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With the untimely death of Alan Rickman being announced last week, fans are paying tribute to the late actor in many different ways. Between eulogies from his peers, and fan made tributes at sites relevant to the actor's career, the outpouring of feelings from those that admired the man at his best is still strong. True to that sentiment is the following cartoon that was drawn in tribute to Rickman's career as a villain of distinction in the modern Hollywood canon.
Caroonist Benjamin Schwartz of The New Yorker crafted this tribute to two of Alan Rickman's most iconic roles: Hans Gruber in Die Hard and Professor Severus Snape from the Harry Potter series. Of course, the people that know the villain best are the heroes that fight them, so it makes sense that Detective John McClane and Harry Potter would share a cold beverage in honor of, "the best damned antagonist a guy could ask for." It may not be a title that speaks to the entirety of Rickman's depth and range throughout his career, but it's definitely an honor he's earned in spades.
With Hans Gruber, Alan Rickman presented a villain that was atypical to the 1980's action scene. Well spoken, with a mind like a steel trap and ruthless efficiency, Gruber even fooled John McClane into thinking he was an innocent bystander upon their first meeting, only to go on and terrorize him even more through the rest of the film. Up until the very end of Die Hard, Hans always had a move up his sleeve; and if he hadn't gotten cocky, he might have stood a chance. Severus Snape was of the same caliber of villain, with his command over his students via the forces of knowledge and intimidation. But in Snape, Rickman found a way to reconcile his villainous past with his more heroic side, as the Potions professor turned out to be a force for good in the world - all in the name of unrequited love.
Interestingly enough, Benjamin Schwartz followed up the release of the comic with a sketch of the concept in its original form, which highlighted Alan Rickman's heroic presence a little more. As you'll see in the original draft below, Schwartz wanted to include a special someone from the cast of Galaxy Quest, except he had reservations that he voices in the post below:
The passing of Alan Rickman is still fresh in everyone' s minds, as a career of such legendary status doesn't merely fade from memory. Over time, our sorrow will turn to fond remembrance of a man who made us love and hate him, sometimes both feelings simultaneously, on the silver screen. Harry and John may be the ones raising their glasses, but everyone else in the audience is just as in on the honors as they are.