COLEY creator passes away

John Blackburn, creator of the bisexual superman / voodoo love-god Coley Cochran, passed away suddenly on Friday following a brief illness. His writing style was reminiscent of Don McGregor with his use of in-depth characterization, while his unique art style brought to mind that of original Wonder Woman artist, Harry G. Peter. Coley appeared in 3 self-published books, a number of mini-series and a graphic novel from Eros Comix, and a separate series of short stories in Leyland Publications' MEATMEN series.

I'm really shocked & saddened to hear the news that John Blackburn is gone. I've been a fan of his comic-book work ever since RETURN TO VOODOO ISLAND came out, and we'd written back and forth quite a few times. I was able to get ahold of the 3 limited-edition Coley books he published himself, and had spreading the word about the series as best I could online.

I think John did a lot to inspire the turn of my own series, STORMBOY. I hadn't heard from him for the last few years, and often wondered if he was okay. I'd been looking forward to his doing a follow-up to the story in DAGGER OF BLOOD. I had Coley make a one-panel came in one of my own stories, and had hoped to someday to a "crossover" between our 2 series. It's also been a dream of mine to someday reprint the Coley stories in a set of books which would cover the 3 limited-edition books and a collection of all the stories that appeared in MEATMEN. I wonder if this will ever happen now?

John's writing was really special. He said things in his stories that few ever seem to have the courage to talk about. While is spots I thought he could have used a little help polishing dialogue or story structure, for the most part I often thought he was way ahead of MOST writers in the field these days. Coley was the only comics series I re-read SEVERAL times from beginning to end over the last 10 years. I wish there could have been more.

Read the Coley Cochran character profile & appearance list at the Gay League site:

Read reviews of the COLEY books and MEATMEN collections at: