While Batman has been a pop culture phenomenon since debuting in the pages of 1939’s Detective Comics #27, certain Caped Cruder-centric have been deemed especially iconic over the decades. One of those tales is Batman: The Long Halloween, which was written by Jeph Loeb and illustrated by Tim Sale, and is not just critically beloved, but also served as a source of inspiration for a few Batman movies. Sadly, one-half of that creative team is no longer with us, as Sale has passed away at the age of 66.
Earlier this week, DC Comic Chief Creative Officer/Publisher Jim Lee announced on Twitter that Tim Sale had been admitted to the hospital for “severe health issue,” and now the people behind Sale’s own Twitter account have shared that he has died, saying:
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.June 16, 2022
While Batman: The Long Halloween was one of many collaborations between Tim Sale and Jeph Loeb, it’s arguably the most famous of that group. Published as a 13-issue miniseries from 1996 to 1997, this storyline was was set one year after the events of Batman: Year One, and followed Bruce Wayne trying to track down the serial killer Holiday, and dealing with both Gotham’s organized crime element and the city’s more colorful rogues along the way. Both Christopher Nolan and Matt Reeves have acknowledged that The Long Halloween was a key source of inspiration in The Dark Knight and The Batman, respectively, and the story was directly adapted last year as a two-part animated movie.
Batman: The Long Halloween followed Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale working together on the Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Specials, and they teamed back up after The Long Halloween’s publication to explore Batman’s corner of the DC universe in Batman: Dark Victory, Catwoman: When in Rome and Batman: The Long Halloween Special #1, the latter of which came out last year. Sale and Loeb also worked together on Superman for All Seasons at DC Comics. Sale’s non-Loeb-related at DC included Challengers of the Unknown Must Die! a back-up story JSA: All-Stars #2 and doing cover work for issues of Batman, Batgirl and Detective Comics. DC posted the following tribute to Sale:
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. pic.twitter.com/VgXxu7O0V4June 16, 2022
Over at Marvel Comics, Tim Sale and Jeph Loeb put together the limited series Daredevil: Yellow, Spider-Man: Blue, Hulk: Gray and Captain America: White. Here’s what Marvel had to say about Sale’s passing:
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. We mourn his loss today, and our thoughts are with his family & loved ones. pic.twitter.com/akI1iAGTtfJune 16, 2022
Tim Sale’s notable non-DC and Marvel work included Grendel, Deathblow and Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Tales of the Slayers, as well as putting together artwork for the first season of the NBC series Heroes. We here at CinemaBlend express our condolences to Tim Sale’s family and friends for their loss. With such an impressive resume, it’s safe to say that many comics fans will continue to discover his work in the years ahead.
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