Passings Archives - Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources

Lobo co-creator Roger Slifer passes away

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Lobo co-creator Roger Slifer, who was seriously injured in a 2012 hit and run, died this morning while on the way from his nursing home to an emergency room. He was 60 years old.

“It is especially sad because in the last month he was making great progress,” his sister Connie Carlton wrote on Facebook. “He was writing words on his new whiteboard that I bought with money his friend Larry Spears sent for Christmas. He was nodding yes and no to questions. A couple weeks ago they put a passey muir device (speaking valve) in his trach and he said ‘yes, no, and hi.’ They were getting ready to start him on speech therapy and occupational therapy. Things were finally looking up for him. But God needed another angel.”

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Irwin Hasen, creator of Wildcat and Dondi, dies at age 96

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Artist and cartoonist Irwin Hasen passed away Friday morning at the age of 96. Hasen most famously co-created Wildcat with Bill Finger and the beloved orphan comic strip Dondi with Gus Edson.

“[Hasen] was DC’s last surviving artist from World War II,” comic historian Michael Uslan told the New York Daily News. “So DC’s ‘Golden Age of Comics’ has come to a close, 77 years after it began.”

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‘Discworld’ author Terry Pratchett passes away

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Terry Pratchett, author of the beloved Discworld series of fantasy novels, passed away today at age 66 following a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s disease. According to BBC News, he died at home surrounded by family.

“It is with immeasurable sadness that we announce that author Sir Terry Pratchett has died,” reads a statement on the author’s Facebook page. “The world has lost one of its brightest, sharpest minds. Rest in peace Sir Terry Pratchett.”

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Influential 2000 AD artist Brett Ewins passes away

Brett Ewins (left), Jamie Hewlett and Steve Dillon in the "Deadline" offices

Brett Ewins (left), Jamie Hewlett and Steve Dillon in the “Deadline” offices

Brett Ewins, the influential British artist perhaps best known for his work on Judge Dredd and Rogue Trooper, has passed away at age 59.

An early collaborator of Peter Milligan, whom he met at Goldsmiths College, and Brendan McCarthy, Ewins began providing covers for 2000 AD before soon reteaming with McCarthy on Future Shocks and Judge Dredd. His other 2000 AD work included ABC Warriors, Bad Company, Judge Anderson and the aforementioned Rogue Trooper.

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5-year-old Spider-Man fan Jayden Wilson loses fight with cancer

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Jayden Wilson, the terminally ill boy who became an Internet sensation last month when his father dressed as Spider-Man to surprise him for his fifth birthday, passed away on Christmas Eve. He was diagnosed in September 2013 with a grade 4 brain stem tumor and given about a year to live.

“Jayden fought an amazing battle. By far he was the most bravest person we know,” his father Mike Wilson wrote on the Hope For Jayden Facebook page. “But unfortunately late on Christmas Eve, Jayden died peacefully in his sleep, warm in his bed. He looked so relaxed with a very subtle grin on his face. We believe he waited to be out of hospital to be with his family in the most safest place he knew. Jayden had such a happy life. What an incredible 5 years.”

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‘Clifford the Big Red Dog’ author Norman Bridwell passes away

norman bridwellAuthor and cartoonist Norman Bridwell, best known for his celebrated Clifford the Big Red Dog books, passed away Dec. 12 in Martha’s Vineyard, the Martha’s Vineyard Times reports. He was 86.

Born in 1928 in Kokomo, Indiana, Bridwell attended art school in Indianapolis and New York City before going to work as a commercial artist. By 1962, with a wife and infant daughter to support, he set out to supplement his income by securing work as a children’s book illustrator; among his portfolio pieces was a painting of what would eventually become Clifford.

“I did about 10 paintings. One was of a little girl standing under the chin of a big red dog and holding out her hand to see if it was still raining,” Bridwell recalled last year to the School Library Journal. “I was rejected everywhere I went. One editor, Susan Hirschman, said that my work was too plain. She said, ‘You may have to write a story, and then if they buy the story, you could do the art. She pointed to the sample of the girl and the dog and said, ‘Maybe that’s a story.’”

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Breitweiser, Gracia pay tribute to flatter Eduardo Navarro Lopez

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The industry learned over the weekend through colorist Elizabeth Breitweiser that flatter Eduardo Navarro Lopez passed away Nov. 27 after a battle with cancer. He was 36 years old. The Guadalajara, Mexico-based color assistant had been undergoing treatment for cancer, but had continued to work until as recently as earlier in November.

Breitweiser has worked with him her entire career, as she noted in her post paying tribute to him:

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Fan writes his own amazing obituary, reveals he’s Spider-Man

Aaron and Nora Purmort, with friend

Aaron and Nora Purmort, with friend

By all indications, Aaron Purmort was the kind of person most of us wish we knew. Warm and funny, he somehow kept his sense of humor, even while waging a losing battle against cancer. And in the end, it was the Minneapolis art director and comic book fan who got the last laugh.

Before his passing on Thursday, the 35-year-old Purmort sat down with his wife Nora, who chronicled their life and struggles online, to write his obituary, in which he attributes his death to “complications from a radioactive spider bite that led to years of crime-fighting and a years long battle with a nefarious criminal named Cancer.”

“Civilians will recognize him best as Spider-Man,” the obituary states, “and thank him for his many years of service protecting our city.”

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With release of ‘Flash’ #36, news spreads of André Coelho’s death

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Today DC Comics released The Flash #36, an issue that represents the final work of Brazilian artist André Coelho. His death, while not widely reported until today, occurred in mid-October, as noted by this Oct. 20 MeiaLua memorial podcast. DC dedicated the issue of The Flash to the 35-year-old artist.

Co-writer Van Jensen also paid tribute to Coelho on his blog, writing, “He was an incredible artist, able to convey so much emotion into every panel. André also was always as nice as could be, responding to any request with a simple, ‘No problem!'”

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Reflecting on Robin Williams and the weird, underrated ‘Popeye’

MCDPOPE EC001The world was saddened to learn of Robin Williams’ passing on Monday, and the circumstances surrounding his death only made it more tragic. Most of us, however, prefer to remember the comedy legend through the times he made us smile.

Perhaps it was his goofy silliness as the alien Mork, or his stellar voice work in Aladdin, or the way he managed to fill out the form of an old lady in Mrs. Doubtfire. He had loads of dramatic roles as well, from The Fisher King to Dead Poets Society. Williams could make you empathize with the hurting soul underneath the clown, the man behind the facade.

For all his versatility — from playing a cartoon bat trying to save the rainforest to a frightening stalker working at a photo booth — it’s a shame Williams was never in a superhero movie, especially in an era when the likes of Robert Redford, Jack Nicholson and Anthony Hopkins have embraced such genre roles.

Oh, wait. Williams did play a superhero, of sorts: He was Popeye the Sailor Man.

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Remembering Robin Williams, comic book fan

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Reading and watching some of the countless tributes to Robin Williams, who passed away far too soon on Monday, I was reminded that, in addition to being a father, a husband, a comedian, an actor and a philanthropist, he was also a comics fan.

“I used to get excited emails from comics stores all over America when Robin Williams would drop in to buy Transmetropolitan issues,” Warren Ellis recalled Monday on Twitter.

A semi-regular customer at Golden Apple Comics in Los Angeles, Williams discussed his love of comics in a video interview we spotlighted in 2010 on ROBOT 6. In the clip, he fondly relates his latest reads: Brian Wood and Riccardo Burchielli’s DMZ, and Taiyō Matsumoto’s Tekkonkinkreet. Watch the brief interview below.

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Musician Johnny Winter, who sued DC Comics, passes away

jonah hex-riders4Blues musician Johnny Winter passed away Wednesday in a hotel in Zurich, Switzerland, according to a post on his Facebook page. He was 70. Although details are scant, Variety reports that the Texas-born singer and guitarist had been touring in Europe, and had performed Saturday in Austria.

While Winter’s passing is noteworthy due to his contributions to music, he also has a connection to comics: He and his brother Edgar Winter famously sued DC Comics in 1996, claiming they were defamed, and their rights to privacy and publicity violated, by Jonah Hex: Riders of the Worm and Such, a miniseries by Joe Lansdale, Timothy Truman and Sam Glanzman.

The Winter brothers, who were born with albinism, objected to the “villainous half-worm, half-human” characters the Autumn brothers, who share not only the musicians’ first names but also their distinctive physical traits — long white hair and an absence of skin pigment. They argued their reputations were damaged because the characters were depicted as “vile, depraved, stupid, cowardly, subhuman individuals who engage in wanton acts of violence, murder, and bestiality for pleasure and who should be killed.”

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Felix Dennis, defendant in Rupert Bear obscenity case, dies

Felix Dennis

Felix Dennis

Felix Dennis, who passed away this week at age 67, was the founder of a publishing empire that included the men’s magazine Maxim and the news magazine The Week, but he also has a place in comics history as one of the defendants in a famous U.K. obscenity trial that drew support of many prominent figures of the time, from John Lennon to Germaine Greer.

Dennis was one of the editors of the British satire magazine Oz, which published a mix of prose, art, poetry and comics. Stung by criticism that they were out of touch with youth, the editors in 1970 placed a notice in the magazine inviting schoolchildren to contribute to a special issue. About 20 teenagers came to London, singly and in groups, to create and edit a special “Schoolkids” issue. (One of those students, Charles Shaar Murray, described the experience 30 years later, and another contributor, David Wills, has posted the full issue online.) Although the “Schoolkids issue” was created by teenagers, it wasn’t necessarily created for them. On the other hand, teenagers were obviously already reading the magazine, as that’s where the call for contributions appeared.

(Warning: Potentially NSFW image below.)

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‘Strange Eggs,’ ‘Punch and Judy’ writer Chris Reilly passes away

sejts_coverChris Reilly, the Harvey- and Ignatz-nominated writer of such comics as Punch and Judy and The Trouble With Igor, passed away June 9 at his home in Rhode Island, according to USA Today’s Whitney Matheson. He was 46.

Reilly had a long relationship with SLG Publishing, where he contributed to its Haunted Mansion anthology series, and wrote for and edited Strange Eggs, working with Steve Ahlquist, Ben Towle, Derf, Jhonen Vasquez and other creators. He also penned a Gumby one-shot for Gumby Comics, and contributed to The Tick 20th Anniversary Special published by New England Comics Press.

“Chris’s writing was as manic and unpredictable as he was,” Towle wrote in remembrance of his friend. “’Madcap’ is an overused term, but his writing was indeed madcap: sometimes dark, always funny – in a way that used to be a lot more commonplace during the ‘black and white boom’ than what followed. Beyond his actual comics storytelling, though, Chris was a consummate storyteller of all varieties. Answering a call from Chris entailed an hour-long commitment at a minimum. Get a few beers into Chris at a con hotel bar and he’d regale you with stories about being bitten by a rabid raccoon (he thought it was a cat and tried to pet it), playing in a band with Cheetah Chrome (‘Gothic Snowtire’) or trying Flaming Carrot-style to read every single submitted single issue comic in one sitting the year he was an Eisner Awards judge.”

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Famed ‘New Yorker’ cartoonist Charles Barsotti passes away

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Longtime New Yorker cartoonist Charles Barsotti, famed for his dog cartoons, passed away late Monday at his home in Kansas City, Missouri. He was 80 years old.

According to the Kansas City Star, he had undergone undergone surgery, chemotherapy and radiation following a March 2013 brain cancer diagnosis, and spent several weeks in hospice care.

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