Parker: The Outfit by Darwyn Cooke MSRP: $ 25 Product Page Good For: People who love thoughtful graphic novels like 100 Bullets and American Splendor Could Be Good For: Mystery and thriller fans. Not for: Anime fans
The Outfit by Darwyn Cooke is based on Richard Stark’s Parker novels. Set in the roaring ’50s, Parker is a career criminal who only hurts the folks who deserve it. The closest cultural analog would be a noble ninja, righting wrongs and getting a piece on the side for himself. This book takes one of the early books in the series and turns it into a graphic novel that takes its artistic queues from 1950s poster art, road maps, and advertising. It is, in short, one of the best comic adaptions of a novel I’ve read.
The same artist created a version of The Hunter,, the first Parker book. If you’ve seen the movies Point Blank with Lee Marvin or Payback with Mel Gibson, you’ve basically seen this story. If you’re not into graphic novels, check out the books. Great stuff.
Don’t ever knock Google for not reinvesting a little of that cheddar it’s stacking in Mountain View. Barely two months after pulling the trigger on BlindType, El Goog has now sunk an undisclosed amount of money into Phonetic Arts, described as a speech synthesis company based in Cambridge, England. Naturally, Google’s been toiling around the clock in an effort to better its speech technologies, and it looks as if it could be cutting out quite a few months (or years) of work with this one purchase. Phonetic Arts was known for being on the “cutting edge of speech synthesis, delivering technology that generates natural computer speech from small samples of recorded voice,” and we get the impression that the team will be given clearance badges to enter Google’s London-based engineering facility shortly. The company’s own Mike Cohen is hoping that this will help us “move a little faster towards that Star Trek future” — frankly, we’re hoping to have Jack Donaghy’s voice become the de facto standard in under a year. We hear some dudes at 30 Rock are already toying with a prototype…
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