In the comic world, many creators branch past one outlet to pursue work in several others. One comic creator is credited as an acclaimed artist, writer, cartoonist, and animator. Do you know who this is?
Darwyn Cooke was born on November 16, 1962 in Toronto, Canada. Although he expressed interest in comics as a child, he didn’t become passionate about them until he was a teenager. Cooke has credited this love affair for comics after buying an issue of The Amazing Spider-Man drawn by John Romita. In 1985, he published his first comic book work, New Talent Showcase #19. During a 15-year break from comics, Cooke worked at an art director, graphic designer, and product designer. Eventually, Cooke used his talents to launch his own design studio. In 1996, Cooke worked as a storyboard artist for Warner Bros. animated series Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, and Batman Beyond. He later worked as a director for Sony Animation's Men in Black: The Series.
In 2000, DC Comics published Cooke’s graphic novel Batman: Ego. This successful project led to Cooke’s freelance work on Marvel’s X-Force, Wolverine/Doop, and Spider-Man's Tangled Web and DC’s Just Imagine. Later on, Cooke and Ed Brubaker revamped the Catwoman character for Detective Comics. This inspired a solo Catwoman ongoing series, as well as the prequel graphic novel Selina's Big Score. Cooke followed this success up with the incredibly popular six-issue miniseries, DC: The New Frontier. This series was later adapted into an animated film featuring the voices of A-list celebrities like Kyle MacLachlan, Brooke Shields, and Miguel Ferrer. It was recently announced that Justice League: The New Frontier would be reissued as a Special Commemorative Edition. No release date for the project has yet been announced.
In his later career, Cooke also produced the anthology project Solo, as well as a Batman/The Spirit inter-company crossover. This was followed by a Spirit ongoing, Superman Confidential, Richard Stark's Parker: The Hunter, The Outfit, The Score, Slayground, and Before: Watchmen. In 2014, Cooke released a Batman Beyond animated short celebrating the 75th anniversary of Batman. Throughout his extensive career, Cooke has received multiple Eisners, Harveys, and a Schuster Award. Following an aggressive battle with lung cancer, Cooke passed away on May 13, 2016. Despite his sad passing, it’s clear that Cooke’s lasting legacy will live on.