Inbox/Outbox: March 31, 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)

iamaheroI Am A Hero Omnibus, vol. 1 by Kengo Hanazawa, Translated by Kumar Sivasubramanian (Dark Horse, April 6)

Easy elevator pitch. What if a nerdy, self-centered mangaka actually found himself in the midst of a harrowing zombie outbreak? What if he was one of the few people in his neighborhood with a gun? For starters? Hubris. Hubris gonna happen. Big time.

Princess Jellyfish, vol. 1 by Akiko Higashimura (Kodansha)

This one’s about a Tokyo boarding house of single women, each with their own otaku devotion (central protagonist Tsukimi, for example, is an aspiring illustrator long-fixated on the beauty of jellyfish). I was immediately taken with the motif of this “found family,” a close-knit sorority social castaways, drawn together and bolstered by artistic passion. “Love what you love,” as some some affable weirdo says, from time to time.

Outbox (Comics Finished)

patience_clowesPatience by Daniel Clowes (Fantagraphics)

The cartoonist who brought us Ghost World and Eightball is back with some sprawling low-fi sci-fi that succeeds not through the undeniable bigness of its scope, but through its modest humanity. I adored the muttonheaded simplicity of our tragic lead, a man cursed to outlive the love of his life, on into the gaudy, technicolor world of tomorrow. Clowes flips the lights on to show us fumbling around in the dark.



In the Queue (What I’m Reading Next)

goodnightpunpunGoodnight Punpun, vol. 1 by Inio Asano (Viz)

Punpun Punyama is a young Japanese boy, ostensibly. Sometimes he looks like a doodle of a chicken, other times a ghost. He’s just trying to figure out life and love, often with some divine guidance. “Good God, Tinkle tinkle hoy,” chants young Punpun, and the omnipotent one appears (in the form of a photocopied meme, the head of a smiling young dude in thick glasses and bushy ‘fro). Schulz meets Kafka, on the shore?

The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye by Sonny Liew (Pantheon Graphic Novels)

Man, this looks cool. A 70-year old cartoonist takes us on a half-century tour of his life and works in Singapore, chronicling history, culture, and the evolution of comics. Sonny Liew became a fast favorite with The Shadow Hero, so I’ve been champing at the bit to check out this ambitious tour de force.

How ’bout you folks? What’s good?