Thursday, May 31, 2007

Dave Cockrum Tribute

I just got back from a Memorial Tribute for the late, great artist Dave Cockrum, who passed away from diabetes in November 2006. I had to leave after the first hour or so, but I'm sure others can pick up the rest. It was at the Time Life building in New York, with DC Comics hosting.

There were a lot of industry folk in attendance, especially a lot of editors from the past and present. Some notables included Paul Levitz, Dan Didio, Joe Quesada, Dan Buckley, Chris Claremont, Peter David, Mark Waid, Steve Wacker, Tom Breevort, Danny Fingeroth, Bob Schreck, Jo Duffy, Jack C. Harris, among many others that I missed and didn't recognize. Before the speeches started, all the creators and editors from the era were meeting up and seeing and catching up with each other.

Paul Levitz lead off the ceremonies by explaining that these tributes were part of an old tradition dating back 25 years ago to when Wally Wood died and the comics community came together to share stories, thoughts and remember him.

The tone was pretty light and upbeat — partly I assume because it's been six months since Cockrum passed and everyone has had more time to deal with the death. Even Cockrum's wife, Paty, was in high spirits, as she came in wearing a Magneto t-shirt.

Clifford Meth, Cockrum's longtime friend, started off the speeches, reminding everyone Cockrum died in his Superman pajamas and was cremated in his Green Lantern shirt. He also read a statement from Marv Wolfman, who was unable to make it in town. Next Meth introduced a prepared audio statement from Harlan Ellison, but not before making a light dig at Gary Groth. Ellison read from a humorous intro he wrote for a Cockrum tribute book. It actually drew a tear from Peter David — which actually came out of laughter, not sadness. Not everyone was into Ellison's enthusiastic but long speech, as Mark Waid jokingly pretended to cut his wrists halfway through.

Jo Duffy, Jack C. Harris, Roy Thomas (via Paul Levitz proxy) and Chris Claremont also spoke and shared anecdotes. Unfortunately I missed the rest because I had to get back to the other job.

All in all, it was a pretty light but very heartfelt tribute. Parts were pretty touching, especially considering I'd never met Dave Cockrum. It really did make me wish I'd been more familiar with Cockrum's entire body of work, and appreciate what I have read of his even more.


Blogger Meth said...

Thanks for attending, Tim. You'd have liked Dave as much as everyone did.

7:17 PM  
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