Legendary comics artist Darwyn Cooke has passed away. He was 53.
Cooke's family released the following statement this morning:
We regret to inform you that Darwyn lost his battle with cancer early this morning at 1:30 AM ET. We read all of your messages of support to him throughout the day yesterday. He was filled with your love and surrounded by friends and family at his home in Florida.
Please continue to respect our privacy as we go through this very difficult time.
A longer statement will come later today.
“Then we shall not be weary. Then we shall prevail.” -- John F. Kennedy’s New Frontier speech
The news comes less than twenty-four hours after Cooke's battle with cancer was revealed in a blog post titled “fuck cancer” posted by Cooke’s wife, Marsha. In it, Marsha Cooke writes:
It is with tremendous sadness that we announce Darwyn is now receiving palliative care following a bout with aggressive cancer. His brother Dennis and I, along with our families appreciate the outpouring of support we have received. We ask for privacy as we go through this very difficult time. Urgent inquiries please contact David Hyde firstname.lastname@example.org
Darwyn Cooke published his first comic in 1985 but was generally known as a transplant from animation, where he worked on shows like Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series in the 1990s before finding mainstream success in comics. He animated the opening title sequence for Batman Beyond. In 2000, DC Comics and Cooke started developing a project which would ultimately become Batman: Ego. He would work consistently in comics from that point forward, including on projects like Just Image Stan Lee Creating... and Batman/The Spirit.
Cooke would return to animation even after he became an in-demand and award-winning comics artist, notably in 2006, when he co-wrote and served as art director on Justice League: The New Frontier.
Cooke, in fact, is best known as the writer and artist of DC: The New Frontier, the comic upon which that animated feature was based, and for his four adaptations of Richard Stark’s Parker novels at IDW Publishing. He won the Eisner Award for Best Single Issue for his work on Solo #5 in 2005.
Cooke's 2002 graphic novel Selina’s Big Score and costume redesign was key to the modernization of Catwoman at DC Comics. More recently, he illustrated the four-issue Vertigo Comics miniseries The Twilight Children, written by Gilbert Hernandez, and announced plans for a new, creator-owned series titled Revengeance, at Image Comics. He was also part of developing Future Quest, an anticipated part of DC Comic's upcoming slate of Hanna-Barbera reinventions. The first issue of that series will hit the stands from Jeff Parker and Evan "Doc" Shaner on Wednesday. Cooke provided the first piece of promotional art for the series.