Sunday, September 20, 2009

When Comics Blur the Line and Become Books

I had intended to buy Spitz and Mullen's We Got the Neutron Bomb: The Untold Story of L.A. Punk, however, I was unable to find a copy of it in town and did not feel like ordering one. What to do? Well, Theo at Unreal City had a couple of solutions to my reading dilemmas, namely two crime stories in the graphic format.
The first book is Richard Stark's (aka Donald Westlake) well covered classic, The Hunter put out by comic book upstart, IDW. You may have seen one of the The Hunter's big screen adaptations: Point Blan
k starring Lee Marvin, or Payback starring Mel Gibson. Part one of Westlake's Parker series, Darwyn Cooke has lovingly adapted and illustrated the book for the graphic format. Set in 1962, the art style resembles the advertising style of the period. It is a beautiful book and anyone who hasn't read The Hunter but seen the films based upon it should pick this up at the very least.
Next up is
Brian Azzarello's (of 100 Bullets fame) contribution to the new Vertigo Crime venture, Filthy Rich. Classic pulp tale of the loser, the femme fatale and the plots they become entangled in. It may not be shockingly original, but it makes for an interesting read. Azzarello has a great grasp of the crime genre and knows how to set the pace and keep the reader interested.
Vertigo's other book is Dark Entries, a supernatural entry with a detective twist featuring the character John Constantine. Theo wasn't so crazy about this one, but it is written by Ian Rankin so I will probably be picking it up regardless.

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