Tag: Greg Rucka

Comics for Grownups Episode 20

by on Aug.06, 2013, under Comics

Comics for Grownups Episode 20 with Alex Rothman is now out on iTunes. Direct RSS link for Android users here. In this episode we are joined by Tom Hart, acclaimed author of many beloved comics and the founder and driving force behind the Sequential Artists Workshop. We talk about SAW and his current project Rosalie Lightning, plus:

Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley

Sammy the Mouse Vol. 2 by Zak Sally

Jane, the Fox, and Me by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault

Optic Nerve #13 by Adrian Tomine

Lazarus #1 and 2 by Greg Rucka

Finder by Carla Speed McNeil

Abe: Wrong for the Right Reasons by Glenn Dakin

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Stumptown #1

by on Nov.06, 2009, under Comics

Stumptown cover

I wonder how genre authors feel about the fact that once they’ve established a character or two that become reasonably popular, all people want is more of the same. Thus mystery authors use the same detective over and over, until it stops being remotely plausible to have so many murders plague the same sleepy little town. Take Rex Stout. Did he get tired of writing Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin for 40 straight years?

I bring this up because my first reaction to Greg Rucka’s new comic Stumptown was, approximately, “Greg Rucka! Awww, I want more Queen & Country. Or more Whiteout, even though that was ages ago.” But I understand why he doesn’t want to give me either one. Whiteout really would have suffered serious plausibility problems if he’d tried to extend it: how many murders at Antarctic research stations could one possibly swallow? And while Queen & Country‘s main character Tara Chace was Rucka’s invention, the rest was an updated version of The Sandbaggers, which was part of why I liked it. I really dug The Sandbaggers.

Anyway, Stumptown is recognizably Rucka, built as it is around a tough female protagonist battling demons and working a traditionally male profession. In Queen & Country she was a secret agent with PTSD and a drinking problem; in Stumptown she’s a PI with a gambling problem.  I like her. The only serious weakness so far is that the plot is a little too stock: the head of a casino offers to wipe out our heroine’s debts if she finds her missing granddaughter, and within a day the PI is hassled by the mob and shot (in her bulletproof vest) by a pair of enforcers of unknown loyalty. So far that’s approximately the plot of The Big Sleep—or The Big Lebowski—reworked as it has been in many ways over the years. If it were anyone else I’d probably take a pass, but since I’ve seen Rucka do surprising things with conventional material before I’ll keep reading.

The story is set in Portland, and all locations are apparently real and drawn as accurately as possible by artist Matthew Southland. His buildings, piers, and bridges are all studies in perspective; his people are highly detailed and full of character, albeit at times static. Not that that actually bothered me any.

Preview below the fold.

(continue reading…)

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