...being the blog of steve kirkendall egomaniac-about-town


Fri-llustrator-day #30

Illustration of Richard Stark’s Parker by Darwyn Cooke.

This week we look at one of my very favourite illustrators, the brilliant Darwyn Cooke. A graphic designer/art director turned cartoonist/animator, he draws in a wonderful classic style that he varies for great effect, creating the appropriate vibe for whatever story he’s illustrating. Mind you, it’s a wonder he can move his drawing arm, weighed down as it is by three Eisner Awards, two Harveys, a National Cartoonists Society Award (USA) and Canada’s Shuster Award. He even has shares in an Emmy. Blimey!

He left animation ten years ago after doing sterling work on Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series and Men In Black: The Series to concentrate on comics or more accurately, sequential story strips (we really are going to have to come up with a better name than that one day).

Comic strip illustration from 'Deja Vu' by Darwyn Cooke.

Of course, I’m still playing catch up with his work mainly because I’ve been living under a stone these last few years with regard to reading comics. I bought his Batman: Ego And Other Tales (above) and enjoyed it enormously and recently picked up his latest meisterwerk, his adaptation of Richard Stark’s Parker The Hunter (top) when I was in Paris the other week. Even though I was supposed to be on a dedicated French comics mission, I couldn’t resist this book. The fact that the main character was a favourite of Ed Brubaker made it even more attractive (Mr Cooke has, of course, worked with Mr Brubaker on Catwoman).

And now I find myself atop a diving board (oh alright, my drawing board) waiting to plunge into his version of The Spirit, Absolute DC: The New Frontier and anything else of his I can lay my hands on. Are you listening, Santa?

PS. Rob and I were in London last night for the Paula Scher D&AD Presidents Lecture and we popped into Gosh on the way, where I couldn’t help noticing that their copies of Parker The Hunter had signed limited edition bookplates by Dawyn Cooke. I should’ve bought one, but I behaved myself. Mental note: Check Gosh first…

All images © 2009 DC Comics/IDW Publishing/Darwyn Cooke.

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