by BK Munn
Cartoonist Darwyn Cooke (1962-2016) got his start in the Toronto magazine world back in 1984 when he was hired as the art director for Music Express. He did all the design, graphics and even some photography for that magazine, and its sister mag Metallion, until he left to work for one of Canada’s biggest fashion magazines, Flare, in 1988. Looking at these issues of Music Express, you can see how Cooke was applying a retro mid-century design sense to its pages in a style that nevertheless still retains a very hip 1980s feel. The pages from this 1985 issue are crammed with Cooke’s spot illustrations and there is even a house ad done in the form of a comic strip. This is some of Cooke’s earliest published comics, I think, and worth a second look.