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RIP: Darwyn Cooke – Comic Book Writer, Artist, Cartoonist, Animator

Darwyn Cooke, 53, passed away May 14, 2016. Image:

Darwyn Cooke, 53, passed away May 14, 2016.

Darwyn Cooke, 53, passed away May 14, 2016 after a fight with an aggressive form of cancer. His blog posted 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.” Cooke is best remembered for his work with DC on Batman/The Spirit of Catwoman, The New Frontier, and Richard Stark’s Parker: The Hunter. 

Cooke began his career as a writer in 1985 in New Talent Showcase #19, but due to financial constraints that all artists deal with, he worked for the next 15 years as a magazine art director, graphic and product designer. He went back to work in the industry after being hired at Warner Brothers as an animator on  Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series. He also worked on Batman: Beyond, and Men In Black: The Series. This opened the door for him into comic books with the graphic novel Batman: Ego with DC Comics. He also worked with Marvel doing freelance work on X-Force, Spiderman: The Tangled Web, and Wolverine/Droop. Back with DC, he and Ed Brubaker reworked Catwoman in The Spirit of Catwoman series. He also worked on the six issue miniseries by DC titled New Frontier, which filled in the blanks between the Golden Age and Silver Age of comic series. Cooke kept very busy with other DC titles and crossovers such as The Batman/The Spirit crossover series and even working on the prequel to The Watchmen, Before Watchmen: Minutemen. He also worked with IDW on adapting Donald Westlake’s novel into  Richard Stark’s Parker: The Hunter along with three other of the novels.

On May 13, Cooke’s wife announced on his blog “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.”

The family is asking for donations be made to the Canadian Cancer Society and Hero Initiative in his honor.

Our hearts go out to Cooke’s family and friends. His art brought joy to our world, and he will be missed.


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