Remembering Darwyn Cooke
2016 has been a tough year for celebrity deaths, but for the most part the comics industry has been spared. Until this weekend, when we lost Darwyn Cooke. Less than 24 hours after the news that he was battling an aggressive form of cancer was released, word spread, and was ultimately confirmed, that the legendary writer and artist had passed. It’s a tough loss for the comic book industry, and not only because Cooke was so young when he passed. He leaves behind a massive hole in the medium, but thankfully we’ve still got his incredible backlog to keep his memory alive.
And what a backlog it is. From independent works like the Richard Starking Parker graphic novels, to superhero work like Justice League: New Frontier, Cooke is a huge force in the world of comics and sequential art, with a style that is instantly recognizable. Cooke’s name on a book, whether as a writer or artist, was an instant seal of quality. The man was a powerhouse of talent, and was incapable of producing anything bad.
I had the chance to see Darwyn Cooke at one of the first Boston Comic Cons I ever intended. At the time, I didn’t have anything for him to sign other than the Justice League: New Frontier special that DC had just released. Shamefully I wasn’t aware of just how prolific a creator he was. Of course, now that I’ve read a more of his work, I wish I could go back in time and beat the crap out of my younger self.
Naturally after this happens people are going to want to look into Cooke’s work. My favorites are the already mentioned Justice League: New Frontier and Parker graphic novels, but you should also look up his amazing DC variant covers from a few years back (I’ve included my favorite in this post). Cooke’s work was, simply put, stunning. He brought out the inherent strength, power, and fun of superheroes, and he will be missed on the comic racks.
Rest in Peace Mr. Cooke. Thank you.