Legendary comic book creator Keith Giffen has died at the age of 70 years old, who is known for being the creator of Rocket Raccoon, Lobo, Blue Beetle, and loads more.
The news hits home for yours truly as Keith Giffen was behind the awesome Annihilation event series from Marvel Comics back in 2005-6 which led to the creation of this very website.
We spoke to Giffen back in 2013 who told us he liked the more obscure characters.
“Just trying to light a fire under some neglected characters while having a good time. That was the driving force behind both Annihilation and Threshold,” he told us.
Keith Giffen’s Facebook page announced the news following a stroke suffered on Sunday.
Giffen died on Monday and in accordance with his wishes, the following was posted to his Facebook.
“I told them I was sick… Anything not to go to New York Comic Con. Thanx. Keith Giffen 1952-2023. Bwah ha ha ha ha,” states the post.
Comic book industry reacts
Keith Giffen has also worked for DC Comics on a plethora of characters and titles including Justice League and Legion of Superheroes. President of DC, Jim Lee, commented on his passing.
“Gutted to hear the passing of the legendary comic book creator Keith Giffen. He personified creativity to me in everything he did. Whether it was writing, plotting, drawing, kibitzing or creating-Keith did it like no other in the modern age,” Lee posted to social media.
Lee continued, “He possessed an insane abundance of talent, a fearless take on every project asked of him and created some of the most absurd, over the top, and hilarious characters ever. His body of work influenced and entertained generations of creators and fans alike and even though he had seen and done it all-he was always such a charming, sweetheart of a guy in his own Keith Giffen way.”
Lee added, “His retro nostalgic vision of the future filled with windowless buildings and omnipresent floating holographic screens made me a Legion of Superheroes fan for life. It was one of my highlights of my career to collaborate with Keith on a Scooby Doo project and watch him elevate the concept in such a fun, smart way. Truly a master of every facet of the craft of making comics and a creative dynamo like no other…he will be missed.”
Keith was one of the most brilliantly creative humans I’ve ever known. A curmudgeon with a heart of gold. A generous collaborator. An old, dear friend. And, as my wife observed, “He was like a character out of a Keith Giffen story.”— J.M. DeMatteis (@JMDeMatteis) October 12, 2023
Safe travels, Keith. You will be missed. pic.twitter.com/E745UeCUVk
My very dear friend, one of the best friends I have ever had. Keith Giffen. I am heartbroken. I will love you forever. You were endlessly kind and crazy, funny and awful, beyond smart, truly original. pic.twitter.com/kq92DF3LQK— Colleen Doran (@ColleenDoran) October 11, 2023
Keith Giffen was the living embodiment of American comics. Equal parts energy, intelligence, and enthusiasm evident in all his work. Someone at DC once gave him my phone # in error. Though it was a wrong number, we wound up just talking comics for half an hour. Beautiful guy. pic.twitter.com/7360gqAJmV— Phillip Hester (@philhester) October 12, 2023
When it comes to sheer creative talent and the ability to come up with great ideas, one after another, no one did it better than Keith Giffen. Working with him was one of those fun, creative roller coaster types of experiences that made any project more fun. R.I.P, my friend.— Dan Jurgens (@thedanjurgens) October 12, 2023
Just heard the news of the passing of Keith Giffen. He was a Master of the craft. My favorite Defenders. My favorite Legion Of Super Heroes. He worked his magic for me at Extreme on Bloodstrike, Supreme and Youngblood. We had so much fun. He is first ballot Comic Book Hall Of… pic.twitter.com/BzTcgXOPvP— robliefeld (@robertliefeld) October 12, 2023
So many great Keith Giffen comics to remember him by, but for me it was Ambush Bug, which I absolutely loved as a kid. But his Action Comics, Lobo and of course Justice League with Jean Marc just some of the best titles ever. RIP to an absolute legend. https://t.co/TafrRF1VVF— Millarworld (@mrmarkmillar) October 12, 2023