Publisher: IDW Publishing
Crime comics were born in the fifties and became one of the best selling genres of the decade. Back then crime didn’t pay, justice trapped the guilty, and heroes were as tough as nails as were the crooks and killers, compare that to the squeaky clean heroes of crime dramas of the early TV generation.
Darwyn Cooke continues the truly gritty and character-driven crime stories in adaptation of the next Richard Stark novel, Slayground, the fourth Parker crime thriller turned into a graphic novel narrative.
After Parker’s getaway car crashes after a heist, he eludes capture by breaking into an amusement park that’s closed for the winter. A pair of cops observed Parker’s job and its aftermath and decide to go into business for themselves, with the help of some "business associates." It becomes a game of cat and mouse, played out through closed rides of the abandoned carnival, a game that slowly starts to favor the mouse. The abandoned amusement part is so film noir and Cooke is the perfect artist to depict the setting and the action within that setting.
By now you should be familiar with Darwyn Cooke's work primarily from his work on pre 52 Catwoman, The New Frontier, and his run on Will Eisner’s The Spirit. Previous volumes in the Parker series are proof of how well an adaptation can work and, fortunately, all of those volumes remain available from IDW.
This is a dream collaboration between creator and subject. Few of these collaborations are successfully realized -- Thomas & Buscema on Conan, Joe Kubert on Tarzan, Thomas and P. Craig Russell on Elric. We all have our wish lists of such projects and with the success of this series who knows what’s next. Me, I’m waiting to see Robert Parker’s Spenser, Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer, John D. McDonald’s Travis McGee, or Louis L’amour’s Sackett series adapted.
Any Richard Stark graphic novel from IDW Publishing is on my must buy list, and I'm waiting for my SDCC 2012 copy of The Score.
Hunt this one up at your local comic book shop – it’s a steal.
~ Steve Leaf