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Dick Giordano Passes Away at 77; ‘Brit’ Writer Bruce Brown Dies from Cancer

It’s been a bad couple of days for comics. Dick Giordano — who had been battling leukemia — passed away over the weekend at 77 from complications with pneumonia, and the well-deserved tributes are well underway throughout the comics community. A former VP and Executive Editor of DC Comics and Editor-in-Chief of Charlton Comics, Giordano was also quite an artist in his own right, best known for his inks on famous works like Neal Adams’s “Superman vs. Muhammed Ali” and George Perez’s “Crisis on Infinite Earths.”

I’m not sure anyone has eulogized him as well or as thoroughly as Tom Spurgeon, although I was particularly touched by the remembrance of DC Comics Co-Publisher Jim Lee: “When I was just trying to break into comics back in 1986, I received a lot of form rejection letters, including a very gracious one from Dick at DC Comics. On the DC letterhead, he took the the time to pen an additional personal note which I still cherish today. ‘Looking good–keep working at it.’ Those few words kept this often dejected young artist hanging in there as it took many many more submissions before I finally broke into comics.”

Lee’s tribute reminded me of how much the debt that the industry owes Giordano goes far beyond what he accomplished in his own work as an inker, not because those works were insignificant but because his other contributions as an editor and executive were so enormous: helping bring in talents like Denny O’Neil and Alan Moore, form Vertigo Comics, and shepherd works like “Watchmen” into being.

Following that loss, friends of “Brit” writer Bruce Brown are now reporting that he passed away last night. As “Brit” artist Nate Bellegarde posted on his Livejournal, “I am bummed out because cancer killed my friend last night. I worked with Bruce Brown on Brit. He wrote it, I drew it. He was a special kind of talented crazy man with a big beard, a huge scar on his head, cowboy hat, missing fingers, and a deranged grin. And now he is gone forever.”

Our condolences to the families and friends of both Giordano and Brown — they will be missed.

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