Tim Sale, acclaimed artist of Batman: The Long Halloween, dies at 66

Artist Tim Sale has died at the age of 66 of unnamed causes, according to a June 16 post on Sale’s official Twitter account (opens in new tab). A previous post (opens in new tab), dated June 13, stated Sale had been hospitalized, but did not disclose the circumstances of his illness and requested privacy from further inquiries.

Batman: The Long Halloween Special #1 cover

(Image credit: DC)

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“It’s with a heavy sadness that I must announce that Tim Sale passed away today. He passed with the love of his life beside him, and loves all of you very much,” reads the post.

Sale began his career in independent comics in the early ’80s, rising to mainstream industry prominence in the mid-’90s thanks to his collaborations with writer Jeph Loeb.

The first of Loeb and Sale’s collaborations, Batman: The Long Halloween, instantly cemented Sale’s reputation as one of the most distinctive and beloved Batman artists of all time. The Long Halloween remains a seminal and influential Batman story, with elements of the tale adapted into films such as The Dark Knight and The Batman, and Sale’s reputation with the Caped Crusader only growing thanks to a sequel titled Batman: Dark Victory.

Loeb and Sale’s partnership extended well beyond Batman, with Superman for All Seasons at DC, and a whole series of color-themed titles including Hulk: Grey, Spider-Man: Blue, Daredevil: Yellow, and Captain America: White at Marvel, establishing Sale as a unique, fan-favorite artist with an idiosyncratic but iconic take on classic superhero characters.

In October 2021, DC published a new Batman: The Long Halloween story, with potential plans for more Batman tales to come.

“After spending almost the last 10 years apart, since we did Captain America: White, reconnecting with Jeph both in the work and talking every day as friends, rekindling that, finding that friendship and creative partnership again, it’s just been glorious,” Sale told Newsarama at the time. “That’s the single best part that came out of doing a new Long Halloween story, is that our friendship is now stronger in many ways than it’s ever been.”

The message posted to Sale’s Twitter account requests that fans share photos, stories, and art to celebrate the artist’s life.

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