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RIP Dave Cockrum

Sad news today. Comic book artist Dave Cockrum has passed away from complications of diabetes. He was 63.

Neil Gaiman wrote a tribute which reads in part:

The golden age of comics is when you’re twelve. The silver age is around fourteen, fifteen – that nebulous zone when comics still matter, but so does rock music and so would girls if you could only get close enough to one to actually do anything more than blush and stutter. After that comes the slow fall from grace, and then all the ages run together in one dark gulf. Nothing quite makes the magic happen in the way it did, back then, when the summers lasted forever, and the girl next door still had a pug nose and pigtails (the safety-pin in her nose and her mohawk wouldn't arrive for several more years).

Obviously, I never progressed beyond the age of fifteen. But what he said about the Golden Age rings so true.

In my case the Golden Age included his Legion of Superheroes in Superboy. He took a staid and stale - but still well-loved - group and breathed new life into them. So much so that they took over the mag. Unfortunately, this meant that Dave couldn't draw it any more, not on a monthly basis. Later he moved to Marvel where he worked on The Avengers and gave the X-Men a makeover so successful that it became the top-selling title and eventually a series of feature films. Apparently, Dave was overjoyed to see his creations come to life, even though they didn't pay him anything. But again, success meant a monthly schedule which Dave couldn't meet.