Dave Cooper (born February 7, 1957) is a cartoonist, commercial illustrator and a graphic designer who wrote and illustrated the comic "Stop That Jawa!" from Star Wars Tales 2. He lives in Ottawa, Canada. In addition to comics, Cooper has worked extensively as a designer, producer, and creator in the field of animation.
Cooper became a published cartoonist in his teens, creating sci-fi comics stories for Barry Blair's Aircel Comics. Blair has caused controversy with some comics that have featured young boys being tortured or eroticized, and while Cooper has never said that he was molested by Blair, he told The Comics Journal that their relationship was awkward and "inappropriate" and it served as the inspiration for Cooper's book Dan and Larry in: Don't Do That! The book features a childlike, "duckish" creature named Dan who is mentored by a pushy, older creature named Larry, and at one point Larry holds Dan down and presses against him, saying, "THIS is how we should play sometimes." Despite Larry's disturbing relationship with their son, Dan's parents are cheerfully oblivious. The Dan and Larry graphic novel culminates in a scene wherein Larry dons a leotard that reveals his small, erect genitalia and invites Larry to "touch it if you want to." This leads into a sexual encounter that culminates with what appears to be a cathartic expression, as Larry trips and suffers a gruesome accidental death.
After gradually giving up working for Aircel, Cooper spent a few years in a band before eventually returning to comics. In his 20s he created books such as Puke and Explode and Cynthia Petal's Alien Sex Frenzy, lavishly illustrated stories that featured dark subject matter with incongruous "cute" touches such as letter i's dotted with little circles.
With Suckle, his graphic novel published in 1997, Cooper broke through to a new level of critical acclaim with the story of an innocent, childlike fellow, Basil, who is confronted by strange, sexualized horrors in a futuristic world. It was nominated for the Harvey Award. He followed this up with the even darker book Crumple, about a square-headed little man in a world ultimately overrun by militant feminists, and the multi-issue series Weasel, which featured the ongoing story Ripple, about a frustrated illustrator who enters an obsessive relationship with one of his models. With each book, Cooper's work grew darker in subject matter while more accomplished visually. During this time, Cooper also contributed to Nickelodeon's children's magazine along with other anthologies. He also created a line of deluxe toys with the firm Critterbox Toys.