Richard Stark’s Parker: The Score

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Richard Stark’s Parker: The ScoreRichard Stark’s Parker: The Score by Darwyn Cooke
Format: Original Graphic Novel
Published: 2012
Publisher: IDW Publishing

This is the third of the four Parker novels that Darwyn Cooke is adapting to graphic format, and I’m going to be sorry to see it finish with the next book. I just love these.

An amateur crook is planning a heist, and he wants to bring Parker on. It’s a big heist, requiring a big team, and the organizer is a newbie, so Parker’s first instinct is to walk away. When he finds out the plan, and the target – an entire town – his temptation and restlessness prove too much. He joins, the team is formed, and a date is set.

In The Score, the focus is taken off Parker somewhat and we now have an ensemble cast. Each character has a quick introduction panel or two, which is a perfect length to distinguish them without bogging down the pace. A favourite part of heist stories for me is when each character, and the skill that earned them a place on the team, is quickly showcased before the planning begins, and he nailed that. It was also done in a different way than the other two books, from what I remember, which is part of the excitement that comes with each new release – there’s always something you haven’t seen before.

I love his art style. He’s able to convey so much with such simple panels, which really allows the writing to set the pace, and it’s obvious he puts a lot of care and thought into viewing angles and how to show movement. Each book is black and white with an additional highlighting colour, in this case orange, and each page is beautiful. It gives that shadowy film-noir look with a bit of extra style. I’d love to find a large print of a page or panel to frame on the wall.

If you’re at all interested film noir, or detective fiction from the 50s maybe, give these graphic novels a shot.

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