When dies a Dave
I just read over on Tony Collett's blog that Dave Cockrum has died, at the age of 63, from complications arising from diabetes.
This kind of kicks my ass, for many reasons. First, Dave Cockrum's artwork on Superboy and the Legion of Superheroes and early issues of the All New, All Different X-Men is a big, positive part of my adolescence. Second, I've actually met Dave Cockrum on one occasion, at a mini-con in Syracuse NY back sometime in the 1980s. (I also met Joe Sinnot and George Perez on that occasion, and got harangued by then Marvel Comics Direct Sales guru Carol Kalish.)
Somebody named Clifford Meth, who is apparently a close family friend of Cockrum's, has this to say about him:
None of that reflects my experience of Dave Cockrum at the mini-con where I met him; I spent probably twenty minutes sitting across a table from him, listening to him bitch endlessly about George Perez getting all the attention when nobody would even care if Perez hadn't done New Teen Titans, which was an obvious rip off of Cockrum's X-Men. He also pissed and moaned no little bit about how various writers had done their best to ruin his art over the course of his career; one particular anecdote he told me, about Steve Englehart taking a pair of scissors to one particular page of pencils in GIANT SIZE AVENGERS #2 and physically rearranging Dave's panel sequence, has since been confirmed to me by Steve Englehart himself.
Overall, the impression I got was of a surly, petulant, whiney man-child -- something like the Simpson's Comic Book Guy, gone professional.
Still, Mr. Meth most likely knew Mr. Cockrum considerably better than I did.
I admired Mr. Cockrum's artwork enormously in the 1970s, and having actually met him, well, I'm deeply saddened to hear that he's gone from us.
Plus -- Dave Cockrum was 63 years old? Jesus Christ. Now I really want to just go stick my head in the oven...