Working Stiff #3 (formerly Blue Collar)

Posted: Tuesday, May 3, 2005
By: Darren Schroeder

Cover of Working Stiff #3 (formerly Blue Collar) Creator(s): Craig Stephens
Publishers: Self Published
From: USA
Price: $4 (inc. shipping)(US)

There's a lot of trouble in the world, and the Negotiator came to our planet to help by getting people to talk through their differences. He's good at it, but he needs help if he wants to save humanity. He thinks Ginger might just be the right person, but she doesn't trust him. Meanwhile, shadowing dealings at Stymyco cross the Negotiators path.

Things are starting to get more complicated in the continuing story of diplomacy. The confidence that the Negotiator shows starts to looks hollow as people fears, avarice and greed come into play. It's nice to see Craig taking the story in a direction that isn't so clear cut as the earlier instalments. The characters are going to have to work at things. I'll try not to let the fact that Darren gets shot effect my opinion of the story... but he'd better pull through!

The balance of the book is made up of three short strips that have so-so punch-lines in the last panel, and a quite peculiar longer piece Hidey Hole regarding a trio of kids digging out a hideout under a highway, and the strange message they receive from someone who has been observing their activities. The story pro-ports to be based on real life, with the strange hand-written note they found reproduced. It's so weird it could be true.

Then we have the artwork - a real please to look at with a 50's vibe, and lashing of zip-o-tone to lend weight to the page layouts. This is a very handsome book to hold in your hands, it makes you want to read it and rewards the time you give it.<

In a Word: Thorough.

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