After his first published professional work appeared in New Talent Showcase #19, financial concerns led acclaimed Canadian comics artist Darwyn Cooke to leave the industry behind. For the next several years, Cooke worked as a magazine art director and graphic / product designer. But in the early 1990’s, despite no interest in his work by the major comic publishers, Cooke started moving back towards comics when he joined Warner Bros. Animation.
Providing storyboard art for both the Superman and Batman animated series’ and the main title design for Batman Beyond, he moved on to work on Sony’s Men In Black animated series. Shortly thereafter DC, now interested, approached Cooke about a previously submitted story idea. Eventually, this story became Batman: Ego, published in 2000.
A hit, Cooke’s career in the comics business begin to thrive. Not only a talented story-teller, Cooks’ unique style is a blend of 1940’s film noir with the presumed innocence of the 1950’s. He took freelance work, such as Just Imagine… Stan Lee for DC as well as for Marvel on such titles as X-Force, the Wolverine/Doop miniseries, and Spider-Man’s Tangled Web.
His two biggest hits, redesigning and revamping Catwoman with writer Ed Brubaker and his own DC: The New Frontier both were key events in the DC Universe.
The revamping of Catwoman in Detective Comics #759-762 led to a new costume, new supporting cast, and, continuing on in a new ongoing series, a complete turnaround in the direction of the character.
New Frontier, a story that bridged the gap between the twilight years of the Golden Age and the explosion of the Silver Age, was set in the 1950’s and proved hugely popular with both professionals and fans, winning an Eisner, Harvey, and Shuster Award. It was later adapted into an animated feature by Warner Bros. Animation in a direct-to-DVD release.
Cooke’s other work includes Superman Confidential, Richard Stark’s Parker: The Hunter, Batman/The Spirit, Solo, Before Watchmen and numerous others.
In addition to the above mentioned awards, Cooke won the 2006 Eisner Award for Best Single Issue for Solo #5, the Joe Shuster Award for Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Cartoonist for his work on The Spirit and, with J. Bone, their work on Batman/The Spirit won them the Shuster Award for Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Artists. He also won the 2007 Joe Shuster Award for Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Writer for Superman Confidential.
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