Darwyn Cooke is coming to Long Beach Comic Con this weekend to premiere Parker: The Martini Edition, a deluxe, slipcased set of his two graphic novels Parker: The Hunter and Parker: The Outfit. Both are based on the novels of Richard Stark (actually Donald Westlake, writing under a pseudonym), and are drawn in a style reminiscent of the period in which they're set, the early 1960s (when the 5'0s were just fading a bit and the Swinging Sixties had not yet begun), and Cooke won a fistful of Harvey and Eisner awards this year for Parker: The Outfit. He talked to me about The Martini Edition earlier this year at Boston Comic Con:
That's a big project too because it's very important to me -- if you're going to collect something like that, and it's going to have a price tag like it has, it has to be incredibly special. It has to have a reason to exist, other than to take money from the reader, so I am working very hard. There will be 80 pages of extra material. We are trying to contact some of the greats in other media who have been influenced by Donald Westlake -- John Boorman, the director, and Lawrence Block, one of Westlake's contemporaries -- so the book is laced with contemporaries and the whole effect he has had on other writers and film directors.
Cooke previews a few drawings on his blog, along with a limited-edition Parker print (above) that he will be signing all week long to benefit the Hero Initiative.