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Dwayne McDuffie, R.I.P. [UPDATED]

Comic Book Resources reported Tuesday that prolific comics writer and animation producer Dwayne McDuffie passed away as the result of “complications due to a surgical procedure performed Monday evening.” The sad news comes on the same day that the All-Star Superman animated feature went on sale in North America. Based on the comic book series by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely, the screenplay was written by McDuffie, who considered the finished film to be his favorite piece of animation work and spoke with ComicsAlliance at the New York premiere.Dwayne McDuffie was a veteran storyteller respected by fans and creators alike. In comics, he is perhaps best associated with Milestone Media, the publishing company he co-founded with Denys Cowan to spotlight the work of African-American creators and characters. McDuffie’s most famous creation for Milestone was the character Static, whose series was published from 1993 to 1997. Co-created by John Paul Leon, Static went on to appear in the popular Static Shock! animated series as well as many other books published by DC Comics, including a brand new ongoing series launching later this year.

For more than one generation of fans, McDuffie will always be beloved for his work as Executive Producer and head writer of Justice League Unlimited, the animated series that so perfectly expressed the action, humor and spirit of the DC Universe. Through the show, McDuffie is responsible for endearing viewers to the DC superheroes and to the genre in general, including many minorities and women, whom the writer always depicted with boldness and grace.

UPDATE: CBR is reporting that McDuffie died from complications having to do with “a surgical procedure” performed Monday evening.

The family and friends of Dwayne McDuffie are in the thoughts of everyone here at ComicsAlliance, whose very existence owes much to the man and his prodigious work.

Naturally, reaction from the comics community is profound. Here are some of them that have been shared via Twitter.

Phil Hester: So, aside from feeling completely helpless, the thing to do today is read a Dwayne McDuffie comic.

Kurt Busiek: RIP Dwayne McDuffie. Very sorry to hear it. Chatting (and occasionally working) with Dwayne was always a treat. When I first met Dwayne, he was campaigning against the name “Black Thrasher” in the NEW WARRIORS pitch, and doing a survey of what percentage of male African-American superhero characters at Marvel rode skateboards or dressed like poultry. It wasn’t a low number.

Ed Brubaker: Words fail me about Dwayne McDuffie’s death. I was a big fan.

Mark Waid: I’m really heartsick about Dwayne. Such an unbelievably talented man, and a true guardian of the DC Universe.

Sterling Gates: Your work touched countless lives, Dwayne. Thank you for sharing your talent with the world. Ave atque vale.

Jamie McKelvie: Oh my god. RIP Dwayne McDuffie. That doesn’t seem real.

Matt Fraction: Dwayne McDuffie has died– too soon, too young, too goddamn talented. a writer that never failed to make me work harder. Goodnight, Dwayne.

Cully Hamner: God, what an awful, awful thing. I’m really, REALLY, getting tired of talented guys like this dying so young.

Warren Ellis: Hearing reports that writer & producer Dwayne McDuffie has died. I’m just stunned. Dwayne was brilliant.

Nate Cosby: 1 of my favorite phone calls EVER was to Dwayne McDuffie, asking him to write a Damage Control miniseries. It was an honor to work with him.

Chip Zdarsky: It’s rare to find a great talent who is successful AND supremely nice and approachable. RIP Dwayne McDuffie. Christ.

Jason Aaron: Man, RIP Dwayne McDuffie. The man had been doing some amazing animation work these last few years.

Dan Slott: First time my name appeared in a comic was because of Dwayne McDuffie. I was the intern on a Damage Control comic and just to be a nice guy and because he knew I’d get a kick out of it, he included my name in a fake movie credit sequence. I’d no idea if I’d ever get to work on a comic as an editor, writer, or anything– and just seeing it was so amazing to a geek like me. And he knew it. I’ll never forgot that. :)

Fred Van Lente: I only met Dwayne McDuffie once, when he stopped by my table at NYCC to say nice things about Action Philosophers. It made my weekend as I was such a huge fan of Damage Control, an all time fave. A gentleman & true innovator. He will be deeply missed.

Robert Liefeld: Loved Dwayne McDuffie, the guy and his work. Deepest sympathies to his family.

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