Darwyn Cooke passed away this morning at 1:30 AM ET, as confirmed in a statement on his website by family representatives. Not even twenty-four hours earlier, his wife, Marsha, had informed the public of his ongoing battle with an aggressive cancer and that he was receiving palliative care. While it’s easy to be prone to hyperbole when a tragic loss like this occurs, saying that Darwyn Cooke was one of the finest storytellers in the comic medium in both his and any other generation, would be hard to argue. From DC: The New Frontier to his adaptations of Richard Stark’s Parker novels, Cooke’s work wasn’t just instantly recognizable and remarkable (it was that too, of course), it was an absolute clinic on storytelling. Often, it was inspirational. When Darwyn drew superheroes, he managed to capture the essence of each with masterful precision in deceptive simplicity; he saw the best in what we wanted to believe in better than anyone and brought it to life through art. That was his craft and that was his gift and it is something many will always cherish.
We share our favorite works of his, we talk about what his work meant to us, and we lament the loss of the man and his magic, and we say these things as fans. Share what his work meant to you, share what it was like to meet him if you were fortunate enough to meet him, and share his work with those who have yet to have the pleasure to experience it. To some others he was a friend, and to fewer he was family. Respect their privacy, of course, and for those that are sharing, please go and read their stories about Darwyn the person as well as Darwyn the artist. Gail Simone posted a charming Darwyn story here for instance and there will doubtless be countless more to come. On Twitter you’ll find many anecdotes and tributes under the #RIPDarwynCooke and #DarwynCooke hashtags.
Trying to find favorite images of his work to include with this post was an impossible task, because the thing about Darwyn’s work is, every Darwyn piece is your favorite Darwyn piece. If there’s a work of his you haven’t tried, now would be a great time to honor him and do so. Take the time to immerse yourself in what he spent so much of his life giving to the world; stories that will resonate, inspire, awe, and live on. Let his work be just as how his style was often described – timeless.
Thank you, Darwyn.