RIP Darwyn Cooke

Darwyn Cooke had one of those instantly recognizable styles. His artwork had one of those rare abilities to make you smile just from a few pages. He died today at the age of 53 just a day after his wife shared he was receiving palliative care.

New Frontier - Darwyn CookeWhile so many of his peers were focused on hyper detailing and finding new ways to capture a realistic grim and gritty look, Cooke’s artwork was a refreshing change of pace. It was simplistic, but it perfectly fit his storytelling talents that was unlike any other.  With the often crushing efforts to make comics more reflective of the real world, Cooke’s stories were a necessary flashback to a simpler time when comics were fun, optimistic and inspiring.

His family and friends as well as the comic industry as a whole lost a tremendously gifted creator. Cooke’s death is a reminder that too many great storytellers, and from all accounts better men, have died well before they’d finished contributing to the industry and exploring their passion.

Mike Wieringo died at 44 back in 2007 and Michael Turner died in 2008 at the age of 37. Turner after an extended battle with cancer. And as Stephen Amell so eloquently put it F*ck Cancer.

Jimmys twenty-four-seven - Darwyn CookeDarwyn Cooke lived life like a character from a Micky Spillane novel, a throwback to a bygone era that was, more than occasionally, reflected in his work,” said DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio in a statement. “He was both compassionate and combative, approaching everything he did with a tenaciousness and temerity that is now unheard of in a world afraid to offend.

The simplistic brilliance of his art and the natural flow of his storytelling not only elevated but enhanced all projects he touched and his passion and love of comics was reflected in every panel of every page.’

If you’ve never read it, DC: The New Frontier is rightly considered one of the all-time classic tales and one so expertly crafted that the Warner Bros. Animation adaptation didn’t need to change anything.

Here’s what some of Cooke’s peers tweeted about his loss.

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