Tim Sale
Sale at the 2011 New York Comic Con
Born(1956-05-01)May 1, 1956
Ithaca, New York, U.S.
DiedJune 16, 2022(2022-06-16) (aged 66)
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Area(s)Penciller, Inker
Notable works
Batman: The Long Halloween
Batman: Dark Victory
Superman For All Seasons
AwardsEisner Award "Best Artist/Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team", 1999

Timothy Roger Sale (May 1, 1956 – June 16, 2022) was an American comics artist, "best known for his work on the DC Comics characters Batman and Superman and for influencing depictions of Batman in numerous films."[1] He is primarily known for his collaborations with writer Jeph Loeb, which included both comics work and artwork for the TV series Heroes. Sale's renditions of Batman influenced modern cinematic depictions of the character, with film directors and actors directly citing Sale's work.

Early life

Tim Sale was born on May 1, 1956,[2] in Ithaca, New York, the son of Dorothy Young,[1][3] a feminist political activist,[1] and Roger Sale, a literary critic.[3]

He spent most of his early life in Seattle, Washington, having moved there with his family at age six.[4] He attended the University of Washington for two years before moving to New York City to attend the School of Visual Arts, as well as the comics workshop run by artist John Buscema. Mr. Sale completed the "John Buscema Art School, which was advertised in the pages of Marvel Comics and held in a New York City hotel for a short time in the 1970s."[1]

He returned to Seattle before graduating from SVA.[5]


Sale sketching

Sale began doing art for the series MythAdventures in 1983, and was soon working on Thieves' World.[6]

The body of Sale's comics work has been with collaborator Jeph Loeb.[7] The duo, credited in their comics as 'storytellers', produced popular work such as the "Year 1"-centered Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Specials,[8] Batman: The Long Halloween,[9] Batman: Dark Victory,[10] as well as Superman for All Seasons[11] and Catwoman: When in Rome.[12] At Marvel Comics, the team has produced the so-called "color" books such as Daredevil: Yellow,[13] Spider-Man: Blue,[14] and Hulk: Gray.[15] A Captain America: White limited series was announced in 2008 but only a #0 issue was published. The long-delayed project finally saw print in September 2015.[16]

With Darwyn Cooke, Sale launched the Superman Confidential series in 2007.[17]

Sale worked on artwork for the television program Heroes, where his frequent collaborator Jeph Loeb served as a writer and producer. Sale's artwork appeared in the show as the work of the precognitive artist Isaac Mendez as well as other artists on the show. Eric Powell was hired as the colorist for Sale's work. Sale also created the font used in the show's captions and credits, which he based on his handwriting.[18][19]

In 2021, The Long Halloween was adapted for a two-part animated film from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.[1]


Sale won an Eisner Award in 1999 in the "Best Artist/Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team" category.[20]

Personal life and death

Sale lived in the Seattle metropolitan area. On June 13, 2022, Jim Lee announced Sale had been admitted to the hospital with severe health issues. Representatives of Sale later confirmed he was in the hospital while asking for privacy.[21] Three days later, Sale died on June 16, from kidney failure.[1][22][23] "He is survived by his mother; his sister, Maggie Sale; and his partner, Susan Bailey."[1]


DC Comics publisher Jim Lee praised Sale, saying, "Tim Sale was an amazing artist, draftsman and storyteller. Beyond the taut chiaroscuro style which became his trademark. Tim clearly put a premium on storytelling, clarity and pacing — cherishing emotion above all. His stories were beautifully visceral, nuanced and evinced deep humanity. Tim simply had no use for surface banality."[1]

Filmmakers Christopher Nolan and Matt Reeves, both of whom directed Batman films, have cited Batman: The Long Halloween and its sequel, Batman: Dark Victory, as an influence on those films. In an interview with the website World of Batman, Christian Bale, who played the character, characterized the "really fantastic imagery" with which Sale rendered those works. Commenting on Sale's figurework, Bale stated, "I would kind of imitate those positions."[1]


Selected works

Sale at Golden Age Collectables, Seattle, Washington
With Jeph Loeb

Short stories

Cover work


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Gustines, George Gene (June 18, 2022). "Tim Sale, Comic Book Artist Who Reimagined Batman, Dies at 66". The New York Times. Archived from the original on June 17, 2022. Retrieved June 21, 2022.
  2. ^ Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Iola, Wisconsin. Archived from the original on February 18, 2011.
  3. ^ a b Jimenez, Jenny (September 24, 2012). "Plus Will Wheaton, Lois Lane, and Hellboy at the Washington State Convention". Seattle Weekly. Archived from the original on April 7, 2022. Retrieved April 7, 2022.
  4. ^ "NBC & Heroes Team Up To Be Real-Life Heroes". Comic Book Resources. March 8, 2007. Archived from the original on August 25, 2012.
  5. ^ "Tim Sale Bio". TimSale1.com. 2009. Archived from the original on May 31, 2016. Retrieved July 27, 2012.
  6. ^ "Tim Sale". Lambiek Comiclopedia. 2012. Archived from the original on May 5, 2012. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
  7. ^ "Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale collaborations". Grand Comics Database. n.d.
  8. ^ Manning, Matthew K. (2010). "1990s". In Dolan, Hannah (ed.). DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, England: Dorling Kindersley. p. 261. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. Editor Archie Goodwin was on to something when he paired Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale on the first holiday special of the popular Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight series.
  9. ^ Manning "1990s" in Dolan, p. 275: "The acclaimed team of writer Jeph Loeb and artist Tim Sale reunited to chronicle a dark year of the Dark Knight's past with Batman: The Long Halloween, a thirteen-part limited series."
  10. ^ Manning "1990s" in Dolan, p. 289: "The superstar team of writer Jeph Loeb and artist Tim Sale was back, and just as dark as ever. In this thirteen-issue [sic] sequel to the pair's acclaimed Batman: The Long Halloween maxiseries, the creative team picked up right where they left off during Batman's early years."
  11. ^ Manning "1990s" in Dolan, p. 284: "This four-issue prestige-format series was a bright counterpoint to Loeb and Sale's noir Batman collaborations."
  12. ^ Cowsill, Alan "2000s" in Dolan, p. 315: "Writer Jeph Loeb and artist Tim Sale returned to the Batman universe for a six-issue murder mystery starring Catwoman."
  13. ^ Manning "2000s" in Gilbert (2008) p. 306: "The creative team of writer Jeph Loeb and artist Tim Sale...examined the early life of some of Marvel's iconic characters. First they tackled Daredevil in this six-issue miniseries."
  14. ^ Manning "2000s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 312: "Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale reunited for their second examination of the origins of Marvel's icons with this six-issue miniseries."
  15. ^ Manning "2000s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 317: "The team of writer Jeph Loeb and artist Tim Sale united once again for this six-issue miniseries retelling the Hulk's origin."
  16. ^ Ching, Albert (June 12, 2015). "Loeb & Sale's Long-Delayed Captain America: White Scheduled for September". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on July 25, 2015. Originally announced in 2008, Captain America: White is now officially on its way to readers. Marvel.com announced Friday that issues #1 and #2 of the long-awaited Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale collaboration are scheduled for release this September...A #0 issue came out later in 2008 and will be reprinted inside of September's issue #1, but the rest of the series has yet to be released.
  17. ^ Cowsill "2000s" in Dolan, p. 328: "Writer Darwyn Cooke and artist Tim Sale began [the series] with 'Kryptonite', a six-part tale of Superman's first contact with the energy-sapping green element."
  18. ^ George, Richard (October 26, 2010). "Loeb Talks Heroes". IGN. Archived from the original on November 30, 2013.
  19. ^ Manning, Shaun (November 19, 2007). "Tim Sale Meets with Fans at Big Apple Con". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on November 10, 2012.
  20. ^ "1999 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominees Winners". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. n.d. Archived from the original on June 1, 2016.
  21. ^ Burlingame, Russ (June 13, 2022). "Batman: The Long Halloween Artist Tim Sale Admitted to Hospital". ComicBook.com. Retrieved June 16, 2022.
  22. ^ Burlingame, Russ (June 16, 2022). "Tim Sale, Eisner Winning Comics Artist, Dead at 66". ComicBook.com. Retrieved June 16, 2022.
  23. ^ Tapp, Tom (June 16, 2022). "Tim Sale Dies: Legendary Batman Comic Book Artist Was 66". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 17, 2022.