There’s an odd thing to this issue of Stray Bullets. Even though Lapham never suggests things are going to go all right at all, even though he takes the reader through various intense situations and they always get worse, he creates a hopefulness. It’s a useless one, of course, but it’s there.
The reality of the comic starts with the Star Wars banter and carries over into the family relationship. The lead is a middle school girl who witnesses a murder and breaks down. Lapham handles all of the relationships perfectly; people are selfish and self-serving. Not a single moment is off. It’s astoundingly depressing.
It’s not just good because it’s depressing. It’s great because Lapham perfectly constructs this situation and setting and the inevitability of it all. He has opportunities to foreshadow a happy ending, but skips them.
He’s trying to ruin the reader’s day. He does.
Victimology; writer, artist, and letterer, David Lapham; editor, Deborah Purcell; publisher, El Capitán Books.