Wednesday Comments – R.I.P. Adrienne Roy & Remembering Wildstorm

I grew up reading DC titles in the 1980’s. I can remember grabbing issues of Crisis on Infinite Earths from a spin rack. Being the avid reader that I was, I devoured every word in the comic. I read the letter’s page and that’s how I came to realized that Andrew Helfer edited quite a few of books that I enjoyed the most.

But one name that seemed to be omnipresent, to the point that it was taken for granted, was Adrienne Roy, who passed away on December 14, 2010. She was 57.

In a genre where Rob Liefeld, George Perez and Mark Millar are superstars, Adrienne would by some be considered a minor luminary, but there was nothing minor about her contribution to the craft. Adrienne colored more than 600 issues of Batman related comics, including 15 year run on Batman and a 16 year run on Detective Comics. She was the very definition of a fixture. You can read more about her illustrious life and career over here.

Adrienne’s work wasn’t glossy or flashy, it was just consistently great. It’s the reason she colored George Perez in Teen Titans and Crisis on Infinite Earths and the stable of Batman books; DC wanted the best on their best titles.

To me her name will always take me back to the days of my youth reading comics. Because her’s was one of the few feminine names I always wondered what the looked like and what it was like working with all of those guys (because as a kid I thought comics were produced in one room by a group of people.) When I’d read the credit box of a given issue I’d scan for familiar names and invariably I’d see “Adrienne Roy” and be relieved. Before I knew about the importance of creative teams, I knew the importance of her name.

I never met Adrienne Roy. I may have had the chance to at one of the handful of cons that I’ve been to, but I’m sure I passed on it because I’m painfully shy and foolishly believe “I’ll do it next year.” By all accounts I’ve read Adrienne was an absolute delight to encounter. She was as vibrant as her many tattoos.

I will mourn her passing and her family and loved ones will be in my thoughts.

The segue from mourning the loss of a comic legend to remembering Wildstorm isn’t as awkward as one might think. After all, DC purchased Wildstorm mainly on the strength of their digital coloring studio. So, y’see there is a link.

Today marks the end of the Wildstorm imprint. DC decided to shutter the imprint. I actually gave my general thoughts about it awhile back.

I think that for me, the thing I’ll remember most about Wildstorm was the hype. I’m pretty sure that the first Wildstorm comics I picked up were the Millar/Quitely issues of The Authority because they were so hyped in Wizard. I remember everyone lauding acclaim on Alan Moore’s ABC line, something I’m only coming to appreciate now.

I can also remember picking up The Monarchy and realizing that I was just trying to be up on the next big thing.

I remember how everyone at 411Comics seemed to be in love with Sleeper and how every week via email Daron would try to get me to start reading the book. It’s another one of those Wildstorm titles that I’ve grown to love just this year.

I remember when everyone in our very own fan forums seemed to be lamenting the loss of Wildcats 3.0 and how it was one of those rare treats that lived up to the hype. But the thing about Wildstorm is that they had quite a few of those “rare treats.”

And now it’s gone.

Sure the Wildstorm U will return in some shape or form. Hopefully it’ll find more success than DC had with the Red Circle books or Milestone characters. But the end of the Wildstorm line marks the end of an era.

I’m kind of frightened about what the next era’s going to look like.

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