Monday, May 11, 2009

Parker: the beginnings

I caught What's Groovy by Curt Purcell, which was good, as it linked to CR Sunday Interview: A Talk With Darwyn Cooke And Special Guest Ed Brubaker About The Hunter by Tom Spurgeon, among other things groovy, and otherwise excellent. Seriously, you should start by reading that interview. I said it was Darwyn Cooke and Ed Brubaker, right? Why are you still here?

Ok, it's also about Parker.

Now, have you read it?

First, let me say that Criminal by Brubaker and Sean Phillips is one of the best comic book series out there. It's also the one more comic fans, myself included, should be recommending to our non-comic reading friends. It's not about superheroes. It's not weird as all get out. It's not talking heads. It's not ceaselessly depressing. You could totally hand it someone and say, "Just give it a bit of a read while you're on the plane."

That said, if what Brubaker, Cooke and Spurgeon are saying is true, and the whole book looks as beautiful as the samples and the storytelling turns out as compelling as it sounds to hear tell of, Parker: The Hunter by Cooke could be the king of "You just got to check this out!" titles.

And thankfully, when your friend says, "What else is out there like this?", you can say, "Well, there is this series called Criminal..."

There's an interesting discussion there, largely agreeing with the statement I made, in Outfit, that the first three of the Richard Stark books, The Hunter, The Man with the Getaway Face and The Outfit play as a trilogy... actually they suggest a larger set of the first four or five, which I can see, but I still think the first three especially fit together.

Interestingly, they disagree with my assessment of "The Outfit" as the weak link and place it on "The Man with the Getaway" face. I see the logic, and certainly "The Outfit" is the story a person is aching to read when they finish "The Hunter", so I can see marrying the beginning of "The Man with the Getaway Face" with the body of "The Outfit" as Cooke suggests he'd like to do.

Any which way, I'm so psyched for this book, I just can't express it. More than any of the blockbuster movies of the summer. This is what I think will be geeking my summer all to pieces.

In the meantime, the rest of you can pick up Selina's Big Score - I promise, it's just a terrific (and groovy) heist story/crime yarn that you can enjoy not matter how little (or much) interest you have in Catwoman as a character or concept - and Coward: A Criminal Edition. Read them on the airplane or wherever else you do your casual reading for entertainment.

You can thank me later.


Tony Dayoub said...

Is The Hunter the one they based Point Blank on?

Neil Sarver said...

Indeed. As well as Payback, which, in the director's cut, is probably truer to the book, but isn't nearly as brilliant.

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