Comic artist John Paul Leon passes away at 49

The popular comic book artist, John Paul Leon, has passed away at the age of 49. He is best known for his works on titles like Static, Earth X, and Batman: Creature of the Night.

Leon’s death news was confirmed by DC senior editor Chris Conroy on his Twitter page. He tweeted, “It seems the news is out. Last night we lost John Paul Leon, one of the greatest draftsmen in the history of comics, the kind of artist that EVERY artist revered. Those who loved him had some warning, but not enough.”

However, the cause of Leon’s death is unknown at this time.

Leon is one of the beloved artists who started his career at the age of 16; he started with black and white illustrations in Dragon and Dungeon magazines. He studied at New York’s School of Visual Arts under Will Eisner, Walter Simonson, and Jack Potter, and came up with his official comic book work in Dark Horse’s RoboCop miniseries in 1992.

Leon then worked for DC Comics on Static miniseries and Static Shock. His works also include The Further Adventures of Cyclops, Phoenix, the Winter Men, and Batman: Creature of the Night.

Earlier Leon was nominated for an Eisner for his work on the short story Black Death in America alongside Tom King which appeared in Vertigo’s CMYK: Black issue.

The illustrator artist also provided people with a wide variety of memorable covers for titles such as Sgt Fury and his Howling Commandos, Detective Comics, Hellblazer, Mother Panic, DMZ, and The Sheriff of Babylon.

In extending condolences, Spider-Man and Star Wars writer Jody Houser tweeted, “Absolutely gutted to hear about John Paul Leon’s passing. Possibly the very best artist I’ve ever worked with (and I doubt any other artists would be offended by my saying that). Didn’t know him well, but had been meaning to drop him a line.”

Leon apart from his comic work also provided style guides for films such as Superman Returns, Batman Begins, Green Lantern, and The Dark Knight.

His most recent work included the four-issue miniseries Batman: Creature of the Night, and a story with King and Dave Stewart in July’s upcoming Batman/Catwoman Special.


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Ashwathi Anoopkumar