Darwyn Cooke does one in-depth interview for each volume in his series of comic book adaptations of Richard Stark’s [pseudonym of Donald Westlake] Parker novels. (Here are the interviews for The Hunter and The Outfit.) For his new one, The Score, he was kind enough to invite The Violent World of Parker to conduct the interview. “I thought it was time I geared whatever big interview I did more towards Don’s [Donald Westlake’s] fans, rather than my own,” he told us.
For better or worse, he got what he asked for. Nick and I managed two conference calls with Darwyn across three countries, three time zones, and two continents.
There are minor spoilers sprinkled throughout, but nothing, I think, that will affect the enjoyment of the reader of either Darwyn’s great adaptation or its source material. (I did remove one major spoiler, although not for this book.)
Thank you for sitting down with us, Darwyn, and thank you for your immense contributions to the violent world of Parker, and to The Violent World of Parker.
Dear reader: Dig in. I think you’ll find it as fascinating as Nick and I did.
Nick: [Opening after some green room chatter] Speaking of The Score: How was it this time? How did you find it? How did you adapt to it this time out?
Darwyn: There’s sort of a built-in need to find a way to make each one better than the last. That usually adds to stress and anxiety and all sorts of things you can’t control, but the more I work with Parker, the more comfortable it gets. It’s a pretty easy ride now.
I know how I feel about the character and I know how people have reacted to it, so I feel really free just to go ahead with it? And, in every case with Parker I’m just out to please myself. And that happens to be pleasing other people, so that’s great.
I’m never sitting there worrying about what it is I’m doing. It’s just a very comfortable, really gratifying job now.
We’re like old buddies.
Continue reading Like having a scorpion in the room: an interview with Darwyn Cooke on Richard Stark’s Parker: The Score