Nov 292006

It’s going to be a long, sad day for me today. I just heard that we lost Dave Cockrum this past weekend.

When I first started reading comic books, I couldn’t have named a single comic book artist (or writer for that matter). I was too young to realize that real people actually made the books that my brother and I spent as much time fighting over as reading.

But years before I even knew his name, Dave Cockrum had a huge impact on my life. Because Dave Cockrum was one of the team that revamped the X-Men in 1975.

Simply put, I hold Dave Cockrum responsible for my first ever crush on a fictional character. I was ten when Giant-Sized X-Men #1 came out. I took one look at Nightcrawler — the pointy-eared, three-fingered teleporter with the German accent and the prehensile tail — and I was doomed. A decade later, when I was dating the man who later became my husband, he used to joke that Kurt was his biggest competition. And he was right.

And anyone who’s known me for any length of time knows that I’m still a squealing fangirl when it comes to the fuzzy elf. I’m pathetically grateful to Cockrum for inventing the original concept, and to DC for not seeing enough in those early sketches to add that proto-character to the Legion of Superheroes, and to Marvel for realizing he belonged in the X-Men.

Without Dave Cockrum and his art, my life would have been less joyful. So, though I never met the man, I mourn his passing. Rest well, Dave.