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Stray Bullets, Vol. 1: Innocence of Nihilism (Stray Bullets #1-7)

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  559 ratings  ·  42 reviews
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 too ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 6th 2005 by El Capitan (first published May 2nd 2001)
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Watchmen by Alan MooreThe Complete Maus by Art SpiegelmanV for Vendetta by Alan MooreThe Sandman, Vol. 1 by Neil GaimanThe Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Best Graphic Novels
271st out of 2,138 books — 4,916 voters
Blind Corners by Jemir Robert JohnsonSin City, Vol. 1 by Frank MillerRoad to Perdition by Max Allan CollinsCriminal, Vol. 1 by Ed BrubakerStray Bullets, Vol. 1 by David Lapham
Crime comics
5th out of 29 books — 15 voters

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Community Reviews

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Sam Quixote
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.

Printable Tire
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 inspiratio ...more
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.
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 ...more
'kris Pung
A great collection of short semi-related stories.
Sridhar Reddy
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. La
Manuel Alejandro
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 fu
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."
Wayne McCoy
'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 you
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 ...more
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 st ...more
Donald Armfield
I read the first four issues of Stray Bullets from comixology. Netgalley had the graphic novel, with the next three installments.

This is mild compared to Lapham's Crossed. I was not impressed with the rest of collection.
Issue number 7 "Freedom" was the best of the new ones I read.
--a little girl never sees her Dad, he returns from his long truck driving route and is home for good, but not long.--

The first three in series were the best and black & white comics should be colored in.....just
Shannon Appelcline
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 m
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, sexu
I was quite disappointed in this book, perhaps because of how much good I had heard about it. It has some great moments, but after each story, there wasn't anything to make me want to read the next one.
This collection of stories is only loosely tied together in this collection. I'm hoping/assuming this volume is setting the stage for what will ultimately connect these characters on seemingly disparate arcs.
Aug 08, 2007 Jason rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of crime fiction
Shelves: graphic-novels
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
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
Artemiy Nizovtsev
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
It's not about what I thought it was about, and I'm pleasantly surprised and only slightly confused by that.
Jacob Goretzky
Heavy, gut-wrentching study of violence in black and white. The true crime-drama masterpiece.
Just started reading the whole Stray Bullets series and from what I can tell there are 8 volumes. I don't think the last volume has come out yet because David Lapham needs to take a break in order to make some money:) As he says, "The reality is I have a family and I can’t just say stop everything and let’s do Stray Bullets for love. I do love Bullets and know I will complete it, and the sooner the better, but I just can’t commit to anything firm." So far i am really enjoying the criminal aspect ...more
Violence and lots of it. For pretty much no purpose.

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 i
I have no idea what I just read. It might have been amazing.
David Pain
Initially underwhelmed (I felt this to be somewhat random, very miserable and heavy handed...) I was delighted as the stories became more varied and links between them appeared. The whole thing feels very understated and I genuinely cared about the characters. Lots of reviews mention Tarantino but this didn't occur to me as I read.
Nihilism is right - this is really dark modern noir. The loosely connected stories are full of violence and death and dark characters. Some go further than others, and some characters are more interesting than others, and the relationships are really only tangential in this volume. But it's setting up more. The art is incidental, not wonderful, but serviceable. It's the plot, and the characters, that carry the day.
I feel like I missed the bus on this series. I remeber hearing about it years back, but never picked up an issue. I now just started reading and most stuff put out by El Capitan is out-of-print right now. These stories are great. If you read graphic novels at all, you should check this out. You can still get good deals on them at eBay.
Elle Markov
This was an interesting read. It reminded me of the movie Crash, how all the tragic events and characters interact with each other.

The way these uncontrollable events push and pull the characters really captivates the reader.

Rating 5 out of 5
James Schneider
The Nihilism - which, to be fair, is announced in the title - is of the gut-churning variety. The trick is the level of humanism mixed in. There are brutal consequences. This is beautiful, special work, but it is work I will not be returning to.
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