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Jonny Rench, 1982-2010
posted October 18, 2010


Jonny Rench, best known for his prolific output providing color for a wide variety of books published through the Wildstorm line at DC Comics, has apparently passed away over the weekend due to complications from a heart attack on Saturday. He was 28 years old.

Rench was born in Medford, Oregon, and attended school there, graduating from North Medford High. His father was a pastor at First Church of the Nazarene. While a teenager, he showed a significant proclivity towards art, and was encouraged to pursue a career in art by professors from whom he received supplemental training. He moved onto Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego to further his education, and targeted comics publishing with an extensive portfolio including self-published comics pages.

imageRench launched his career with Wildstorm Productions on books that began to hit the stands in 2006. In the course of his coloring career he worked on such projects as The Programme, Gen13 and Wetworks. An on-line biography says he also provided cover illustration work on such titles as Claw The Unconquered and Friday The 13th, although whether that means illustration or color work is unclear. Fans remember a color artist that worked hard to flatter the pencil artists and ink artists with whom he worked, and who employed a wide spectrum of basic color palettes and effects.

An obituary in the Medford newspaper noted a growing sideline in leather work, that Rench had been in Medford for about two years to be closer to friends and family, and was planning a move to cartoonist-rich Portland.

You can see samples of Rench's work in a blog devoted to showcasing his artistic skills here, a blog that looks like it was left behind in late 2009. A trip to Japan early that same year is documented in photos and diary-style postings here.

On-line bibliographies and indexes say that Rench also worked for Dark Horse, Aspen and Devil's Due on various projects. "He was an incredibly talented artist, and also an amazing, kind, joyful man," the writer of Wildstorm's twitter feed remembered this morning.

Jonny Rench is survived by his parents, two brothers, a sister, and various nieces and nephews. He was remembered in a memorial service on October 20, and was further profiled in the Medford newspaper here.