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RIP Marshall Rogers

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Via DC:

Artist Marshall Rogers, who won acclaim for his stylish depiction of Batman, has died at age 57.

“Marshall was one of the radical young stylists bringing new looks to DC in the ‘70s, especially with his memorable collaboration with Steve Englehart on Batman,” says DC Comics President & Publisher Paul Levitz. “His debonair smile and charm were every bit as endearing as his art was energetic, and his colleagues at DC are all shocked to have a great artist pass so young.”

Born January 22, 1950, Rogers studied architecture at Kent State University before pursuing a career in comics. His earliest work appeared in Marvel Comics’ black and white magazines; in 1976, his art first appeared in a backup story in DETECTIVE COMICS, the title with which he is most identified.

Rogers quickly moved up to pencilling the lead stories in DETECTIVE, working with his frequent collaborators, writer Steve Englehart and inker Terry Austin, on a run of issues that featured the acclaimed “Joker Fish” story. He simultaneously drew a memorable run on MISTER MIRACLE.

Rogers returned to Batman frequently after his initial run on DETECTIVE, contributing stories to BATMAN FAMILY and other titles, including a new look at the Dark Knight’s beginnings in SECRET ORIGINS. In the 1980s, Rogers began working for Eclipse Comics, with projects including Coyote, Scorpio, the graphic novel Detectives, Inc., and his own creation, Cap’n Quick and A Foozle.

By the mid-1980s, Rogers was working for Marvel Comics, where he illustrated Dr. Strange, G.I. Joe, Howard the Duck and more, as well as a long run on Silver Surfer. He became the artist on the Batman daily comic strip at the end of the decade.

More recently, Rogers illustrated the miniseries GREEN LANTERN: EVIL’S MIGHT, then returned to the Dark Knight for a 5-part story in BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT. He reteamed with Englehart and Austin for the 2005 miniseries BATMAN: DARK DETECTIVE, a follow up on their classic work of the 1970s.

  1. What a shame. I remember his run on DETECTIVE – it was some fun stuff. I was just a nipper at the time, and the surface gloss is what probably attracted me – but looking at it years later, I’d put Marshall’s work on a par with Walt Simonson’s in finding new ways to tell dynamic, action-oriented stories. I’m not surprised he studied architecture – his pages always showed a great sense of design, with graphic elements like panel shapes and even sound effects actually integrated into the storytelling process.

  2. Wow. This is really sad news. I was a fan of his work. I loved his artistic flexibility and style. For example, his Doctor Strange looked nothing like his Batman. And I loved how he was able to take his figures and nudge them just a bit to get, say, a real Ditko influence into them.

    Gee whiz, I’ll miss him.

  3. Aww. I LOVED Cap’n Quick and A Foozle. That and Masked Man were two real charmers from Eclipse back then. + I think my first exposure to the “L word” may have been Detectives Inc! RIP.

  4. I’d had the pleasure of meeting Marshall while woking for the Big Apple convention in NY. An attendent lost his cool with Marshall in regards to a sketch. The so called fan became very confrontational with Marshall, but Marshall never backed down. He was a man of principle and didn’t take crap (especially for such a trivial matter). After things calmed down I attempted to apologize to Mr. Rogers about the irrate and irrational fan, explaining that he in no way represented the high calibur of quality fans and patrons known to attend the Big Apple Comic Convention, or New York for that matter. Marshall could have been a real jerk and written off the whole city or convention, but instead I found him to be extremely understanding. He would not have me apologize for the scene, saying that he had great respect for the fans and that there was nothing for me to apologize for. I was nervous as hell as I went to apologoze to him, but he was the most gracious and pleasant individual to talk with. I will never forget his kindness, patience, and respect. Thank you for all of the great work Marshall, RIP. My condolences go out to his friends and family.

  5. This was really shocking news.

    I have so many good memories of him, in person and in print.

    One of America’s best artists.

    I’d like to share a story he told not that long ago on ‘Nuff Said!, my radio
    show. We could have lost Marshall at the famous Kent State murders (his
    word) in May, 1970 (I think I have the year right). They happened in front
    of the architecture building and he had a project due that day. But he’d
    been up all night doing it and asked a friend to deliver it for him when he
    dropped off his own project. That friend was shot (not killed) while
    standing on the steps of the building. Marshall was sure he would have been
    shot, too because he would have been standing right next to the friend.
    The experience at Kent State motivated him to drop out of school and
    become an artist because he started looking into his own reasons for being
    in architecture school and realized it was the closest thing to art he could
    do that would satisfy his father, not because he wanted to be an architect.
    What he wanted to do was draw comics and he started pursuing that dream.
    Lucky for us that he did! Not that I’m glad those four kids died so we
    could have Marshall Rogers draw Batman, but that there is something
    positive – and for me personal – that came out of that day.

    I’ll miss him! I wish I’d called him when I didn’t see him at the New York
    con in February, but I was all wrapped up with Arnold Drake in the hospital.

    Ken

    Ken Gale
    Host/producer
    ‘Nuff Said!, WBAI-FM, NYC

  6. To say I’m stunned would be an understatement. Marshall and I started in comics at around the same time, circa 1975, and he pencilled the very first story I sold to DC (a “World of Krypton” story that appeared in SUPERMAN FAMILY, inked by Frank Springer). He later drew another script of mine in SUPERMAN FAMILY (a “Nightwing & Flamebird” story, a page of art from which still hangs in my office at home), and, 20+ years later, while I was editingt at DC, he did some work for me–returning to draw MISTER MIRACLE. I saw Marshall infrequently over the 30+ years we knew one another, but the conversation always seemed to pick up right where it left off, always with his trademark, cheek-stretching smile and bright, mischievous twinkle in his eyes. Marshall was, simply, good people and, his incredible talent aside, he’ll be missed.

    Paul Kupperberg

  7. This is seriously wacked …

    His collaboration with Steve Englehart on the Ecilpse Coyote series was a inspiration for me to seek out Carlos Casteneda books.

    When he released that Batman Dark Detective mini series two summers ago – I thought I had died and gone to four color heaven.

    ~

    Coat

  8. Wow! I can’t believe this. What a loss. His work on Detective was some of my favorite comics of all time. An incredible artist, and, I had a chance to meet him at a con (last years NYCC, I think), and he was as great a guy as he was an artist. Glad I got a chance to tell him how much I loved his art! He’ll be missed.

    Think I’ll get out my Strange Apparitions tp and read it tonight.

  9. i first met marshall rogers at a big apple con in NYC. the line to meet and greet him was around the aisle , so i just got a couple of autographs and a quick (but beautiful) head sketch of dr. strange. the second time i met him was at the first NYCON. by then i had scored a sketch book and a theme to go with it: a sketch of every member of the avengers, with the idea that i would let the artist choose which character to sketch. one artist, one character, one sketch. marshall chose ant-man. saying that he always liked the character, but didn’t get too many opportunities to draw him. this was the first day of the con (friday) , so the crowd wasn’t too big, and i got a chance to have a very nice conversation with mr.rogers. we talked about everything from comics to movies to music, and t.v. . a cooler and more personable guy you will not meet. i’m very sorry to hear of his passing. my condolences go out to his family , friends , and colleagues. by the way, he did a kick-ass head sketch of ant-man. thanks for letting me comment.

  10. I met Marshall Rogers, Steve Englehart and Terry Austin at the Kansas City Comic Con in 2005. They were all at a Q&A meeting room, filled with fans, asking all kinds of questions. I was fortunate to be front row and asked many questions. He was a very personable man and one who was obviously very dedicated to his work. His interpretation of Batman in those Detective Comics issues is one of the reasons why I returned to comic book reading/collecting after 12 years of not looking at a comic book. This is truly a profound, unexpected loss. Marshall said at that meeting that he hoped the Batman mini-series would be a success, so they could do more.

  11. I knew him more then well.. he was my father….. I loved him and he taught me more than i could learn in my entire lifetime from just being in his presence. He was loved by any that crossed his path in daily life. I was destroyed to find him in our house as we lived together even with me at 29… He was the best room mate, my best friend and a father that could not be better. Marshall I will always love you and keep you in my heart… and rest in peace does not even come close…. may you sore with the hawks above and live among the stars……. R.I.P dad!!!

  12. I stumbled across his DETECTIVE COMICS run when I found this issues at a flea market. To this day, I’m not certain if they were relatively new, or way old … I just found them and was captivated by their homage to the Golden Age, which (of course) I had seen in reprints.

    I met Marshall Rogers twice. Once in Philadelphia in 1983 (or 1984) at the “Multimedia” con. He was very nice, and graciously answered all the questions a 15-year old fan could think up. Then, I met him again briefly last summer at the Big Applecon. My friend was amused to see me again become a starstruck fanboy, briefly, when I learned that Marshall Rogers, Steve Englehart, AND Terry Austin were at the show.

    I couldn’t find a copy of the “Batman: Strange Apparitions” trade paperback, so I ran to nearby Jim Hanley’s Universe and purchased a copy. Now its signed by three of my heroes, and though there have been times when I could have used the money, I would never sell it — you’d have to pry it from my cold, dead fingers.

    Marshall was very gracious in answering a few questions, even though he was surrounded by well-wishers wanting a sketch. I wasn’t there for the unruly fan, mentioned above, but I saw many people who were fascinated to watch his artwork come to life.

    I suppose it feels like a chapter of comics history is closing. Someone turn off the lights when you lock up.

  13. When longtime comics letterer and pal, Steve Haynie, sent a note about this obit, I thought, “this must be a mistake”. But apparently not. I’d like to offer my condolences to his family, and add my voice to those who have been inspired by Marshall’s work over the years. His run on Detective Comics in the late 70s got me re-ignited on being a comics artist, and have been an inspiration throughout my carreer. Cap’n Quick and a Foozle showed me that I could still have fun with comics even if I was a “serious” artist.

    We will miss him.

  14. My heart goes out to Marshall’s Friends and Family. I have dedicated a forum for him because he has drawn me a Picture of a BatChicken. His Son, Russ is one of my close friends and i just found out about the news this morning. If anyone would like to participate in my forum they can go to http://www.batchicken.com/forum . Thank you and may Marshall Rogers rest well and have a welcoming journey home.

    And Russ, I will be the best supporter I can be for these hard times friend, we will all get through this together.

  15. I am in complete shock. Marshall was a great artist, a noble colleague and a good friend. I have often bragged that it was a two-part story that I dialogued on the first part and scripted on the second part that first brought the team of Marshall Rogers and Terry Austin together. No one remembers who wrote the story because the art team was so incredible and destined for greatness. I still use Marshall’s adaptation of Harlan Ellison’s “Demon With A Glass Hand” as a lesson in my comics writing class at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. I always wanted to schedule Marshall to come in and speak with the students. I am so saddened that they will never have the opportunity to meet this remarkable artist. I am brought to tears by this news. He is already terribly missed.

  16. Demon With A Glass Hand? … I only know the OUTER LIMITS version … when and where did this become a comic? (Terrific … one more reason to prowl eBay)

  17. A terrible, shocking loss to all who love comics and GREAT comics art. He was one of the GIANTS – a true master, a leader in the vanguard of young stylists who moved the artform forward in the late 1970’s.

    I met him once, in the late 1980s as he began his Silver Surfer issues. It was a very small Con in the basement of a Holiday Inn in Wheaton, MD. I showed him my copies of his first several issues so that he could see that his work was not being printed properly on the relatively new flexographic printing presses. He apologized for how the books looked, offered to pay me for them and asked if he could take them back to Marvel as proof that the book needed a different printer. It was an amazing moment – he was a man of real integrity, I think. Anyways, a few months later, Marvel took the book off the flex (I assume at his request) and the art looked just stunning (check your back issues – you’ll see it).

    Well, he was a real hero of mine. Now he’s gone. This sucks . . .

  18. I worked with Marshall on the worst video game in the world. It was pretty much a game that allowed you to screw with the other player. Marshall designed that thing with glee. He would laugh and laugh when the other person finally figured out why they were doing so terrible and they other guy had a perfect score! hahaha
    We spent nearly every Friday for two years play Mario Kart on the N64. He was always Bowzer if I remember correctly. Always laughing, always something nice to say and a real pleasure to be around. He wished they had done a Batman movie in black and white. We lost touch for awhile, but just started talking again recently. I really miss him. Russ, you have my email.

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