Richard Stark’s Parker: The Outfit

Richard Stark’s Parker: The Outfit by Darwyn Cooke 8.5

I had read the first volume of the Richard Stark’s Parker series and quite enjoyed it. I didn’t know until a few weeks ago that a follow-up had come out. The moment I found out I requested it from the library.

The story is nothing more than decent pulp material, and I can’t say that I find it that original or compelling. What makes it special is the way that Cooke presents it; it elevates the material well above any expectation I might have.

Think about Quentin Tarantino for a second: his movies don’t necessarily have super original stories (in fact, he frequently rips off from other sources), but what makes his films special are the way he presents the material.

In this particular volume of the series, the visual style is especially enjoyable; Cooke is a graphic artist and it shows: he imbues the book with a style that is reminiscent of ’50s designs and it contributes greatly to telling the story.

And I loved that it was part graphic novel, part novel, part comic strip it really opened up the material and gave it a life it would otherwise have lacked. Frankly, the stylistic choices made by Cooke were a total breath of fresh air.

This was an excellent read, and I wouldn’t hesitate to buy this and put it on my shelf.

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