Read Stray Bullets, Vol. 1: Innocence of Nihilism by David Lapham Online


For the first time ever, the complete award-winning first arc of Stray Bullets in paperback! Follow the lost lives of people who are savagely torn apart by events beyond their control: The innocent world of an imaginative little girl is shattered when she witnesses a brutal double murder. An introverted young boy on the verge of manhood gets a lesson on just how far is tooFor the first time ever, the complete award-winning first arc of Stray Bullets in paperback! Follow the lost lives of people who are savagely torn apart by events beyond their control: The innocent world of an imaginative little girl is shattered when she witnesses a brutal double murder. An introverted young boy on the verge of manhood gets a lesson on just how far is too far when he falls for a needy woman who lives life in the fast lane. Or party with a pair of low-rent hoods who learn what is really important in life just when they shouldn't. And even learn the story of the most infamous gangster who ever lived, Amy Racecar, who talks to God, lunches with the President, and just may be responsible for the end of the world. These are some of the tales that will rip out your guts and break your heart....

Title : Stray Bullets, Vol. 1: Innocence of Nihilism
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780972714563
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 224 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Stray Bullets, Vol. 1: Innocence of Nihilism Reviews

  • Sam Quixote
    2019-01-30 00:43

    It’s tricky to talk about Stray Bullets without acknowledging Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, which came out the year before Stray Bullets debuted in 1995. The clever dialogue, likeable criminal characters, and violent, interlocking stories must’ve felt derivative like the million Tarantino copycats that popped up in his wake. And yet Stray Bullets is its own thing. It shares only superficial similarities to Tarantino’s masterpiece and possesses notable differences to make it stand out separately. Innocence of Nihilism collects the first seven stories in the series. It opens in 1997 where a couple of lowlifes are looking for a spot to bury a body before things go to hell and they shoot up a diner. From that explosive beginning, we’re thrown back to 1977 where we meet Ginny, a young girl who witnesses a brutal murder in an alleyway. The stories then jump ahead to different years, 1980, 81, and 82, featuring new characters like Spanish Scott, a charismatic killer, and Orson, a high school kid whose entrance into adulthood is something of a shock. Pulp Fiction took place over a day or two while Stray Bullets is set over at least a couple decades. Also, while I admire Tarantino’s work, I don’t think he writes real characters – they always come off as cartoons, so that when something emotional happens to them, it never affects the viewer. With David Lapham’s stories, you do feel an emotional connection with some of the characters, especially with Ginny, who we see change after seeing the murder. Ginny’s mind begins to unravel, her relationship with her mother falls apart, she tries running away, she stabs a kid at school with a pen, and then we see her beloved father contract cancer. It’s a rich, powerful arc that makes me hope we see more of her in later volumes of the series. And then there’s Amy Racecar – if ever there’s a story in this collection to distance himself from Tarantino comparisons, it’s this character! Set in the 31st century, Amy meets God who tells her the truth behind human existence. She spends years in bed with this knowledge until a truth machine gets it out of her and the information brings down the world’s governments! Amy becomes the world’s greatest thief and most sought after woman - until she blows up the world! I suppose Amy’s criminal element ties her story thematically to the others, but otherwise what an unexpected and quite brilliant break in the book! In fact, all of the stories do away with expectations as they go on. Ginny’s second appearance, the Bonnie & Clyde story, where she decides to hitch a ride west and gets picked up by a pervy old dude makes you think, uh oh, she’s a 10 year old girl on her own and she’s gonna have to fight off a sicko’s advances; and then you read the ending which completely flips the story around! The characters are fully realised and fascinating, the stories are equally compelling, the artwork is very accomplished and expressive, and it all comes together perfectly as a whole in this book. Stray Bullets transcends its genre and comparisons to similar works to become an absolutely amazing and singular title with its own identity. I’d recommend this one to every adult comics reader, unless you’re sensitive to violence. Cool beans, David Lapham!

  • Eric
    2019-01-23 03:26

    4 1/4 stars

  • Printable Tire
    2019-02-17 03:35

    At least the pictures were neat. This collection of tales stretches from the morbidly retarded to the why-you-gotta-be-so depressing, yet the storytelling and sequencing sometimes show genuine talent. The portrayals of low-lifes and shitty family dynamics are a little too real, with all the good-time chunks thrown out and replaced with basic bareboned black humor. The more interesting stories tie together the same loose company of strangers (think Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, do doubt an inspiration) through various time periods, and each chapter ends super-dark, or at least with a little dark high school-nihilist asshole smirk. In the end it's something like listening to an overeducated mall goth or a really talented high school geek: Good, great, I get it guy, life sucks, and you bring your point home masterfully. But I think I'd rather spend my next evening watching a rerun of Scrubs than with a negative nelly like you again.

  • Andrew
    2019-01-25 07:41

    Really awesome art and stories. I hope the stories become more connected in the following volumes. Only a few of the 7 stories presented here contained the same characters. I wasn't shocked by any of the violent themes, although at first they did seem to only be there to shock and entertain. The later stories, however, were more restrained. For a slim graphic novel this explored a lot of territory. I'd recommend this to fans of comics, as well as fans of violence/crime stories.

  • Tom Mathews
    2019-02-15 03:38

    A collection of interesting, loosely linked stories won the Eisner Award. The black and white drawings get a bit too busy on occasion but this is otherwise an engaging graphic novel.

  • Christopher Mclean
    2019-01-23 03:52

    An interesting collection of loosely interlocking violent crime stories, that left me with intrigued but mixed feelings.This volume collects a number to self contained, typically violent, crime focused stories, which when read together start to show some connected characters (with one exception set over 1000 years after the other stories). Individually each story works quite well, often playing with the readers expectations and taking the story is the opposite direction from what is expected.While is enjoyed each story individually, and appreciated the self-contained nature of them, I would have preferred a little bit more in the way of an overall cohesive plot, particularly as I found myself really enjoying a number of the characters, and hoping we would see more of them.I'm interested to see where this series goes over the next few volumes as I feel that while flipping the readers expectations is a interesting plot device, when it is overused it can become predicable. Given the quality of this first volume I will be reading more soon, and hopefully Lapham takes advantage of this great start to continue to deliver interesting stories.

  • 'kris Pung
    2019-02-03 08:44

    A great collection of short semi-related stories.

  • Filipe Siqueira
    2019-02-02 05:35

    Temos aqui um interessante estudo sobre a violência. Não apenas um olhar geral sobre a violência sistêmica e completa, mas como ela se manifesta de forma sutil até mesmo nos indivíduos aparentemente mais blindados a ela.A ideia do autor David Lapham é demonstrar como a violência (e mais ainda a violência urbana e criminosa) parece um ser tentacular e cheio de cabeças, capaz de se perpetuar. O gibi traça um painel em que indivíduos (geralmente desajustados) são envolvidos em uma teia sutil que descampa para episódios cruéis de violência completa. Aqui não existe redenção. As histórias geralmente se entrelaçam ao longo do volume e com mais e mais histórias lidas e possível entender que o trampo do cara é cheio de camadas e ideias narrativas.Em alguns momentos dá a entender que será uma obra-prima, mas não chega a tanto e se mostra um ótimo gibi, indigesto e que faz pensar. Talvez seja como um primo mais novo de "A História da Violência", que inspirou o filme de David Cronenberg "Marcas da Violência".

  • Sridhar Reddy
    2019-02-21 08:29

    In a post-Pulp Fiction world of crime storytelling, the use of multiple, interlocking storylines has become a commonplace device. When employed with skill, it can create a rich and textured universe with depth and veracity. When used ineffectively, the separate storylines become episodic and exist as disjointed short stories stitched together only by a title. David Lapham's Stray Bullets falls into the former category as a complete, defined and utterly fascinating world of crime and morality. Lapham however exceeds the cartoony caricatures of Pulp Fiction by creating a host of characters that are clearly entrenched in our world, and it is this veracity that makes it one of the truly great crime epics of the past decade. Stray Bullets is indeed a vast and sprawling crime story, but unlike the works of Hammett, Puzo or Tarantino, its world is not populated by criminal masterminds or slick mobsters who know exactly the right thing to say at exactly the right time. In fact Lapham's characters seem to specialize in saying exactly the wrong things at the wrong time, and it is their fallibility which gives this series the essential dose of realism that takes it to the next level of crime storytelling. Amongst the large cast of characters there isn't a single admirable protagonist - they all display signs of rage, of violence, of ignorance and sometimes of blatant stupidity. They are bumbling small-time crooks making their way through life in the most convoluted and amoral ways possible. As aforementioned there are no Tarantino-esque clever one-liners, quotable catchphrases, or even slight pop-culture references in Lapham's work. His characters speak in everyday vernacular, at times with accents and differing pronunciations, much of it lewd, snarling and vastly inappropriate. In actuality, there is no real reason for we the readers to personally like any of the characters, but this certainly does not mean that we cannot identify with them. This is where the true power of Lapham's work resides. Lapham, through his expressive artwork and penchant for details in design and vernacular, creates characters and situations that we all, regardless of our moral compass, tend to find ourselves in and associated with; the small girl who is picked on, the young inexperienced boy with self-esteem problems, the father who feels he has let his family down, the people who can't see an immediate way out. Because of their emotional authenticity and Lapham's ability to set them in a real world (his details of clothing, physicality and environment are simply spectacular) the characters ring as true, and because we identify with them we can actually care about what happens to them, because they are people just like us. This despite the book containing extremely graphic and heinous acts of violence, scenes which we would never hope to witness or experience in our own lives. But even with the violence we still care, which is a remarkable feat and one of the rarest accomplishments in recent comics, which have specialized in desensitized and emotionally empty violence. Recent books like Jimmy Corrigan and Asterios Polyp craft characters and worlds that exist within our reality, and it is what makes these books the prime examples of the artform. David Lapham's Stray Bullets certainly belongs in that canon, and in many facets surpasses these works by eschewing literary pretensions for deceptively complex declarations of simple, basic truths. These are not just interweaving crime stories, they are the paths of everyday people living life in its most unglamorous and naked self, a collective web of experience that is both beautiful, shocking and thought provoking. Essential reading. Note: This review applies to the first eight issues of the series, and not the collected trade listed here.

  • A Reader's Heaven
    2019-02-10 05:28

    (I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.)Follow the lost lives of people who are savagely torn apart by events beyond their control. As the innocent world of an imaginative little girl is shattered when she witnesses a brutal double murder. Or an introverted young boy on the verge of manhood gets a lesson on just how far is too far when he falls for a needy woman who lives life in the fast lane. Or party with a pair of low-rent hoods who learn about what is really important in life just when they shouldn’t. And even learn the story of the most infamous gangster who ever lived, Amy Racecar, who talks to God, lunches with the President, and just may be responsible for the end of the world. These are some of the tales that will rip out your guts and break your heart. This book collects the first seven issues of Stray Bullets.This is a collection of 7 loosely connected crime stories. For the most part, they have all the ingredients (in stories) that I like: violence that is definitely right there, but never over the top silly; characters that I can connect with - both good guys and the baddies; and razor-sharp dialogue that actually brought this book from 3 stars to 4. The artwork was the surprise, though - it was very, very good and really did a lot of the work for the reader. It is dark and moody, creating an atmosphere that words alone cannot do. Why only 4 stars? I would have liked all of the stories to have been connected in a more cohesive way. They weren't bad stories, I would have just liked to have had a sense of continuity to the plot of the book.PaulARH

  • Shannon Appelcline
    2019-02-10 01:41

    This is an amazing first volume. I love the structure of the book, with its kaleidoscope focus on some many characters in some many timeframes. More than once I found myself flipping back and forth to make sure I understood the connections. The storytelling is also very strong, with most of the issues ending with rather shocking moments of the sort that a more traditional comic would be afraid to include, because they'd create too much change.With that all said, it's the characters that really make the volume. In particular, this is Ginny's story, as she's beset by too many young tragedy. However, we also get an interesting focus on Joey (and his mother Rose.) As we see this young people grow up, it's easy to reflect upon what we learn by what we see.The one issue I didn't love was #6, with Amy Racecar. It's a wacky and violent future story that only gains context when you realize that it must be a story written by Ginny. Read in that context, it has some additional weight (and even sets up some things in issue #7).Overall a very readable and rereadable comic!

  • Wayne McCoy
    2019-02-21 01:37

    'Stray Bullets, Vol. 1: Innocence of Nihilism' collects the first seven issues of the series from the mid 1990s by David Lapham. The art is great and the well written stories veer crazily out of control between morbid humor and outright violence. Ready?The stories take place over a variety of years and a few of them are linked. From low lifes sent out to bury bodies, to an innocent young girl who's life is changed when she witnesses a murder. Things take place at a crazy party where a bright young man gets in with the wrong crowd. There is even a story about Amy Racecar, notorious bank robber and tall tale spinner. The characters are memorable, even when they are less than savory. The art is black and white, but really good. I liked 'Murder Me Dead' for it's noir quality, and I like this one for it's similarities to the movie Pulp Fiction by Quentin Tarantino. I think it's a fair comparison and a compliment to the author. Gritty and enjoyable.I received a review copy of this graphic novel from Diamond Book Distributors, Image Comics and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this great graphic novel.

  • Manuel Alejandro
    2019-02-10 07:49

    I just began to read Stray Bullets and I already feel frustrated that it took me so long to begin it. This is the kind of stories that I usually feel interested in, but don’t found as often as I would like to.Judging for the first seven issues, the comic book is formed from one issue stories that happen in the same world with different characters crossing in different stories. Also, it is a story that occurs through different decades. There is even a story in the future with a very unexpected future.From the seven stories I would have problems saying which one is the best. They all were great in different ways. It was a great mix of dark humor, social commentary, violence and human tragedy. There is also the fact that David Lapham writes and draws which I think it is a bonus. Some of the best comic books come from the vision of only one artist. From Frank Miller to Stan Sakai, there is something really wonderful about the storytelling abilities of a one-man army.Great comic book, highly recommended for anyone interested in great noir stories with broken characters and sad endings.

  • Becca
    2019-02-10 07:31

    So my friend told me this story once how she accidently rented 28 Days Later, the zombie horror flick, instead of 28 Days, the warming tale of an alcholics journey to recovery. She said she had a blanket over half her face and kept wondering when Sandra Bullock was going to show up.This was me and Stray Bullets. I'd heard recommendations for 100 Bullets, but it had been awhile and when I saw this title I picked it up. So I'm starting to feel like shit as I read about these people and drugs, sexual exploits, bullying gone horribly horribly awry and possible child molestation... and think, "I didn't sign up for this." But I trudge through anyway. I get to the end, where against all odds one of the characters takes an unexpected turn. You've read enough of these degenerates that you think you understand his motivation, but you find your mouth dropping open and half chewed peices of red herring falling out. It's redemtion. Almost. So it made me close the book, sit back and think about the twists and turns, the threads between the stories and really start to appreciate it.All in all I find myself thanking my goldfish like memory, or surely I'd have passed this book by.

  • Liam
    2019-01-31 00:41

    3.5-4.The title is a perfect representation of what's inside this strange compilation, often featuring young kids being thrust into the dark underbelly of crime, or having to deal with domestic tragedy. It's dark and can genuinely be unsettling, thanks to the stark but nuanced artwork. The facial expressions are spot on, with realistic dialogue allowing you to imagine it like a movie as you read. Sometimes the artwork can be slightly confusing when there's a lot of movement, and it can be so bleak and defeatist at times that enjoyment is lost to discomfort, the last issue in particular.Overall I was impressed, showing that graphic novels or comics don't have to be bombastic to draw you in, I'll pick up the next volume sometime.

  • Jason
    2019-02-20 07:47

    Stray Bullets is my all-time favorite ongoing series. The art is dynamic, the storyline is enthralling...I love how Lapham doesn't feel the need to explain anything yet everything unwraps itself perfectly as the series progresses.This first story arc appears to be a bunch of uncorrelated stories, really. But what Lapham's doing is introducing you to the main cast of characters that'll be with you for the remainder of the issues...unless they die first, of course. Highly recommended - just don't get too disappointed if you never get to complete the whole story. Lapham hasn't released issue 41 yet and it's been close to two years since it was solicited.

  • Artemy
    2019-01-28 01:44

    Stray Bullets gives me a lot of anxiety. So much so that when I first started reading this volume in June, I had to stop halfway into the book, I was so unnerved by the stories. But I finally picked it up again today and finished it.I have to say, it's an incredibly written book. The plots are very tight and tense, the art is moody, it's all great stuff. But the stories themselves are absolutely miserable and depressing, it's the noir-iest of noir comics out there. And it seems like it only gets darker from here.So, if you're up to it, and if you're into noir comics, chances are you're going to love it. But beware, it can get you wrecked.

  • Craig
    2019-02-02 03:28

    This was interconnected series of stories, most of them revolving around one young girl, who witnesses a murder one night, and how her life kind of goes to hell after that. I'm not sure everything here really works, though, and this volume doesn't wrap up neatly. The story about Amy Racecar, world's greatest thief, seems wildly out of place and pretty nonsensical to boot. Lapham's artwork is rather slapdash and kind of hard to follow at times. I'd read another volume if it came my way, though I don't know I'd seek it out.

  • Adam
    2019-01-27 06:29

    Kinda nasty and vile, really.I discovered Lapham in the early-to-mid 90s through his work on the various Valiant & Defiant titles and was very impressed with his art style. He still has all that talent and more. But his stories in Bullets seem only aimed at making you, well, lose your lunch.As Tolstoy once wrote of Maupassant: "...he loved and described things that should not have been loved and described... he even describes certain obscenities difficult to understand."

  • Tim
    2019-01-24 01:55

    Black & white noir artwork with a story reminiscent of Jim Thompson.

  • Christopher
    2019-02-01 08:30

    I have no idea what I just read. It might have been amazing.

  • L.R. Diaz
    2019-02-09 08:33

    So far I'm enjoying the series. Nice storytelling and dramatic stories. They are almost soap opera parodies. Sometimes you kind of lose track where you are with some familiar characters growing up or getting older. They are all generally fun and interesting. Film Noir inspired stories. More character development than Sin City and definitely less stylized both in writing and art. It's fun to see and read. I can't really say I've found a story I'm really in love with. I may not, but it's interesting the series started way back in 1997 so this is kind of a big deal and I'd say it really deserves the hype. I almost wished I read them when they came out. I think I'd be really nostalgic right about now. Perhaps in another 20 years I'd have the same feeling...if I'm lucky.

  • M R
    2019-01-30 05:27

    I really wanted to like this book after picking it up and did like the stories, but I found it hard to follow along sometimes in terms of how the stories are laid out in the volume and the drawing sometimes made it hard for me to understand what was happening in a scene.

  • Jedhua
    2019-02-06 06:54

    ESTIMATED DNF RATING: {2/5 star to 2.5/5 stars}STANDARDIZED RATING: <2/5 stars>

  • Michelle
    2019-02-08 04:28

    My first five-star read of the year!I've been meaning to read this book for years. I can't remember where I came upon it, but I read someone somewhere compare it to Quentin Tarantino (who I was a big fan of when I was a teen - I've watched Pulp Fiction more times than I can count), which is what persuaded me to add to my neverending to-read list. I wish I had picked this up sooner, because it's already shaping up to be one of my favourite comics series ever and I'm only one volume in.The work reads like a series of interconnected stories. Lapham jumps around chronologically and follows different characters, some re-occuring, some not. Readers mostly follow gangster criminals who work for an enigmatic man named Harry. There's also a story that follows Amy Racecar, a girl from the far future who sees God and eventually destroys the world. I have no idea how she fits into the larger narrative that Lapham is creating, but I can't wait to find out.Lapham's art is all b&w and he mostly uses a seemingly simple 8-panel format to great effect. Because he jumps around chronologically within the narrative, it's important that the characters are recognizable when you see them appear in different stories. Lapham's character designs are clear and distinctive, so you'll never muddle anyone up, which I was very appreciative for. I also liked that even though this is a crime/noir type of work, it doesn't have the machismo or male gaze that are usually inherent in that genre (ie. I'm thinking of series like 100 Bullets, which I've grown to like, but those elements do bother me). I've already ordered the Stray Bullets: Uber Alles Edition only a few days after finishing this first volume, so to say I loved it is almost an understatement. I can't wait for my bindup to come in so I can binge-read the rest of this series. :)

  • Maris
    2019-01-24 01:54

    A dark and gritty depcition of a world that is in dire need for some good, or else all is lost. The saddest part - it just feels too real. This collection of stories reminds us such things as - violence leads to more violence and no good will come out of it; don't be too hard on kids, as they are kids and are a reflection of your actions and behaviour; and sometimes - you're never grown up, regardless of how many years you have lived under the sun. It really does deserve the subtitle that includes such a strong word as "nihilism" in it. As after reading it, and doing it in a single attempt, you think - damn, either I change something in my life and the world I live in or I'll end up doing something along the lines of the main characters. And that wouldn't be pretty. And if a comic, or any, book can make your thoughts go in that direction - it speaks volumes about the quality and worth of it. Not for everyone, as it is quite dark and can be not the best thing for minds that take things at their face value, but certainly a recommended read for all the rest. 4/5 and "I really liked it" (adding some profanity to that moniker might have been a thing, but I abstained - that's not how I do and things).

  • Izzy
    2019-02-18 02:34

    Ever since I started reading comics last year I've been looking into a lot of old and new ones. Like Superman and Batman and Spider-Man, but then there's The Walking Dead and Stray Bullets. I've read the first four issues and I find it a very interesting comic. It's mostly crime fiction but overall from what I read it's more about humanity. When you might not like Joey at first, but then you might have some sympathy later on when you see him again in another issue. Out of all the characters I've came across so far, the one whose turnout I am interested in seeing the most is Ginny. You would be too after reading the second issue. If there is a hero in this series about a bunch of people caught between the lines of good, bad and evil then it has to Ginny. Then again that's the opinion of someone whose only got to the 4th issue.

  • Zedsdead
    2019-02-10 02:43

    A bit like Brubaker's "Criminal" series. Each issue is a separate story that is lightly connected to the other issues. Characters recur and the timeline keeps jumping around between the late 70s and the 80s. It centers primarily on a community of street criminals and a little girl who's life is altered because of them.Very dark stuff. Some of the stories are quite good, but the Amy Racetrack issue throws everything off. It seems to take place in the same "world" but it's grimly farcical instead of just grim. It doesn't fit.The black-and-white art is hit or miss. Sometimes the starkness really serves the story and other times it's just confusing.

  • Theediscerning
    2019-02-09 02:43

    This is one of those instances where you read the blurb after the book to find it's esteemed, lauded and – of all things – humorous. It isn't the latter and it's really quite hard to see why it’s the others. Seven connected chapters regarding partying teens, a young girl and her hard-done-by-ness, and many characters with links to one certain crime lord. The inking has a blunt, plain Eisner quality to it, with some weird poses and exaggerated details to bludgeon the reader, which at least the stories don't tend to do. But they don't amount to much more than a hill of beans either.

  • audley
    2019-02-20 05:52

    I first read this when I was a teen and loved it. I still think the first book is strong, and much of it is memorable (the art especially), but it's hard for me to take the second time around and sometimes seems stereotyping. Kind of like watching tv crime dramas. I'm reading the second half of the series now. Actually it reminds me of Breaking Bad, in the same way it's hard to judge and yet you feel like some kind of judgment is going on anyway and you're not sure if you want to be a part of it but you are anyway.