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‘Stillwater: Volume 1’ - Advance Trade Paperback Review

Oh, “Chip Zdarsky.” I thought to myself. “I like him a lot.” So, I decided to take a look at Stillwater to write a review. I was sure I had seen the name of the series before, but didn’t know anything about it. I assumed Stillwater would be interesting and weird - ya know, amusing - like much of Zdarsky’s other stuff. Well, it’s terribly interesting. It’s just weird enough; however, Zdarsky - along with co-creator Ramón K Perez - have got some serious stuff going on here, and then underneath that, even more serious stuff.

Daniel West is a city dweller. He has some anger issues which puts him in a financially tight spot, among other similarly tight spots. It seems to be a reoccurring issue. He receives a letter telling him that his great aunt has died and there’s a lot of money waiting for him in the town of Stillwater. So, he and his best friend Tony take a sojourn to figure out what’s going on. They find Stillwater. They find a lot more than Stillwater. What that is I’m almost certain you’ll be able to find in another review or blurb.

In the meantime, I’ll ask you this: If you thought you had a divine right to something you saw as a gift, what would you do to keep it safe or secret? Would you share it? Those are the big questions driving the many characters in this secret hideaway.

This is a specific genre of thriller. There’s always something going on in a small town. Something weird, dangerous. It was there in the short story, "The Lottery," written in 1948 and continued all the way through Twin Peaks, between and beyond. Within this confined setting, Zdarsky slyly deals with some of the broader social concerns many people have today. Those concerns that tie together religion and military, power and corruption, delusion and belief. There are some powerful statements present in this tense series.

I also assumed this was a self-contained volume. I bleated out the word, “NO!” when I got to the last page and realized it was a cliffhanger. I scrolled up and down in my PDF review document, hoping I was wrong. Now, I’ll have to seek out the rest of the story and believe you me. When you get a peek into this world, with the amazingly beautiful art, colors, and design work, you’ll want to keep reading, as well.


Creative Team: Chip Zdarsky (creator, writer), Ramón K Perez (creator, writer), Mike Spicer (colors), Rus Wooton (letterer), Jon Moisan (editor), Andres Juarez (logo, design)
Publisher: Skybound Entertainment and Image Comics
Click here to purchase.



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