It is always a terrible thing when someone you love, even if you don’t know them personally, is ripped from you suddenly. Only yesterday the world learned of comics writer/artist Darwyn Cooke’s battle with cancer, and just as suddenly, like Bowie and Prince, the man was torn from us. Meet me after the jump to remember Darwyn Cooke, one of the most innovative talents in comics.
While remembered for the celebrated mini-series DC: The New Frontier, and for his storyboard and design work in television animation with “Batman: The Animated Series,” “Superman: The Animated Series,” and “Batman Beyond,” I first discovered Cooke back in 2001 with his wonderful take on Catwoman. Here was a sexy and gritty Catwoman that felt cinematic, realistic, and old school all at once, and I fell in love with the man’s work right there.
Cooke offered a simplicity and a grittiness simultaneously that offered us older fans something we’d been missing for years, that Silver Age look with a touch of realism, and none of the darkness that had and continues to invade the world of comics. Speaking of the Silver Age, Cooke renovated that time in comics with his New Frontier, which remains one of the best retellings of that time in the DC Universe, outside continuity, and near perfect, a tribute to heroism and what makes comics great.
I would also suggest everyone reading this to seek out his adaptations of the Parker novels by Richard Stark, amazing stuff there for comics fans and non-comics fans alike. We have lost one of the legends. Darwyn Cooke died early this morning, he will be missed.