One of DC comics' rising stars Robson Rocha has died following a battle with Covid19 at the age of just 41. News of the artist's death circulated on social media Sunday afternoon, just a week after a friend made a public plea for blood donors to allow Rocha to be given a critical transfusion, which came after several weeks in intensive care. The comic artist worked on "New 52" era DC titles such as Birds of Prey, Batman/Superman and Kelly Sue deConnick's Aquaman run among others. This year one of his final pieces was in "Future State: Justice League" #1-2.
Rocha made his breakthrough into DC in 2010 and signed an exclusive contract with DC at the start of the "Rebirth" era, which led to his work on Aquaman and Green Lanterns. When he signed his contract, Rocha said, "I've been a fan of comic books since I was a child. To have the opportunity to work with the DC characters I admire and love so much is a dream come true. These heroes have helped me believe in a better and much more fantastic world. I hope that my contributions to these characters will help to inspire others."
The news of his passing was tweeted by fellow comics artist Yildiray Cinar, who offered his condolences to Rocha's family, saying, "So sorry to learn that Robson Rocha left us today. RIP Robson. So young and early...my condolences to his family, his loved ones and all his fans..." With the message, Cinar posted a piece of Lineart from Rocha's Aquaman work.
More tributes followed, including one from DC Publisher Jim Lee who said, "He always impressed me with the amazing energy and fluidity of his figurework, the grace of his lines and the power of his compositions. My condolences first and foremost to his widowed wife and daughter, his many peers who admired and respected his talent, and the countless fans around the world who loved and cherished his art."
Many more followed with associate editor Andrea Shea adding, "Robson Rocha was a brilliant artist, a kind man, and a loving husband and father. He was so incredibly loved and will be deeply missed." Kelly Sue DeConnick, who worked on the Aquaman series that Rocha sketched, said "I'm still processing all this, I guess, so I don't have much to say. Trying to figure out what to do, how best to support his family."
Jessica Chen, comic editor shared, "Robson Rocha had the incredible talent of using his art to express ideas that were trapped between script & words. We both loved horror & snuck that in our projects. My heart is broken & still refuses to believe he is gone now. Comics has lost a great artist & even better friend."
As many countries attempt to get back to normal, it is a terrible reminder that the pandemic is still very much alive and as dangerous as ever to many. While a large number of the population in many countries are now vaccinated against the virus, there are still many falling ill with numerous variants. Our thoughts are with Rocha's family and friends at this time.