Tuesday, September 21, 2010

This is what I'm going to keep looking for more of.

Richard Stark's Parker: The Hunter by Darwyn Cook

With Darwyn Cooke’s upcoming release of Richard Stark’s The Outfit, I figured it was high time I finally got around to buying and reading Parker: the Hunter. I’m so incredibly glad that I did. This is a book that completely captures everything about reading comics that I enjoy - from the visual aesthetics of the art, which is bar none some of the best out there, to the narrative, to the visceral feeling of the book in my hands. This just has it all. It’s the perfect example of something that is just fun to read.

This book feels good in your hands and from the colours used on the cover and the designs on the inside covers, it is a package that completes itself in every detail. This is tough guy action and a dark revenge plot that kind of shows the origins of something like The Punisher, Max series that I’m continuing to read. This is an unstoppable guy out to exact revenge with a heartbroken, beaten down core only he uses it to his benefit and to terrify his enemies.

The other thing about this book that hits the right note with me, particularly, is that the art looks like comic book art. It’s exaggerated, but it captures the characters perfectly. Comics don’t need to look like reality and by not doing so, they tend to work better for me. As long as their internal structure remains intact throughout, then it works well. Why limit yourself to trying to copy reality when you can design your own world. Yes, use the basis so the reader isn’t lost - the core relationship of actors and props (perspective, car and head size, etc) still need to be done right, but they don’t need to be of photographic quality to be hard hitting or mature. This book proves that in spades.

I’m anxiously awaiting the next volume.

No comments: