name for himself as a hired sword. Unfortunately the big city is already rife with would-be monster slayers and wily assassins. As happens with so many transplants from the country, our hero is ultimately captured and then affiliated with a largely female ninja collective called Night Raid in their clash with the corrupt Empire. There’s a slight jiggle factor to this one, but it’s about on par with Neon Genesis Evangelion in that regard. What really got me are the detailed monster designs and the promise of lost alchemical artifacts and weapons, which definitely appeals to the loot-farming Destiny fanatic in me.
A Silent Voice, vol. 1 by Yoshitoki Oima (Kodansha)
Another shonen series, but I’m at least venturing out of the science fiction and fighting genres that make up the bulk of my manga consumption. A Silent Voice focuses on the relationship between a young girl named Shoko and her elementary school classmate and tormenter Shoya. Shoko has impaired hearing, and the boys in the class capitalize on this difference to bully her. Shoya in particular is so relentlessly cruel that Shoya transfers to another school, leaving Shoko the new subject of bullying from the class. That’s the bulk of this first volume, but the real story begins years later when the two former classmates meet again in the Spring of their senior year in high school.
Outbox (Comics Finished)
Omaha Beach on D-Day by Robert Capa, Jean-David Morvan & Severine Trefoue, Dominique Bertail, Bernard Lebrun, Edward Gauvin (First Second, Magnum Photos)
The storming of Omaha Beach in 1944 has been dramatized numerous times, from The Americanization of Emily to Saving Private Ryan, but the most vivid imagery from that fateful day was captured by one man. Photojournalist Robert Capa risked his life, often turning his back to German snipers, to take the only pictures of the event. Those photos and several others from Capa’s tour are reproduced in this book in stark black and white. That’s the latter half. The landscape hardcover volume opens with a comic book recounting Capa’s journey. The titular landing is appropriately portrayed in a gatefold spread, offering an ultra-wide panorama of the setting and its harrowing obstacles.
Wuvable Oaf by Ed Luce (Fantagraphics)
Wuvable Oaf is a romantic comedy about a gay ex-wrestler, the lead singer of a black metal grindcore band called Ejaculoid, and an apartment full of cats, all looking for love in San Francisco. It’s the sweetest, hairiest, most charming romantic comedy I’ve encountered in ages. For real.
In the Queue (What I’m Reading Next)
Out on the Wire: The Storytelling Secrets of the New Masters of Radio by Jessica Abel (Broadway Books)
I adore podcasts and narrative radio, so when fellow Panelteer Caroline brought this to my attention, I ordered it straight away. This is an investigation into the talents who bring us such programs as This American Life, Serial, and Radiolab, all presented in comic book form. Maybe this is a hugely niche idea, but it lands squarely in my little sliver of the Venn diagram.
The Adventures of Tintin: In the Land of the Soviets by Herge (Little, Brown)
I’ve been wild about Tintin since I discovered those thrilling albums on a spinner rack back in the early 90s. I’ve decided to go back and read them in chronological order, starting with this proto-Tintin caper originally serialized in Belgium’s conservative Le Vingtième Siècle between 1929 and 1930. It’s a bit rough, but fascinating to see the evolution of Herge’s style and craft.