Appologies in advance if I upset anyone.
Published January 12, '07
Originally posted by "The Courier Mail"
Illustrator gave X-Men new life
Born: Pendleton, Oregon, November 12, 1943
Died: Belton, South Carolina, November 26, 2006
Comic book illustrator Dave Cockrum overhauled the X-Men in the 1970s and helped populrise the relatively obscure Marvel Comics title into a publishing sensation and a major film franchise.
At Marvel Comics, Cockrum and writer Len Wein were handed the X-Men.
The comic had been created in 1963 as a group of young outcasts enrolled in an academy for mutants, but it failed to capture fans.
Cockrum and Wein took the existing comic, added their own heroes and published Giant-size X-Men No.1 in 1975.
Many signiature characters Cockrum designed and co-created - such as Storm, Mystique, Nightcrawler and Colossus - went on to become part of the X-Men films starring Hugh Jackman and Halle Berry. He received no movie royalties.
He was the son of a lieutenant colonel in the US Air Force and the family frequently moved as a result.
He majored in fine arts at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, but left before he graduated to join the navy. He was assigned to Guam where he worked as a captain's secretary and used his spare time to paint colourful emblems on fighter planes.
He moved to New York after leaving the service and got his big break in the early 1970s, drawing the Legion of Super-Heroes for DC and was Marvel's primary cover artist in the late 1970's.
Mr Cockrum died from complications from diabetes.
He is survived by his second wife Paty, a son and two step-children.
As a point of interest, Dave's piece shared page space with Martin Nodel, creator of the Green Lantern, and Chris Hayward, the writer of Rocky and Bullwinkle, Dudley Do-Right, Crusader Rabbit, and Get Smart - amongst many others.