Stray Bullets 23 (January 2002)

Stray Bullets #23

Lapham is still uneven. He’s trying too hard. This issue has the reveal Spanish Scott is Rose’s brother, which no doubt Lapham also had set up–it makes things make sense (her and Joey being around)–and it’s got a bunch of stuff with Joey getting traumatized. Joey grows up to be the guy who goes berserk in the first issue.

See how it all connects? Who cares. Lapham should have gone in and taken out the reveals and put the comic out. The texture would all be there without the painful exposition.

And this issue has some really good stuff. Scott and the kid, Scott and Rose, Scott and the kid’s babysitter. Great dialogue, great narrative flow. But then the ending goes too far to traumatize Joey. If the comic were somehow centered around this character and the first issue’s events, maybe, but it isn’t.

Lapham’s attention is erratic.

B- 

CREDITS

The Secret Box; writer, artist, and letterer, David Lapham; editor, Deborah Dragovic; publisher, El Capitán Books.

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