cover image Stray Bullets Volume 2 Hc Somewhere Out West

Stray Bullets Volume 2 Hc Somewhere Out West

David Lapham, Dave Lapham. El Capitan, $34.95 (264pp) ISBN 978-0-9653280-5-0

The fictional world of Lapham's Harvey Award-winning comics series, Stray Bullets, is populated by an iconoclastic collection of cold-blooded thugs, hapless dope fiends and smart kids running from bad homes. This volume, sequel to Innocence of Nihilism, focuses on good-looking, utterly criminal Beth, her ineffectual boyfriend, Orson, and her drug-addled best friend, Nina, the former girlfriend of a mysterious gangster named Harry. On the run after stealing a load of Harry's cocaine, the trio is lying low in the absurd little town of Seaside, founded 100 miles from the coast by an earthquake-fixated developer who expected the next big tremor to bring the ocean to him. Seaside residents are a hilarious group of losers and sleazeballs, yet Orson decides the town is the perfect place to hide from homicidal drug dealers. Lapham's comical pulp-crime stories are thoroughly entertaining, full of heart-stopping action and over-the-top violence. Beautifully illustrated in black and white, they are rescued from empty sensationalism by the author's extraordinary draftsmanship; his quirky, unsentimental sense of comedy; and the genuine interactions he generates between his irresistibly flawed characters. The book also includes early drafts, sketches and supplementary material about Lapham. (Dec.)