Sign outside the lecture hall at the American Art Museum where Darwyn spoke.
I never got a chance to blog about Darwyn Cooke‘s lecture at The Smithsonian American Art Museum a couple months ago during the Snowmageddon. Instead, I thought I’d share a couple of the notes I furiously typed into my iPhone during the event and some pics I managed to snap. Apologies ahead: I own a first gen iPhone 3G and the camera sucks, so picture quality is kinda meh.
He speaks with a gravelly voice, like the chief of a newspaper or a Parker-like character from a film noir. He’s reed thin and possessed of a certain class, as if he’s living in the same ’60s of which he so adoringly speaks. He wears a crisp suit and looks comfortable and smooth.
Cooke did all his own lettering for his adaptation of "The Hunter."
He gets choked up when he speaks of Westlake. He’s visibly awed by the legendary writer’s effect on him, how Westlake became the wonderful person Cooke always hoped he’d be. His voice cracks when he mentions Westlake, and his droopy, hound dog face grows longer. There’s much love in this man.
Cooke regaling us with tales of AWESOME.
He tells a story of how he remembers the smell of his dad’s Old Spice cologne. His father would put on a jacket and tie to go dancing with his mom.
Cooke reads from Donald Westlake's original novel, "The Hunter"
Cooke’s 1960s is chock full of art, where furniture and cars are individual masterpieces along with typography, book covers, and more. To Cooke, things just looked good in the ’60s… as opposed to the boring little metal boxes people drive around in today.
A page from Cooke's "The Hunter"
Cooke shuns the label “creator” or “artist.” To him, he’s an entertainer. A storyteller. A workman-like view towards his chose profession: no nonsense and no pretense.
“You can’t sell Red Tornado comics to real people. They wanna read about… skiing!”
Regarding technology, Cooke spoke of how animated the title sequence to Batman Beyond on a Mac in his spare bedroom. It blew traditional animators’ and media techs’ minds at Warner Brothers, who had up until that time, shunned the use of such devices to develop new animation.
Darwyn Cooke, ladies and gentlemen.
Cooke pointing out the elements of AWESOME in his work.
Darwyn sketched Parker when he autographed my copy of "The Hunter"
Darwyn also sketched Green Lantern when he autographed my Absolute Edition of his masterpiece "DC: The New Frontier"