This from Haven Correspondant, Dan Thompson:
Dave Cockrum, creator of the Futurians and co-creator of the New X-Men with writer Len Wein, died Sunday, November 26, 2006, due to complications of diabetes. Dave is perhaps best known for his character Nightcrawler, but his vivid and active imagination brought many characters to the pages of comics. He was most prolific during the 1970's when, in addition to relaunching the X-Men, he also revitalized the Legion of Superheroes (with writer Cary Bates) and turned it from a supporting story in the Superboy comic to a stand-alone title that is still popular today. He worked on numerous other titles for both Marvel and DC. He was often employed as a cover artist by DC.
Cockrum had been in poor health for a number of years. In 2004, Cockrum reached an agreement with Marvel Entertainment that will allow Marvel to continue to fully own the many characters Cockrum created for the company, while compensating Cockrum for his years of service and the seminal characters he created.
My wife Liana and I met Dave through a mutual interest in the DC comic Blackhawk. In the late '90s, I created a website dedicated to the Blackhawks that, with help from numerous other fans including Dave, became the main Blackhawk site on the web. Shortly after the site went up, Dave contacted me to express his fondness for the characters. Over time, he offered artwork to be displayed on the site and an interesting reminiscence about his attempt to do a Legion of Superheroes/Blackhawk cross-over. Go to to read Dave's bio on the Blackhawk site and find links to his artwork and the cross-over proposal.
By a strange coincidence, just as Dave and I shared an interest in the Blackhawks, it turned out that Liana and Paty, Dave's wife, were both dedicated Doc Savage fans.
Our friendship was long distance until we finally met in person at a couple of Wonderfests several years ago. Unfortunately, we lost contact when Dave was hospitalized in 2004. Dave was a gentle giant of a man, always cheerful even when life had not treated him well. The clichéd but true statement made about many artists when they die is that they will live on in their work. Certainly, Dave Cockrum has left us a legacy of some of the best comics art ever created and a wealth of imaginative characters who will live on as long as comics are published.
Dan (and Liana) Thompson