The comics world has lost another of its heroes with the passing of writer/ artist Darwyn Cooke. At only 53 he lost his battle with cancer. While Cooke’s encounter with the Ghost Who Walks was only brief, his impact on the comics medium can not be denied.
Known for his distinct drawing style reminiscent of that of the 1960’s, Cooke was one of the most prolific creators in modern comics. He debuted on the comics scene in 1985 but also worked as a story board artist on classic DC animated series such as Batman Beyond, Superman and The New Adventures of Batman. The Catwoman we know and love today is due to Cooke’s revamp of the character in 2001. However his most notable work is arguably 2004’s DC: The New Frontier which won not only an Eisner award but also Harvey, and Shuster awards. In 2007 he reintroduced The Spirit, Will Eisner’s most famous creation and the template for modern comic book art to the world.
Cooke came briefly into contact with The Phantom with the release of Dynamite Entertainment’s King: The Phantom #1, creating the cover for that issue which, when put together with the other regular covers for the other books in the overarching King series, created a magnificent interconnecting artwork, which you can see below.
While he maybe have only had a passing relationship with Lee Falk’s famous hero, and of course Mandrake, Phantom phans should still give a moments silence for the man for without him the comic book industry may be very different, and indeed a little sadder.