Inbox/Outbox: February 5, 2016

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)

ifyoustealIf You Steal by Jason (Fantagraphics)

ComiXology recently offered an undeniable sale on short work and anthologies like this one by Norway’s John Arne Sæterøy (better known simply as Jason). I’ve long adored his blue collar heists, tragic fables, and comic noir, all told with an ensemble of low-down, upright, blank-eyed animals. If you love European cinema, particularly silent or mostly silent capers, get to know Jason.

Batman by Ed Brubaker, Vol. 1 by Ed Brubaker, Scott McDaniel, Karl Story (DC Comics)

A fan of both Batman and the work of Ed Brubaker, I’ve oddly never sought out this run that started back in 2000. Here, Batman encounters the cybernetically augmented master tactician Philo Zeiss, and eventually leads to the celebrated “Bruce Wayne: Murderer?/Fugitive” storyline.

Outbox (Comics Finished)

copraroundtwoCopra, vols 2 & 3 by Michel Fiffe (Bergen Street Press)

To borrow a term from writer Rick Remender, Michel Fiffe is something of a “comics scientist,” playfully deconstructing and reconfiguring elements popularized by DC Comics’ Suicide Squad in his own uniquely satisfying capers. Originally available exclusively through an Etsy shop, Copra is now available on ComiXology, and in its most delicious form as stunning paperback collections from Brooklyn’s Bergen Street Press. Straight up, the best looking paperbacks I’ve ever owned, full stop.

Hellboy Winter Special by Mike Mignola, Tim Sale, Chris Roberson, Scott Allie, Chelsea Cain, Michael Avon Oeming, Michael Walsh, Dean Rankine, Dave Stewart (Dark Horse)

Stupendous as they typically are, it’s still easy to get jaded by the ubiquitous Hellboy one-shot. There just isn’t the scarcity to make it feel like an event. Then you see an amazing cover by Tim Sale with our boy tromping through a snowy wood alongside a faithful hound like some kind of lost N.C. Wyeth illustration, and the hooks are in. Sale himself illustrates the opening tale scripted by Mignola and Scott Allie, about some wild men reaching out in the cold of the post Hyperborean age. That stands in stark contrast to Dean Rankine’s funky, gross-out Lobster Johnson quickie at the tail end, a pleasant reminder of the sublime range the Mignolaverse now enjoys. Perhaps not the strongest batch, but still a nice sampler.

In the Queue (What I’m Reading Next)

KennelBlockBluesKennel Block Blues by Ryan Ferrier, Daniel Bayliss, Adam Metcalfe (Boom! Studios)

I love dogs and I’m an absolute sucker for prison dramas, so this anthropomorphic take on Pound Puppies totally has my number.

Appleseed: Book 1: The Promethean Challenge by Shirow Masamune (Dark Horse)

Time to cross this iconic buddy cop manga off my bucket list! Created by Shirow Masamune (Ghost in the Shell) in the mid to late 80s, the adventures of ESWAT partners Deunan Knute and Briareos Hecatonchires remains a major inspiration for modern mech and cyberpunk storytellers in all forms of media, including comics like Araujo’s Man Plus and Milonogiannis’ Old City Blues.

How about you? What comics did you read this week?