Colorist Tom Luth, best known for his work on Sergio Aragonés’ Groo, has died at the age of 70.  According to Groo collaborator Mark Evanier, who posted the news at his blog News From ME, cartoonist Phil Yeh and his wife Linda went to check on Luth at his home on May 23 and found him dead of an apparent heart attack.

Luth studied illustration at California State University, Long Beach, and began working in comics in the 1980s.  He noted in a 2009 Facebook post that the first time he colored Aragonés’ work was for the cover of an issue of Uncle Jam, a free paper published by Yeh, in 1982.  He began coloring Groo the Wanderer with a backup story in issue #4, in 1983, when it was being published by Pacific Comics.  Gordon Kent was the colorist for the first three issues, as well as the main story in issue #4, and Luth took over as the colorist for the entire comic with issue #5.  He stayed with the series for almost 40 years, as it moved to Marvel (as part of the Epic line) from 1985 to 1994, then to Image, and finally to Dark Horse Comics, where his work included the Groo/Conan crossover (see “Conan Meets Groo”).  He also was a frequent colorist for Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo, including the first arc of the series when it moved to IDW Publishing in 2019 (see “Stan Sakai’s ‘Usagi Yojimbo’ Hops Over to IDW”).

Luth’s other cover and interior work included several issues of Mike Baron’s Nexus and The Badger, a number of Disney comics, MAD Magazine, and the minicomics that were included with Masters of the Universe toys; he also did cover work for Fantagraphics Books on titles that ranged from Love and Rockets to King Kong.

Although he retired from comics a few years ago, Luth returned to color Aragonés and Evanier’s Groo story for the Comics for Ukraine benefit anthology (see “Creators Band Together for ‘Comics for Ukraine: Sunflower Seeds’”), which has been nominated for a 2024 Eisner Award. According to Evanier, his final work with Aragonés was the cover of the collected edition of their miniseries Space Circus, which will be published later in 2024.