World’s Finest Comic Book Artists: Darwyn Cooke
Welcome friends to the first installment of ‘World’s Finest comic book artists’, an occasional look at some of the greatest talents in the comic medium, beginning with one of the most unique artists around currently, the fantastic Darwyn Cooke.
Darwyn Cooke is a Canadian artist and animator whose first contribution to the comic book scene was in 1985 as an artist on a short story for New Talent Showcase #19, financial pressures meant that he had to take a job elsewhere as his artwork wasn’t initially paying off, but he stayed close to the medium he loved by taking a job as an art director and product designer.
In the early 90’s Darwyn applied for a job as an animator with Warner Bros, where he got his first big break into the industry with a dream job as the storyboard artist on both the Emmy award winning Batman: the animated series and Superman: the animated series where he worked alongside the shows’ original developer and similarly styled artist Bruce Timm. In 2000, DC Comics hired him to write and draw Batman: Ego, the graphic novel was a massive hit and his retro inspired art, a sort of modern interpretation of the golden age style of comics became instantly loved by the fans and he found himself inundated with offers for work.
In 2004, Darwyn started work on the six issue mini-series Justice League: New Frontier for DC, which was the ideal material for him because the subject matter matched his art style perfectly, the series is set in the 1950’s and takes place in an alternate version of the cold war, taking inspiration from that era with novels like The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe and also the civil rights movement and atomic bomb testing. The series was again a huge success for Darwyn, winning an Eisner award and was later turned into a fantastic animated movie, which Darwyn co-wrote and provided art direction for.
Darwyn recently drew the Minute-Men issues for the Before Watchmen saga, his work can also be seen in: All Star western starring Jonah Hex, plus he will be one of the guest artists on the Harley Quinn: Holiday Special releasing on December 10th.