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Stumptown, Volume 1: The Case of the Girl…

Stumptown, Volume 1: The Case of the Girl Who Took Her Shampoo (But Left…

by Greg Rucka, Matthew Southworth (Illustrator)

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With comics such as Queen & Country and Whiteout, Rucka established a much deserved reputation for producing superior crime stories featuring female protagonists. In Stumptown Volume 1: The Case of the Girl Who Took her Shampoo (But Left her Mini), Rucka returns to this familiar territory. In order to pay back a massive gambling debt, Stumptown Investigations proprietor Dex Parios searches for the missing granddaughter of Sue-Lynne, head of the Confederate Tribes of the Wind Coast's casino operations. During her quest, Dex reveals the darker sides of Portland, OR. She receives numerous threats and beatings. She is shot and no one trusts her. Making things even more difficult, the surly Dex continually angers both the police and the gangs. As with all of Rucka's works, the relationships between the characters propel the tale. Through his dialogue and pacing, he elevates the potentially stereotypical portrayals into powerful individual identities. The moody, minimalist Southworth art further enhances the riveting tale. As an added bonus, this hardcover volume includes a reprint of the rare 8-page, micro-comic Dex Parios adventure and a selection of promotional items. ( )
  rickklaw | Oct 13, 2017 |
Rucka has managed to do the down-on-their-luck detective story without coming across as cliche. Good crime story and a good setup for a series worth reading. ( )
  TysonAdams | Jun 20, 2017 |
10 pages in, I knew I was in love! Dex is a great PI with pretty bad luck. I read this pretty quickly and can't wait to see if the library has Vol. 2! ( )
  chessakat | Feb 5, 2016 |
  BooksOn23rd | Nov 25, 2015 |
This graphic novel revolves around Dex, a PI who has a younger brother to take care, a brother she describes as mentally retarded. To her credit, she does love him very much, and while he wouldn't be able to get to work without her there to remind him when he needs to go, she also doesn't talk down to him.

In fact, she's pretty brutally honest. When she gets cold cocked, she doesn't cover up why she's bruised, and she tells him. (She does lie about being shot although she was wearing Kevlar, and thus came out relatively unharmed. And that's pretty heavy for anyone. I could see her smudging the truth or flat out lying about to her brother regardless of how challenged he was or not. She doesn't talk down to him about the stuff she would tell everyone else - but that doesn't mean that she'll tell everyone everything.)

Dex also has a gambling problem, part of that problem being that she doesn't stop until after she loses. And she's in a lot of debt to the casino. Luckily for her, Sue-Lynne, the woman running the casino, is missing one granddaughter and worried enough to hire Dex, and wipe out her debt if the PI can find Charlotte.

Of course, Charlotte's case involves a lot more than simply tracking the young woman down. It means tangling with powerful family, and those who are paid a lot to protect those people.

It's gritty, it's gleeful, it's fun. One half star knocked off because the art didn't work for me occasionally. It's stylistic and gritty and works in the most part, but it gets looser in some parts, and that's when it started not working for me. ( )
  All_Hail_Grimlock | Oct 25, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Greg Ruckaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Southworth, MatthewIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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