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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stylish P.I. book, 14 May 2011
By 
Michael Finn (Blackburn, Lancashire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Stumptown Volume 1 HC (Hardcover)
Greg Rucka's love for the down at heel P.I. story is the spark that got this labour of love comic book series up and running. Dex Parios is the P.I. in question, working out of Portland, Oregon. She's a breezy operator with a bad line in bad luck and too many bad habits, which is three bads too many in anyone's book, never mind somebody in her line of work. She doesn't have time for boyfriends, though she'll flirt the hell out of the medics at the local ER. She must know those guys well as she gets worked over more often than Jim Rockford. Her bashed up eye is as ever present as Jack Nicholson's messed up nose in Chinatown. The book begins with her getting shot and dumped in the river. Then time rolls back. You know the routine... 27 hours earlier. Dex is losing heavily gambling in the casino. If it was her last dollar she'd be happy. But no.. she's in deep. $17,616 deep. The casino owner offers to wipe the slate clean if she'll find the owner's grand daughter. If she had a choice she would never take a blind job like this. And we are off. Although the story is a familiar one, and this one doesn't twist about too much, it's told well with a lot of style and plenty of meat on the characterisations. Matthew Southworth's art is quirky and sometimes quite raw. It works best when he has something to shake the scene up like a striking location or tense sequence. Other times it has a rough quality - I can't decide if it's rushed or he's trying to just let the dialogue come to the fore. There is talent there though. Some segments are inspired like the opening scene and the sequence in the hotel where Dex gets cold-cocked. I like how he uses real Portland locations in his panels too. Overall there is more style than substance here but it's a good quick read. I don't expect these will be popping out like Kirkman books though so make the most of it. It might be a while before we get another Stumptown investigation.
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