Friday, February 20, 2009

Dark! Gripping! Other words!

Stray Bullets Vol. 1 (2005)

Featuring: A wonderful cast of characters including sexually disturbed petty criminals, violent thugs and charismatic politician-paedophiles.

The Gist: A collection of short graphic novels about some horrible things. Criminal shenanigans; drug deals going wildly wrong; bad men in power being bad with their power. That kind of thing. These horrible things sometimes happen to horrible people, but also to some innocent idiots and little children who just get caught in the cross-fire. I’ve highlighted the criminal element but there’s also mundane suburban stuff where parents are just mean and negligent leading their kids to be awful and violent to eachother. Happy-fun-smile-time!

And then what happens?: You feel bad for enjoying things like Sin City and Reservoir Dogs. A lot of it is reminiscent of something Quentin Tarantino might come up with, but with the very important difference that he presents violence and depravity as entertainment, as something slightly ridiculous; Stray Bullets reminds you that it’s part of human behaviour, it’s mostly banal and everyday. I read it all the way through because I felt like I had to, so it’s not like I can “recommend” it as such, but it definitely has a can’t-look-away quality. But then so does that YouTube clip of Miss South Carolina talking about The I-raq. It’s your call really.

Read it for: Well it’s pulp fiction at the end of the day, it just doesn’t wash off by the time the commercials come on like with Law & Order: SUV. That’s the one I made up where soccer moms and little blondes from Laguna Beach go wild and stabby in totally rad shiny Range Rovers every week then sob out their confessions even though all the evidence is completely wafer-thin and circumstantial. Ah, justice!

Level of Crazy: 9. Lots of no feelings.

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