Richard Corben was too cool for comics. The acclaimed artist never won an Eisner award but has been enshrined in the Eisner Hall of Fame since 2012. His works were so distinct that even if you haven’t read more than a short story of his one time in your life, you would be capable of picking his work out of a lineup for the rest of your life. He was a once in a lifetime, generational wrecking ball of a talent and the industry will reel for quite some time about his loss. He passed following heart surgery on December 2, 2020, as confirmed by his wife.
Widely known for his work on Heavy Metal, Corben was a true titan of underground and indie comics. Later in his career, he would play in the more mainstream sandbox with works like Punisher: The End and a stint with Brian Azzarello on Hellblazer but the majority of Corben’s work was more hidden than showcased. I didn’t come to his comic art until I was an adult, although I already knew his work.
Bat Out of Hell by Meatloaf was among my favorite albums as a child and remains so to this day. Richard Corben did the amazing cover art and that was the first time I was exposed to his work, before I was even reading comics. I remember staring intently at this cover as a child as my parents horrifically dueted Paradise (By the Dashboard Light) in the living room of that Largo house, where half of the furniture was milk crates filled with records. Some of my happiest childhood memories were tied to that time and this album and Corben was a silent accomplice to that. Rest in power, Richard. Thanks for all the stories.
Hall of Fame Artist Richard Corben, 80, Passes as 2020 Can’t End Soon Enough
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