Saturday, November 7, 2009

My Friend Dave Cockrum


I am home with fever and achey and miserable and spent most of the day under a blanket re-reading Bukowski and a book about mobsters. Then something made me pick up The Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 10. Published in 2000, the book opens with a genuinely wonderful foreword from my pal, Dave Cockrum, where Dave talks about his early career; how he ended up inking for Murphy Anderson and lucked onto a book like Superboy in the first place and what he was thinking and feeling and doing every panel of the way. It's a great story guest-starring Cary Bates and Neal Adams and Murray Boltinoff and Jim Warren a not a single note of ego. Not a peep of bravado. More a how-I-spent-my-summer-vacation by someone who loved life, loved comics, loved what he was doing and why... And then there were the comics with all those marvelous SF designs. Made me miss the hell out of him.

And then I decided to go back and re-read The Uncanny Dave Cockum and I missed Dave even more. The art is stunning, and then there's those memories from Dave's many peers... and the Harlan Ellison piece, which is milk-through-your-nose hysterical, and I so didn't want to laugh because my ribs hurt from fever... And then the end, that tragic end, and I hurt from crying.

He was one of a kind, that Dave. Just as sweet and funny and decent as they come.

Aardwolf Publishing is running a special on Dave's book right now. That's not why I wrote this, but you should know. If you don't have this book you should get one. Dave is worth spending time with--his art, the man, all of it. I'd pay good money to have my friend back again.

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