Comic book colorist Justin Ponsor died on Saturday, May 18, 2019, following a long battle with cancer. His Facebook page stated, “Justin passed away in his home early on the morning of May 18th surrounded by loved ones. It has been a time of mourning, reminiscing, and, above all else, celebration. Because. C’mon. This guy.”
Ponsor was born in San Diego, California on April 20, 1977. He began working with Tsunami FX in February 1996, and moved to WildStorm’s FX later that year. He worked for Haberlin Studios from 1999 to 2001, and then at CrossGen until it went bankrupt in 2004. After that, he signed up with Marvel, where he worked exclusively until his death.
He colored many high-profile series, including “Ultimate Spider-Man,” “Young Avengers,” “Marvel Zombies 3,” Brian Michael Bendis and Billy Tan’s “New Avengers” run, “Secret Warriors,” Matt Fraction and Greg Land’s “Uncanny X-Men,” “Death of Wolverine,” and Jason Aaron’s “Avengers.” Ponsor was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2017, which continued to spread throughout his body – you can read his humorous and heavily illustrated recollections of his medical struggles at his “Blarg,” which show how he would continue working hard for Marvel even while bedridden in hospital.
Marvel released a statement, which reads: “Justin Ponsor was one of the most brilliant colorists in the comic book industry, elevating every story he worked on to new heights with his heart, humor, and passion for art. He touched the lives of countless comic book writers, artists, industry professionals, and fans, and his inspirational talent will never be forgotten. The Marvel family has lost one of our own. Our hearts are with his family and loved ones.” Bendis, Jason Aaron, Dan Slott, David Marquez, and Mark Morales are among those who have also paid tribute.