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The Man With The Getaway Face
posted April 6, 2010


Creator: Darwyn Cooke
Publishing Information: IDW, oversized pamphlet, 24 pages, 2010, $2
Ordering Numbers:

imageFrom a production, value and conceptual standpoint, The Man With The Getaway Face works with the lean efficiency of its famous lead. A prologue that will be included in this summer's new Darwyn Cooke Parker volume, it's been drafted into service as a stand-alone story on fancy paper at a bigger-than-usual size (think "Rubber Blanket mini-comic") for $2. I'm not privy to the corporate strategy, but I'm guessing it's more of a promotional item than a comics-reading one. That's not exactly genius-level work on my part, as for now it's only available for sale at cons and this summer will be subsumed back into the larger work where it belongs. It's hard to imagine any adult reader of comics at one of these conventions where money flows so freely not being willing to give up less than the price of a vendor soda to pick up one of these suckers.

The Man With The Getaway Face finds Parker coming off plastic surgery and looking for a new score to bolster his fading bankroll. The post-surgery design for Parker isn't just more visually appealing, it looks like Cooke boiled the last vestiges of humanity off of his lead's skull. The story itself proves fairly straightforward -- one can see why the work is a lesser favorite for Cooke -- but there are compelling details. Just to provide one example, it's hard not to like the idea of older thieves serving as network of go-betweens connecting practicing ones looking to assemble crews. The matter-of-fact way Parker sorts out whom he can trust and whom he can't is a lot of fun to watch as well. The mini-book reinforces that the Parkers are vehicles for entertainment in Cooke's view. While the wider thematic frameworks one can place on the characters and make use of to examine his push through life might be of interest in gauging how the character has hit so hard with so many folks over the years, that's not the cartoonist's primary focus. Nor will it likely be yours.