Running this website has had its benefits over the years. First and foremost among them, for me, is the fact that it's introduced me to a bunch of people who have become some of my closest friends. I was drinking with two such friends the other night, friends I'd never have met without The Comics Cube.
I'm not friends with one of those guys without Darwyn Cooke. My friend had been a lapsed comic book reader for well upward of 10 years when he saw a copy of Catwoman: Selina's Big Score. Taking the plunge, he bought it, loved it, and fell right back into the wonderful hobby we call comics.
I was never a huge Darwyn Cooke fan. I loved his art, and I appreciate his work in the animation industry. He sequenced, among other things, the theme song for Batman Beyond, one of my favorite cartoon openings of all time. A few years ago, he did this for Batman's 75th anniversary:
And his New Frontier was a revelation to me when I walked into a Borders in Washington DC in mid-2006 and rediscovered the comics hobby after four years of college in a small town without a comics store. And I'll admit, when they announced Before Watchmen, I was absolutely skeptical... except I remember saying "if there's any one guy that can actually make this intriguing, it's Darwyn Cooke." He may not have been a perfect fit for my tastes, but I couldn't deny his talents.
He brought so much joy to so many fans, and that's what his art was — it was joy, distilled. a couple of years ago, he did 21 variant covers for DC. Here are some of my favorites:
Thank you for the comics, Darwyn Cooke. Thanks for the cartoons. But, selfishly, thank you for the friends you brought into my life, and the joy you brought to everyone who read your work.
Rest in peace.