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Dwayne McDuffie, animation producer, dies at 49

Wrote comic books for DC, Marvel Comics

TV animation producer Dwayne McDuffie, who wrote comicbooks for Marvel and DC and founded his own publishing company before crossing over to television and animation, died Monday, Feb. 21, of complications after undergoing emergency heart surgery at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank. He was 49.

McDuffie penned straight-to-vid pics “All Star Superman,” which was just released, and “Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths” and was a writer-producer on Cartoon Network series “Justice League,” “Ben 10: Alien Force” and “Ben 10: Ultimate Alien.”

McDuffie wrote comics for the New York-based DC and Marvel, including runs on “Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight,” “The Fantastic Four” and “The Justice League of America.”

In 1992 McDuffie co-founded publishing company Milestone Media, which brings African-American artists and writers together to increase minority representation in American comicbooks. Milestone titles, published via DC Comics, include “Static,” which was turned into the Cartoon Network series “Static Shock,” for which McDuffie wrote 11 episodes.

As recently as last week, McDuffie attended the premieres of the new “All Star Superman” film in Los Angeles and New York, and he was scheduled to appear at an event Wednesday at Golden Apple Comics in Los Angeles. Instead, there would be a remembrance at the launch party that McDuffie was supposed to attend, according to longtime friend film director Reginald Hudlin.

The Detroit native attended the U. of Michigan and received an MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

McDuffie was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for “Static Shock” and for a Writers Guild award for “Justice League,” and he shared a Humanitas Prize for an episode of “Static Shock.”

Tom Brevoort, Marvel’s senior VP for publishing, said McDuffie was a force behind bringing more diversity into comics. “He was very interested in creating a wider range of multiculturalism in comics, having been profoundly affected by the example of the Black Panther when he was growing up, and wanting to give that same opportunity to others of all races, creeds and religions, which is one of the reasons he left Marvel and co-founded Milestone,” Brevoort told AP.

McDuffie is survived by his wife, Charlotte, and his mother, Edna McDuffie-Gardner.

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