Sunday Matinee: Darwyn Cooke

sunday-matineeGoing to change things up a little today. One of my favourite comic book creators, Canadian-born cartoonist Darwyn Cooke, passed away yesterday at the age of 53 from cancer.

Cooke worked as a cartoonist off and on at the start of his career but nothing ever came of it. In 1990 he went into animation, working for Warner Bros. Animation as a storyboard artist for Batman: The Animated Series under Bruce Timm. He also storyboarded Superman: The Animated Series and animated the opening titles for Batman Beyond.

He even directed several animated episodes of the Men In Black animated series. Then DC asked Cooke to do an original graphic novel called Batman: Ego which lead to Cooke doing more and more comic book work. In 2001 he, along with Ed Brubake,r redesigned and revamped Catwoman in an excellent run. In 2004 Cooke created DC: The New Frontier, an alternate history of DC Comics set in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s.

DC: The New Frontier was turned into an animated movie for Warner Bros called Justice League: New Frontier. While condensed, it managed to capture most of what Cooke was trying to say in his comic book.

Cooke would go on to adapt some of Richard Stark’s Parker novels into graphic novels, starting with The Hunter. These are brilliant pieces of work. Cooke adapted four of the sixteen novels with the promise that he would do a couple more, not all 16 but some of his favourites.

Sadly that promise won’t be kept. It sucks to lose such a brilliant artist.

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Author: Shane Hnetka

Shane Hnetka spends most of his life watching movies and reading comic books, using his vast knowledge of genre culture for evil instead of good.