John Paul Leon, a superb artist whose work you should all know, died yesterday at the age of 49. You can read more about it here. Leon first came to many fans’ attention in the early 1990s when he worked on Milestone comics, but I first recognized his stuff on Earth X, the alternate history of the Marvel Universe comic from the late 1990s (I probably saw it before, but that was the first time I really looked at the art closely). He recently worked on Batman: Creature of the Night, a “Batman in the real world” comic by Kurt Busiek, which is typically beautiful. For me, I think his masterpiece is The Winter Men, about which I just wrote six weeks ago. He had been diagnosed with cancer some time ago, and some places are confirming that that’s what killed him, although other sources say the cause is not known yet. Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter. Leon was a tremendous talent and was far too young. Drag out your old Static comics and give them a re-read in his honor!