In Memory of…

The comics world has been shocked today to hear of the sudden passing of writer Dwayne McDuffie.

image courtesy of Comic Vine

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, McDuffie was perhaps best known for writing and producing the animated series Justice League Unlimited. Within the industry, he was widely praised for his commitment to bringing a sense of diversity that is still sorely missing in mainstream comics. In 1993, he and group of African American writers and artists founded the DC imprint “Milestone Media” in an effort to address this very issue. McDuffie said,

If you do a black character or a female character or an Asian character, then they aren’t just that character. They represent that race or that sex, and they can’t be interesting because everything they do has to represent an entire block of people. You know, Superman isn’t all white people and neither is Lex Luthor. We knew we had to present a range of characters within each ethnic group, which means that we couldn’t do just one book. We had to do a series of books and we had to present a view of the world that’s wider than the world we’ve seen before. (Interview)

Besides his creations for Milestone Media–including Static Shock, Blood Syndicate, and Icon— and television writing, McDuffie wrote for many of the biggest titles in both the Marvel and DC universe. He won the 2003 Humanitas Prize for “Jimmy,” a Static Shock episode addressing juvenile gun violence, he has been nominated for two Emmys for the TV series Static Shock, a Writer’s Guild Award for the Justice League TV series,  and three Eisners for his work in comic books. McDuffie also won the Golden Apple Award in 1996 for his “use of popular art to promote and enhance human dignity.”

“Man, all I want today is just to be a better person today. That’s all I want. To measure up to Dwayne.”
Mark Waid, author of Kingdom Come.

“Dwayne McDuffie has died– too soon, too young, too goddamn talented. a writer that never failed to make me work harder.”
Matt Fraction, Casanova and Invincible Iron Man

His latest work was the script for the animated film of All Star Superman, which comes out on Blu-Ray and DVD today.


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