Stumptown is a series of comics with a crime/mystery theme. It follows private investigator Dex Parios as she is tasked with solving crimes in and around Portland.
This issue focuses a lot more on Dex’s private life than her profession, which is very refreshing. Dex and CK are still trying to find out who attacked Mercury and why. Solving this mystery really seems to be consuming Dex as she starts to take out her frustrations on her brother Ansel and Grey. We also discover a bit about Dex and her military past as CK starts questioning her about it.
Don’t expect any action in this issue as it is very character driven. It focuses on the relationships between the characters and helping you understand how each is affected by the other.
The artwork is a bit of a mixed bag. The style that is used is very minimalistic and angular. At times it doesn’t convey the facial expressions of the characters successfully. The physical structure of some of the bodies also tended to be a bit awkward in a few cases. The colours used fit perfectly with the crime/mystery theme, dark purples, dark blues, dark greens with a splash of bright colours like orange here and there. The frame layout is a classic grid based one. It does, however, use overlapping to draw your attention to certain frames. This works very well.
My feelings towards Stumptown issue 4 is a bit conflicted. It was refreshing to read a comic that focuses more on relationships and intrigue than action. I enjoyed seeing the conflict play out between the characters. The art however, is not as successful as the writing. I look forward to see how the mystery plays out in the next few issues.