“New Frontier” comics artist Darwyn Cooke receiving palliative care for “aggressive cancer”

Marsha Cooke, the wife of brilliant comics writer/artist Darwyn Cooke, posted on Cooke’s blog Friday morning that her husband is receiving “palliative care following a bout with aggressive cancer.”

I mean, look at that cover.
I mean, look at that cover.

Known for a cannily cartoonish style that owed much to Alex Toth’s design sense, 50s magazine illustration and Jack Kirby’s dynamism, Darwyn Cooke is perhaps best known for the still-stunning 2004-2005 series “DC: The New Frontier,” a gorgeous, six-issue riff on the end of the end of the Golden Age of Comics and the start of the Silver Age.

He also adapted several of Richard Stark’s bullet-proof “Parker” novels into tough, elegant graphic novels.

A page from "Richard Stark's Parker: The Hunter"
A page from “Richard Stark’s Parker: The Hunter”

Born in 1962, the Canadian native started his career as a designer in the Canadian magazine industry as an art director and designer, then working at Warner Bros animation as a storyboard artist on popular and critically regarded “Batman: The Animated Series” and “Superman: The Animated Series.”

“Batman: Ego” his DC Comics début, appeared in 2000, followed by a often-brilliant run with fellow noir nerd Ed Brubaker on “Catwoman.”

As much as any artist of his generation, Cooke’s work communicated the almost lizard-brain joy that comics can uniquely deliver. His pages are a masterclass in story-telling, his line direct and sure.

His most recent work was “The Twilight Children,” with Gilbert Hernandez (best known for “Love and Rockets”). It’s an interesting book, two -class comics storytellers working in concert, Hernandez loosely scripting for Cooke’s always-gorgeous art.

Here is his staggeringly-awesome opening credit sequence for “Batman Beyond.”

Our best to his family.

Author: Joe Gross

Joe Gross has covered books, movies, music and culture for the American-Statesman since 2002. He tweets at @joegross.

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