SHANGHALLA AWAITS: DAVE COCKRUM DEAD AT 63
Just got an email from Paul Kupperberg forwarded to me and Harry by Bob Greenberger to let us know that Dave Cockrum died today.
In my years away from comics fandom, I was not up on the minute-to-minute happenings as I had been in college. Ken Gale had been my chief contact about Dave's health, and I had never quite gotten all the details until I did some e-sleuthing just now, but apparently complications from diabetes had been what had put him in the hospital some time back, and what can be assigned as the cause of his death.
Of course, this is a sad and tragic loss for all of us as Legion fans, as comic fans, and, of course, as human beings. Dave was a fan just like the rest of us... he drew for FANTASTIC FANZINE, for Warren, worked as Murphy Anderson's assistant, all before telling Murray Boltinoff that "goddamn bet your ass" he was ready to be the regular artist for the LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES strip in the back of SUPERBOY. Some of us might like to think that we had something to do with the strip's eventual rebirth, but it took an energy and a talent like Dave's to help others see what we saw. And it can't have just been the LEGION, either... very few people who plunked down ten dollars a pop to see the X-MEN movies knew it, but he'd given vision to the new X-MEN (along with the Legionnaire who never was, NIGHTCRAWLER). At least an agreement had been reached between Dave and Marvel about that, and I hope that it will have come in time to help Dave's widow, Paty.
More to the point, Dave was just a friendly and likeable guy. He shared himself and his thoughts and feelings without the self-importance and self-editing that so many others have. We are all fortunate to have had Dave Cockrum for the time we had him.
Dave Cockrum's autobiography.
New York Times.