Richard Stark’s Parker: The Hunter, Adapted & Illustrated By Darwyn Cooke
Hardcover, IDW 140 p.
If you look at the 2009 banner at the top of this blog it will be obvious that I am a fan of Donald Westlake and, in particular, his Parker series of crime novels. The Hunter (1962) was the first in the series and arguable one of the best. This story was twice made into film (1967 & 1999) and now Canadian cartoonist Darwyn Cooke has been given the task of adapting some of the Parker books.
The original novel is a masterpiece of taut writing and follows the story of Parker who is seeking revenge and payback after being betrayed and left for dead by his criminal partners. Parker is unrelenting and brutally violent.
I was initially concerned about this adaptation because I wasn't sure the art would match up with the tone of the story. The art though is very spare - almost in a European style. The coloring is only three toned - black, white and a pale blue - which means the drawing are very important. It took a couple of re-readings for me to start to dig the drawings and while it would not be the art I would have matched with the story it woks overall fairly well. Cooke has refrained from explicitly showing much of the violence and he uses shadow effectively to give the story a great atmosphere.
This really was a nice adaptation and I am looking forward to The Outfit to be published later in 2010.