I would be the first to tell you I don’t have a lot of personal experience with the work of Dwayne McDuffie.
Around the time he was helping launch the groundbreaking and bar-raising Milestone Media, I was going through one of those periods in life when – for one reason or another – you aren’t buying comics. I was aware of what was going on with Milestone – a creator-owned, multicultural and wholly creative imprint published through DC – but only on the edges. It’s a comic book reading experience I still regret missing.
Most of what I know about McDuffie is thanks to his outspoken advocacy for multiculturalism and honest storytelling. He famously butted heads with the powers that be in the comics industry, and wasn’t shy about speaking his mind at cons and in interviews. Overall, and unrelentingly, McDuffie spoke out for fairness. That’s all. And as a comic book reader who is also a person of color, I’ll always hold him in high regard for that.
Even though I wasn’t as familiar with his work as I could have been – with Milestone, and later DC, Marvel and animated shows and movies – it was still a sad shock to hear McDuffie died Monday (Feb. 21, 2011) at the age of 49 due to complications from emergency heart surgery.
McDuffie no doubt had many more stories to tell; his death is a loss to fans and potential fans alike.