A comic artist who worked on major titles like Batman and X-Men has died aged 49.
Tributes have been paid to John Paul Leon after DC Comic Senior Editor Chris Conroy took to social media on Sunday night to confirm that the artist had passed away.
He wrote: “It seems the news is out. Last night we lost John Paul Leon, one of the greatest draftsmen in the history of comics, the kind of artist that EVERY artist revered.
“Those who loved him had some warning, but not enough.”
The cause of his death has not been disclosed as yet.
The artist was born in New York City and worked in illustration since the age of 16.
He began by drawing black and white comics for Dragon and Dungeon magazines before studying at New York’s School of Visual Arts.
His first professional comic job came in 1992 for Dark Horse’s miniseries RoboCop.
His work was revered and he went on to become a household name in the industry thanks to fan-favourite’s such as Static Shock.
He also worked for Marvel and provided illustrations on the Earth-X maxiseries as well as The Further Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix.
More recently, he worked on the Batman: Creature of the Night miniseries. He also provided art for an upcoming Batman and Catwoman special issue set to be released in July, written by Kind and Dave Stewart.
He has provided many style guides for the DC Universe movies, including Superman Returns, Green Lantern, Batman Begins, and The Dark Knight.
Fans and stars took to social media to pay tribute to the artist after news broke of his death.
Comic book author, Jody Houser, said: “Absolutely gutted to hear about John Paul Leon’s passing. Possibly the very best artist I’ve ever worked with (and I doubt any other artists would be offended by my saying that).
“Didn’t know him well, but had been meaning to drop him a line. F**k.”
Eisner winning writer Tom King wrote on Twitter : “John Paul Leon was a comic book humanist.
“He grounded the inherent absurdity of conveying myth and story through inked panels by insisting the emotional struggle of our lived experience be in every line, every picture. And he was a joy of a man, kind and funny, to the end. RIP.”
And VP for Marvel Games wrote: “RIP John Paul Leon, a true artist whose every line revealed his depth, heart and humanity. (Unlettered beautiful pages from Black Widow: Deadly Origin.)”
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