Saturday, December 16, 2006

Goodbye, Dave – A Final, Deluxe Tribute

This just arrived in the email today from Clifford Meth.

Dave Cockrum, the best friend that Aardwolf ever had, has passed away at the young age of 63. We already miss him deeply.

Aardwolf previously announced a special reprint of The Uncanny Dave Cockrum Tribute in hardcover, but over the past six months we’ve worked with Dave to complete the project. Edited by Clifford Meth, this beautifully bound new book will contains over 20 pages of new, original Cockrum artwork as well as art contributions from Dave’s many peers, including Neal Adams, George Perez, Walt Simonson, John Romita, Marie Severin, Joe Kubert, Will Eisner, Travest Charest, Joe Quesada, Jim Lee, Dave Gibbons, and many more; written tributes to Dave by Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, Harlan Ellison, Marv Wolfman, Len Wein, Chris Claremont, and Peter David.

200 Special Editions will include unique, ORIGINAL Dave Cockrum drawings bound into the book. This book is being published in cooperation with the Dave Cockrum Estate. Order yours now.
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Pretty much everyone I speak to misses Dave. He was one of those rare artists - one whom no-one thought badly of and everyone thought highly of. The fact that when the tribute book was first announced Aardwolf and Meth were both over-run by people wanting to contribute, and actually turned people away, speaks volumes. Alan Weiss recently told me a story about how he met Dave in the 1990s when both men were working up at Defiant Comics (I'd have to grab the tape). Alan was impressed when Dave came over and said that he'd been a big fan of Alan's since the days when Alan had done stories in Star-Studded Comics, a fanzine from the 1960s. That impressed Alan no end, that someone would remember work done so long ago (this was before Bill Schelly reprinted some of the stories). That was Dave. No matter what he did, where he was, or what the situation was, he was a fan at heart.

The world of comic books has an irreplaceable void with Dave's passing, although perhaps, due to his plight, people will now be aware of how poorly the same industry can treat it's pioneers and with that awareness, such events should never happen again. We owe it to Dave to see that the next time someone is struck down with illness that they are looked after, and not with just a small handout. Without Dave Cockrum the X-Men as we now know it probably wouldn't exist. Dave should go down in history as being one of the most important creators on that title, ranking just behind Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Chris Claremont. After all - imagine the X-Men, and indeed the movies, without Nightcrawler, Storm, Colossus, Phoenix, Mystique...you get the drift.

This book will be essential for any fan of both art and comic books. I know I'll be buying one as soon as I can get the cash raised and I applaud both Aardwolf and Cliff for giving the world this, a lasting legacy to Dave Cockrum.

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