Born 1962 in Toronto Canada - Died May 2016
Highly regarded comic book artist who specialized in an easy to recognize retro-style that incorporated classic comic book storytelling techniques with emphasis on clarity in not only getting the story across to the reader, but in clearly identifying every element on the page.
Darwyn Cooke remembrance at comicbookeditor.com:
"I remember once I was on the phone with Darwyn Cooke and we discussed how some higher-ups had gave him a note for “New Frontier” suggesting that Wonder Woman be a little skinnier. And Darwyn flat-out said he’d quit the book before that happened. He explained that it was ridiculous to make her so skinny, when the whole point is that she is a woman warrior and muscular. He said it’s like if he had a note to make Superman more skinny. And so he was telling me, basically, that he was ready to walk off the series unless he had the OK to continue with the Wonder Woman designs the way he was doing them. And that was Darwyn..."
Darwyn Cooke has died
The famed artist, winner of many awards and a fan-favorite across the comics industry has died at age 53.
Los Angeles Times obit:
"On Saturday, Cooke's family announced that the artist had died at age 53 from cancer, an illness his wife Marsha Cooke disclosed on the artist's website the day before. "We regret to inform you that Darwyn lost his battle with cancer early this morning," the family statement said. "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."
Obit at NBC News:
"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," said DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio in statement."
Obit at Chicago Tribune:
"When asked to elaborate on why he was searching for hope back in the 2012 interview, Cooke responded, “Without getting too far out there, it all speaks right to the heart of our mortality. You start out drawing with crayons as a kid and if you look at Picasso’s work when he was 9 and when he was 90, he’s basically come full circle. And then there’s all that stuff in between. When you’re 20, you’ve basically come to believe that everything you’ve been told as a kid is a lie and you’re looking for material to support that. Then you start to grow out of that and you realize that’s not the case and that the dark things are just part of the picture.”
Obit at Polygon:
"Cooke's breakthrough performance in print came with Batman: Ego, published in 2000. He became well known for his retro-inspired designs of several major characters, and DC Comics in a statement noted that his take on Catwoman is still the template used today, as well as for the television series Gotham."
Obit at 680 news:
“Darwyn 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. “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.”
Obit at IGN.com:
"Cooke began his career as a graphic designer and magazine art director before going to work for Warner Bros. Animation. Cooke served as a storyboard artist on both Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series, and later animated the title sequence for Batman Beyond. Having honed his distinctive art style on those DC animated shows, Cooke transitioned into writing and drawing comics. Some of his notable works include the graphic novels Batman: Ego and Catwoman: Selina's Big Score, the crossover special Batman/The Spirit, Before Watchmen: Minutemen and a series of adaptations of Richard Stark's Parker crime novels. However, Cooke will probably always be best remembered for his 2004 mini-series DC: The New Frontier, a Silver Age-inspired tale which explored the rise of the Justice League in the early 1960's. "
Obit at Los Angeles Daily News:
"His other work included gritty adaptations of Richard Stark’s “Parker” novels, a modern interpretation of Catwoman and the “Solo” graphic novel series, which earned Cooke an Eisner Award, considered to be the Academy Awards of the comics world."
"Darwyn Cooke had a vision of the DC Universe that was uniquely his own, yet embraced by everyone. Once you saw his timeless designs and concepts for Batman, Catwoman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern or any other character, you immediately adopted his jubilant interpretation of these heroes as your own and wanted more. His take on the most iconic heroes in the world were breathtakingly direct and elegant, powerful and cool. His were some of the most beautiful, fun DC superhero images we have ever seen."
Batman and The Spirit
Jeph Loeb and Darwyn Cooke teamed up for a half-adventure and half-comedy story of Batman and The Spirit mixing their villains and problems together.
Wonder Woman - Darywn Cooke
Darwyn Cooke Dec 2014 JLA Cover
Darwyn Cooke - Spirit #8, 2007
More The Spirit
Art by Lois Lane
Cover to Spirit Issue 6, Darwyn Cooke
See the cover enlarged.
Darwyn Cooke "Ginger Ice"
Darwyn Cooke's Ginger Ice from his Spirit revival from issue 1, Feb 2007
More The Spirit
Artwork image of Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman