This is a new feature here at Shamus Stone. I, Nathan Bonner, will overview and hopefully recommend a Film Noir style Book/Graphic Novel. So first up is “Richard Stark’s Parker: The Score” by Darwyn Cooke.

This book is third in Cooke’s Parker adaptions. With “The Hunter” and “The Outfit” being the other two.

First up the Art. Cooke’s style is light and breezy, but manages to have an amazing impact. It’s like a book of 1960s advertising illustrations committing crime. The interior art is keep to black and white plus one color. The impact of these images does nothing but impress me. Longtime Batman: the Animated Series fans will recognise Cook’s style in the faces of Parker and of the female cast, after all Mr. Cooke did work on the 1990’s Batman series. This is a book one could just buy for the viusals.

That’s not all to this tome’s appeal, however. The story is topnotch, Stark’s original story and characters have been wonderfully adapted. A word on the Hero, Parker is a very bad man. Parker is a profession criminal and does kill (usually only worse persons, usually). There is some attempt in this volume to give Parker a less violent side, the way he uses psychology to control the town’s unsuspecting populace, instead of using his typical violent approach. Parker is a total S.O.B. otherwise, but this story is on par with the best traditions of Film Noir and I highly recommend it!