Guest Author - Eugene Bradford
On February 22nd of 2011, not just the realm of comics, but more importantly the real world, lost someone special, someone who made an impact on the industry and the way people think. His name was Dwayne McDuffie. He passed away due to complications from a surgical procedure the previous evening. He was 49 years old. The tragic news spread quickly as fan news sites, fellow creators, and fans, used the various social media available to increase awareness.
Throughout the course of his career, McDuffie has done work for both major comic publishers, Marvel Comics and DC Comics. The latter of which housed his imprint publishing company, Milestone Comics. The most popular works created were Hardware, Icon, and Static. Static is still around today, having seen action alongside more mainstream heroes after crossing over into the main DC Comics universe. Several of the titles he worked on while employed with Marvel Comics include Damage Control and Fantastic Four. Amongst his work at DC Comics was his run on Justice League of America.
His accomplishments are something this writer also desires to do in the future. That is to change the way characters of color are handled in comic books. It was evident McDuffie saw the treatment of Black characters in comics and believed it needed to change. His work helped spread awareness of the racial stereotypes that many characters of color were built on.
Stepping away from the comicís field for some time, he lent his talents to the world of animation. Some of his credits consisted of work on Static Shock, Justice League, and Ben 10. He performed several duties within animation including writing, story editing, and production. He also wrote the story for the videogame Justice League Heroes.
While this writer was not able to meet Dwayne McDuffie, his presence will surely be missed. He should be viewed beyond what he did in comics and animation. He will be viewed by those that knew him as the man he was. But his work still serves as inspiration to not only his fans, but aspiring creators as well.
This writer sends out his love to the McDuffie family. Rest in peace Dwayne McDuffie.