Like many fans of hardboiled and noir fiction, I’ve read most of the novels about the professional thief Parker that Donald E. Westlake wrote under the name Richard Stark. They’re great books, and one of these days I’ll catch up on the ones I haven’t read. But the idea of adapting one of them into a graphic novel probably never would have occurred to me.
Luckily, it occurred to Darwyn Cooke, who took the first Parker novel, THE HUNTER, and turned it into an excellent graphic novel of the same name. Cooke’s art is distinctive, to say the least, and it works very well here. He’s made the wise decision to set his adaptation in 1962, the era in which the source novel was published, and he does a fine job of capturing the feel of the early Sixties. Also, although it’s been a good while since I read the book and I don’t remember all the details, the script strikes me as a very faithful version that uses a lot of Westlake’s dialogue and narration. And man, does it move fast, just like Westlake’s novel.
There’s not much to say about this one. I liked it a lot. If you’re a fan of the Parker novels and haven’t read it yet, you really should.