A Voice That Mattered

The world learned early this afternoon of the sudden and shocking passing of Dwayne McDuffie, a vastly important and influential (if not often overlooked) voice in the world of comics and animation.
This year has been a rough one for us all. Hell, just the past few days have been so bad, they border on satirical. When I opened up my browser this morning and started reading over the day’s news, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. McDuffie was in no way anywhere near the end of his journey in life, or as a professional. If anything, he was in his prime.
A longtime writer for several forms of media, McDuffie is most well-known as the father of the Milestone imprint at DC in the early 90’s. A line that saw the creation of several important characters, most notably Static (later renamed Static Shock for an animated series). He went on to work on several high-profile titles for both companies including the JLA and Fantastic Four.
In the world of animation, he spearheaded the majority of Justice League Unlimited- producing the series, and writing several key episodes. Most recently, McDuffie has been a key member in the development of DC’s recent direct to DVD animated features. His final project, All Star Superman is released this week.
While I never had any personal interaction with the man, I always considered him an influence on my work. I’d follow him to just about every title he worked on, and even when editorial roadblocks were obviously placed in front of him, I still enjoyed his work. It’s tragic to see someone so young and influential take a bow too soon in life. Honestly, I’m still a bit in shock. It just doesn’t seem right. I’m reminded of both Mike Wieringo and Michael Turner, two other voices in comics who dies far too young.
Dwayne McDuffie is survived by his wife. As of this writing, it’s been stated that he died of complications from a medical procedure performed Monday evening, although no further information is yet available. Rest easy, man- tell some great stories up there.

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