CBR is reporting the tragic news that creator Dwayne McDuffie has died of unknown causes. In addition to co-creating the Milestone Universe and its signature character, Static, McDuffie had a long career as writer, editor and producer, story editing the popular Justice League of America cartoon and most recently writing the ALL-STAR SUPERMAN movie. As CBR reports, he was in full stride as a creator:
In recent years, McDuffie pursued dual tracks in animation and comics writing. He served as story editor for the popular “Justice League Unlimited” animated series and wrote a number of DC’s recent direct-to-DVD animated films. McDuffie had notable runs on comic series “Fantastic Four” and “Justice League of America,” often incorporating Black characters into the core of the fabled franchises.
McDuffie’s latest work was the script for the “All Star Superman” animated adaptation, which went on sale today in stores across America. CBR ran a lengthy interview with McDuffie about that project last week and caught up with him, looking in good health and acting jovial, last week at the Paley Center’s Los Angeles premier for the film. McDuffie’s last known public statement was a post to his Facebook page Sunday at 12:17 PM Pacific. He was scheduled to sign at Golden Apple Comics tomorrow evening as part of Reggie Hudlin’s Reggie’s World launch party.
I knew Dwayne on and off for nearly 20 years, and to say his loss is a shock is a pitiful understatement. He was a vibrant storyteller and savvy editor who spoke his mind — a trait that got him into trouble more often than not, but his talent was such that he could get away with it.
He operated a very active message board, at his website (currently down due to traffic) where he discussed comics, storytelling and social issues. He called people on their bullshit and constantly spoke out against the casual racism of many institutions with passion and intelligence.
Knowing we’ll never hear that voice again is heartbreaking.
My condolences to his family and friends.
UPDATE: Here’s Dwayne in action.
UPDATE 2: DC co-publisher Dan DiDio has released the following statement:
“Dwayne McDuffie left a lasting legacy on the world of comics that many writers can only aspire to. He will not only be remembered as the extremely gifted writer whose scripts have been realized as comic books, in television shows and on the silver screen, but as the creator or co-creator of so many of the much-loved Milestone characters, including Static Shock. The industry has lost a true talent.
Our sincerest condolences go out to the family and many friends he leaves behind.”
CBR is reporting the cause of death as complications from surgery last night.
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.