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Richard Stark's Parker: Slayground

(Parker Graphic Novels #4)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  1,092 ratings  ·  117 reviews
Darwyn Cooke's masterful and multi award-winning series of Parker graphic novels continues with Slayground! Parker, whose getaway car crashes after a heist, manages to elude capture with his loot by breaking into an amusement park that is closed for the winter. But his presence does not go unnoticed - a pair of cops observed the job and its aftermath. But rather than pursu ...more
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published December 24th 2013 by IDW Publishing (first published December 17th 2013)
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4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,092 ratings  ·  117 reviews

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Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
2016 killed so many talented people that it got hard to keep track after a while, and one of its overlooked victims was Darwyn Cooke who died of cancer last spring. Knowing that, I held off on reading this for some time because it’s going to be the last time I get to crack open one of Cooke’s fantastic adaptations of the Parker series and get to enjoy his illustrated interpretations of one of my favorite crime fiction characters.

At least it ends on a high note with Cooke’s version of Richard Sta
David Schaafsma
A re-read, 3/28/18, after finally reading the novel on which it was based and loving it.

Original review, 8/20/16, edited a bit:

The fourth and I presume last of the adaptations made of Richard Stark/Donald Westlake's Parker crime novels (since Cooke died this year). Parker is one of the hardest of "hard-boiled" detectives, and somehow you gotta like that, if not quite like him. I liked this volume least of the four books Cooke adapted, in part because it is very short, getting at the essence of
Nov 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Darwyn Cooke’s Eisner Award winning series continues with the fourth installment, Slayground. Following a botched robbery, Parker escapes to an amusement park closed for the winter. Boxed in by gangsters and crooked cops, will Parker be able to devise a successful escape route or has his number finally come up?

I received an advanced copy from IDW Publishing and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Cooke’s adaptation of Richard Stark’s iconic character Parker has been nothing short of treme
Sep 03, 2013 rated it liked it
First thought I had when I received this book from Amazon was: "Huh? Why is this book so thin?" The reason for this is that this fourth Parker book [as adapted by Darwyn Cooke] - compared to the first three - really has less story to it, and there's only so much of stretching it out that could be done. Thankfully, Cooke doesn't stretch it out, and the result is a low page count (96 pages! - What the...? That even includes the 12-page adaptation of The Seventh)
For this reason this adaptation can'
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018, comic, noir, parker
Who does not like a Parker tale in a different medium as I have read before and the economic style of drawing does fit the style Richard Stark used to write his novels but while I have fond memories of the Slayground book I found this comic somewhat not covering the suspense of the original version by its original writer.

I like comics but in this instance I found myself a bit shortchanged as I really enjoy the Parker novels and think that perhaps the comics were not meant for me.

Slayground is th
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, digital
Possibly my favourite of the Darwyn Cooke Parker GNs. Parker gets trapped in a fairground after a heist goes bad and has to survive as a third party is after him and his heist money. It's a little home alone but in a fairground in parts and it's pretty great. It's also light on dialogue and told very visually. Fun read.
Sam Quixote
Nov 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Parker, Grofield and one other guy rob an armoured car in the middle of winter and drive off with the cash. However the new guy is a bit of a nervous driver and winds up crashing the car on the ice, killing himself and badly injuring Grofield. Parker, hearing police in the distance, grabs the loot and makes a run for it, hiding out in a nearby amusement park that’s closed for the season. And then realises that some crooked cops accepting a payoff from the mob have witnessed his escape into the p ...more
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of these fine creators and crime fiction, over a certain age
Recommended to Brent by: this fine artost, publisher, and our fine Atlanta-Fulton Public Library
To think we will have no more cartoon or comic art from the late Darwyn Cooke is hard. He brought such flair to comics storytelling, even commanding my interest in this author whose work I knew nothing about. These adaptations just rock. In this one, a backup story is just as good.
Highest recommendation.
Jan 04, 2014 rated it liked it
In this fourth adaptation of Donald Westlake's PARKER by Darwyn Cooke we are treated to material from the novel bearing the same name. Parker and his sometime associate Grofield pull an armored car robbery that goes sideways in inclement weather, forcing Parker to take refuge in an abandoned amusement park in the dead of winter. However, when he is spotted going in, unsavory elements conspire to relieve him of his ill-gotten gains, turning the park into . . . a "slayground." Cooke's rendering of ...more
David Monroe
RIP Darwyn Cooke.
Nov 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
It's like if James Bond and Danny Ocean had a baby together. I gotta get the actual book series started.
When Darwyn Cooke began adapting Richard Stark's hard boiled crime novels in comics form, I was blown away. 'The Hunter' was familiar territory for me, but seeing him bring Parker to life in his brilliantly economical retro-60's style, I fell in love with how perfect the book was -- it's 6" x 9" hardcover format, the design and materials of the book itself, the style and layout for the dustjacket... everything worked. But above all, Cooke had a firm grasp on the character of Parker. This fourth ...more
Nov 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Parker and/or crime fiction
This particular Parker story is an interesting one because it takes place entirely after a heist. However, there are still plenty of opportunities to witness Parker's guile as he eludes capture by hiding out in a small amusement park that is closed for the season.

This key divergence from the "typical" Parker heist formula, as well as the unique and captivating setting, make it a very attractive graphic novel, and explain why a dozen other potential Parker novels were skipped sequentially when c
Jul 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a very economical adaptation of Richard Stark's Slayground--especially since the final dozen or so of its 96 pages are in fact a separate Parker adaptation: the novel The Seventh, compressed into about a seventh of this overall book (which must be deliberate, mustn't it?). The Parker books are as a rule pretty lean anyway, but Cooke really boils them down to their essences. Well, perhaps he boils The Seventh down a tad too much, as about 80% of the original book gets precised in two page ...more
Wayne McCoy
Nov 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
Turning classic novels into graphic novels can be hit or miss. Darwyn Cooke's graphic novels based on the Parker novels of Richard Stark (aka Donald Westlake) seem to capture the tone and style perfectly. The series takes place in the same timeframe as the novels, and Cooke's style is an eyeful of style details from the late 1960s.

In Slayground, Parker is involved in a botched robbery. He escapes over the fence and into an off-season amusement park, abandoned for the winter. He soon discovers it
Nov 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
# I received this book from NetGalley for an honest review#

This was my first foray into Darwyn Cooke's work. The Richard Stark's Parker Collection seems to be well known in the comic world. However, I must confess I was unaware of both the author and his work.
This volume is a sequel from the collection. Unfortunately, it couldn't quite captivate me. The main story at the beginning is interesting. The issue of the assault and how Parker was the only one to escape the accident with the money, hidi
Derek Royal
Jan 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Cooke is always good. Not having read the original Stark novel, I'm unsure how it compares. But the story seems tightly told. It's a little on the short side, compared to the earlier books, though.
This installment opens on a heist having already occurred, and during the getaway, career-criminal Parker gets into a car accident, escaping on foot into an abandoned amusement park. A couple of crooked cops witness this, and decide to gather a few more men to assist them in “apprehending” Parker and claiming his loot for themselves. But Parker has already checked the perimeter of the park, has already seen them, and already deduced their plan, so he’s already hidden the stolen money somewhere i ...more
Paolo Macri
Mar 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Although this story started off with an interesting premise it quickly went into a story made to seemingly boost the author's idea of a really cool guy who is the ultimate badass. Always has a plan, always has been in worse scenario's before, always keeps it cool, never gets hurt or injured, and can always outsmart his adversaries.

It starts with a money truck heist that goes awry when the get-a-way car somehow flips over? Still don't get it but anyways; then the main protagonist (Parker) runnin
Paul Hasbrouck
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
Before the Die Hard and all it's clones, Donald Westlake as Richard Stark created a story of one man vs a small army of killers in Slayground.
The late Darwyn Cooke adapts the novel into suspenseful graphic novel were the master thief Parker is at his ruthless best. After a heist goes south Parker must escape with the loot into fun park shut for the winter, but on his trail is both corrupt cops and gangsters. Trapped Parker must turn the parks buildings and rides into weapons. So it's kill or be
Sep 24, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a return to form in that I found myself liking it more than I had the Score, but it felt so much shorter. Maybe it was?

The last little story (the 7th) felt a little disjoint compared to the more fully formed arcs in previous books but all the same I enjoyed reading this even if I was still confused about how much murder and accessory murder I could really tolerate in a protagonist before I have to wonder about if that's OK.
Nicholas Driscoll
Sep 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Parker is a hide and a robber. A pro. Lethal and unmerciful. First story, he escapes into an amusement park after a bungled robbery and is hunted by mobsters. In the second, another bungled robbery, and he takes care of loose ends. Competent, very readable, fairly enjoyable, but I am not much for his kind of story really.
Nov 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: my-comics-bd
After four books the art is the only thing I liked . The story is ordinary felt outdated.I found it tedious to finish them. this was was so short it felt like a bad joker story since Parker is stuck in an amusement park, no twist ,nothing interesting. The main character is so bland .
Przemek Skoczyński
Feb 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Dwie pierwsze części zawyżyły poziom. Tutaj - podobnie jak w poprzedniczce - jest mniej treści, mniej komplikacji, ale za to czysty fun z dynamicznej akcji. Parker ukryty w parku rozrywki ściąga przeciwników po cichu i z pomysłem niczym Batman. Szkoda, że to koniec serii.
Raymond Hall
Mar 09, 2017 rated it liked it
I loved all the books in the Parker series and this is a really good way to finish after the death of Darwyn Cooke. I am glad the series finished on a high note,I'm going to miss Parker.
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
not the best of all four but great !!!!!
Jun 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
Parker is a stone cold son of a bitch. He is absolutely ruthless, completely professional, unforgiving, unyielding, unpredictable and vicious to the core. So much so that he could easily be portrayed as the antagonist of any story. And therein lies the novelty of the Parker series by Richard Stark. Portraying the ruthless, cold, vicious, professional thief Parker as the protagonist as he goes on pulling one of his daring schemes is the trademark of the Parker series and it almost never fails to ...more
Jan 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comic
More reviews can be found on my book blog.

I read the first three of these a few years ago, but I never got around to this final volume. Darwyn Cooke sadly passed away last month, in this year of startling deaths, which gave me an unfortunate reminder to pick it up.

This volume is certainly a contrast to the last Parker book, The Score , in which Parker and his team planned a heist to rob an entire town. It had a complicated Ocean's Eleven feel to it. This is a much simpler story, which is evi
Jul 12, 2016 rated it liked it
The fourth and final book in Darwyn Cook’s graphic novel series is the shortest of them all. This is probably due to the fact that, unlike the slightly more complicated story lines in the previous volumes, this volume, Slayground, find’s Parker on the run. The story is very linear in this regard as Parker runs throughout the story before turning to fight through to the conclusion.

Parker crashes his car early in the story and must make a quick escape if he’s to hang on to the loot that he acquire
Michael Emond
Jan 10, 2014 rated it liked it
I am a huge Parker fan and all because Darwyn Cooke started making these graphic novels and it prompted me to go to the source material. I have now read all the original novels and I urge everyone to do the same. This adaptation by Cooke still has great art and it picks one of the Parker novels that is a fan favourite "Slayground" where Parker is trapped in a "closed for the Winter" amusement park in Buffalo by some members of the local Mob and a couple of cops on the take.
It is still a great
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Darwyn Cooke was an Eisner Award winning comic book writer, artist, cartoonist and animator, best known for his work on the comic books Catwoman, DC: The New Frontier and Will Eisner's The Spirit.

In 1985, Cooke published his first comic book work as a professional artist in a short story in New Talent Showcase #19, but economic pressure made him leave the career and he worked in Canada as a magazi

Other books in the series

Parker Graphic Novels (5 books)
  • Richard Stark's Parker: The Hunter
  • Richard Stark's Parker: The Man with the Getaway Face
  • Richard Stark’s Parker: The Outfit
  • Richard Stark’s Parker: The Score