Murder Me Dead #2

Posted: Wednesday, March 14, 2001
By: Darren Schroeder

Creator(s): David Lapham
Publishers: El Capitan Books
From: USA
Price: ?

Dames with pump action shotguns sure have a certain way about them, and Lapham manages to capture that strange mix of charm and menace successfully in this book. There is a lot going on in the narrative, perhaps too much for its own good. A guy turnes up on the doorstep of an old girlfriend. She's being stalked and at first thinks he is the stalker, but soon she invites him in and the two of them are swapping live trauma stories, flirting with each other and acting very weird - the guy takes great pleasure in stroking the couch and she starts making very interesting eye contact.

The reader soon learns that the guy is a club owner who started out as a piano player but got the club when his wife died in mysterious circumstances. He was having several affairs at the time. The dame was/is a morphine addict who owes her dealer a lot of money, and of course there is a stalker who throws the occasional brick through her window.

With all this going on it would be easy for things to get jumbled, but Lapham manages to avoid this but the pacing of the plot feels rushed which means the relationship between the dame and the Piano player doesn't really make much sense. In the art department Lapham is no slouch, drawing in a nice clean style with lots of attention paid to interesting points of view and establishing panels for transitions between scenes. The term "Camera angles" comes to mind.

In a Word: Noir.

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