Veteran comics artist Paul Ryan passed away this weekend according to his cousin, Chad Callanan.
"I am truly shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Paul Ryan, an impeccable draftsman, a solid visual storyteller, and really, really nice guy," said Larry Hama, who worked with Ryan both at DC and Marvel. "I always knew that a plot I sent him would be drawn with a keen attention to detail, aspects of the story would be improved upon, and my mistakes would be corrected. I will miss him as a valued collaborator, and I mourn him as a friend."
Prior to entering the comic book industry, Ryan graduated from the Massachusetts College of Art with a degree in Graphic Design. After serving several years in the United States National Guard, Ryan left the service to work for over a decade as a designer Boston's Metcalf & Eddy Engineering.
After winning a talent search put on by Charlton Comics, the Massachusetts-born artist made his comic book debut with 1984's Star Masters #1, featuring his story "Breed." After serving as an artist assistant to Bob Layton while he worked on Marvel's Hercules. Less than a year into that however, Ryan began picking up work on his own from Marvel beginning with The Thing #27 and later helping launch Quasar and the New Universe title D.P. 7, which he co-created.
The artist's first major work, however, was illustrating the wedding of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21. After some fill-in work on various Avengers titles, Ryan began arguably his most notable work -- illustrating Fantastic Four from 1991 to 1996. During this time he also collaborated with Stan Lee on the creation of the Marvel 2099 character Ravage.
In 1996, Ryan jumped from Marvel to work at DC -- first on Superman: Man of Tomorrow, and then on The Flash. Ryan also took part in the drawing of Superman: The Wedding Album and Superman Red/Superman Blue.
Later in his career, Ryan returned to work at Marvel intermittently, as well as working for WildStorm and CrossGen.
Outside of comic books, Ryan did significant work in action comic strips. From 1992 to 1995 he drew Stan Lee's Amazing Spider-Man newspaper strip. In 2005, Ryan took over King Features Syndicates' The Phantom strip, which he drew the daily strip until his passing.
Ryan is survived by his wife, Linda Ryan.