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*He is not a secret agent. Not at all.



Oh, yes. I like the funny books. And one of my favorite writers has a new series out, Stumptown. And it kicks some mighty ass. As it should, as it's written by one of my favorite comics writers, Greg Rucka.

You know that movie Whiteout? The one you didn't see? It's adapted (questionably) from his mini-series. The comic is so much better. It is.

He's also written a lot of Batman. I mean a lot. And very well. Right now, he's writing Batwoman in Detective Comics. The first time since 1938 that Batman has not been the star of said flagship comics of DC Comics. The DC...? Yeah, stands for that.

It goes a little something like this:
Dex is the proprietor of Stumptown Investigations, and a fairly talented P.I. Unfortunately, she's less adept at throwing dice than solving cases. Her recent streak has left her beyond broke—she's into the Confederated Tribes of the Wind Coast for 18 large. But maybe Dex's luck is about to change. Sue-Lynne, head of the Wind Coast's casino operation, will clear Dex' debt if she can locate Sue-Lynne's missing granddaughter. But is this job Dex's way out of the hole or a shove down one much much deeper?
Sound like maybe a low budget crime flick? Not to me. Not after reading the first issue. It's totally got a TV show vibe. It's firmly planted in the comic world. it's not trying to be a different form of media and that is wise. A comic book is not a TV, nor should it be. But I do believe that Mister Rucka watched a lot of The Rockford Files. Yes, I do.

He paints Dex (I'll save what that's short for) fully as a character in a short space while still leaving something's to be revealed. It's not even until the last page that you learn her name and it was only at that point that I realized I didn't know it.

I like that Rucka, as a comics writer, seems to carry a large TV influence. His comics and novel series, Queen & Country (one of the best and most realistic presentations of modern espionage you'll find) is, aside from brilliant, essentially an unofficial sequel, twenty years on, of the British TV series, The Sandbaggers.

One of the best things about Stumptown, aside from it's new take on hard-boiled, is the setting. ONe does not immediately think of Portland, all. Though I find it a fascinating city. And in Stumptown (as Portland is known) it is a character and it is presented in painstaking accuracy. If Dex hits a bar, it's a real Portland bar. Her house really exists. I think after about fifteen or twenty issues of this series, I gonna want to take the Stumptown tour of Stumptown.

Go to your local comics store forthwith and make purchase of it. If they don't have it because it doesn't feature superheroes or zombies or zombie superheroes, then beat them about the head with the replcia lightsaber that I assure you is somewhere in the building.

Have I steered you wrong?

I haven't. Don't lie.

Now enough of this. It's been a busy day. I hit the Mastermind set this morning, and while there I wrote a scene of a TV spec. I've worked on a secret form from a secret thing and I'm supposed to write a 2000+ word short story before today becomes tomorrow. I'm pushing the definition of tomorrow a little.
©2024 Michael Patrick Sullivan
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