Friday, April 26, 2024

Today in Comics History, April 26: Happy birthday, John Paul Leon.

Comic book artist John Paul Leon was born today in 1972, but it doesn't seem like much of a celebration because he's not here for us to throw a party. He passed away in 2021 at the age of 49 following a 14-year battle with cancer. That's far too young. But he left us an impressive and grogeous body of work on titles such as DMZ, Earth X, Shadow Cabinet, Challengers of the Unknown, Static, John Constantine: Hellblazer, Sheriff of Babylon, Detective Comics, Action Comics, The Further Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix, RoboCop: Prime Suspect and many more. Though his art enlivens many books, there aren't a lot of portrayals of him in comics, the usual approach these birthday posts take. But here's a portait of John Paul with Batman:

from Batman/Catwoman Special #1 one-shot (DC, March 2022); pencils, inks, and colors by Lee Bermejo

If you're a fan of Leon's work, the Batman/Catwoman Special is a fine addition to your collection, not only for his artwork but the many elegies and tributes by creator friends, including this pair of essays lauding his life and work:

from Batman/Catwoman Special #1; essays by Kurt Busiek and Michael Davis
(Click each picture to legend-size)

Here's an obit that ran in DC Comics:

from DC Comics cover-dated August 2021

And in Marvel's books:

from Marvel Comics cover-dated August 2021

Happy birthday and rest in peace, John Paul, with respect and love.

1 comment:

Blam said...

A favorite artist of mine, definitely gone far too young.