This post has been updated.
THE WORD first spread Friday that Darwyn Cooke, the Canadian cartooning great, was receiving palliative care, according to wife Marsha Cooke. A day later, the suddenness turned to shock: Darwyn Cooke had died, at age 53, after battling lung cancer.
Even some who had worked closely with Cooke had only lately learned of his sickness. “I didn’t know Darwyn was so ill until very recently,” Gilbert Hernandez, who collaborated with Cooke on DC/Vertigo’s “The Twilight Children,” tells The Post’s Comic Riffs.
Last fall, Hernandez praised Cooke’s acclaimed gifts, explaining that since Cooke such had a smooth and likable drawing style, his job was to “put in my strengths and step out of the way and let him interpret [the story] himself, which he did beautifully.”
Cooke was widely admired as both masterful storyteller and clean, inviting stylist — and was warmly embraced by those who knew him personally.
“The short weekend I spent with him during NYCC 2015 was great — we got along swimmingly and were excited about working together on future projects,” Hernandez tells Comic Riffs. ” ‘The Twilight Children’ wouldn’t have been such a rewarding success for me without him. Before I knew he was ill, I’d been vocal about how happy I was with ‘The Twilight Children,’ and I’m so glad he heard me say it several times when we were interviewed together.
“I’ll continue to sing his praises as an artist and cool guy every chance I get. Because it’s all true.”
The outpouring of affection for the man and the talent was quick and heartfelt. Here is what some industry figures said on social media:
Just got word about #DarwynCooke & his battle with cancer. May he & his family feel all the brightness & joy that seeps from his characters.
— Brad Meltzer (@bradmeltzer) May 13, 2016
If you don't know– & you probably do– the Darwyn Cooke Parker adaptations are masterpieces, & should be on every comic fan's bookshelf.
— Layman (@themightylayman) May 13, 2016
Oh my God. So sorry to hear about Darwyn Cooke's struggle with cancer. I know all our thoughts are with his family. https://t.co/fHP7zLVqLZ
— G. Willow Wilson (@GWillowWilson) May 13, 2016
The best way to celebrate the passing of an artist is to sit with their work and enjoy it one more time. Try Darwyn cooke's new frontier
— BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS (@BRIANMBENDIS) May 14, 2016
— Cat Staggs (@CatStaggs) May 14, 2016
Here is my Darwyn Cooke Sophie's Choice story. Just a hint of the kind of man he is.
LOVE YOU, DARWYN.https://t.co/5TtQSkVbqo
— GAIL SIMONE (@GailSimone) May 13, 2016
A great loss for my generation of comic lover. One of the 21st century greats. https://t.co/ajguAf2jBv
— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) May 14, 2016
If you don't think it's an honor to know a man like Darwyn Cooke, you're delusional. Guys like him come along once a generation. Maybe.
— Mark Waid (@MarkWaid) May 14, 2016
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) May 14, 2016
Amongst his many other achievments, Darwyn Cooke wrote/drew a perfect J'onn J'onzz. pic.twitter.com/C1xKSYMycU
— Rob Williams (@Robwilliams71) May 16, 2016
— MAD Magazine (@MADmagazine) May 16, 2016
If you want to help Darwyn Cooke and his family, the best way to do it is to buy copies of his books. The most expensive ones the better.
— Ed Brubaker (@brubaker) May 13, 2016
The New Frontier by Darwyn Cooke is an absolute masterpiece. Consume it in any format available! pic.twitter.com/q2j8jxoeTJ
— robertliefeld (@robertliefeld) May 13, 2016