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.
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 even though I thought it kind of fucked around at the end and forgot to explain why Parker as Don Draper of Crime competant he is could take on the whole Outfit on his own (this is explained in the book.)
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 fucking NOVEL into a single issue. The Man with the Getaway Face is actually a few pages longer than The Hunter. Yeah. 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 mother of fuck. 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.
-Daniel Von Egidy, 2010