Wednesday, November 29, 2006

'X-Men' artist Dave Cockrum dies

Wow. I just read some very sad news. Dave Cockrum, one of the comic book artists who put “X-Men” on the map, passed away on Sunday.

Cockrum was 63 years old. He died at his home in South Carolina after a long battle with diabetes and related complications.

Cockrum worked on many books during his career at both Marvel and DC, but he’ll be best remembered for his stints penciling “X-Men” in the 1970s and early 80s.

“X-Men” had failed to find an audience when it was first published in the 1960s. It was on the verge of cancellation when Cockrum took over the book in 1975 with writer Len Wein and later Chris Claremont. The rest is comic book history as the book became one of the most popular titles in the industry.

I have very fond memories of Cockrum’s work from my comic book collecting youth. He created one of my favorite characters, Nightcrawler, and helped create or shape many of the other characters that would later be featured in the “X-Men” movies.

Cockrum, who served in the Navy during Vietnam, never saw a dime from the three X-Men movies.

"Dave saw the movie and he cried -- not because he was bitter," family friend Clifford Meth said. "He cried because his characters were on screen and they were living."
There is a nice tribute to Cockrum on the Marvel Comics site.


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