Dex is a female private investigator with a gambling problem. Her business slogan is "Taking a beating so you don't have to," and she's inches away from some serious punches if she doesn't come up with $18,000. That's the premise of local comic man Greg Rucka's modern noir series Stumptown, which is set in the grittier pockets of Portland (from underneath the St. Johns bridge to, oddly enough, the RingSide) and illustrated with moody verve by Seattleite Matthew Southworth. Portland's Oni Press has just published the four installments of the miniseries together in one pretty hardcover volume and is throwing a release party at Bridge City Comics to celebrate. Southworth and Rucka will sign the books, which will be on sale, along with brand-new Stumptown illustrations. Leave your brass knuckles at home.
GO: Stumptown release party at Bridge City Comics, 3725 N Mississippi Ave., 282-5484. 6-8 pm, Friday March 25. Free.
THURSDAY MARCH 24
[MUSIC] ESBEN AND THE WITCH
Did you hear, kids? Goth is cool again. Esben and the Witch makes music that's danceable and a little bit creepy. Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., 288-3895. 9 pm. $12 advance, $14 day of show. 21+.
FRIDAY MARCH 25
[MUSIC] SIC ALPS
Like a lo-fi Guided By Voices for the tone deaf, San Francisco's Sic Alps plays noisy garage rock that's actually enhanced by the shitty audio quality. East End, 203 SE Grand Ave., 232-0056. 9 pm. $8. 21+.
[MOVIES] SOME DAYS ARE BETTER THAN OTHERS
A study in seasonal affective disorder openly influenced by the early work of David Gordon Green, Matt McCormick's debut feature gets moving if uneven performances from James Mercer and pre-Portlandia Carrie Brownstein, but it's more than an indie-rock mood ring. Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd., 493-1128. Multiple showtimes. $5-$7.
[THREADS] BRIDGETOWN FASHION REVUE
What's better than eyeballing clothes from local designers? Watching models and burlesque dancers strut the same threads in a series of "performance vignettes" set to live world music. Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta St., 719-6055. 7 pm. $10. 21+.
[MOVIES] OF GODS AND MEN
A movie so serious that Ingmar Bergman would tell it to lighten up, Xavier Beauvois' Grand Prix-winning study of devotion and doubt fixes its patient gaze on a brotherhood of French monks whose quiet lives of faithful service are threatened by the Algerian Civil War. Cinema 21, 616 NW 21st Ave., 223-4515. Multiple showtimes. $6-$9.
SATURDAY MARCH 26
[MUSIC] DAN BERN
You probably heard his songs during Get Him to the Greek, but Dan Bern is no joke songwriter. His political savvy, personal honesty and fantastic songs make him one of the better youngish folk singers around. Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta St., 719-6055. 8 pm. $15 advance, $18 day of show. 21+.
SUNDAY MARCH 27
[JAPAN RELIEF] FROM OREGON, WITH LOVE
Local event maven Stephen Marc Beaudoin and friends launch a giant benefit concert for the Mercy Corps Oregon Japan Relief Fund starring Pink Martini, Holcombe Waller, Storm Large, Oregon Ballet Theatre dancers and more. Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave., 234-9694. 7 pm. $38 advance, $40 door. Tickets at aladdin-theater.com.
Images courtesy of Oni Press