Dave Cockrum, dead at 63


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According to several sources, legendary X-Men and comic book artist Dave Cockrum passed away in his sleep last night, his death a result of diabetes and its resultant complications. He was 63 years old.

Cockrum, a fixture of the American Comics scene in the ‘70s was born in Oregon to a father who was a lieutenant colonel in the US Air Force. As a result, Cockrum traveled frequently as a child, which allowed comic books to provide some semblance of stability from city to city.

Following his father into the military, Cockrum served in the Navy for six years following high school, and then entered comics and publishing, first at Warren Publishing, and then as an assistant inker to Murphy Anderson at DC Comics. It was during this period that Cockrum’s art became known with the Legion of Super-Heroes, helping them to move from their Silver Age roots into a more modern look.

While his Legion work is widely known to Legion fans, Cockrum will forever be known as the artist who, with Len Wein, and later with Chris Claremont, created the new X-Men, and redefined both the existing characters and revitalized the world of the mutants and the franchise for Marvel. Cockrum had two major stints as artist on Uncanny X-Men, from Giant-Size X-Men #1 in 1975 through 1977, and then from 1981-1983.

Though he had worked less and less in comics in recent years, Cockrum had never left the hearts of his fans, as they rallied around him when it was announced in 2004 that he was seriously ill due to complications from diabetes and pneumonia. A benefit book and action was held, while Marvel Comics announced that it would pay Cockrum retroactively for his work in design and co-creation of the new X-Men.

According to Clifford Meth, a family friend of Dave and his wife, Patty, there is no information about a funeral service at this time. According to his wishes, Cockrum will be cremated, and those wishing to send messages to Patty are asked to e-mail them to: magnetorampant@yahoo.com rather than calling.

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A damn shame. I would send a letter if I had an address but an email will have to do. Thinking about what the industry would be like without Mr. Cockrum's contributions is depressing and it is just as depressing that he left us in such a fashion.

I lost a grandfather in much the same way a few years back. My dad has the disease and so do I. I'm sure diabetes will hit me much harder the older I get as it is my father. I'll be donating whatever I can to the local Diabetes Foundation and I'd urge other to do so as well.

This is not a condition that people should be dying from in the 21st century.

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If not for Cockrum Colossus, Nightcrawler and Storm would not be the characters we know and love. He laid the groundwork for John Byrne and every X-artist afterwards. And the Legion of Super-Heroes would not have the fan following they do. His contributions are immeasurable, and he will be sorely missed!


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