He was a storyboard artist on Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series, he created the opening sequence for Batman Beyond, he redesigned Catwoman’s costume to make it more functional for a master thief, and he captured the spirit of the Silver Age Justice League in the New Frontier graphic novel and animated movie. Darwyn Cooke‘s had a big influence on comic books and comic book-related media the last 25 years, but now he belongs to the ages. After yesterday’s surprising announcement that the writer and artist was battling a “bout with aggressive cancer” comes sad news today that he’s lost that battle.
Cooke’s family posted the following statement to his blog this morning:
We regret to inform you that Darwyn lost his battle with cancer early this morning at 1:30 AM ET. We read all of your messages of support to him throughout the day yesterday. He was filled with your love and surrounded by friends and family at his home in Florida.
Please continue to respect our privacy as we go through this very difficult time.
A longer statement will come later today.
“Then we shall not be weary. Then we shall prevail.” — John F. Kennedy’s New Frontier speech
This came after the surprising news yesterday that Cooke was receiving palliative care for an unspecified cancer. These shocking reveals have brought out Cooke’s fans from all over the globe to sing the praises of the man and his work. “Darwyn Cooke was a singular talent and a larger than life human being. Our ambassador to the world and one of our greatest comics exports,” wrote Kevin Boyd, one of the organizers of the Shuster Awards, Canada’s comic book awards of which Cooke won six. “He has also won more Joe Shuster Awards than any other creator in our 11+ years and has been nominated nearly every year. His work was the gold standard for quality.”
Cooke’s most recent work included the graphic novel adaptation of Donald E. Westlake’s book The Hunter for IDW, as well as two of the Before Watchmen titles, Minutemen and Silk Spectre, for DC Comics. He also made a Batman Beyond short as part of the 75th anniversary celebrations for Batman in 2014.
Darwyn Cooke is survived by his wife Marsha, his brother Dennis and their respective families. He will definitely be missed.