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.
While 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.
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.
— Jim Lee (@JimLee) May 14, 2016
— Jimmy Palmiotti (@jpalmiotti) May 13, 2016
Thoughts are with Darwyn Cooke. Truly one of a kind. A fascinating mind & terrific sense of humor. Shirt says it all pic.twitter.com/7d2RNdHoqB
— Gary Miereanu (@SuperPRGuy) May 13, 2016
— comiXology (@comiXology) May 14, 2016
— Ethan Van Sciver (@EthanVanSciver) May 14, 2016
He was a bucket list artist for me, someone whose work I looked to when I was feeling down about superheroes and comics.
— Kyle Higgins (@KyleDHiggins) May 14, 2016