Home > Comics > Legendary Comic Book Writer and Artist Darwyn Cooke Passes Away

Legendary Comic Book Writer and Artist Darwyn Cooke Passes Away

Art From Darwyn Cooke for the Batman / Spirit crossover comics

Comic Book Creator Darwyn Cooke Passes From Cancer At Age 53

Darwyn Cooke, one of the most beloved comic book writers and artists of our time passed away on May 13th, after receiving treatment for cancer. It happened just one day after his wife shared, “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.” Cooke’s family announced his passing on his official website, reiterating the request that for the public to respect the family’s privacy, and requesting that any donations be made in Darwyn Cooke’s name to the Canadian Cancer Society and the Hero Initiative, a nonprofit organization that provides comic creators with financial help for medical expenses.

Though it has been over three decades since this legendary comic book creator started working in the industry, Cooke’s breakthrough came when he joined Bruce Timm’s animation team at Warner Bros. Working as a storyboard artist for both the Batman and Superman animated series, where his style fit perfectly, he also created the iconic title sequence for the animated Batman Beyond series.

Soon after that, he was approached by DC Comics, with whom he developed a graphic novel titled Batman: Ego that was released in 2000. This led to work with both Marvel, on titles such as X-Force, Wolverine, and Spider-Man’s Tangled Web, and with DC, on their title Just Imagine. He also collaborated with Ed Brubaker on a celebrated Catwoman run, and Jeph Loeb on a Batman / Spirit crossover.

Cover art for Darwyn Cooke's DC: The New Frontiers comicHowever, Cooke’s most famous and celebrated work may be his miniseries DC: The New Frontier, which is said by some to have redefined the way comic books fans view the Silver Age superheroes. During his career, Cooke won many awards, most notably 13 Eisner awards for his penciling, lettering, writing, and design work.

Darwyn Cooke’s death is a great loss for the world of comics, and DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio expressed both his sadness and gratitude for all Cooke did: “This is an industry-wide loss that I feel personally, but the sadness is mitigated in the knowing that the beauty and grace of his art will forever stand the test of time and be a monument to all that is great about comics.

Which one of Cooke’s stories was your favorite?

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