Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dave Cockrum - Angel



I had the pleasure to meet Dave Cockrum around 1975 at a comic show, where I obtained my first comic sketch, Angel (image cropped from the 11x14 size). Angel was always my favorite character, the idea of being able to fly, not just like superman, but with wings! The Wings make the difference! (I know he is not the only character with wings.....)

Since I was a early reader of the X-men I liked the idea of the school uniform, which kept them a team. The original uniform was blue and yellow, and was created by Stan Lee (writer) and Jack Kirby (penciller) in 1963. In 1967 the uniforms changed with issue 39, written by Roy Thomas, penciled by Don Heck. I did not appreciate the change. When Dave Cockrum took over the pencilling duties with writers Chris Clermont and Len Wein, they brought in a whole new team, with the exception of Cyclops. I still read the comic but longed for the original team.

Therefore when I asked Cockrum for a sketch, it had to be Angel, even though he had left the team. I had also asked why all the changes, I was not aware of the need for a revamp to attract new customers. His reply was, often a new artist likes to put his signature on a character and will make changes with the writers so they can take ownership. The fact that Angel, Beast, Marvel Girl and Iceman were leaving the team did not make me happy, but did not turn me away from the comic.

Dave Cockrum (1943-2006) also provided his art for Spiderman, Avengers, Captain Marvel Star Trek at Marvel. For DC he worked on Wonder Woman, Teen Titans, Blackhawk, Superman, Batman and a host of others. According to the Wikipedia biography they noted that Cockrum was a prolific and inventive costume designer, who updated the Legion of Super-Heroes as well as they X-Men...

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