Yesterday, in a post titled Fuck Cancer, Darwyn Cooke's wife Marsha announced that he "is now receiving palliative care following a bout with aggressive cancer". This morning We regret to inform you confirmed that he did not make it.
New Frontier is as good as superhero stories come. His take on Will Eisner's The Spirit, collected in The Spirit, vol. 1 and The Spirit, vol. 2, are remarkable in how well they update that series. His adaptation of the Richard Stark Parker novels, The Hunter, The Outfit, The Score and Slayground, are brilliant in how well they capture the character and his world. His recurring covers and stories in the recent Jonah Hex are among the highlights of the series.
I could go on, and I'm sure other people could, too, and many of them will have better insights into what made him great, rather than simply my drooling rant about how perfect they are because, y'know, look at them.
My favorite remains his Catwoman books, those with Ed Brubaker, but especially Selina's Big Score, which captured his love of Parker before he started doing the adaptations. I've sung the praises of this book more than once here, for a variety of reasons, but all of them add up to the fact that's utter comic book perfection.
There are posts out there with lots of pictures. Here's Darwyn Cooke (1962-2016). You can look over them and see what a remarkable talent we've lost.
The loss of his art is an incredible to me. I've read plenty of posts from people in a position to know that the loss of the human being is just as bad, and I'm inclined to believe it.
My deepest condolences to his family and friends.