The family of Darwyn Coke has released a statement confirming that the cartoonist passed away last night.
We regret to inform you that Darwyn lost his battle with cancer early this morning at 1:30 AM ET. We read all of your messages of support to him throughout the day yesterday. He was filled with your love and surrounded by friends and family at his home in Florida.
Please continue to respect our privacy as we go through this very difficult time.
A longer statement will come later today.
“Then we shall not be weary. Then we shall prevail.” — John F. Kennedy’s New Frontier speech
It was announced only yesterday morning that Cooke was receiving palliative care for a particularly aggressive cancer.
Darwyn was an award winning creator whose every line was distinctive and stylish, redolent of an earlier, supposedly simpler era and yet modern and relevant in a timeless way. It’s no surprise that his signature work, The New Frontier, was set in the era of the Rat Pack and early Apollo Missions. Darwyn was working until very recently, it seems, with work on the Future Quest HB reboot coming out in the next few weeks.
I’ll have more on Darwyn’s work later, but everyone who knew him is already honing their stories of legend about him. Darwyn lived large and loud with a huge heart that often took him down some wrong pathways. And then he’d laugh and smile and start all over again.
There was really and truly only one Darwyn. His talent was singular, his character designs unsurpassed, his stories drawn directly from his own view of the world. As a character, raconteur, friend and presence, to even suggest there could be anyone like him is ludicrous. I’m very lucky to have known him.
I’m in Toronto, where Darwyn lived for many years; on my first trip here more than a decade ago he took me out on a memorable dinner at one of his favorite restaurants with a gang of wonderful friends. As word of his illness spread yesterday here at TCAF there were tears and stories. I’m in a hotel on a bad internet connection so I can’t do the art post he deserves; time for that later.
Comixology is having a sale on his work; a purchase there will help his family, and give you some great comics to enjoy. Or just buy some of his books from your local comics shop.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.