Saturday, August 1, 2009

Darwyn Cooke's The Hunter

I finally got my copy of Darwyn Cooke's adaptation of The Hunter this week. It's nice. I mean, really nice. I was expecting something like your usual graphic novel, but this is more like a nice hardcover book in both dimensions and quality. This presentation is perhaps fitting given the new respectability of graphic novels. I remember when the term was used to describe several issues of a comic book series cheaply slapped together to bring in a few extra bucks. Cooke's The Hunter is anything but cheap, and it certainly bears all the hallmarks of a labor of love. There's no attempt to fancy up the source material, or make it more modern. It's set in 1962, when the original book was set, and, with the exception of the ending, it hews closely to the original story. I suspect the bit Cooke saw fit to cut will actually show up in his planned adpatation of the next novel, The Man with the Getaway Face. The graphic novel's ending allows it work as a stand alone story, which strikes me as the author hedging his bets. The remaining three adapations showing up on store shelves is probably contingent on how well The Hunter sells, so a cliffhanger might leave people hanging forever.

Cooke's Parker inhabits a world that is black, white and blue. The choice works very well. Full color would have been too much, and black and white would have been a bit too stark (no pun intended). The color and the artwork, both complement the tone of the story. Cooke's Parker, who the reader does not see from the front for the first twenty or so pages. All in all, I was very pleased with this book. I hope it will turn some people on to some of these Stark reprints.

No comments: