Sunday, May 6, 2018

Stray Bullets: Sunshine & Roses Vol. 1 Review

Cool Beans

Written by: David Lapham
Art by: David Lapham
Produced & Edited by: Maria Lapham
Publisher: ElCapitan - Image Comics
Reviewer: Andrew McAvoy

Boy oh boy. This book is set in Baltimore. The things I know about Baltimore are mostly based on a Gram Parsons song The Streets of Baltimore (with Emmylou Harris on backing vocals), and the fact that those same streets were the subject of ground breaking 1990's tv show Homicide: A life on the Streets. I loved that series, a really gritty cop drama set on the crime ridden streets of the big B. Which brings us neatly onto Stray Bullets: Sunshine and Roses Part 1, also set on the streets of Baltimore in the 70s and 80s. Lets see what it was all about.

Well. I have to say that it is always a good sign when a book is around 250 pages long, and you complete it in two evenings worth of reading. This volume had me hooked. I am a fan of crime fiction and I thought that this really captured the vibe of an Elmore Leonard classic novel. Quirky characters, and a vast storytelling project told through the perspectives of those characters.

I haven't read many black and white comics since childhood when I had a treasured volume of the Batman daily newspaper strips from the 1940s, and some Marvel collected volumes which were in black and white. Now I come to think about it I was pretty gripped by those books too, and although you would think that black and white would be a less interesting format, I wonder if reading in black and white unlocks a part of the imagination that enhances the reading experience. Anyway, the optics of this book are so good; Lapham has a really cool style that I found very appealing.

Bits and pieces

Now that I've embarked on quite a detailed introduction to the Stray Bullets universe I think I will go back and check out the other stories available in the imprint. It really is a different experience and I really felt like I was drawn right into the world inhabited by a set of very interesting characters. I'm eager to journey further into this world in future, and can recommend this volume of 8 interrelated tales as a good introduction to the world of the Laphams.


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