Sad news hits us as Darwyn Cooke, creator of DC: The New Frontier and the graphic novel adaptations of Donald Westlake’s Parker novels, passed away at the age of 53.
Darwyn Cooke was in palliative care due to combating an aggressive form of cancer.
Darwyn Cooke started out as a comic book artist at DC Comics in the ’80s, but left the industry not much later. Perhaps his reasoning at the time can be found in advice he would give to Ed Piskor, the writer and artist of Hip-Hop Family Tree: “Ed, you can either make the best comics you can, or you can be a good boy for your editors.”
His style was truly a definitive landmark in the sea of DC interpretations of their classic franchises, from the comics to animation.
He rose to prominence as one of the huge talents behind the acclaimed Batman: The Animated Series that ran in the early ’90s, and would continue to work on the similarly styled Superman: The Animated Series. His clean lines and emotive artwork lent itself superbly to animation, but Cooke’s love for comic books remained and he would eventually return to the field.
Besides that seminal work for DC, he also spearheaded the modern incarnation of Catwoman together with writer Greg Rucka, wrote and drew the first year of the relaunch of Will Eisner’s The Spirit, created a multitude of short stories, and a slew of covers. In December of 2014, DC even had a Darwyn Cooke variant covers month, in which he drew a lenticular cover for every single comic DC published that month, and knocked each one out of the park. A year before that, DC Entertainment had released the animated movie adaptation of DC: The New Frontier, making his work come full circle.
A true talent, much condolensces to his family and close friends.