the (almost) daily appreciator

Friday, December 15, 2006

Bring back the costumes!

This is what you get for surfing the wrong sites for weeks. Apparently the death of Dave Cockrum, one of the most important comic artists, means nothing to "normal" news sites - either they don´t even mention it or it doesn´t make the most important headlines.
If one works in the field of superhero comics, one of the greatest signs of your creativity are the superheroes one has created. Not necessarily the quantity, but their quality, their distinctiveness, whatever makes them stick - there are so few heroes and heroines that time HASN`T forgotten, it´s amazing some even stick for decades to come, becoming the heroes of many generations of adolescents (mostly).
And what sticks most are the costumes, the looks. This of course seems a nobrainer, as comics, esp. superhero-comics, are a visual art form.
To name just a few of the characters Dave Cockrum cocreated is to name just a few of the visually most striking heroes and heroines:
Storm - the African goddess with the white hair and the blue eyes, and what must be the sexiest outfit of any heroine, even Catwoman - why and how Hollywood could make her so unsexy and then take the same actress for Catwoman is simply beyond me.
Colossus - the metal actually looks organic. What an imposing looking fella.
Nightcrawler - he looks like his name. Something that crawls through the night.
Logan - he didn´t create Wolverine, and neither did he design the yellow costume, nor the brown one - but he created his uncostumed look: and that´s what people remember most: the pointy hair, the body hair, the overall grungy look.
Those are but a few, I don´t even know how many Legion of Superheroes-characters he created because I´m more of a Marvel man, but I´m sure his run is stylistically recognizable, as there are so many colorful images full of dynamism, brimmming with power that he drew. There´s the Mutant Island in the Giant Size Xmen#1, the Brood (one of my favorite Xmen-storylines) and the giant carcass they live in, the alien worlds in that storyline, the Starjammers (again a great looking team) and who could forget, well, one of the most famous storylines of the entire superhero-universe (Marvel AND DC and others): The Dark Phoenix-Saga - with artwork by Dave Cockrum and John Byrne.
So one of the most important artists of the superhero-universe has passed away, and apparently that´s not that important for the general media, despite the success of the Xmen-movies and his influence on their look, even with their abandonment of the costumes and the casting of Halle Berry (and crappy hairdressers). It´s just sad.


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