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Stumptown volume 1 

By Greg Rucka, Matthew Southworth (Oni Press)

click to enlarge stump-review.jpg

Crime stories and comic books might not seem like an obvious match but the two have mixed together for decades: Dick Tracy was catching crooks years before Superman showed up on the scene. If history had shaken out a bit differently it’s possible crime and noir stories would be the default comic genre instead of superheroes. While that didn’t happen in this universe, hardboiled stories still have a strong presence in comics thanks to creators like Greg Rucka. Rucka’s graphic novel, Stumptown, not only delivers a strong detective story but uses the format to give it an extra edge. Dex is a local private investigator who owes way too much to the local casino. The casino owner cuts her a deal: if Dex will find the owner’s runway granddaughter, Dex’s debts will be written off. The larger dimensions of this hardcover edition gives the art room to breathe and helps capture the west coast setting.

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