The Comic Book Industry Remembers Darwyn Cooke

Darwyn and crew in Las Vegas. Photo by Nathan Boone
Darwyn and crew in Las Vegas. Photo by Nathan Boone

Since the announcement yesterday that Darwyn Cooke had sufferred from aggressive cancer, then the subsequent news of his passing away this morning, the comic book industry has been talking about one man. And lots of people have tributes to give and stories to share. Here are a few

Gail Simone, on Darwyn giving her a Sophie's Choice dilemma,

So, later that same day, Darwyn comes up with his huge art portfolio, and he says, "Gail, you have to choose."

What?  Choose what?

Here's what he did.  He had drawn me a gorgeous, gorgeous drawing of Black Canary, just her head and shoulders, on a huge piece of artboard, bigger than a page of comic art (which as most of you know, is much bigger than a comics page, it gets shrunk down for printing). It was simple but stunning, and he'd drawn it just for me.  It's glamour style, like a Lana Turner headshot or something.

He'd drawn that just for me.


I could choose ANY original page of art from New Frontier.

and signs off with this story,

One other story I read recently that's funny. I know this sounds obnoxious but the comp books we get from dc can really pile up over the course of the years. Apparently, Alan Moore had been receiving these books and finally said, "Please don't send any more DC comp books to me, thank you, they are cluttering up my home."

"Except New Frontier. You can keep sending that."

Alan was right.

Jimmy Palmiotti:

Amanda and I are devastated. We lost a best friend, and the world lost one of its greatest talents this morning. He fought a great fight up until the last minute and was surrounded by friends and family. Although we know his art will live on forever, we will miss his warm smile and generosity to everyone around him each and every single day of our lives. He loved his life, loved his friends even more, and celebrated both to the extremes every chance he got. The lucky few closest to him understood that Darwyn always felt he was living on borrowed time, a sentiment more of us understand a little bit more right now because of this loss. There is a joy and honesty to his work that only a few artists of our generation can even come close to and knowing him the way we did, we understood this joyfulness came from the man himself. Darwyn was a best friend, a mentor, and a brother to Amanda and I. Our hearts are broken.
Rest in Peace, Darwyn.

Ethan Daniel Van Sciver: RIP Darwyn Cooke.I'm at a loss for words. This was cruel.

George Pérez: RIP: Darwyn Cooke. You will be greatly missed.

Rob Liefeld: R.I.P. Darwyn Cooke – Thank you for the inspiration. You will be sorely missed.

For those who are looking to revisit the best of his work, there is a ComiXology sale on his DC work, including New Frontier, right here, and his Parker volumes right here.

And his Amazon page can be found right here.

My favourite Darwyn Cooke story is one I reported in Lying In The Gutters in 2005 and repeated on Bleeding Cool in 2011. Darwyn Cooke was a man possessed of righteous fury, whether over the quality of a comic, a none headed decision by a comics publisher or a bar fight defending a young woman's honour. He fought the good fight.

But my favourite example has to be when he believed that a rejected pitch he and his crew had made to Marvel Comics for a line of All-Ages titles, was used to inform their subsequent Marvel Age line of titles without Darwyn's involvement.

True or not, during Wizard World Los Angeles, Darwyn Cooke walked up to now-Marvel EIC, then-Senior Editor Axel Alonso, picked up a pint of Guinness and threw it over Axel, with fellow editor Nick Lowe having to restrain Axel from following suit.

The story spread like wildfire. Another Marvel colleague amused by the incident told me that, after Darwyn shortly signed with DC Comics afterwards, that this was the first exclusive comic book contract he had seen signed in beer.

Miss you Darwyn. Thoughts and prayers to Marsha and the rest of his family.

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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