Saturday, September 29, 2012

Comic Quickie: Return of Stumptown

Stumptown: The Case of the Baby in the Velvet Case #1: One of my most very favorite comic reads from last year was a beautiful indie comic from Greg Rucka and Matt Southworth. After crafting a wonderful crime story that seemed to be more of a labor of love than a cash cow, I wasn't totally sure I would ever see more Stumptown, but the old gang is back together.

Mim Bracca, the guitarist from the Portland based rock band Tailhook has just returned home from a long tour.   When she arrives, and the dust settles, she discovers that her prized possession, her favorite guitar, is missing.  Without wasting any time, Mim enlists the aid of P.I. Dex Parios. There's no such thing as a routine case for Dex, because before she knows it, she's getting threatened with a box-cutter, and having guns pointed at her head.

If the first Stumptown story is any indication, The Case of the Baby in the Velvet Case is likely to be filled with a healthy dose of backstabs, double crosses, and a sweet plot twist here and there for good measure...  Honestly, when I saw this comic get solicited a few months back, I instantly put it on my pull list.  Stumptown is a no-brainer.  This is money well spent.  You'll get great writing, engaging characters, and a kick ass plot from Rucka, as well as some absolutely fantastic looking art from Matt Southworth.

I've been lucky enough to have seen pages and pages of Southworth's original art from this series at various comic events here in Seattle. The man is a workhorse artist who creates page after beautiful page of painstakingly detailed art that is wonderfully textured and dense, and a sheer pleasure to look at.  The guy is criminally underrated.  Sadly, he's also fairly obscure, which is completely undeserved given the quality of his work.

Stumptown is a comic that achieves perfect harmony between writing and art, a feat that is rare and special. So treat yourself: Buy it. Read it. Thank me later.

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