Over the weekend the comic community lost one of it’s true living legends, Darwyn Cooke.
Darwyn was an Eisner award winning comic writer and artist with a career spanning over thirty years.
He died of cancer on the 14th of May at the age of 53.
Too damn young.
I might not have talked much about Darwyn in the past but he was definitely an inspiration.
He was one of the very few in superhero comics who managed to create an instantly recognizable and unique art style. While one can clearly see the inspiration he took from 50s and 60s cartoons, he made his art his own. It is something that is very rare in the mainstream comics, and that he never followed the popular trend or “house style” wherever he worked is truly inspiring.
No matter what the project he always brought great passion and a feel of joyfulness to the work, even in his darker, noir stories there was a sense that Darwyn was truly enjoying every second of it.
And from what I’ve heard from people who knew him, that was probably true.
My personal favourite of his works, and one of my all-time favourite comic stories for that matter, is DC: The New Frontier which he both wrote and drew.
The New Frontier tells a story that bridges the gap between the gold and silver ages of comics, giving some creative explanations for the changes that occurred during this period.
He was also responsible for what has become the modern iconic look of Catwoman, the black jumpsuit and goggles, that was Darwyn’s idea.
As an artist/writer who aspires to create fun and entertaining stories with a unique and recognizable art style I see a lot in Darwyn that I hope to achieve myself, and honestly in the very short time since his death I’ve been thinking about how short time is and how far I have to go to achieve my own personal legacy.
But I’ll save that selfishness for another time.
For now let me just say, that Darwyn’s legacy is one that all of us in the comic community can admire.
A life cut too short but a life that will be celebrated.
Goodnight, rest in peace.