Legendary Batman, Superman and X-Men comic artist dies aged 49

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Legendary comic artist John Paul Leon has died at the age of 49.

His death was confirmed by DC Comic Senior Editor Chris Conroy who paid a tribute to the illustrator on social media.

Leon was renowned for his work on titles such as Batman, X-Men, Static, and Superman.

Chris Conroy wrote: "It seems the news is out. Last night we lost John Paul Leon, one of the greatest draftsmen in the history of comics, the kind of artist that EVERY artist revered. Those who loved him had some warning, but not enough."

The cause of death of the artist is not known at this time.

Leon was born in New York City in 1972 and began working in the world of illustration at just 16 years old.

He drew black and white comics for Dragon and Dungeon magazines.

He studied at New York's School of Visual Aarts before landing his first professional job illustrating for Dark Horse's RoboCop miniseries in 1992.

He then began working on the initial Static miniseries the following year for Milestone Comics, according to ComicBook.com.

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He later worked for Marvel where he illustrated on the Earth-X maxiseries as well as The Further Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix.

He recently worked on the Batman: Creature of the Night miniseries, as well as an upcoming Batman and Catwoman special issue set to be released in July, written by Kind and Dave Stewart.

He provided style guides for the DC Universe movies Superman Returns, Green Lantern, Batman Begins, and The Dark Knight.

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Fans and friends of Leon have flocked to social media to pay tribute to the "kind" and "talented" artist.

Tom King, Eisner winner, said: "John Paul Leon was a comic book humanist.

"He grounded the inherent absurdity of conveying myth and story through inked panels by insisting the emotional struggle of our lived experience be in every line, every picture. And he was a joy of a man, kind and funny, to the end. RIP."

Best-selling author Francesco Francavilla wrote: "I couldn't believe it but it seems to be confirmed. We lost a huge talent in the comics industry, @johnpaulleon -, one of those artists' artists. JPL's noir, heavy blacks aesthetics were near&dear to my heart. My heart goes to his family, friends, and fans. We'll miss U, brother."

Bill Rosemann, VP for Marvel Games, said Leon was a "true artist whose ever line revealed his depth, heart and humanity."

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