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In Memoriam: Darwyn Cooke

May 15, 2016

So I’ve been letting this blog get away from me again but after hearing about Darwyn Cooke’s passing in the last 24 hours, I knew I had to write something about the man who created one of my favorite graphic works.

Back in 2011, when I was just getting into comics and trades, I attended the San Diego Comic-Con for two days after greatly enjoying a day at the event the previous year.  DC’s New 52 project was just getting started and many writers were going to be present at the days I was attending.  I had bought and read both volumes of  DC: The New Frontier and was excited to meet Darwyn Cooke, who created the series as both the writer and the artist.  While most western comics are done as a collaboration between a writer and artist dedicated in their respective fields, Cooke excelled at both and crafted a story that serves as a tribute to DC’s comic lineage.  Cooke was a very gracious person when I met him (anyone willing to put up with me is by default) and I got to speak with him very briefly about the merits of a story like The New Frontier making it easy for a comics-illiterate like me at the time to get into these characters without 60-70 years of history or baggage (I’m a massive casual, so sue me).  He signed both volumes, which I have on my bookshelf behind me as I’m writing this, and I went on about my day.

I’d have never considered that less than five years later, I’d be writing about him in the past tense.

After news broke out that Cooke was going to be starting palliative care for cancer, he passed away overnight less than a day later at the age of 53.  As someone whose family comes with a history and genetic predisposition to cancer, my heart goes out to his family and loved ones in this trying time.

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