Comic book writer Rachel Pollack has passed away at the age of 77 years old. Her wife, Judith Zoe Mateen, shared the news on Friday via her own personal Facebook. Pollack’s passing comes after she was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in July 2022, and moved to hospice care this past March.
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“Our beloved Rachel Pollack passed so peacefully and beautifully today at about 12:45 p.m. after a touching ceremony called Hand to Heart,” wrote Mateen. “I know that Rachel will continue to be a Light in this world and in the next. She will continue to inspire so many of our beloved Tarot community, the Science Fiction and Fantasy community, the Comics community, and the Transgender community for whom she shared so much respect and care.”
Born August 17, 1945, Pollack is perhaps best known as a writer for DC Comics’ Doom Patrol from 1993-1995. During that tenure, she created the character Coagula, who was notably the first openly trans superheroes in mainstream comics. For her writing in that time, Pollack drew on her experience with Tarot, which she taught for nearly 40 years and later consulted with Neil Gaiman on for some of his stories. The two of them, along with artist Dave McKean, created the Vertigo Tarot Deck, and Pollack wrote an accompanying book.
In addition to comics, Pollack was also a writer of several books (both fiction and non-fiction), essays, anthologies, and short fiction. She won the 1989 Arthur C. Clarke award for her novel Unquenchable Fire, and Best Novel at the 1997 World Fantasy Awards for Godmother Night. And in addition to all of that, she taught throughout her life. She taught Tarot at the Omega Institute with Mary K. Greer; creative writing at Goddard College, to name a few places.
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“She was my friend for 38 years, and I will miss her,” wrote Gaiman on Twitter. “Sending love to Rachel Pollack wherever her journey takes her.”
“We have felt and cherished your love and prayers over the past months and years as Rachel experienced so many health challenges,” concluded Mateen’s post. “We are One.”
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