UPDATE: Per Bleeding Cool, Michael Davis is not dead. Early Monday morning, the writer/artist's Facebook account was hacked, and the party responsible posed as a family member and posted an obituary.
Upon waking to reports of his death circulating online, Davis called Rich Johnston to confirm that he is still alive, and that the report that he had killed himself on his birthday was false. Davis not only spoke with John stone at length, he provided proof that his social media accounts have been targeted by an unknown person or persons.
Michael Davis, one of the co-founders of the historic Milestone Media, passed away early Monday morning.
The acclaimed writer and artist had been a tremendous part of the comic book industry for the past three decades, especially due to his mentorship of younger creators.
Davis' family shared the tragic news on Davis' Facebook page...
Davis began writing an advice column for the Comic Buyer's Guide in the late 1980s. It was a heartfelt and often hilarious (but always on point) column. His Bad Boy Studios (which was around for a number of years before Sean Combs founded his record company of the same name) helped mentor younger creators. In 1989, Davis was hired to draw the series Etc. for DC's Paradox Press...
He also worked on some other DC comics of the era, like Wasteland #17 with writer John Ostrander...
Clearly, the part of his comic book career that Davis will be best remembered for is when he co-founded Milestone Media in 1992 alongside Dwayne McDuffie, Denys Cowan, Michael Davis, and Derek T. Dingle.
Milestone's line of comics launched in 1993 (published through a deal with DC). Davis, along with the other founders, helped create their initial group of characters, like Icon, Hardware and the Blood Syndicate along with the "Dakotaverse" that the Milestone stories were all set in.
Static, of course, went on to become an iconic superhero due to his cartoon series that launched a few years after the Milestone line of comics ceased publication.
Davis, by that point, had parted ways with Milestone Media and had launched the Motown Machine Works imprint at Image Comics, beginning with The Crush #1 in 1996...
Robert Kirkman's Secret History of Comics devoted an entire episode to Milestone last year.
Davis served as president/CEO of Motown Animation & Filmworks for a number of years. He was also president of animation for Magic Johnson Entertainment. He also continued to reach a new audience with columns at both ComicMix and Bleeding Cool. His columns were just as sharp today as they were back when he started at Comic Buyer's Guide. He wrote often about his struggles with depression.
We have lost one of the great voices in the comics industry these past three decades and such an outstanding force for good. Our condolences to his family and friends.
Please click here for the Suicide Prevention Lifeline if you are considering harm or suicide.