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The Most Bad-Ass Guy You’ve Never Heard Of

October 18, 2010

Goes by the name Parker... sometimes. It depends on who’s asking and when. Parker is the toughest son-of-a-bitch and not in one of those bullshit ways were the guy takes 20 bullets and somehow survives. Parker is smart, ruthless and just plain doesn’t give a fuck about anyone but himself.

Written decades ago by Donald Westlake under the pen name Richard Stark, (everyone used aliases back then, criminals and writers) Parker is one hell of a memorable character. The first Parker book, written in 1962, is a story of a man with an axe to grind. Why am I bringing up a book written over 40 years ago? Simple, one of the best comic book writer/artist in the industry has soft spot for the cold blooded con-man and felt a graphic novel interpretation was a good idea. After reading the first book, you'd agree as well. His name is Darwyn Cooke and I’ve been following his work for some time now. I even got to meet the man at this year’s New York Comic Con. From New Frontier to The Spirit and now The Outfit, the follow-up to his first Parker book, The Hunter, he continues to impress. Cooke is the perfect fit to give a visual rendition of the Parker stories. His art style and use of brushes and colors for the books couldn’t be a better match. Tough, gritty and stylized, it feels like it’s 1962 when you read it. While some might think that the story is old, the ‘tough guy gets even’ story, this breathes new life into what you think you know about crime noir.

Check out the first book, ‘The Hunter’, and if you aren’t sucked deep into Parker’s world after that, you might be dead or dying. Parker’s doing, no doubt. If you still got any life left in you, ‘The Outfit’ is calling your name.






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