It’s hard to believe, but it’s true — if he were still alive, today would be Jack Cole’s one hundredth birthday! Eeyow! That’s a lot of birthdays!
Tragically, Cole left us when he was still in the prime of his life and at the height of his artistic power. Ever inventive and constantly pushing the boundaries of the comics medium and his own work, Cole managed to bring something new to comic books, the single-panel gag, pin-up art and the daily comic strip. Amazingly, creating an innovative character like Plastic Man was just the beginning for Cole.
Sadly, for reasons we may never know, Cole took his own life at the age of 43. It’s hard not to think what more Cole might have accomplished, what new ground he would have broken, if he had stayed with us longer. But instead, I like to think about what he already gave us, and how much his work continues to give us today.
It’s more than anybody could have asked for, really, and I can’t think of a better legacy to honor. Happy birthday, Jack Cole — times a hundred!