The action figure, collectible and toy industry lost one of its brightest, as noted prototype painter Eddie Wires died suddenly earlier this week. Known for his work across the industry and for his integral role when it came to the prototypes of our own DC DIRECT product – including the BRIGHTEST DAY figures you see above -- it’s with a heavy heart that we present this news. I never had the chance to meet Eddie, but from what I’ve heard about him from a number of colleagues and friends in and outside the DC offices, I know he will be sorely missed. We’ve gathered some fond remembrances from the DC DIRECT team below and send our deepest condolences to the Wires family. Georg Brewer, VP DC DIRECT Creative: The toy industry lost one of its most talented and prolific artists today, Ed Wires. Eddie called himself a toy prototype painter, but his skill with the brush and ability to enhance a sculpture through his interpretive colors and finishes demonstrated the highest level of craft and art. In this industry for over ten years, Eddie literally painted thousands of action figures and statues, working for nearly every toy company. Eddie was DC Directs' ‘go-to guy’ and he painted a large part of our line, pushing the quality of the final product to greater heights. Beyond the work, he was a truly wonderful person, who showed his deep affection for his family and friends every day. Some of you may not recognize his name, but his work and influence is present in every toy collection, which in itself is the best most lasting tribute. I was fortunate to have him as a collaborator and a friend. Jim Fletcher, Design Director, DC DIRECT: Ed was always on my checklist of people to call and projects to take care of. Yesterday when I heard the tragic news, I realized I hadn’t called him back yet; I hadn’t been too worried since he always came through. I just stared at his name, speechless, and that’s when it really hit me that he was gone. Then the phone started ringing, one shocked caller after the next. I thought about all the contributions and friends he had made in this industry. I finally got up to look around our offices at all the great work he had done on our products. One of the pieces I’ll always remember collaborating on with him is the Batman versus Killer Croc battle statue. Ed’s paints were a big part of the statue’s success. During one of our calls (after putting him through the wringer with revisions) he said, “Dude! No worries, I want this to be the best it can be!” It’s that same level of commitment to his family, friends, and work that made me honored to know him. Thanks for everything, Eddie. Shawn Knapp, Product Design Engineer, DC DIRECT: I honestly I can't remember the date, day or time I first met Eddie, it just seemed liked he was that friend that had always been part of your life, no beginning, no end. Eddie was always the one who would call you out of the blue just to see how you were, no agenda, just genuine concern and friendship. He was the one who would remind you that this stuff we were working on was the fun stuff…and what we were doing mattered. To say he was passionate about what he did, who he cared for and his interests would be a true understatement. Our countless conversations about his admittedly almost irrational love for zombie movies and his love for comics paled in comparison to how he spoke of his wife and friends whom there was nothing more important. Eddie was a talent, a gentleman in every sense of the word and more importantly a friend. The world has lost some of its color much like the ones he so skillfully and lovingly placed on each piece he ever touched. You will be missed my friend. Bryon Webster, Art Director, DC DIRECT: Many, many years ago there was a change in the toy collector market. An evolution of the figurine. No longer were they the simplistic symmetrical shapes with basic articulation and standard paint-by-numbers coloring jobs. These were the ones laying on a child's floor or hidden in a toy chest. But they were becoming action figures; something to display on your desk or shelf. A piece you show off at your house as a display to all that might visit. Self-taught with the love of creativity, Wires was at the forefront of this evolution. Ed's contribution over the last decade helped revolutionize the way an action figure could look and how people looked at them. Whether you know it or not, his influence with sculptural painting can be seen all over this industry and he has inspired and excited a generation of collectors and insiders alike with what he has done. Ed Wires made painting action figures and statues a true art form. His talents will be deeply missed but his legacy as one of the greats will be around for a very, very long time. John Santagada, Associate Art Director, DC DIRECT: Whether having known him for 10 minutes or 10 years, Eddie managed to leave a lasting impression on everyone he met. He truly had a genuine, caring soul and had an absolute heart of gold, always putting others before himself. The news of his passing still sounds so surreal. I sit expecting his calls with work updates, “Right on brutha! I will have it wrapped up in no time!” and all the discussions on how underappreciated the Italian zombie movie genre REALLY is or about our recent dvd purchasing binges online. His talent at his trade will never be matched, and the impact he left is the stuff of legend. His skill was amazing, you were wowed every time a project was completed! I still remember getting into the toy industry, still with the fanboy mindset of an outsider finally getting a chance to look in. Ed was this myth, this powerhouse, that was such an important part of the industry. Eddie was a great friend and he will be missed by many, many people. The loss pains the heart but there is some solace in knowing that he is still with us in a small way, in the memories left or from his immense body of work. Ed was family and will always be loved and remembered with the most heartfelt of thoughts. In his own special way he was as much a superhero as the ones he painted for a living and loved. We’re gonna miss you, buddy!