Dwayne McDuffie, who died unexpectedly on Tuesday, was unable to attend our previous Kids Read Comics Celebrations, but had big plans to come out for this year’s event. When we corresponded about it just last week, he sounded very enthusiastic about joining us. And of course we were thrilled that the man who was a founder of Milestone Media, creator of the terrific Static comic book and Static Shock cartoon series, as well as producer, writer and story editor of animated shows like Justice League Unlimited and Ben10 Ultimate Alien, would be spending a weekend with us making the work he did come alive.
If anyone knew how to tell great stories about the struggles and the strength of character that go into being a hero — and to do so in a way that connected with young audiences — it was Dwayne. Standing at around 6’6”, he was a big man physically (though he once told me he was the shortest male member of his family); but more impressive was his big talent and his big heart. Even when he couldn’t make it out to KRC, he was a generous behind-the-scenes supporter, sending us special items to hand out for free. He believed in comics and in kids, and he’ll be greatly missed.