Known for his collaborations with writer Jeph Loeb, Sale did all the art for NBC's superhero series Heroes as well as definitive stories about Superman, Spider-Man, and more.
Advertisement

Another legendary comic artist has left us. Tim Sale, the artist behind such memorable comics as Batman: The Long Halloween and Superman for All Seasons, died Thursday at 66.

A statement posted to his official Twitter account said, "It's with a heavy sadness that I must announce that Tim Sale passed away today. He passed with the love of his life beside him, and loves all of you very much. Please share photos and stories under this post, as we hope to share them with the community."

A cause of death was not disclosed, though Sale was admitted to the hospital earlier this week with what friends and colleagues described as "severe health issues."

Comic book artist Tim Sale
Comic book artist Tim Sale
| Credit: Jemal Countess/WireImage

Born May 1, 1956, in Ithaca, N.Y., Sale attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and went to a comics workshop by longtime Marvel artist John Buscema. Once he broke into comics in his own right, Sale was most famous for his work with writer Jeph Loeb. Loeb, after spending most of his career in movies and TV, credited Sale with teaching him how to make comics in an interview with EW last year about their longtime collaboration.

The Loeb-Sale duo highlighted key phases from the lives of memorable Marvel heroes in comics like Spider-Man: Blue, Daredevil: Yellow, Hulk: Gray, and Captain America: White. Their work at DC Comics was even more influential. Superman for All Seasons, about the Man of Steel's Kansas upbringing, served as the inspiration for the TV show Smallville. The holiday-themed mafia murder mystery Batman: The Long Halloween has been cited by filmmakers like Christopher Nolan and Matt Reeves as a touchstone for their big-screen interpretations of the Dark Knight, and last year it received its own two-part animated movie adaptation starring Jensen Ackles and Naya Rivera.

Loeb and Sale's work together went beyond comics, too. Loeb was a writer and executive producer on NBC's superhero show Heroes, and Sale created all the art for the show. Drawings featured frequently in Heroes' visual landscape, since one of the characters illustrated his precognitive visions, and Sale's involvement helped give the series a true comic book feel.

Just in time for the Long Halloween movie, Loeb and Sale reunited one last time for an epilogue comic, Batman: The Long Halloween Special. It highlighted two characters who played major roles in the original story (the supervillain Calendar Man and Gilda Dent, the troubled wife of Two-Face) but hadn't been used much by other comics. The Long Halloween Special now serves as the final installment of their fruitful collaboration and a bookend to all the memorable works they created together.

Two-Face reunites with his wife, Gilda Dent, in 'Batman: The Long Halloween Special,' by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale
Two-Face reunites with his wife, Gilda Dent, in 'Batman: The Long Halloween Special,' by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale
| Credit: Tim Sale for DC Comics

The DC Comics Twitter account paid tribute to Sale on Thursday afternoon, writing, "Tim Sale was an incredible artist, whose take on iconic characters had real human depth, and his groundbreaking page designs changed the way an entire generation thinks about comic book storytelling. Our condolences go to Tim's family and friends. He will be deeply missed."

Sadly, Sale is the third great superhero comic artist to die in as many months, following Neal Adams (another important Batman artist who Sale directly cited as an inspiration in his interview with EW last year) and George Pérez.

Related content:

Comments