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PARKER by Darwyn Cooke

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 
Mr. Cooke is doing a series of adaptations of Richard Stark's PARKER novels, starting this summer. They've put up a preview site featuring the first book, The Hunter.

http://www.idwpublishing.com/previews/parker/

Check it out-- pretty damn cool. It's basically the opening sequence to PAYBACK, but set in the original time period.

I think Brubaker mentioned these in the back of CRIMINAL somewhere, but I hadn't thought of them lately. I'll definitely be checking these out when they hit the shelf.
post #2 of 50
Thanks for the heads up. These actual novels in print anywhere?
post #3 of 50
Stark was a pseudonym for Donald Westlake who passed away last New Year's Eve. His novels under all names are classics and most are generally always in publication. Cooke is just the right guy to adapt them.

An interview from last year's SDCC:

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?p...ticle&id=17362
post #4 of 50
I've never read any of the books (apparently there are 24 Parker books), but I'll check out anything Cooke does.
post #5 of 50
Can't wait. Should be fun.

I'm curious what size/format these will be in--looks like they'll be hardcovers, but I'm hoping they go manga-sized.
post #6 of 50
This could be better than Point Blank. /hyperbole

Anyway, so much want.
post #7 of 50
Goddamn he's so good.
post #8 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dax View Post
I'm curious what size/format these will be in--looks like they'll be hardcovers, but I'm hoping they go manga-sized.
The portability would be nice, but I'd hate to see Cooke's art shrunk down like that.
post #9 of 50
I was at a bar in Toronto back in 2006 post-con, and Cooke was there with a bunch of other Toronto-based guys, Cameron Stewart, J Torres, etc. Lingering perhaps a little too closely to him, I overheard him say that he predicted that he had maybe 3-4 years to use his mojo to work on personal projects in the comic business, tops, on the strength of his work on The Spirit.

Thankfully, looks like he was wrong on that one.
post #10 of 50
Its quality that he's been given the chance to do this and that Westlake was involved before he passed away.

Cooke's Selina's Big Score had a Lee Marvin lookalike called Stark who i always thought was a nod to Parker (googling confirmed it), that's a pretty good heist story. I'm going to sound like an advertisement now but i bought the hardcover of Cooke's Batman: Ego and other tails off Amazon Marketplace for £7.00 brand new, that's a bloody bargain right there, it includes Selina's and is definitely worth the pennies, possibly a good taster (albeit more softer) for what we have in store with his adaptations.
post #11 of 50
Thread Starter 
Looks like an awesome interview with Cooke and Brubaker over here:

http://www.comicsreporter.com/index....r_cooke_rough/
post #12 of 50
Thread Starter 
I think this is out now. Anyone spotted/snagged it yet?
post #13 of 50
Not out officially until 7/22.
post #14 of 50
Comes out tomorrow. I'll be picking it up.

One adaptation of a novel in comic form I wont be picking up though is Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep? from Boom! Comics.

Apparently its 24 issues, and isn't quite an adaptation but a word for word reproduction of the novel with pictures. The art would have to be pretty damn fucking amazing for me to give a shit about that. 24 issues at 3.99 a pop, or 6 bucks for the same thing without pictures? I already have the latter.
post #15 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeShaynePI View Post
Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep? from Boom! Comics.

Apparently its 24 issues, and isn't quite an adaptation but a word for word reproduction of the novel with pictures. .
I've seen the first issue. It is ungood.
post #16 of 50
Thread Starter 
It's about $17 on Amazon, Hardback. I'm gonna hit a couple of local stores on the way home, and see if anyone has it in yet. Anyone else put their hands on it yet?
post #17 of 50
Where are you guys seeing that this comes out today? It's not on Diamond's shipping list for this week.
post #18 of 50
When it does come out, new Cooke is essential.
post #19 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt M View Post
Where are you guys seeing that this comes out today? It's not on Diamond's shipping list for this week.
Amazon has it listed as coming out this week, but that's wrong. Should be next week.
post #20 of 50
Are they making this a series? Is Cooke doing several adaptation?

I absolutely have to get my hands on this, not only for myself, but also as gifts for people.
post #21 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by dannymears View Post
Are they making this a series? Is Cooke doing several adaptation?
The idea was for Cooke to do four...I think the next one will be an adaptation of The Outfit. He also wants to do The Score and Slayground.
post #22 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dax View Post
Amazon has it listed as coming out this week, but that's wrong. Should be next week.
Amazon always has such things a week later. Its some Diamond thing.

I picked it up at my LCS today.
post #23 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeShaynePI View Post
Amazon always has such things a week later. Its some Diamond thing.

I picked it up at my LCS today.
Well, damn.
post #24 of 50
I dig it. Really solid adaptation. I like the way he translated the source material. For example, little things like the way the girl in the car looks at Parker as he's crossing the bridge ('He looks tough') half in awe, half in fear. Cooke got it perfectly and didn't feel the need to exclude it (it's also perfect because we haven't even gotten a good look at him yet). Parker seems just a wee bit too young for my taste (or, perhaps I always imagined him slightly more...weathered) and sometimes the art looks a little too cartoonish for me (especially, for some reason, the women) but overall, very, very solid.
post #25 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dax View Post
The idea was for Cooke to do four...I think the next one will be an adaptation of The Outfit. He also wants to do The Score and Slayground.
Cooke has considered incorporating the opening scene of The Man With the Getaway Face - the aftermath of Parker's plastic surgery - into the opening of The Outfit. Good idea.

Slayground is so action-driven, so visual a novel with a Hollywood "high concept" that ended up ripped off and recycled endlessly in the 80s/90s, I'm really surprised it never got the movie treatment it deserved (a 1984 British adaptation starring Peter Coyote has a tenuous connection to the source material). It will look terrific as a graphic novel. I like the comic book-ish cover art of this edition:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/ima...8134506&sr=1-1
post #26 of 50
A related note...

MADE IN U.S.A. arrives on DVD today from Criterion. Not a very good film, but worth catching for the unusual experience of seeing Jean-Luc Godard parody a Stark novel.
post #27 of 50
Thread Starter 
Just finished this, and enjoyed it very much. I haven't read the novel before, but I might have to track it down now. I would smile whenever I saw things that had been lifted directly from the source to appear in PAYBACK (of which I'm a big fan). Now I want to go watch both versions again, and see which one I like the best, definitively.

It's a very nice volume. Not cheap, but I will plan to buy any others they make. Good job, IDW.
post #28 of 50
I don't like it. The sample sketches from the Cooke interview were exciting, but taken as a whole I find the artwork lacks dramatic momentum and is never really sleazy, brutal or humorous enough to faithfully capture Westlake's terse yet evocative prose.

Someone has already commented on Cooke not getting Parker's 'look' right, and I agree. The mirror reveal in Book One - the first time we see our protagonist's face - is a huge disappointment. Parker resembles a surly Golgo 13, not the cold, slightly dead-looking middle aged criminal Westlake described so specifically in the book's opening pages. There's a wonderful moment in the novel where Parker has to fake a smile so that he can seem personable to a bank employee, essential to understanding the character's emotional distance. It's one of the few things Brian Helgeland got right in PAYBACK, but Cooke doesn't even bother to include it here. A mistake.

Speaking of PAYBACK, as flawed as that movie can be - even in its director's cut - I thought Helgeland and his editor totally nailed the pacing and momentum of the opening montage, and Mel Gibson the cold anger Westlake mentions on the jacket sleeve for this version. Cooke gets neither right.

And why does Lynn look like Marilyn Monroe circa THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH? If she has to be modeled on a Monroe, it should be the alcoholic pill-popping burnout of THE MISFITS.

Cooke has emphasized his painstaking faithfulness to the text, but he inserted unnecessary cursing in a few scenes that really pulled me out of the moment. He also misses some great little details (e.g., Fairfax's compulsiveness about his moustache), forces moments that are supposed to be casually violent (Mal's death) or has Parker doing things that are not even true to the character (spitting on Mal's corpse). I even had problems with the way people move in the drawings - the way they walk, punch, kick, and nervously gesture. Has Cooke ever looked at what Jim Holdaway did with Modesty Blaise? He should.

Also, the ending's been changed! Taking POINT BLANK and both versions of PAYBACK into account, that means we now have a total of four alternate endings. And guess what? This one doesn't work either!

It's an attractive volume and a nice tribute to Westlake. But it's not the novel.
post #29 of 50
Just read the novel and am ready to delve into this!

One thing that I've been wondering about: so this was officially approved by Westlake, but now that he's passed away, do you guys think it will lead to Cooke being slaveishly faithful in the other adaptations? I mean it's sort of a tough weight to bear...
post #30 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielRoffle View Post
One thing that I've been wondering about: so this was officially approved by Westlake, but now that he's passed away, do you guys think it will lead to Cooke being slaveishly faithful in the other adaptations? I mean it's sort of a tough weight to bear...
One could argue that Cooke has chosen not to be slavishly faithful, considering that he changed the ending to The Hunter.

I don't imagine The Score or Slayground would be tough to adapt. Neither book has chunks of back story to be gotten out of the way, both are action and visual-oriented, cleanly told with straightforward characters and situations. This is probably why both were optioned to be made into motion pictures (with Westlake himself writing several drafts of the former in the mid-60s). The only problem I see with The Score is that Cooke will probably have to agonize over the 'look' of Alan Grofield, considering how important that character is to the Stark novels and the fans.

The Outfit could be a toughie, though. Parker is out of the novel for a large section while his associates (some of whom become semi-regulars in the series) knock off various syndicate operations. The John Flynn/Robert Duvall film adaptation got around this by having the Parker character hit the syndicate targets himself. That might end up being Cooke's approach as well.
post #31 of 50
I wonder if the plastic surgery from the Man with the Getaway Face that's getting squeezed into The Outfit will give Parker a better look. It's grown on me a little, but it still doesn't quite seem right.

I liked the changed ending. Not as good as the ending in the novel (or Point Blank) but I liked it better than both of the endings to Payback. Bug I guess that's not saying much...
post #32 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malmordo View Post
One could argue that Cooke has chosen not to be slavishly faithful, considering that he changed the ending to The Hunter
Well yeah, but in that case Westlake was still alive to give his ok.
post #33 of 50
The Man with the Getaway Face is now available. Parker's plastic surgery gave Cooke another chance to get the face right, and looks to me like he did:

http://goodcomics.comicbookresources...8/Parker-2.jpg

Review: http://goodcomics.comicbookresources...ace-rambo-3-5/

The Outfit is up for pre-order at Amazon.
post #34 of 50
Good news: The Man with the Getaway Face is only $2 at your local comic shop.

Bad news: Cooke only covers half the novel.
post #35 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malmordo View Post
The Man with the Getaway Face is now available. Parker's plastic surgery gave Cooke another chance to get the face right, and looks to me like he did:

http://goodcomics.comicbookresources...8/Parker-2.jpg
I'm actually a little disturbed about how closely that resembles my imagined version of the character.

Only half? Is he breaking Getaway into two parts, or did he just pick and choose which parts to include? Either way, for two bucks, I'll pick it up.
post #36 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker View Post
I'm actually a little disturbed about how closely that resembles my imagined version of the character.
Time to change your avatar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker View Post
Only half? Is he breaking Getaway into two parts, or did he just pick and choose which parts to include?
The latter. He eliminated Dr. Adler's murder, dim-bulb Stubbs' hunt for the killer, Parker's hunt for Stubbs ... basically, the second half of the novel. What we're left with is a routine heist thriller.

Oh well. Two bucks, and it looks nice on my bookshelf.
post #37 of 50
Thread Starter 
I'll have to pick up this $2 deal.

I watched THE OUTFIT, recorded off TCM, last night, and that was pretty cool. Joe Don Baker and Robert Duvall vs. The Outfit. Haven't read the book, but I'll be buying Darwyn's version.

Speaking of, Cooke's gonna be here for DragonCon next week. I plan to get my copy of THE HUNTER signed. Anyone ever gotten a sketch done by the guy at a show/con?

Any questions I should ask him?
post #38 of 50

.


Edited by Agentsands77 - 6/4/16 at 2:48pm
post #39 of 50
Thread Starter 
I got to speak to Darwyn for a few minutes at DCon. A very nice man. He was not sketching this weekend, but gladly signed anything you brought. The first time I passed by, I only had Tim Sale's SOLO book, in which Darwyn had written a story. He signed the cover for me, and I told him I'd be back Sunday with THE HUNTER.

After I'd recovered it from a friend, I did just that, and he was enthusiastic about marking it for me:



We chatted briefly about the Robert Duvall/Joe Don Baker version of THE OUTFIT that I'd seen on TCM recently, and I mentioned the $2 preview book, saying that I hadn't found it yet. He told me not to worry if I didn't since that material also appears in THE OUTFIT-- not sure if that fact was known by anyone else, but I wasn't aware of it.

THE OUTFIT is due out Oct. 5.
post #40 of 50
The Outfit was available at my local comic book shop here in The Netherlands, so I have no doubt you guys should be able to get it too right now! It's pretty awesome. I have to do a comparison with The Guy With The Getaway Face, I don't think all those pages are included.
post #41 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sethos View Post
I have to do a comparison with The Guy With The Getaway Face, I don't think all those pages are included.
None of them. It's The Outfit, and The Outfit only.
post #42 of 50
Thread Starter 
Seriously? Darwyn didn't know what was gonna be included in his own book? Disappointing to hear. I'll have to track down that $2 book somewhere now.
post #43 of 50
Kidding! Wanted to see if people were awake.

The Getaway Face material is presented as a flashback. But one whole page is missing, some of the panels are different (e.g., in place of where the title appeared in the standalone, we now see Parker's POV of the doctor cutting away the bandages), and the colors went from orange to blue. And, of course, the size of the volume is smaller and easier to store.

There's a comparison here:
http://violentworldofparker.com/?page_id=3840
post #44 of 50
Grofeld?!
post #45 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malmordo View Post
Grofeld?!
It was a (consistent) mistake that Cooke never noticed until it went to print.
post #46 of 50
OK, so it will come as little surprise to many of you that I absolutely despised Cooke's version of The Outfit.

But rather than bitching all over again, I'm just going to mention that Westlake's first Dortmunder adventure, The Hot Rock, has been adapted and illustrated as a graphic novel (by Christian Lacroix). It was published this past summer, and you can see panels here:

http://www.selfmadehero.com/resource...ROCK_PR_lo.pdf

Available through Amazon UK.
post #47 of 50

Excellent interview with Cooke on The Score and the different film versions of Stark novels.

 

http://violentworldofparker.com/?p=6700&cpage=1#comment-20988

 

I like what he's doing with Grofield, and I'm pleased to see he wants to adapt Butcher's Moon.

post #48 of 50

I really love what he does that scene with Grofield hearing the music. That's nicely done. Also like how Grofield looks.

 

Really curious about a Butcher's Moon adaptation, mostly becuase it seems like it'd be very difficult to adapt. There's so much plot and so many characters.

post #49 of 50

After what I thought was a misguided debut (The Hunter), and a sloppy, stylistically confused follow-up (The Outfit), Cooke's The Score emerges a grabber. Although the cursing still brings me out of the story, Cooke's drawings are, for once, true to Stark's prose, and it was a pleasure seeing scenes (and characters) interpreted cleverly and faithfully. A winner. I'm actually looking forward to The Handle -- not one of my favorite novels but Cooke may do something interesting with it.

 

I also picked up a copy of The Hot Rock graphic novel. The artist, Christian Lacroix a.k.a. LAX, is great at capturing the setting (Manhattan, 1969) and the look of some of the characters, and I like that he was faithful to the novel's six-heist structure (unlike William Goldman's disappointing screenplay for the Redford/Peter Yates film). It's very good overall, but I don't like LAX's younger, slicker Dortmunder, and a lot of the humor gets lost -- it really needs Westlake's descriptive passages to work.

post #50 of 50

I got The Score for Christmas and really loved it. I liked The Hunter and The Outfit, but I thought this was a big step-up. I just re-read the novel and I'm amazed at how well it's adapted and Cooke knows exactly when to include the text and dialogue and when to substitute it with his art. I also really love how he brings the characters to life; he doesn't have a hell of a lot of description to work with from Westlake, but still manages to nail exactly how I picture all them; especially Edgars, Paulus and Salsa. 

 

I'm also impressed with how faithful he is to the book (with the occasional additional swearing aside). I thought Parker's excursion to the blind gun runner might be cut down or cut out entirely, because it's seemingly fairly inconsequential, but Cooke leaves it solidly intact. 

 

The Handle is a frustrating book; I think the first half is great but the ending kinda peters out and there's some pretty big, atypical jumps in logic. I'm actually kinda hoping Cookie tinkers with a little so that it makes a bit more sense, but given how faithful he is to the books, I doubt that will be the case. 

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