Dave Cockrum


… what completely different – denn immer nur Hochkultur, es könnte einem ja schwindelig werden, wenn man da hinunter guckt. Nein, hier und jetzt… mal etwas anderes – Auf einen meiner HELDEN der Kindheit: David Emmett Cockrum.


Dave Cockrum (November 11, 1943 – November 26, 2006) was an American comic book artist known for his co-creation of the new X-MEN characters  NIGHTCRAWLER, STORM and COLOSSUS. Cockrum was also a prolific and inventive costume designer, who updated the uniforms of the LEGION OF SUPERHEORES and did the same for the new X-MEN and many of their antagonists, in the 1970s and early 1980s. Cockrum was born on November 11, 1943, in Oregon, USA.

Cockrum war in meiner Jugend einer meiner absoluten Lieblingszeichner. Und ich mag seine Arbeiten noch heute! Ehrlich. Egon Schiele, Horst Janssen, Käthe Kollwitz, Max Klinger, alles prima, aber die Comiczeichner haben viel, viel früher meine Netzhaut beglückt. Und Dave Cockrum mit seiner LEGION DER SUPERHELDEN war einer meiner allerliebsten Inspirationsquellen. Mein Professor für Freie Grafik an der Uni war darüber übrigens „not amused“. Tja, was soll man da machen? Fraglicher Herr Professor konnte nicht mal über Asterix schmunzeln. Und so einer unterrichtete Grafik an der Uni. Unfassbar. Noch heute muss ich über diese Ignoranz den Kopf schütteln.

Cockrums father was a lieutenant colonel of the United States Air Force resulting in the Cockrums frequently transporting their household from one city to another for years. Cockrum discovered comic books at a young age; an early favorite was CAPTAIN MARVEL. Other artists whose work the young Cockrum admired were Gil Kane and Joe Kubert. As a young man, Cockrum was a dedicated „letterhack“ who had many letters printed in comic book letter columns such as Fantastic Four #22 (January 1964) and FF #36 (March 1965) (return address „YN ‚A‘ School, USNTC“). (A letter from Cockrum in FANTASTIC FOUR No. 34 [January 1965] led to a correspondence with Andrea Kline, who later became his first wife.) Cockrum’s ambition was to become a comic book creator himself. Following his school graduation, however, Cockrum joined the United States Navy for six years. During this time, Cockrum married Kline and had a child. In later years, Cockrum worked less frequently in comics. In 2004, he became seriously ill due to complications from diabetes. A number of fellow artists and writers led by Neal Adams organized a fundraising project… Due to pressure from and Adams Marvel also announced it would compensate Cockrum for his work in co-creating the enormously successful X-MEN. Cockrum was due to draw an eight-page story in Giant Size X-Men No. 3 (2005), but a recurrence of his health problems prevented this. Neal Adams was able to fill in for his friend.

Neal Adams! Noch einer meiner Helden der Kindheit. Seine Zeichnungen begeistern mich heute noch ebenso wie die von Cockrum. Oder die von John Buscema, Jim Aparo, Franquin oder Uderzo… es sind so viele, ich kann hier nicht alle auflisten.

Cockrum died at his home in Belton, South Carolina on the morning of November 26, 2006, due to complications from diabetes. He was survived by his wife of many years Patsy Cockrum (a long-time member of Marvel’s 1970s production staff), his son, and two stepchildren. Diesem wunderbaren Zeichner widme ich hier meinen Ausflug ins Wunderland der Panels.

„Von Donald Duck habe ich mehr gelernt als in all den Schulen, in denen ich war.“ (Gottfried Helnwein)