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Book Review < Back

Stray Bullets:
The Innocence of Nihilism (vol. 1)

Credits: Written and Illustrated by David Lapham
Publisher: El Capitan


Her name is Virginia Applejack, and you're going to fall in love with her.

She's a little girl when we first meet her. Seven, maybe eight years old? Somewhere in there. Freckles. Big eyes. Funny-awkward and funny-strange. She lives outside of Baltimore.

STRAY BULLETS hops around in time, place, and character from chapter to chapter. Take Joey, the lovesick killer and erstwhile star of the first part of the book. The next time we see him, Joey's a big-eared kid munching dry cereal and looking for his momma at a party. Spanish Scott is at the party. He ran some guy over in his truck, and he winked at Orson right before he did it. Orson will hook up with Beth, which will piss off Harry. And even though we never meet Harry, not even Spanish Scott would want to piss Harry off. Spanish Scott winked at Virginia Applejack once.

Oh! And then the world ends.

It's a bit confusing, sure. It doesn't matter.

In this, Lapham's first collection of interlocking, yet interdependent crime stories, he crafts tales like his title. They come out of nowhere and fuck shit up before vanishing as fast as they appeared, disrupting whatever they encounter. Lapham plays fast and loose with just what exactly constitutes crime, from the outward and profane violence caused by street thugs, to the horror and viscera of cancer and an equally carcinogenic family.

Bad things have a habit of collecting around Virginia Applejack. And it breaks my heart each and every time. I think STRAY BULLETS is about her, most of all.

-- Matt Fraction

Matt Fraction splits his time between motion graphics and design house MK12, writing comics, and reading comics. He is the author of the graphic novels The Annotated Mantooth and Last of the Independents, both available from AiT/Planet Lar. He can be found on the web at mattfraction.com. His wife is hot.


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