Wednesday, November 26, 2014

RIP Dave Cockrum (1943-2006)

To Honor Dave Cockrum 

by Russell Burbage
I don't remember when I first came across Dave Cockrum's art. It was either in the pages of The X-Men, a series that I was lucky enough to stumble upon when it was first breaking big, or in Superboy, as I distinctly remember buying SuperboyLegion #202 (Dave's last issue) as one of my first back-issue purchases. In fact, Dave's Legion and X-Men books were the first books I ever had on my Must Buy list of back-issues. They were relatively recent and there weren't too many of them. So I had a complete Dave Cockrum X-Men and Legion (Superboy) collection before I was out of high school. And although I eventually sold off my X-Men issues, I have never parted with my Legion issues.

I always hoped that I would get to meet Dave at a comic-book convention. However, I went to Japan right after I graduated from college and didn't move back to the US until 2001. By then Dave was semi-retired from working, weak from his diabetes and strapped with many medical bills. Two movements were started at about this time: one was to convince Marvel to share some of the money they had recently made on their recent second X-Men movie, as everyone knew that Dave was the creator of featured player Nightcrawler. The other was to collect money for him privately. Marvel eventually agreed to pay him something for his role in the creation of The X-Men, and Aardwolf Publishing published several tributes and collections, such as The Dave Cockrum Tribute and BAMF! Dave Cockrum Treasury. I ordered both, and got both of them personalized by Dave himself. All profits went to pay Dave's medical bills.

Unfortunately, Dave passed away eight years ago today, on November 26, 2006. 

DC Comics then did something incredibly classy. They published the following tribute in Supergirl & The Legion of Super-Heroes (v5) #27.

But let's celebrate the fact that Dave was with us, not mourn that we have lost him! Here is even more Dave Cockrum brilliance for you to appreciate....

Dave's last (?) Legion work, from 2003

Rest In Peace Dave Cockrum
....and Thank You! 

1 comment:

  1. This was a very lovely tribute to Dave Cockrum. I am a huge fan of his work. I was fortunate enough to meet him on a few occasions. He was a very nice man. Here is a link to a piece I wrote on my blog looking back at his career...