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

4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  434 ratings  ·  24 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
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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
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...more
Andrew Anony
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.
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."
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
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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

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...more
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.
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.
Oliver Bateman
The stories in this collection are moody, evocative, and terribly depressing, but they're also formulaic and manipulative. There's something missing here, although I'm not sure what it is.
Very good with top notch art. But Stray Bullets is a brutally violent comic. That violence sometimes took me away from the story and made it hard to continue reading. Alas, I made it through.
Well, thank you David Lapham, not only do I feel fucking depressed, you make wept for the future of mankind.

By the way, the Amy Racecar story: Weird as hell.
Well, Stray Bullets is pulpy and messed up, and yet, I couldn't put it down. This is not great dialogue, but just interesting characters and narratives, re: messed up.
undoubtably the single best indie comic book series ever made. a must read for anyone who likes things that are rad.
Sarah Doyle
I love David Lapham. Great writer, great art, awesome female characters.
Mark Desrosiers
Noir as a total mindfuck. Loved it.
the best graphic novel.
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Marc marked it as to-read
Jul 27, 2014
Conal Cochran
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