After publishing four award-winning graphic novel adaptations of Donald Westlake’s iconic Parker crime novels, IDW Publishing announced plans to reprint the entire run of classic Parker prose novels, all of which will feature newly painted illustrations by acclaimed comics artist Darwyn Cooke. In June IDW will release a new hardcover edition of Parker: The Hunter, the first book to be released in the reprint series.
IDW’s new deluxe hardcover reprint series will release 16 of the Parker prose novels in chronological order. Each hardcover release will include ten newly-painted illustrations by Cooke, who has already adapted four of the Parker crime novels into comics works. Cooke will also oversee the design and typography of each novel.
IDW special projects editor Scott Dunbrier told PW that the project was driven by Cooke—an acclaimed comics artist and winner of multiple Eisner Awards over the years. “Darwyn is a rabid fan of the original novels and wanted to tackle them as illustrated books—honestly, how could we say no to that?”
Beginning in 1962, writing under the pen name Richard Stark, Westlake wrote more than 20 Parker novels. The character and novels have gone on to become a classic of hardboiled crime literature with several of the novels turned into films, including Point Blank (1967), The Split (1968) and Slayground (1983). Since 2009, Darwyn Cooke has turned four of Westlake’s Parker novels into Eisner and Harvey Award-winning comics works, including The Hunter, The Outfit, The Score and, most recently, Slayground, which has been nominated for two 2014 Eisner awards.
Dunbrier said, “Five years ago, Darwyn Cooke and IDW launched The Hunter, as a graphic novel. The response was immediate and nearly universal—it was hailed as a classic. We've done three more since then, with similar response. I don't know if I would call it a Parker revival but I know that as more and more people discover the books they realize they truly are classics.”