Stumptown Vol 4 by Greg Rucka (writer)
Art: Justin Greenwood (illustrator), Ryan Hill (colorist), and Crank! (letterer)
Stumptown Volume 4 has been sitting on my to-read shelf, wrapped in plastic, since it came out. I thought about reading it before the show aired, but I didn’t. Volume 3 disappointed me in both not connecting with the story and not caring for Greenwood’s art. But then my friend Max read Volume 4 and immediately texted me, asking if I had. He then encouraged me to read it.
Max, my friend, you were right. I did really like this volume. There’s nothing more perfect than coffee snobs in the Pacific Northwest. Or, as my partner said, “You’ve never heard of cat shit coffee?!”
This tale is funny. It gets back into the special kind of surly that is Dex. It also showcases how she’s perhaps not as messed up as she could be, but she also fails at some basic communication that would make her life much more comfortable.
Of course, Ansel and Dex have a sister named Fuji, who we’ve never heard about until now. And she’s there because she’s broke and looking for money. Fuji also illustrates how Dex does an excellent job of taking care of Ansel. I do like how long Rucka holds off on telling you that Fuji is their sister, especially since she meets Grey before seeing Dex again.
Dex’s coffee case was full of those types of coffee and tech guys. And it was perfect to see her foil them all. Of course, they would never think that she’d switch out the cat shit coffee and put it into a Folgers can. (Though I also wonder if that would not leave residue behind.) It was too real that the coffee guy always wanted to make Dex a cup of coffee.
The coffee mafia and the extremely wealthy guy and his righthand man were incompetently funny. Too bad for Dex that she managed to train them on how to use a taser correctly. Dex even seemed to know — or understand that Fuji would get involved when she knew that much money was at stake.
Additionally, Greenwood’s art seemed to grow and find its footing here. The humor played well to their style.
I do instead hope that if we ever have a season two of the Stumptown TV show that we’ll have this plot. The show could use something funny. Plus, introducing a random sister would be a perfect turn for the show to make, as long as said sister doesn’t create any unnecessary love triangles.