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Slayground

Planet Comicon 2014 Comic Creator Photos

Planet Comicon 2014 Photos
John Parker

Kansas City's Planet Comicon has steadily grown into what may be the biggest comics and pop culture convention in the Midwest. After spending several years in the Overland Park Convention Center, a mid-sized facility in a suburb of Kansas City, last year Planet Comicon moved to Bartle Hall, a much bigger facility in the heart of downtown. This year, the convention doubled in floorspace, drew cosplayers likes flies to vinegar, and brought in a litany of television and pop culture stars, including legendary rapper Darryl "DMC" McDaniels, pretty much the entire cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the puffy one himself, Sir William Freaking Shatner.

But this site is called ComicsAlliance, and what we really care about are the comics and the creators who make them. Click onwards for a sometimes-blurry Blackberry camera gallery of guests, friends, and artist alley residents of one of the fastest-growing cons in the country.

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Holiday Gift Guide: Richard Stark’s ‘Slayground’ And ‘The Blackbird’

Richard Stark's Slayground and The Blackbird

When it comes to the holiday gift-giving season, comic book readers are notoriously difficult to shop for. I mean, most of us are down at the shop buying our favorite stuff every single week, so when the time comes for people who like us to get us something we want, well, a lot of times we already have it. That’s why we’re stepping in with a public service, bringing you comics-related items sure to make the season brighter, whether you’re browsing for a gift or just looking for something to drop hints about so that you don’t get stuck with a random assortment of back issues again.

Today saw the release of Darwyn Cooke's adaptation of Richard Stark's Slayground, but if you're curious about the original, you might want to pick the novel up, too... along with the story that runs parallel to it in a completely different novel!

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Darwyn Cooke Adapts A Masterpiece in ‘Richard Stark’s Parker: Slayground’ [14 Page Preview]

Parker Slayground

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.

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