I’ve always felt it necessary to look back on what people who had an impact on my pop-culture history and in some cases my real life. In the past I’ve written these obits with the most marginal of information, but I’ve always broken it down by categories. Frequently there would be people I’ve missed people or even complete categories as my heart and soul weakens as I organize this work. This is the first time this type of writing is showing up on Pop-Culture Spectrum. It will appear in approximately five parts and then a final collection post of linking for those who don’t go backward in blog reading. In each category it is broken down alphabetically and the age of the person and their cause is in parentheses after. Each category will have its own specialties. This first section will have some select images by the creators that show what they are known for or in the least what I appreciated them for.
COMICS and ARTISTS
Mick Anglo (95-natural causes): Best known as the creator of Marvelman, Mick Anglo took an impossible situation and found a way to make it work creating the cement for building blocks that would not be turned into gold many years later by Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman. It is wonderful that starting in 2010, Marvel began to reprint the Mick Anglo books which even featured some new artwork from him, he truly got to have his comeuppance before leaving the mortal coil.
Eduardo Barreto (57-undisclosed health): Excellent comics and comic strip artist, he made a mark as an artist on Teen Titans in the 80’s after George Perez. He was a mainstay at DC, with runs on Superman and Batman titles, one shots, special, annuals. He was a go to magic genius. He was also a popular comic strip artist, drawing a strip I’m personally unfamiliar with, but supposedly was very popular. I just know during a time when I was a hardcore avid, read almost everything comic reader in the 80’s, Barreto was a hard to ignore artist. Here’s a longer quality tribute.
Gene Colan (84-various health complications): An amazing illustrator, Gene Colan has at one time drawn almost every major character in Marvel and DC. His best known runs were on Daredevil, his adaptation and reinterpretation of Dracula with Marv Wolfman in Tomb Of. His work for DC on Batman, Wonder Woman and Teen Titans should not be missed, as well as Night Force, which is/was just pure awesomeness. Knowing Gene Colan was the artist on a book, at least guaranteed that visually the ride would be worth the admission price.
Bill Keane(89-congestive heart failure): Creator and artist one of the most successfully parodied strips ever, Family Circus, Bill Keane created a bit of Americana. I’m not sure when Jeff “Jeffy” Keane took over, but I don’t think it was that long ago. I can tell you the following. I had a best friend named “Not Me” growing up and while I didn’t have any siblings, Family Circus sure made me want to. I must say that unfortunately as much as I loved Family Circus, when I think of it I can only think of the amazing parodies done though. It was such a perfect, innocent, well drawn strip it was made for parody and that proved it’s high quality… only really good stuff creates funny parody.
F. Solano Lopez (83, cerebral hemorrhage): A notable comics career, he is best known to me for his erotic series Young Witches and Sexy Symphonies, which feature some of the best art I’ve ever seen, sexually or regular. A true talent who would’ve been awesome if he worked on something like X-Men or Titans.
Dwayne McDuffie (49, during emergency heart surgery): One of truly the greatest under appreciated comic book and animation writers. He equally was a genius editor and supervising producer. When Milestone was first announced and was just starting up I got to meet Dwayne, as well as Chris Cross, Denys Cowans and others. Dwayne was someone who contributed much to many things that I have loved including his first series for Marvel Comics, DAMAGE CONTROL and issues 33-35 of “Firestorm: The Nuclear Man” featuring Jason Rausch. On top of that he spearheaded much of Justice League Unlimited and was in charge of Ben 10: Alien Force and Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, as well as writing and producing the DC Original Animations Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, All-Star Superman and Justice League: Doom. Doom would be Dwayne’s swan song, but also looks like it’ll the best DC Original yet. He had much more to give the world of comics and animation before his untimely demise though and I can only imagine what we are missing out on.
Jerry Robinson (89- natural causes): There is not enough evidence in any direction to say if Jerry Robinson is one of the most inventive creators ever or if he was just an able artist who worked alongside Bill Finger and Bob Kane in helping turned Batman from simple crime fighter and socialite bent on revenge Bruce Wayne into the very fleshed out interesting character with an incredible rogues gallery and supporting cast he has today, either way he stands as one of the most important figures in comics history.
Joe Simon (98- natural causes after short illness): One of the most important comics writers in history, he most famously co-created Captain America with Jack Kirby. With Kirby he also created the original Sandman, Newsboy Legion, the Archie Heroes The Shield and The Fly. Joe Simon also created two of the most incredible cult comic book characters in history in Brother Power, the Geek and PREZ. It is almost amazing to think a writer with such creativity and conception to develop characters and stories of this ilk will not be remembered as fondly as he deserves to be. He was a living, breathing institution and legend and and I hope in years, decades, centuries to come, he is recognized as such. Many luminaries based this year, some young, some old, but Joe Simon deserves to be up there with the best of them.
D.K. Sweet (77- Natural causes): Longtime cover illustrator for lots of notable sci-fiction/fantasy books. Most famously he was the cover artist for Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series and Piers Anthony’s XANTH, but he also did covers for many a random sorcerer tale, pirate legend, dragon myth, space adventure, ufos in medieval times, random aliens and the like. He had a deft and beautiful painting skill which would easily attract you to the book long before even reading its description.
Tom Wilson, Sr (80- pneumonia related): The creator of the cartoon Ziggy, which since 1987 has actually been the work of his son Tom Wilson. During Senior’s 16 year contribution, he was also at American Greetings where he spearheaded the group collectives that created Strawberry Shortcake. I didn’t get to actually see much of Senior’s Ziggy work, but I’m a fan of Tom Wilson, Jr.