Monday, August 30, 2010

Fan Expo 2010 - The Man with the Getaway Face

Close up of Parker revealing his new face!Writer/Artist: Darwyn Cooke
Publisher: IDW
Published: July 2010
Adapted from Richard Stark's Parker: The Man with the Getaway Face

Batman looking ragged!This past weekend was the second time I met Darwyn Cooke. He was at Toronto's Fan Expo where he had a booth setup along fellow comic book artists; he also hosted a one hour discussion on comic book layout and construction. As ever I was beside myself when I talked to the guy. It's hard not to let my fan boy-ness out, but overall I think I did well, even considering the fact I was sporting a Frank Miller Dark Knight t-shirt.

During my meeting with him he was as nice as ever. He spoke a little about his long term plans with his Parker series of graphic novels. He would like to finish them up just in time for his 50th birthday, and then after he was done with them he would take a break - *boo-urns* - but then again, it is a much deserved break.

As I mentioned I also went to his page composition layout discussion. I love these type of events. Not only do you get some tips and ideas on how he works, but you get a chance to actually hear his opinion on a wide range of subjects. One thing that stood out in my mind was his comment that he was limited in 'really conversing' with us fans due to the everything is recorded, videotaped, and posted...which he's completely right about considering here I am writing about his discussion. The only difference is I have enough tact to not go into everything...I'm just not interested in stirring the pot as it were. He also mentioned he was a big fan of Dan Clowes, and especially of his book Ice Haven. This surprised me at first, but upon reflection, makes perfect sense. They're both awesome comic creators.

Overall Cooke strikes me as a humble guy, but also a guy who has definite opinions and interesting thoughts. My only wish is that we lived in a society where he could really share his more "controversial" thoughts without it coming back on him due to some fan boy posting it to youtube. I just know he has a unique perspective on the comic industry and it would be great to hear some of those thoughts in more detail.

One detail he mentioned that was quite exciting is that in his next book, The Outfit, Cooke has homaged/parodied the old Hanna Barbara cartoons to visually represent one of the many heists. This alone has me excited for The Outfit.

Parker driving sweet ass car
The Man with the Getaway Face was originally intended to Cooke's second adapted work by Richard Stark's series of Parker novels. Cooke opted to reduce it to a prelude for the Outfit (dropping Oct.5.2010), because it was his least favorite of books and he didn't want to spend a year of his life working on a book he doesn't really care for. I see his point. It's essentially an armored truck robbery, and as Darwyn put it - it gets a bit boring see a bunch of crooks talking about how they're going to pull off the heist - they're are only so many angles you can depict of guys sitting at a table.

However, that being said, don't let this comic pass you by. Although story-wise, it may be Cooke's least favorite of the series, what makes it stand out is it's printed about 95% the size of the original artwork. Most artists work looks better reduced to standard comic size, but in my opinion, Cooke's work looks better at original size. Even though he says you can see the rough passes and 'mistakes' when it's kept close to original size, I think it actually makes his work look better. Each brush stroke or color pass is magnified, and it's just charming as hell...

Here's the final page from the comic, and a Jonah Hex print I bought from Darwyn while at the Expo.

Jonah Hex carrying a lady, alongside a classy lady by Darwyn Cooke

****Note: Over the next week or so, I'll be posting comics of the different artists I visited with, as well as sharing info on our conversations****

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