Animator and Eisner Award-winning comic book artist Darwyn Cooke has passed away at the age of 53. Cooke’s family released the following statement 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
His passing came less than 24 hours after his wife Marsha posted a blog entry called “fuck cancer” which revealed that Darwyn was receiving palliative care for a very aggressive form of cancer.
While known for his amazing work in comics, Cooke did a lot of work in animation including working on shows like Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series in the 90s as well as providing the animated opening title sequence for Batman Beyond.
Across comics he was best known for his work as writer and artist on DC: The New Frontier as well as his four adaptations of Richard Stark’s Parker novels for IDW Publishing. His Eisner Award for Best Single Issue came for his work on Solo #5 in 2005. His work on the 2002 graphic novel Selina’s Big Score as well as his costume redesign helped modernize the character of Catwoman for DC Comics.
Batman: Ego, Just Imagine Stan Lee Creating… and Batman/The Spirit are just a few of the other works that Cooke brought to the world in his time as a comic book artist. Most recently he worked on the four-issue Vertigo Comics miniseries The Twilight Children written by Gilbert Hernandez.
While comic books became his home, Cooke returned to animation many times including in 2006 when he co-wrote and worked as art director on Justice League: The New Frontier which was adapted from his DC: The New Frontier work. He also returned to Batman Beyond in 2014 to animate a short to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Batman.