December 05, 2013 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks andy_staff_picksANDY’S PICK :: RICHARD STARK’S PARKER SLAYGROUND: Fans of Darwyn Cooke rejoice!  A new Parker book has arrived just in time to be added to our Christmas Wish List (hint) This is a no-brainer for anyone who picked up the first three books in this hard-boiled, beautifully rendered Crime fiction adaptations.  This is a true marriage of an author’s prose novel and a talented cartoonist determined to adapt these stories to a new medium, but keep the tone and the spirit of the work intact.  The plot: Parker– a career criminal (and not the nicest guy in the comics)- breaks into an abandoned Amusement Park in order to escape capture after a heist goes wrong.  But someone observes Parker trespassing and that’s when things get really scary for all involved (just look at that amazing cover!).  Darwyn Cooke is an artist who deserves all the praise that has been heaped upon him.  This Parker series belongs in everyone’s hands.  It is as good as you’ve heard.




August 27, 2012 By: Justin Crouse Category: DISCUSS, Opinion, Reviews

What makes a good comic book is up for debate. Content-wise, there is no real consensus to be polled. But if the prevailing business model at the Big Two is any indication, good comic books come from the Big Event. There’s a definite thrill to seeing our humble little industry mentioned in grown up newspapers when editors pull stunts like guest-starring the President, but the constant barrage of reboot and crossover can also grow tiresome and desensitizing. It can leave an audience a little cold, especially after the initial buzz of the press release.
It almost goes without saying that no event straddled the gulf between content and concept quite like DC’s Before Watchmen. When the project was announced, the Interwebs lit up with endless flame wars about the merits of such an undertaking. The lines were drawn with a clarity and conviction that was palpable, even for the obsessive comic book fan. Now that DC has completed the roll-out last week with the first issue of Dr. Manhattan, here’s a bucket list of how the books measure up to their source material. (Note: the following views are the author’s own and do not represent Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find, Inc. or any of its affiliates – ed.)
Click through for Justin’s Before Watchmen Report Card!


August 03, 2012 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks


RICO’S PICK :: MICHAEL ALLRED’S IT GIRL AND THE ATOMICS #1 : Jaime S. Rich and Mike Norton take the reigns on a few of Mike Allred’s creations in this new ongoing title from Image. Rich has a track record of working on quality projects with quality people dating back to his days as Editor-In-Chief at Oni Press and he has been editing Allred’s Madman family of comics for years now. If you’re looking for fun superheroes who ponder things like the silliness inherent in their own genre while fighting crime, beautifully drawn by Mike Norton, check this book out! (Image below is Darwyn Cooke’s alternate cover. Check out an interview with Rich and few preview pages of the book here.)


REVIEW :: The Man with the Getaway Face

July 18, 2010 By: Heroes Online Category: DISCUSS, Opinion, Reviews

Adapted/Illustrated by Darwyn Cooke

IDW Publishing, 2010

Initially sold at WonderCon some few months back and finally released this past Wednesday this book acts as a prelude to Richard Stark’s Parker: The Outfit due out in the fall.  This story will be included in that book.

So why buy this?

For one thing, the format.  Coming in at a gigantunormous 8×12, Cooke’s artwork looks crisper and cleaner somehow.  This was true of his artwork in DC: The New Frontier when it was presented in the Absolute format.  You feel enveloped by it, like you’re sitting in the diner booth and plotting the heist alongside the characters.  I’ve fallen in love with the oversized format recently with King City and last year’s Kick Drum Comix (found in our Indie Section!)  I think this is the best use of it yet.

Really you guys, here’s the thing, The Man with the Getaway Face; I think it’s better than The Hunter and I looooooved The Hunter.  This though, this was just so…economical.  It’s amazing in its conciseness.  Every choice in story presentation is the 100 percent right choice.

That opening title sequence, for example, of Parker getting the bandages taken off his face after his (off-screen) plastic surgery.  It’s presented from his/our point of view. It starts at complete black and then panel by panel ribbons of blackness are snipped off like the ribbons of a bandage with the appropriate scissor snip sound effect.   As these ribbons are cut off we get the creative credits but new  words are coming into view and eventually reveal the story’s title.  Then the next page we and Parker are gazing at his new face in the mirror in a one page minimalist splash.  The story has got you now because you’re in it with Parker.

The Hunter was a buildup; a gradual unfurling of plot and information because it had 140 pages and could afford it’s leisurely pace.  This is only 24 pages long, man.  And it’s not an adaptation of a short story, this was a novel too.  Cooke condensed a NOVEL into a single issue.  It’s all essential, so it all hums.  Passage of time is symbolized by a Timex watch every few pages.  I think the sepia wash is sharper looking than the blue wash from The Hunter. That cover with the stray pencil lines and the one eye glaring at you, holy god. There is so much in this thing that can be dissected, discussed. Everything about this comic is R-I-G-H-T, as its own thing, as an opener to The Outfit, as a promotional item.

A comic that you can set your Timex watch to.


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