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Iconic 'Batman' comic artist Tim Sale dies at 66, fans call loss a 'punch in the gut'

The death of iconic DC comics creator Tim Sale has gotten fans really emotional who have called it a huge loss
UPDATED JUN 17, 2022
Tim Sale (DC Comics) and cover of 'The Batman: The Long Halloween Special'(Sale_Tim/Instagram)
Tim Sale (DC Comics) and cover of 'The Batman: The Long Halloween Special'(Sale_Tim/Instagram)

This is going to be a tear-jerker moment for countless people who’ve grown up reading DC Comics. The iconic and prolific comic book artist Tim Sales who has been the brains behind the globally loved cult DC Universe comics like ‘Batman: The Long Halloween’ and ‘Superman for All Seasons’, died on Thursday, June 16. This sad news has been confirmed officially by DC comics. Sale was 66 years old. He “passed with the love of his life beside him."

In this official statement on Twitter, Jim Lee who is a DC Comics publisher and chief creative officer at DC Comics said, “The entire DC family is heartbroken at the news of Tim’s passing. Tim was an extraordinary artist, who was masterful at storytelling and panel layouts and his compositions were second to none. I was always so impressed and inspired by his use of lighting and shadows which infused his work with foreboding gravitas and dramatic noir sensibilities”. Earlier in May, iconic comic book artist George Perez died aged 67. Perez was best known for his work on DC and Marvel. Although he was primarily known as an artist, Perez wrote several comics too, including a legendary run on 'Wonder Woman'. 



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As soon as this saddening news of Tim Sale’s death got announced by DC comics, fans became really emotional and started pouring their hearts out in tweets.

"I’m broken up and upset. Tim Sale was legendary. No one like him. No one will ever fill his shoes. Rest in power OG. You’ll be missed," wrote a fan. "Another punch in the gut from the comic gods!! This man was one of the greats…The way this year has gone God must’ve wanted to do a comic book in heaven," a fan wrote. "This one hurts. SUPERMAN FOR ALL SEASONS means a lot to me and I love Sale’s Clark Kent/Superman so much," noted a fan. "Tim Sale was every bit as legendary as you'll hear today. Spider-Man Blue helped me reconcile with a very difficult summer a few years ago. There are panels of his that are permanently embedded in my mind. I'll always be grateful for his art. Terrible loss," a fan mentioned. "One of my favourite artists. Created one of the best images of Batman's rogue gallery ever," added another fan. "F**k this hurts so bad. I had the insurmountable pleasure of speaking with Tim at almost every ECCC. His soul mate, Susan, is one of my favorite people on earth. This loss is so great I can’t even comprehend," added another fan. "The comic industry has had way too many big losses this year," another fan added.








A look at Tim Sale's life and career

A nuanced and stellar superhero artist, Sale worked for both DC and Marvel Comics. Sale’s work and art was globally loved by fans for their uniqueness. They were clean yet detailed compositions clubbed with his heavy use of color to convey mood and tone. Sale mostly collaborated with comics writer Jeph Loeb, with whom he worked on stories that successfully captured most famous superheroes of all time, including Superman, Batman, Spider-Man and Captain America. The Eisner Award-winning was with his partner Susan Bailey when he died. 

Last week, Lee had announced that Sale was not well, writing on Twitter, “I regret to share the very sad news that the legendary artist Tim Sale has been admitted to the hospital with severe health issues.” Bailey had then tweeted that she’d be “reading your replies to him to brighten his day. He’s in good spirits, despite everything.”


Sale and Loeb got global wide recognition and fame in the comic book industry for a series of Halloween special issues they created for the Batman anthology series titled ‘Legends of the Dark Knight’, throughout the early ’90s. The one-offs proved to become most popular and prominent. This duo then again re-teamed for ‘Batman: The Long Halloween’, which was a 13-issue limited series published from 1996 to 1997. The comic follows Batman during the early days of his career, as he works to solve the mystery of a serial killer named Holiday, with each issue finding him battling a new foe during notable holidays like Christmas or Valentine’s Day.

Marvel Entertainment also mentioned the Color books in its tribute to Sale: “Tim Sale was a legendary artist who created comic book masterpieces across and beyond the industry. At Marvel, his Color series became stunning classics and remain just a glimpse at his acclaimed legacy.”