Fantastic Four Artist Paul Ryan Dies At 66

Paul Ryan Fantastic Four
(Photo: Paul Ryan)

Cartoonist Paul Ryan has died at the age of 66.

Ryan’s cousin, Chad Callanan, broke the new on Facebook:

“It is with sad news I report the passing of my cousin Paul. Chances are you were touched by him in your lifetime as he was the cartoonist for some of the most well known and beloved characters in the world. From Spider-Man, Thor, Iron Man, The Phantom to the Fantastic Four, most of which made it to the big screen and Hollywood. He was a true giant and artist, who achieved more success in his short life than any one of us would ever know in ten lifetimes. He was somebody who showed me how to dream big, but he was also my friend and that was good enough.”

Writer Larry Hama, who worked with Ryan at both Marvel and DC Comics, also posted a remembrance on Facebook.

"I am truly shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Paul Ryan, an impeccable draftsman, a solid visual storyteller, and really, really nice guy," said Larry Hama, who worked with Ryan both at DC and Marvel. "I always knew that a plot I sent him would be drawn with a keen attention to detail, aspects of the story would be improved upon, and my mistakes would be corrected. I will miss him as a valued collaborator, and I mourn him as a friend."

Ryan was a graduate of the Massachusetts College of Art and a member of the United States National Guard. After winning a Charlton Comics talent search, he made his comic book debut illustrating 1984’s Star Masters #1. He later moved on to Marvel Comics, where he was best known for his work on Fantastic Four, but also drew the Avengers, Spider-Man, and other marquee Marvel heroes. He also did work for DC Comics, drawing Superman and The Flash.

Ryan was also a noted newspaper strip artist, drawing Stan Lee’s Spider-Man and King Features Syndicates’ The Phantom.

Ryan is survived by his wife, Linda Ryan.