Friday, May 13, 2016
CONFIRMED: The World Sucks, Because Darwyn Cooke Has Cancer
I think I first became aware of Darwyn Cooke's work through The New Frontier. I don't honestly remember. I do know that once I cottoned to it, I snapped up anything Darwyn Cooke I could get my hands on. I love his lively brushwork and very 1950s commercial style. His Parker series for IDW is absolutely excellent. He did a month of variant covers for DC a couple of years ago, and I snapped up nearly every one, even ones on books I wasn't reading. And I'm not one to go for cover variants of any type, either. But for Cooke, I would buy a bound book of them.
Today, it was revealed through Darwyn Cooke's blog (that I only learned about yesterday, perhaps coincidentally, most likely by design) that he is getting palliative care after "a bout with aggressive cancer." For those of us who didn't go to medical school, that means they are no longer treating the cancer, but instead are treating the symptoms of the disease--essentially alleviating his pain. This is not a good prognosis, and implies it is likely that he will not survive.
Of course, nothing is over until it's over, as the great Yogi Berra once said. But it's not looking good. And for maybe the first time in my selfish, stupid life, I am not thinking about the comics he might have drawn, or the work that will go unseen. My thoughts are with his wife and his family and his friends--many of whom are great comics creators in their own right--and I hope they get the comfort and support they are going to need at this time.
Cooke's family hasn't made a plea for money, I have no idea if something like that will coalesce over the next few days. But you shouldn't support Cooke because he has cancer, you should support Cooke because his art and layouts are phenomenal and you do yourself a disservice to ignore them. ComiXology is having a sale on Darwyn's stuff right now, but if you can't or won't buy his esteemed works, then take them out at the library. Steal them from your ex-best friend. Stand in the store and read entire graphic novels, then loudly announce that you have an important meeting and scurry out of the shop. Just look at this man's work, and revel in the fact that even in the blood-filled scab that is this shit hole of a world, beautiful work can still exist and be appreciated.