Comic artist John Paul Leon passed away and many in the professional comics community is paying their respects. Leon left an imprint with his outstanding work on titles like Static, Batman: Creature of the Night, and Marvel’s Earth X books. Leon was only 49 years old when he passed away on Friday evening. 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. Leon was working in illustration since the age of 16 and studied under numerous comics heavyweights such as Jack Potter, Will Eisner, and Walter Simonson at New York’s School of Visual Arts. For a certain segment of fans, he was huge because of his hand in guiding the Milestone Comics imprint for DC. Leon did all the pencils for Static’s first miniseries back in the early nineties.
Multiple people in the comics industry confirmed the news as rumors began to populate social media. DC Senior Editor Chris Conroy was one of the big voices to talk about the man’s accomplishments and impact across the medium.
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
I couldn’t believe it but it seems to be confirmed. We lost a huge talent in the comics industry, @johnpaulleon -, one of those artists’ artists. JPL’s noir, heavy blacks aesthetics were near&dear to my heart. My heart goes to his family, friends, and fans. We’ll miss U, brother. pic.twitter.com/A2DsEb80PJ
— Francesco Francavilla (@f_francavilla) May 2, 2021
John Paul Leon passed away yesterday at the way too early age of 49. One of the greatest artists of our generation, he was also one of the nicest & most talented creators one could be lucky enough to have met. So young & still creating the very best work of his career. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/HqMTqW1q1k
— Jim Lee (@JimLee) May 3, 2021
So sorry to hear of John Paul Leon’s passing. Such a remarkably unique talent–brought so much to the industry and influenced so many. A great loss of a great artist.
— Dan Jurgens (@thedanjurgens) May 2, 2021
No cause of death has been reported. A GoFundMe that has been set up to contribute to a trust for his 17-year-old daughter, and help fund her future education and interests in engineering. Proceeds from this GoFundMe page will help get this trust started while helping JP’s family transition through this difficult period. you can do so here.
The editorial staff at Bleeding Fool offers our sincerest condolences to the family, friends, loved ones, and fans of John Paul Leon, an exceptional talent. May he rest in peace.