so, yeah. Stray Bullets by written, drawn, and lettered David Lapham, and published by him and his wife. Not sure how I missed this.
The first issue in like nine years came out recently and all the comic blogs I read flipped the fuck out. So I picked it up.I also found a hand full of back issues for pretty cheap. Well, I read every issue I bought. This says something when I have a stack of new releases that I’ve had for a month or two that I havent bothered with yet.
The premise is a series of standalone crime stories set in a shared universe that when read together form a larger story arc. They are set in and around the late seventies and the eighties. Ultimately it feels like a crime noir version of freaks and geeks, or a seventies gangster movie crossed with the bad new bears, or John Hughes making a detective story. It is extremely cinematic. It also takes it’s time with the characters but in that each story is self contained you don’t get that “last cookie” feel of the tune in next week bullshit.
The art is solid and expressive but doesn’t compete with the story telling. Only after closer inspection and divorcing your attention from the story itself do you realize that David Lapham is a really talented and solid cartoonist. Comic artist can be really “show-off-y” but the best are the ones who are both brilliant and almost invisible.
I kinda understand the collective freakout, now. It’s a title that now will forever be in my pull list.
Read the first four issues for free here.