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Richard Stark's Parker, Vol. 1: The Hunter Hardcover – July 28, 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Cooke has transformed the first volume of the late Donald Westlake's long-running Parker series (written under the pseudonym Richard Stark), about an indomitable outlaw, into a smashing graphic novel, making its ferocious mood and retro aesthetics the stars of the show. Parker belongs to the bottom of the urban jungle's economic strata, but the top of its food chain—anyone who stands between him and his revenge is doomed, whether they're trying to resist him or just happen to be in the way. As the book begins, he's returning to New York City in the Kennedy era with murder in his eyes: double-crossed by his wife and partners, he's come back to kill whoever needs killing to get his money. Cooke has a real affinity for the tough-as-hammers tone of Westlake's story. His Parker doesn't seem to enjoy or dislike slaughter (or anything else); he's just doing what it takes to reach his goal, with a certain dispassionate savoir faire. And Cooke's delicious two-color artwork nails the look of the early '60s, from hairstyles and tiki bars to the illustrative technique that defined the era everywhere except for comics: angular caricatures that capture his characters' motion and expressions with a bare minimum of elegantly rugged lines. (July)
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Review

Cooke's a powerful enough cartoonist that his images do most of the heavy lifting here. His version of the story opens with a bravura, nearly wordless 20-page sequence. It's 1962, and Parker is stalking across a bridge into New York City, preparing to scam his way into a new identity. When we finally see his face (a revelation Cooke cunningly delays), his disheveled hair and expression of cold-eyed fury reveal as much about his cruelty and unknowability as any description Westlake could have written. --Douglas Wolk in The Washington Post<br /><br />It s July and this may well be the book of the year. A must for anyone with a penchant for Chandler-esque heroes and hard boiled storytelling. The great news is that this is just the first of four planned Parker graphic novels by Cooke. Book 2 is out in 2010 I ve no idea when, but I ll be eagerly awaiting it. Something this near perfect will no doubt be worth the wait. --Richard Burton in the Forbidden Planet Blog<br /><br />There's no question in my mind that The Hunter is one of the best comics I'll read this year. As an unabashed fan of both the Parker novels and of Darwyn Cooke's comics, I've looked forward to it with the same kind of anticipation I imagine a million young women have for a glimpse of the greasy locks of Robert Pattinson. --Tucker Stone in Comixology

There's no question in my mind that The Hunter is one of the best comics I'll read this year. As an unabashed fan of both the Parker novels and of Darwyn Cooke's comics, I've looked forward to it with the same kind of anticipation I imagine a million young women have for a glimpse of the greasy locks of Robert Pattinson. --Tucker Stone in Comixology

It s July and this may well be the book of the year. A must for anyone with a penchant for Chandler-esque heroes and hard boiled storytelling. The great news is that this is just the first of four planned Parker graphic novels by Cooke. Book 2 is out in 2010 I ve no idea when, but I ll be eagerly awaiting it. Something this near perfect will no doubt be worth the wait. --Richard Burton in the Forbidden Planet Blog
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: IDW Publishing; 1ST edition (July 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600104932
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600104930
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,329 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By DJ Joe Sixpack HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Parker: The Hunter"
Written by Richard Stark
Adapted by Darwyn Cooke
(IDW, 2009)
----------------------------------------------
Wow. I'm already a fan of comicbook artist Darwyn Cooke (wish he had more books out!) but I gotta say, this adaptation of a gritty noir novel by author Richard Stark really floored me. The first chapter of the book is told almost entirely without words, transforming the taut, cynical prose into pure imagery, as we are introduced to the book's steely, taciturn, utterly immoral antihero -- Parker -- who counterfeits and backstabs his way through the recesses of New York City, circa 1962, hellbent on revenge. It's a real tour-de-force of visual storytelling, but even when the text kicks in, the book never feels cluttered. From start to finish, this graphic novel is a real page-turner... Hopefully there'll be a follow-up soon! (Joe Sixpack, ReadThatAgain book reviews)
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Format: Hardcover
Darwyn Cooke is a modern master of graphic storytelling , just one look at his Eisner awarded works and you know why ...and thats why its no small thing for me to honestly say that The Hunter is one of the finest works of his career.
If you are a Richard Stark fan, this is a fantastic addition and homage to the man's work on every level.
It's a hit from page one and will turn anyone not into graphic art or the crime genre right into an instant fan.
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Format: Hardcover
Beautifully adapted version of the classic Richard Stark thriller, "The Hunter", the first in the long-running crime novel series featuring the hardnosed professional thief known simply as "Parker". Darwyn Cooke's detailed art- stylish yet gritty- and the dark prose- mostly sparse, sometimes dense, always sharp- draws the reader right in as Parker undertakes his visceral, often shocking mission of revenge following a doublecross that left him for dead. This is the first of a proposed series of illustrated adaptations, with Mr. Cooke cherry picking his favorite installments from the "Parker" novels and adapting them into handsomely-produced hardback graphic novels of generous length (this one's about 170 pages). After reading this graphic novel, readers may be tempted to immediately pick up the prose novels featuring Parker's next adventures (recently reprinted in new editions) instead of waiting for Mr. Cooke's next adaptation. Do yourself a favor: get both.
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I tried this out knowing what Darwin Cookes illustration style was (and I love it). Little did I know that Richard Stark's "Parker" character is MADE for Cookes style. Very retro & the fact that they did it as a duotone (the entire book is printed with black & shades of blue) only further cemented the time period they were going for. As I read through this first story, i realized this book is the reference for Mel Gibson's move "PAYBACK". A great, GREAT story! I quickly picked up the next book "The Outfit" and was not disappointed. This is a book that you will keep in your collection for years to come.
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If you're a fan of realism as opposed to the whole super power thing - which I am, I enjoyed mail order bride and strangers in paradise tremendously - and you like criminal stories then you might be more inclined towards this graphic novel than I am.. at times I found it to be a great read.. other times I found myself getting a bit bored.. it just doesn't have the addictive " Can't wait to see what happens next ! " feel to it that say Chew or Saga does .. it's not bad but it's not something I could honestly give 4 or 5 stars to either..
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Richard Stark's Parker hit you like a shot gun blast decades ago. Darwyn Cooke's illustrated version finished you off. Your dead.

Cooke's take on the classic two fisted tale of Parker is marvelous! Rarely has the written word been translated so perfectly in this genre. Parker's thirst for revenge is papable, sweaty, and ugly...and you better not turn away! As a long time fan of Cooke's, I had no doubt he was up to the task of depicting Stark's mayhem machine but... wow... this easily surpassed my expectations. The cold blooded black and white artwork is like a sledge hammer on your sleep walking jaw; it's jarring!

If you love the genre, the character, the artist, then come along for the ride...just try not to get blood and bone in your eyes!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read at least 8 of the Parker novels. And I have watched every film adaptation. This is by far the best revision of Stark's Parker. Great art and even better panel (image) selection for the scenes.
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I read the novel and wanted to see what visual aspects this graphic novel could offer. I was very happy with my purchase. I prefer the novelization to tell the story, but my girlfriend has read both and prefers this version. Regardless, I highly recommend it for any fan of the Parker novels.
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