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Richard Stark's Parker: The Martini Edition Hardcover – December 6, 2011
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About the Author
Richard Stark is the most famous pseudonym of world-renowned author Donald Westlake (1933-2008). In 1962 he created the master thief Parker and began a series of novels that have been recognized as seminal works of crime fiction. Several of Westlake’s books have been adapted by Hollywood, and Westlake’s adaptation of The Grifters earned him an Academy Award nomination for best motion picture screenplay. Westlake has won numerous awards for his fiction and in 1993 the Mystery Writers of America named him a Grand Master, the highest honor bestowed by that prestigious society.
Darwyn Cooke (1962-2015) was a graphic designer and animator who turned his attention toward cartooning in the late nineties. Known primarily for his work on the DC line of superheroes, Cooke always had an affinity for crime fiction and has often cited the Parker books as a great source of creative inspiration. Cooke has won multiple Eisner, Harvey, and Shuster awards, as well as the National Cartoonist Society’s Best Series award. In 2008 Cooke was Emmy-nominated for the animated adaptation of his magnum opus, DC: The New Frontier.
Top customer reviews
1. The design of everything is beautiful, from the slipcase, to the spot illustrations, the typefaces/fonts, even the abstract/modern art designs on the inside covers. Just awesome art and design throughout.
2. There is a very insightful interview/conversation between comics journalist Tom Spurgeon, Darwyn Cooke, and fellow graphic novelist Ed Brubaker.
3. Many bits of background on the original writer, Donald Westlake, and information and art about previous adaptations of the Parker novels. The book includes cool old cover art from the original paperbacks.
4. Lots of extra art from Cooke, like exclusive covers and inserts he did for various promotional editions.
5. An example of the original art to see how it looked before being touched up for publication, and some sequential photo showing how Cooke creates a panel, from pencil to pen to ink brush to the monochrome watercolor shading.
6. A gallery of Cooke's take on the various films that were based on the Parker novels, with his impressions of them. Very interesting - even as a big film buff I was unaware how many movies were inspired by the Parker books.
7. Extra stories: They are collected elsewhere now, but its great to have them big like this. There is "The Man With the Getaway Face" which fits in between the two main stories, plus "The Seventh" which brilliantly adapts a whole novel by basically paring it down to the exciting and fitting finale. There is also an interesting "Parting Shot" excerpt from the Parker novel Butcher's Moon with a full page illustration by Cooke.
8. The extra art and commentaries provide TONS of insight into the character of Parker and some interesting stuff about the original writer Donald Westlake. This book and its extras made me a much bigger fan of this project then ever before.
If you like crime comics at all, get his. If you like film noir at all get this. If you liked the Sin City graphic novels, I think you'll be surprised just how much Frank Miller was influenced by the Parker novels, both in terms of character and the world they inhabit. Lots of similarities between the stories in this book and the early Sin City stories.
Without a doubt this is the best way to read Cooke's Parker adaptation.
The product itself is top notch. I own several Absolute editions and Omnibus editions to know when something is worth the trouble and this book stands out by its size (its actually a bit taller than most books of the same format) and its content (it packs tons of extras). Also the finished product is top of the line in terms of the quality of the binding and the paper.
This is the sort of book that defines the Absolute Edition treatment.
I am just wondering how I will follow this...wait for the next Martini Edition or buy Parker: The Score outright?