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The Dark Man

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  2,370 ratings  ·  188 reviews
Stephen King first wrote about the Dark Man in college after he envisioned a faceless man in cowboy boots and jeans and a denim jacket forever walking the roads. Later this dark man would come to be known around the world as one of King's greatest villains, Randall Flagg, but at the time King only had simple questions on his mind: where was this man going? What had he seen ...more
Hardcover, Trade Hardcover, 88 pages
Published July 30th 2013 by Cemetery Dance (first published January 1st 2013)
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  2,370 ratings  ·  188 reviews

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Apr 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
This short poem refers to a name- and faceless character you don't want to meet up with. The concept is quite interesting. In those few lines the character comes alive and gets ready for further development in other King novels. Groundbreaking poem for a character like Randall Flagg in The Stand. Recommended for real King fans!
May 18, 2014 rated it really liked it

This is a must for Constant Readers (otherwise known as those rabid Stephen King fans). It is an "origin story" of sorts capturing King's first glimpse with his author's eye of that notorious (and perhaps greatest of all villains) -- Randall Flagg, who has about a thousand faces and many names including the Walkin' Dude or if it please ya: the man in black who fled across the desert.

"The Dark Man" is a poem which King penned while in college and it shouldn't surprise me that a character who wou
"Let Us Go Then, You And I...." T. S. Eliot.

Just a short work of DARK poetry by Stephen King, but WOW!....the DARK... the DESOLATE....the CREEPY-CRAWLING artwork by Glenn Chadbourne is totally awesome and makes the poem come to life. The DARK faceless man bookmark that was part of my purchase is pretty cool too!

Found out here that King first envisioned and wrote about THE DARK MAN in college (1969 copyright) and now Randall Flagg is one of his greatest DARK villains. Good ole EVIL RF!

I know I wi

May 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What?  Me?  A Stephen King fangirl?

Oh, all right - I guess I'll own that.

Imagine what you're about to read is punctuated by squees and sighs at the end of each sentence, and you'll have an idea of what it was like in my house while I was reading the upcoming The Dark Man (July 30th, Cemetery Dance), a poem Stephen King wrote more than 40 years ago about a character that would later become quite possibly my favourite villain of all time.

If  you haven't yet figured it out (or haven't been reading
Sep 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Constant Readers who love anything King wrote

4 stars....

These stars are not so much for the poem on it's own (I have no idea what I'd give that), but for the pictures, which are incredibly dark, yet beautifully done, depicting this villain far better than the words themselves. The poem is obviously written by someone pretty young, yet it is so interesting to see just how long the Walkin' Dude AKA Randall Flagg from The Stand was brewing in the King's mind before he wrote those books. This character has lived inside King a very long time..
Krista Regester
Jan 16, 2019 rated it liked it
This wasn't great.......but the art is pretty sick(in a good way).
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
What do you expect, I’m a fanboy...
Jun 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: stephen-king
This review is based on an ARC of The Dark Man I won in a contest from Cemetery Dance.

The Dark Man isn't a long poem, a mere 41 lines long. What makes this book special are the 70+ illustrations by Glenn Chadbourne that accompany and illuminate King's words.

Read this aloud in the most sinster and dark voice you can muster; take in Chadbourne's evocations of King's verse and let them soak in. Linger on each illustration, and the effect is simply magnificent.

This will be a book to treasure. I guar
Ruth Turner
Dec 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: stephen-king

This is a short poem written by King and published in 1969.

I don't particularly enjoy poetry but I read it because it became the inception of Randall Flagg, one of my favourite King villains.

Probably a must for most Constant Readers, but I didn't feel I really gained anything by reading it.

Jun 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
I will be the first to tell you that I'm not a poetry fan. I'm just not. I don't like reading verse, I don't like trying to figure out line breaks, I don't like what is, to me, awkward rhythms and cadence of the words.

But Stephen King's poetry is somehow the exception to the rule. Well, two of them, anyway. This is probably because I have a higher tolerance for dark and disturbing content in verse format... it just seems to fit inside my brain better than other kinds of verse. And it could be t
Jun 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
And here we meet The Dark Man (Randall Flagg) for the first time. Stephen King wrote this poem while he was in college. It is given new life with this amazing artwork.
Jul 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Glenn Chadbourne is an illustrator that i know through his work on THE SECRETARY OF THE DREAMS, also published by Cemetery Dance. The "THE DARK MAN" project is echoing SOTD, as SOTD is a graphic novel adaptation & illustrations of Stephen King stories. Always with the same original graphic style, Glenn bring an amazing attention to details.

What is exceptional in his style, is that we can easily spend long minutes looking closely an illustration, and keep finding, permanently, elements that we di
Jun 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Artist Glenn Chadbourne illustrates a poem written by King in 1969.

A faceless man in cowboy boots (sound familiar?) wanders a desolate landscape decorated with just about every creepy thing you can think of - abandoned dolls, evil scarecrows, ruined amusement parks and more vermin than you can shake a broom at. My favorite page featured eerie eyeless horses on a decaying carousel.

There are a few nods to King's work - cornfields and trucks, cars that seem to be driving themselves.

The poem is no
Jun 03, 2013 rated it liked it
I'd say that this is most likely only something for hardcore Stephen King fans, but it's a nice collectible and addition to my shelf. It's a poem he wrote in college, about a faceless man in cowboy boots, jeans, and a denim jacket who forever walks and hitchhikes the roads—an idea that supposedly came to him out of nowhere (the poem was hastily jotted down on the back of a placemat at a restaurant) and never left his mind, later becoming his greatest villain, Randall Flagg, the Walkin' Dude, the ...more
Dec 16, 2013 rated it liked it

Let's be honest.. I am a huge Stephen King fan. So when I heard there was an illustrated book based off a poem he wrote about one of his most epic villains Randall Flagg I was in!

I am just not a poetry person. I really have only ever liked Robert Frost's poems. This was also one of those poems I didn't care for. I have no idea what was going on! I am sorry but King is not a poet. I suppose if I sat here in my living room and read it aloud in a deep dark s

"i have ridden rails
and passed the smuggery
of desperate houses with counterfeit chimneys
and heard from the outside
the inside clink of cocktail ice
while closed doors broke the world–
and over it all a savage sickle moon
that bummed my eyes with bones of light."

A few weeks ago was my birthday, and my dad got me by surprise this precious thing.

A poem,
A Stephen King poem,

I'm not such a fan of poetry, but I would read anything that has Stephen King's name on
Stephen Arvidson
Written while he was in college and first published in 1969, Stephen King first conceived the ubiquitous Randall Flagg—the chief malefactor of The Stand, The Eyes of the Dragon, and The Dark Tower series—in the words of this fleeting poem titled "The Dark Man" that follows an unnamed faceless man who rides the rails observing everything around him. Here, the brief narrative is vastly amplified by the graphic, black-and-white inkings of Glenn Chadbourne. The landscape is grimly depicted with decr ...more
Sep 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013-book-list
I may be in the minority amongst King's Constant Reader fan base, but I had never read, THE DARK MAN, prior to receiving an ARC of this Cemetery Dance production. Therefore, Stephen King's words and Glenn Chadbourne's artwork are inextricably linked in forming my first impression of the poem. I felt that the artwork reinforced and amplified the tone of every line of King's work perfectly. The prose and illustrations combine and complement each other in evoking the feeling of ominous dread. I am ...more
Jon Nakapalau
Oct 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Just in time for Halloween...a kind of horrific version of Stanley Milgram's familiar stranger - a person who is on the periphery of our consciousness but with whom we never communicate. The homeless man who stands outside the lobby of our workplace everyday asking for change...'seeing' him without seeing him.
Dec 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: librarybooks
This was a pretty good poem picture book about Randall Flagg one of Stephen King's greatest and sinister villains from The Stand, The Eyes of the Dragon, and his Dark Tower series. If you like poems and graphic novels, definitely check this book out at your local library and wherever books are sold.
Jun 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A great presentation. This one is so highly recommended that it is amazing. The illustrations are truly the star of this poem. You will find yourself getting lost in the details of the art. Super stuff.
Apr 22, 2016 rated it liked it
The drawings in this are great. The only problem I had was the way The Dark Man (Randall Flagg) was drawn. He reminded me more of Trash Man from The Stand than the vision I've always had of Randall Flagg. He wasn't scary enough for me.
Glen Krisch
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Stunning artwork!
To check out all my reviews: Reading In The Dark

If you are reading the title and wondering if it is about Randall Flagg then I would say yes and no. Stephen King back in 1969 wrote this poem about this dark man serving as the genesis for Randall Flagg aka The Man in Black. I have to say as a poet, I am glad that Stephen King did not quit his day job as a literary author because I have to admit that the poem was meh for me. I can see the concepts and the structure of what he was trying to convey
Andrew Greatbatch
The first appearance of The Man in Black. Written way back in the 60's.
Jessie (Zombie_likes_cake)
The concept of an illustrated poem, especially an as atmospheric one as this, is simply awesome. That it is a Stephen King poem, one of his earliest work which would turn out to be the seed for "The Stand" is awesome multiplied.
The illustrations fit the mood of the poem very well, but you really should read it multiple times therefor I was truly happy to find a straight forward, regular listing of "The Dark Man" at the very end of the poem. I needed a read through of the poem by itself to then
Sean Kottke
Aug 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
This illustrated poem from the earliest days of King's writing career is a superb marriage of word and image. I only have two gripes that prevent me from going 5-stars. 1) It's such a short poem that the book begs for another poem or two, or a short story to round it out. 45s have B-sides, and many one-shot comics have back-up stories, after all. The hardcover edition even has a few blank pages in the back, which stand in vicious contrast to the baroque illustrations on the preceding pages. 2) T ...more
Richard Gray
Following the epic 2017 journey through The Dark Tower and many of its tie-ins and connections, this missing piece arrived in front of my eyeballs by way of an incredibly thoughtful gift from my buddy Batrock. It's the secret origin (of sorts) for Randall Flagg, the Man in Black known for fleeing across deserts, kidnapping Patty Hearst, and making final stands in Las Vegas.

Originally published in Ubris in 1969 as a poem, and presented in that form in the book's back-matter, this is the dark and
Brennan Miles
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephen-king
4.4 overall - The first time King ever wrote about the character Randall Flagg was in this poem, “The Dark Man”. Though never mentioned by the RF name, the Dark Man just seamlessly becomes another of his aliases, like The Walkin’ Dude or The Man in Black. The poem itself is pretty twisted and bleak, but that is honestly to be expected here.

The artwork by Glenn Chadbourne in this release is really superb, and it aptly brings what is a relatively short poem to life. It perfectly captures the mood
James Campbell
Jun 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
I won an ARC from Cemetery Dance for entering a contest related to this book.

The brief poem written early on by King is very quick and fun read. The best part of the production of this, is the art work by Glen Chadbourne. There is fantastic artwork that tells the story on it's own. Combine the two and you have a homerun from one of the best story tellers, artists, and publishers in the horror genre.
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Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, M ...more

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