Richard Stark is the most famous pseudonym of world-renowned author Donald Westlake (1933-2008). In 1962 hecreated the master thief Parker and began a series of novels that have been recognized as seminal works of crime fiction. Several of Westlake’s books have been adapted by Hollywood and Westlake’s adaptation of The Grifters earned him an Academy Award nomination for best motion picture screenplay. Westlake has won numerous awards for his fiction and in 1993 the Mystery Writers of America named him a Grand Master, the highest honor bestowed by that prestigious society.
Darwyn Cooke (1962-2015) was a graphic designer and animator who turned his attention toward cartooning in the late nineties. Known primarily for his work on the DC line of superheroes, Cooke always had an affinity for crime fiction and has often cited the Parker books as a great source of creative inspiration. Cooke has won multiple Eisner, Harvey, and Shuster awards, as well as the National Cartoonist Society’s Best Series award. In 2008 Cooke was Emmy-nominated for the animated adaptation of his magnum opus, The New Frontier.