Last Friday night, as the entire DWA Team was putting the finishing touches on the awards ceremony, news broke that Canadian cartoonist Darwyn Cooke was in palliative care following a bout of aggressive cancer. It wasn’t long after that we learned that Darwyn had passed.
Darwyn was an ever-present force in Canadian comics, and was at the very first Doug Wright Awards in 2005, where he was also nominated. Brash, opinionated and incredibly talented, he went on to become a huge star in comics with an out-sized personality to match. A master stylist, he belonged to that class of cartoonist where you could spot his work immediately, whether he was interpreting the classic heroes of DC Comics, conjuring the brutal world of Donald Westlake’s Parker books, or depicting small human moments in some of his more grounded works.
In the end, there was only one Darwyn.
To mark his death, Seth spoke at the DWA ceremony about his relationship with Cooke over the years, including his memorable first meeting in a bar in Toronto (“Nobody is allowed to attack Joe Matt but me”) and his last, during a 2015 TCAF-sponsored junket of Canadian cartoonist to Europe (“He was very mouthy and inappropriate, and i would say even pushy. These are qualities I respect.”)
You can hear the audio of Seth’s reminiscence below (credit to Jamie Colville).