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David Brothers On The Darwyn Cooke Interview
posted May 15, 2009

I have a comment on your recent Darwyn Cooke Sunday Interview:

"He said in one of the e-mails that when the first half-dozen books came out, all of the fan letters he got came from either guys in prison or young black men. He said he was pretty certain that the black men were identifying with a guy who had to operate outside of society."

It's really interesting to see that Westlake found a lot of black fans due to the Parker novels. It's purely anecdotal, but I've made it a habit of polling my family members and black friends who read comics about what their favorite books were when they got in or what made them stay, and almost all of them have said X-Men. The X-Men exist in a similar "outsider" situation as Parker, though they are heroes rather than villains. You can also connect this to the allure of drug or crime-based rap music, which again presents an outlaw fantasy that is incredibly attractive to young people, black or otherwise.

It's a shame that there's no way to do a solid study on this subject, because it's one that I think has some serious legs.