John Paul Leon, a beloved comic artist known for his work on titles like Static, Earth X, and Batman: Creature of the Night, has passed away at the age of 49. The news was confirmed on Sunday by multiple people in the comic industry, including DC Senior Editor Chris Conroy. The cause of Leon’s death is currently unknown at this time. Born on April 26, 1972 in New York City, Leon first began working in the world of illustration at the age of sixteen, with black-and-white illustrations in Dragon and Dungeon magazines. After studying under Will Eisner, Walter Simonson, and Jack Potter while at New York’s School of Visual Arts, Leon’s first official comic work came in 1992 the form of Dark Horse’s RoboCop miniseries.
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. pic.twitter.com/1x73cComE7
— Chris Conroy (@ConroyForReal) May 2, 2021
Leon is regarded to be one of the architects of the Milestone Comics universe, providing pencils for the initial Static miniseries in 1993. Just a few years later, he helped put his stamp on the Marvel Comics universe with the Earth-X maxiseries.
He also worked alongside Peter Milligan and Klaus Janson on the X-Men spinoff The Further Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix, Challengers of the Unknown, and The Winter Men.
In addition to his comic work, Leon provided style guides for films such as Superman Returns, Batman Begins, Green Lantern, and The Dark Knight.
Our thoughts are with Leon’s family, friends, and fans at this time.
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