Google “Best Crime Comics of All Time” and you’ll find a lot of lists, includinga couple fromComicsAlliance, filled with many of the usual suspects: Criminal, Sin City, Torso, Scalped, and Darwyn Cooke’s Parker adaptations appear several times, alongside the archetypal series that defined the genre like Crime Does Not Pay, Dick Tracy (before Chester Gould started sending Tracy off to adventures on the Moon), and Crime SuspenStories. These are all undisputed classics in the genre that should be read by everyone, but notably, criminally absent (sorry, couldn’t help it) from every one of the lists that I came across was David Lapham’s Stray Bullets.
Every. Single. One.
Now that the title is returning, with new stories from Image Comics after nearly a decade-long absence, we may be able to rectify these egregious errors. Stray Bullets is the best crime comic of all time. And I will injury-to-the-eye-motif anybody who says different.
Simply put, Slayground is one of the best crime novels ever written. The 14th book in Donald Westlake's brilliant Parker series of novels, it might be the quintessential Parker tale. Westlake, who wrote the series under the name Richard Stark, shows Parker at his best: alone, nearly defenseless, hunted by two dozen men as he hides out in a snow covered, shut down amusement park with a sack full of money. He finds a way out, of course, because that's what he does. But reading it as it unfolds, and witnessing Parker and Westlake do what they do best, is an absolute treat.
If you're a fan of the novels, there's an excellent chance this installment ranks among your favorites. And if you've read the books and you've been collecting the award-winning graphic novel adaptations by Darwyn Cooke, this may be the book you've been looking forward to the most, and maybe the one Cooke was most looking forward to recreating.
I've read all 16 of the original run of Parker novels -- Westlake would return to the series 23 years after the 16th book -- and one of the many things that strikes me about Cooke's adaptations is the fact that he's created a Parker who looks and feels exactly like the one I imagined: cold, calm, and effortlessly terrifying. Cooke's latest graphic novel in the Parker series, on sale this week, will no doubt be a late entry for best comic of 2013.
IDW has provided ComicsAlliance with a 14 page preview of Slayground, which you can view below.
Darwyn Cooke's next adaptation of Richard Stark a.k.a. Donald Westlake's Parker crime novel series has been confirmed. Slayground, the fourth of Cooke's Parker books following The Hunter in 2009, The Outfit in 2010 (which won Cooke an Eisner for best writer) and The Score in 2012 (nominated for an Eisner this year for Best Adaptation) will arrive in stores and on digital devices in December.
This week is Banned Books Week, when we celebrate the fact that we live in a country where we are free to say, write and read what we choose -- and the importance of being vigilant against those who would try to erode those rights and make those choices for us...
Crime is in. Although noir and crime stories were wildly popular in comics during the 40s and 50s, thanks to the ultra-conservative Comics Code of 1954, it soon became almost impossible to tell gritty, sexy stories about bad men and beautiful dames...
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