Dave Stevens 1955-2008

ahps07nr4 Dave Stevens 1955 2008
I’ve just received word that Dave Stevens, the creator of the Rocketeer, died yesterday at age 52. Stevens had dropped out of sight for the most part in recent years and had been battling leukemia, a fact which he kept as private as possible.

Stevens was known for his meticulous artwork, reminiscent of the greatest illustrators of the past and the whiz bang pulpishness of the 30s and 40s. He was, of course, also obsessed with model Bettie Page. These came together in The Rocketeer, which was published by Eclipse, Pacific, Comico and Dark Horse in its various incarnations. In 1991 it was turned into a Disney film starring Billy Campbell and a young Jennifer Connelly. The film underperformed at the time but has become very fondly remembered.

Rocketeer Adventure Magazine 1 Dave Stevens 1955 2008

In recent years “What ever happened to Dave Stevens?” became a frequent message board topic. He had always been a notoriously slow artist, and in recent years lived off of commissions for the pin-up art he excelled at.

Dave was the last artist of an innocent era when showing less and teasing more was the way to eroticism. He was much more than that, of course. His artwork burst with the heroic innocence and determination of an America that existed fully only on the printed page and the movie screen. Even when drawing some bondage or spanking scene, his art was human, lively, caring.

Like the man. I have so many memories of Dave. Cat Yronwode once told me that Dave was unique among cartoonists because he wore clothes that fit him, which sounds like a sorry compliment, but Dave did stand out among the cartoonists of that time for paying a lot of attention to his appearance — Cliff Secord, the hero of the Rocketeer, was obviously based visually on Dave. It didn’t come off as vanity, but wanting to give an appearance that went with the art. It was part of his esthetic. Once he gave me a ride to a Golden Apple party in what I called “Old Betsy” his beloved vintage Ford. (I had no car when I first moved to LA and was always dependent on the kindness of friends.) Arriving in such a vehicle with a dashing, handsome man like Dave was the kind of thing that a girl writes about in her diary that night.

 Dave Stevens 1955 2008

The above picture was taken at 2002’s Comic-Con. As usual Dave was surrounded by artwork and beautiful women, his twin passions. Dave was always a gentleman, kind, respectful, insightful, with a love of art and beauty that truly was, more than almost any artist I can think of, his entire life.

I’m really, really going to miss him.

UPDATE: Mark Evanier has a wonderful remembrance here.

Dave was truly one of the nicest people I have ever met in my life…and the most gifted. Our first encounter was at Jack Kirby’s house around 1971 when he came to visit and show Jack some of his work. As I said, Kirby was very encouraging and he urged Dave not to try and draw like anyone else but to follow his own passions. This was advice Dave took to heart, which probably explains why he took so long with every drawing. They were rarely just jobs to Dave. Most of the time, what emerged from his drawing board or easel was a deeply personal effort. He was truly in love with every beautiful woman he drew, at least insofar as the paper versions were concerned.

Comments

  1. Damn. Just…damn.

  2. Chris Rice says:

    Wow. I wouldn’t say that Dave and I were friends, but I met him many many times at Golden Apple, whether at events or just hanging out with Bill and Sharon. Sweet, sweet guy. That’s a crying shame.

    chris

  3. Sad, terrible news. A great talent.

  4. The original Rocketeer graphic novel is still one of my favorite reads. I met Dave Stevens at the Dallas Comic Con. He was just a great guy.

  5. We all wanted to draw like Dave.

  6. Jim Moore says:

    Damn. One of my favorite of all time creators. Time to pull out and reread Cliff’s adventures.

  7. Oh, holy effing shit. I didn’t even know. Dave and I corresponded for years, and he would frequently drop off the radar, so I figured this was just another one of those times.

    And it is, innit?

  8. This is VERY sad news. His work was influenced by the greats and in return it has influenced so many others. What a talent!!!

  9. Larkin says:

    What incredibly sad news. I remember meeting him at (I think) a Fangoria con at Fairleigh Dickinson Univ in Teaneck, NJ during the 90s. After walking around I noticed a small table with a bunch of Rocketeer stuff. As I got to the table and read the name tag on the person standing behind it you could’ve knocked me over with a feather. Yep, it was Dave Stevens. My friend and I had a nice conversation with him for a while. I remember him being an extremely very nice person and he answered all of our questions (and I’m sure there were a lot). I bought a copy of the Rocketeer album before I left, which he signed and added a nice head shot of the Rocketeer. One of the nicest experiences I’ve had a convention. Rest in Peace.

  10. Dave is a huge part of the tapestry that makes up my comic book/comic con memories…. he will be sorely missed.

  11. Very sorry to hear of Dave passing away. I never met him, but really liked his work.

  12. Dan W. Taylor says:

    The artists he inspired will continue to be his legacy for generations. Rest well, Dave, and thank you.

  13. Joe B says:

    First, a close friend of the family dies over the weekend, and now this.

  14. Another great talent taken away too soon. He still had so much to offer. Hope you’re happy in the next life, Mr. Stevens.

  15. Steve Taylor says:

    Truly the worst news.
    The guy had a profound impact on comics and the culture.
    Is it nit picking to point out that the single image of the Rocketeer used to illustrate this post is not by Dave.
    (I’m thinking it looks like Neal Adams.)
    With all the amazing images this guy produced, I,… for one,…would love to see some more.

  16. He was one of my absolute favorite artists.

    My high school art teacher had him as a student years before teaching me. During my studies it was as source of constant comparison and motivation, “Well, when I had Dave Stevens, he’d work twice as hard…” etc.

    In some way or another, I’ve spent most of my life trying to follow in his footsteps.

    He was a source of inspiration for me,
    and always will be.

  17. Lin Workman says:

    Really hate to hear this news. I met Dave in 2005 at the San Diego Comicon. I told him my favorite part of the Rocketeer movie was when we first see the Gee-Bee on screen for the first time and he said, “Mine, too!”

    Thanks, Dave.

  18. Steve Taylor says:

    I see you’ve changed the image.
    That was fast.
    Bravo.
    I loved that guy.

  19. The Work of Dave Stevens inspired many folks in and out of the comic business. I loved his slick inking and beautiful, delicate colouring. Anyone wanting to learn how to draw beautiful women need look no further than his work.
    What a talented guy!!!
    God Speed Dave…

  20. Ed Draganski says:

    Terrible news. I’ve been fortunate to meet Dave Stevens at some of the Comic Cons and Fantasy Fairs over the years. A true giant in the industry that we’ll not see the likes of again.

  21. Ed Draganski says:

    Terrible news. I’ve been fortunate to meet Dave Stevens at some of the Comic Cons and Fantasy Fairs over the years. A true giant in the industry that we’ll not see the likes of again.

  22. He would always laugh when I referred to him as the most handsome man in comics. And so he was.

    Goodbye, my friend. I’ll cherish the time you afforded me, back in the day.

  23. I had the honor of knowing Dave over the years. He appeared in my documentary on one of his heroes Robert McGinnis. Dave was a great artist and creator and was very giving in his advice as I was creating the documentary. Rest well my friend with Cliff and all the gang at the Bulldog cafe, you will be missed.
    Paul Jilbert

  24. I’m just shocked. Only 52! The images he created were such that, though he was relatively quiet the last few years, he never had to draw another image ever again–he was that good. I talked briefly with him at a few SDCCs and he always struck me as a gentleman, in the old-fashioned sense of the word.

    I’m just shocked.

  25. Jesse:

    “He would always laugh when I referred to him as the most handsome man in comics. And so he was.”

    Absolutely true, without question.

    I wrote about Dave, who was a long-time friend of mine and my family, here:

    http://divalea.livejournal.com/529374.html

  26. Dave was one of the ten best comics artists of the modern era. What he did for Bettie will never be forgotten.

  27. I met Dave Stevens at Dallas Fantasy Fair in the late 80’s. Marvel had just tried to sue him over the Rocketeer name because they had throw away characters with a similar name that predated Dave’s Rocketeer.

    I had searched my memory and then a comic book store’s back issue bin and found an old Batman comic that predated Marvel’s claim to the name. Marvel never won that one. I felt, in some small way, instrumental.

    I was in the elevator with Dave and told him this. He said, “Thanks.”
    That’s all. Thanks. But, it was thanks from Dave Stevens. I didn’t know if he thought I was a nut, but he did know that someone had sent a copy of that Batman book to Comics Journal for evidence against Marvel’s claim.

    Later that day, I saw him again at his table. He was quiet and we spoke about art for a couple of minutes. I introduced him to my friend, Carla Speed, who is now Carla Speed-McNeil, the creator of FINDER. They spoke for considerably longer.

    I can’t say I really knew Dave Stevens, but I got a few minutes of his existence tangled up with mine. I’ll always cherish that memory. Even if I was just a goofy fan boy, gushing at a great artist who treated me like a regular guy.

    Keep ‘em flying, Dave…….I already missed you these past few years. Now , we’ll really miss you.

    Rest….

  28. Nicholas Post says:

    I just don’t understand, he was just a few months younger than me and I am still around in excellent health.

    He was the greatest “Good Girl” artist of my generation.

    We were, somehow, lucky to be sensually influenced by the one and the only Betty Page at the same time.

    I was fortunately to have Starslayer #2, 3 (published in 1982, featuring 1st and 2nd appearance of The Rocketeer) and the rest of his own solo titles afterward.

    I will greatly miss you.

    You will never ever be forgotten.

  29. this year is not being kind to comics creators. :(

  30. I met Dave in 1987 at san Diego Con, and it was there that he signed a copy of BETTY’S BOUDOIR for me, at the Graphitti Designs booth.
    What a swell guy Dave was, to a total starnger.
    Later Dave was to draw some DOC SAVAGE work for a Will Murray discovered unpublished original ms of The Man Of Bronze, and I was involved in that project, sadly, it never came to fruition, though we did get to see a Dave Stevens DOC courtesy of Dark Horse.
    I will miss dave and his great influence on me personally, as a cartoonist, and on the world of comic books.

  31. Sad news…I have always loved Dave’s art. He has been inspirational to me, and I am deeply saddened to hear of his death…

  32. The guy’s work is fantastic! Never got to read any Rocketeer, but I loved the movie.

  33. i am very sorry to hear of the passing of a truly respected and beloved illustrator in the comics fields.. dave stevens was a true american original…

  34. Alan Sinder says:

    That stinks. Really. Thanks for letting people who cared know.

  35. Jan Tonnesen says:

    I met Dave in the late ’70s at the San Diego Comic-Conwhen I worked at the Comic Kingdom in San Diego. We all knew he was destined to be a reknown illustrator. I saw off and on at conventions after that and he always greeted me warmly by name. He was one of the most decent people in the industry. He and his work will be sorely missed.

  36. Randall Boyer says:

    I will always be fond of the Rocketeer & Dave Stevens’ exemplary artwork. My first-ever e-mail address (on WebTV) even had “Rocketeer” as part of the address! In memoriam of Stevens’ grand contributions to fine artwork, let’s just use Paul Sorvino’s encouraging line from the Rocketeer movie: “GO GET ‘EM, KID!”

  37. I can’t believe it. I know it’s true, but I can’t (do not want to) believe it. So long…

  38. One of the BEST artist / illustrator to have a booth @ San Diego Comic Con [I hope there will be a tribute to Steve @ this year’s Comic Con].

    I truly admired the work Mr. Stevens did for Glenn Danzig’s VEROTIK Publishing [Black Angel, Neo Satanikatales, Vamps & Vixens, Venus Domina, Verotik Illustrated].

    The loss of Mr. Stevens is a painful loss to all of us [how could there ever be another volume of the Rocketeer without him?]; but his memory will live on thanks to the brilliant work he left behind [especially his numerous versions of Bettie Page].

    ~(^)~

  39. Nicholas Post says:

    I found it to be a bit strange because last night I happened to look up some of his arts from Comicartfan.com and downloaded his simple but best interpretation of Betty Page’s turned head with a smile.

    Could it be that he, somehow, tuned to us, fans, a way of saying thank you for the last time?

  40. Wow….another true giant of the industry passes on. Everytime one of the masters of our trade, whose painstaking devotion to his work has inspired me on many occasions, leaves us…I feel like a small piece of my past has went with him.

    Dave was one of the many incredible talented people I wish I could have taken the time to know better and study with, but never made the attempt and now I have only regret.

    You will be missed! Till our next meeting, Dave.

  41. I had the pleasure to meet Dave at the 2004 Comic Con. I was utterly starstruck. I came off as a tongue-tied fool, but I really wanted him to know how influential his work had been to me and how his storytelling and love of things past was not lost on the people who read his comics. Dave was humble and grateful and I left the meeting feeling like I’d make a better impression next time. Well, there wasn’t a next time, but I am glad I had the chance to tell him that his work was important to me and had a special place in my youth. He died far too soon, but managed to leave behind a truly impressive body of work.

  42. Over the past 15 years, I often saw Dave in a booth at several SD ComiCons. Never managed to say more than hello and now I really regret not telling him how much I appreciated his work.

  43. http://bettiepageblog.blogspot.com

    …has a nice piece on Dave as well.

  44. Dave was not nice guy!

  45. Dave was a craftsman…ever panel of his art was stunning! He carved out a place in comic history that will not be forgotten. He will be missed.

  46. Tom S. says:

    I am a fan of the Rocketeer movie, but have never seen his comics at a show. I need to seek his stuff out at the next Comic Book Convention. His art looked really good.

  47. An Amazing influence on so many great artist. He will greatly be missed. 52 is waay too young.

  48. This is truly sad news. I remember walking by his table at comiccon one year and thought it intersting that he was the only that was dressed up like he was going to a business meeting or maybe some classy party somewhere. I wish I had stopped by and talked to him. I’m one of those fans that likes the work and think that I’m pestering the artist if I go up and talk with them, stupid I know. He will be missed.

  49. patty leidy says:

    Dave was a brilliant man,very classy and..well sexy!
    I enjoyed talking with him at a con we both were appearing at..he took time to talk to everyone and was so sweet to me.
    I will miss knowing he’s out there… An inspiring talent we could only
    hope to achieve one day!
    He is missed.

  50. Benjamin C. Long says:

    Sad sad news….In my opinion he was the best girl artist EVER!!! He also had a knack for period art. Totally getting the feel of the depression-era in the “Rocketeer.” I always hoped to see more of his work. I am forever grateful to look at the work he did. Respects to all his friends and family.

  51. Evil Wilhelm says:

    I met Dave years ago through my friend Mickey McMahan. He was genuine, very warm and possessed a style all his own (later to be adapted by millions).

    On one trip to an Ed “Big Daddy” Rat Fink Party, he insisted on the three of us piling into the front seat of my faded Studebaker Pick-up just for the fun of it. In other words, he had great humility.

    He also was thoughtful and would bring special gifts from various shows if he thought that they would bring someone joy. I was gifted many treasures out of the blue. Generosity like that from a Man with his talent and fame is rare. So was Dave and this day finds me very depressed.

    He accomplished much in his 52 years, but he deserved more.

    “soft and safe to thee my brother, be thy resting place
    bright and glorious be thy rising from it”.
    -EW

  52. Jim Raya says:

    Dave Stevens,
    He was a GREAT PERSON and ALWAYS Pleasant to talk to. He was always willing to sign my rocketter items for me. GREAT LOSS ! We all will MISS HIM ! GOD BLESS !

  53. Rodger says:

    What a loss. First time I ever saw Dave Stevens, he was watching videos of Jonny Quest at a trade show in Chicago. I am truly thankful I got to meet and talk to Dave a number of times at cons. When he signed the jam page in my hardcover History of the DC Universe he told me about the crazy FedEx trip the original piece took and how P.O.ed he felt when the powers that be at DC covered up his Chop-Chop drawing due to PC pressure. I met The Right Stuff author Tom Wolfe in the mid-80’s and gave him a copy of the Rocketeer graphic novel and when I told Dave he was really touched. The least I could do for someone who gave the world so much beauty. Thank you Dave for all the great art and stories.

  54. Paul1963 says:

    Damn.
    Didn’t know him, never met him, but after reading various remembrances of him, I wish I had.

  55. William R. Lund says:

    As one of the many founding members of the San Diego Comic Con, I knew Dave during those earlier days, and when I worked for Pacific Comics. Unfortunately, after moving away from San Diego I frequented the convention less than I ever had intended. In attending last year’s con, it was my intention to do some catching up with old friends. Sadly, I was told by Scott Shaw! that Dave was unable to attend, although he was one the Special Guests, because of his battle with leukemia. And then Mark Evanier, Jackie Estrada, Bill & Steve Schanes, Brinke (Charlene Brinkman) Stevens, and so many others also gave me the news. And I had good intentions of meeting up with him, if it all possible, but my work (I’m an actor…primarily on stage) took me out of state.
    Everyone, whether they knew him personally or just knew him through his work, will have their own memories of Dave…and that is no more evident than on this blog site. I know Dave would have just smiled, trying to downplay all this fuss we’re making over him. Like his good friends, Jack Kirby and Russ Manning, I believe he will be remebered for many years to come…and well deserved those remembrances shall be.
    Goodbye, Dave. It was a pleasure to have known you, to have watched your talents improve over the years (no matter how often you would worry about how the smallest of details would be perceived by readers), and to have called you Friend.

  56. I am a long time HUGE fan of Dave and the Rocketeer (which should come to no surprise on anyone looking at my email address, nick name and title of my blog. I postred the following yesterday:

    Today I found out (on comicbookresources.com) that Rocketeer creator/artist/writer Dave Stevens passed away after a long battle with Luekemia. Dave was 53.

    Obviously, I was a HUGE Dave Stevens fan. The Rocketeer is not only a great comic and fun movie for me. It’s a part of my identity… something that I identified with strongly. There are an entre mess of people who know me as “Rocky” or “Rocket”. It’s been my nickname (and my email address) for over fifteen years.

    Dave Stevens is actually more known for his modern renditions of Betty Page then he is The Rocketeer. It was due to Dave’s love of Betty and amazing artwork of her (and her use in the pages of the Rocketeer as Cliff Secord’s girlfriend) that brought Betty out of seclusion and back into the public eye.

    Dave’s unreal talent was unmistakenable. His comic book covers and lithograhps are the stuff of dreams. His ttention to detail and the beauty he brought out in his artwork is instantly reconizable.

    I got the chance to meet Dave at the 1998 DragonCon in Atlanta. Dave was there doing signings but NOT doing sketches. After talking with him for a while, Dave pulled me aside and told me (hushed) that if I left one of the white boards I was using for sketches with him, he might have a present for me by the end of the con… but it had to be a secret, because he did NOT want to get into doing a mound of sketches.

    The next day, I was walking in Artists Alley when I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was Dave. He motioned with his head for me to follow him. We went to his table and he handed me a brown paper bag.

    “Our secret right?” he said.

    “Absoultely.” I responded. “What do I o-”

    “Get the hell out of here, you don’t owe me anything.” he cut me off. “The least I can do for a guy walking around with a name tag that says ‘RocketeerZ’ huh?”

    I chatted with Dave a little more and even got to sit behind the table with him for a few minutes. The friends I was with at the Con have teased me ever since that dave must have needed to take out a restraining order on me to get me away from there.

    The sketch he did was a simple Rocketeer helmet. He had personalized it for me and signed it. I freaking love it.

    It most likely only took him a couple of minutes… but the fact he took the time to do it meant the world to me.

    I’ve heard a lot of things about Dave over the years, (especially from his ex-wife horror scream queen Brinke Stevens) but I will always rememeber him as a great and personable guy who created something that touched me and a guy that gave me the single greatest comic-book related item I own.

    Rest In Peace Dave. The world is a little darker without you.

  57. What Dave did in actively seeking out Bettie Page after many years in seclusion just to tell her that there is a entire generation who appreciated her work and then after made sure that she recieved some type of stipend for future royalties on merchandise he created in her image was truly humanitarian on his part.

    Now there are fashion models everywhere who emulate Bettie Page’s image and brought her back to the public eye.

    I’m sure that excellent movie that was released last year, The Notorious Bettie Page would not have been made if it wasn’t for Stevens’ efforts.

    ~

    Coat

  58. Jewel Shepard says:

    Heartbroken. I never knew what the word meant before… now, I know.

  59. What a terrible loss for all of us who loved and admired his work.

    In his introduction to the first Rocketeer compilation, Harlan Ellison wrote, “For all the hopeful attempts at doing a period comic book…only The Rocketeer captures the feel of those days. The Rocketeer brings the richness of those wild times when we believed a man could fly, if only he had a rocket pack.”

    Farewell Mr. Stevens, and thanks for everything.

  60. TChav says:

    His work was always so beautiful. I remember swiping his method of drawing vegetation for an art class assignment because it was so well done. As a youngster pouring over those short bursts of excellence in Pacific Presents, I was always in awe. When I finally made it to Comic-Con, I saw the one and only Dave Stevens there but was too hesitant to say hi and thank you. I did buy a sketchbook later on when he was away from his booth but I resolved to come back and tell him how much I have always enjoyed his work. When I did go by, it was Sunday and he looked how I felt, completely drained and exhausted, so rather than bug him I walked on.

  61. It is a very, very sad day.
    I thought the world of Dave Stevens. Besides creating the Rocketeer, Dave
    ochestrated the Bettie Page comeback and looked after her quite a bit. He was
    very supportive of my Space Cowboy strip and there was talk about him doing a
    Space Cowboy cover. I told him he had let Adam Hughes runaway with his King of Cheesecake crown by slowing down so, in the last decade. I knew he suffered from Leukemia for years but we wouldn’t talk about it.
    Though we discussed various book projects: Art books, Rocketeer collections,
    etc., the only times we really worked together were when, on rare occasion, I’d
    represent him as a booking agent for some personal appearance like the Creation convention in Pasadena a few years ago. I look back warmly on many great times we shared–frequently in social occasions with other Art Pack types including his idols Jim Steranko and Carmine Infantino, and contemporaries MW Kaluta, Bill Stout, Bob Burden…and even decades back to the Doug Wildey days (I remember Doug saying Dave had single-handedly brought cheesecake back to comics)! There were usually a few great looking women with us too. I still have a sketch Dave did on one such occasion in Atlanta. Great times with a brilliant artist. I was proud to call him friend and I will always remember him.

    Love,

    J. David Spurlock

  62. A brilliant talent. A great draftsman and a helluva guy.

  63. Dean Leto says:

    I used to manage a store for Comics and Comix back in the late seventies and so. We were lucky enough to be one of the first to have Dave Stevens do a signing. He was fun, gracious and patient. But what made Dave special to me. was that when I ran into him at a con about 5 years ago, he remembered both the signing and my name… and the chest of a female fan that he signed.

    RIP you were one of the greats

  64. Dean Leto says:

    I used to manage a store for Comics and Comix back in the late seventies and so. We were lucky enough to be one of the first to have Dave Stevens do a signing. He was fun, gracious and patient. But what made Dave special to me. was that when I ran into him at a con about 5 years ago, he remembered both the signing and my name… and the chest of a female fan that he signed.

    RIP you were one of the greats and you will be remembered

  65. R. S. Field says:

    I am 55 and not really a comic enthusiast, but I was thinking today about how much I dug Joe Kubert as a kid and was googling him. That made me think of Rocketeer and Dave Stevens. Rocketeer was the first (and last) comic book series that I had gotten into. I thought the movie, like the comic, was great. also, I had seen the story boards for Raiders as well. Weird coincidence that his name came into my head…and just really sorry to hear this news. a terrific artist.

  66. I have been lucky enough to meet Dave in person during the Lucca Convention in Italy, circa 1986. Dave did a sketch of Betty for me and a friend took a picture of the scene. One of the greatest, kindest Artists. Thanks again Dave

  67. Malcolm Bourne says:

    As Heidi knows I found out about when she did, and the news even if not unexpected hit like a blow to the gut. Dave’s the first of what I think of as my generation/group of comics friends to be taken from us, one of the friends i have made through my involvement in this wonderful hobby and interest. Knowing I won’t be seeing him around SDCC again – even though I have known that for a while, really – makes the world a sadder place. His humility and privacy contrasted so much with the bursting energy and sexuality of his art. Dave, if you’re reading this i hope heaven is a studio full of pretty models for you to draw!

  68. I can’t believe it. I know it’s true, but I can’t (do not want to) believe it.

  69. Ebay WOW figurine says:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=170239949554&ssPageName=ADME:L:LCA:US:1123

    Above is a link to one one Dave’s most awesome creations. His WOW figurine is now for sale on ebay. Unpainted and is in amazing condition.

  70. George A. Evans says:

    I, also, used to Manage a Store for Comics & Comix in the late 1970’s and into the mid 1980’s. During this period of time I also had the pleasure of meeting Dave Stevens.
    Although our meeting was a very brief one, he left a lasting favorable impression upon me.
    He was one of the finest comic artists that I ever had the pleasure to meet.
    I realize that a period of time has passed since his death was announced and my posting this message.
    It has been nearly 22 1/2 years since Comics & Comix and I parted company and my life’s path has gone into an entirely different direction.
    On a number of occaisions, I find myelf wandering into Outer Limits Comic Shop in Murfreesboro TN.
    I look at the titles that are now being published and I might find a version of a Rocketeer type comic, however it is not draw by Dave Stevens.
    I see a book titled “The Spirit”, however down deep it is not drawn by Will Eisner. I look to see if I can find that great Jack Kirby look that I miss from the late 1950’s to early 1960’s. What I refer to is the Jack Kirby pencilled and Roz Kirby inked Green Arrow strips from Adventure Comics and from Worlds Finest.
    I also miss seeing art work by Joe Staton, Like the pencil and inked drawing that he did for me of the Huntress and the Dark Albatross together again.
    As I sign off from this message, I still have to put in two shameless plugs as I miss seeing more of Steve Moncuse’s early Fish Police from our time together at Comics & Comix in Berkeley. Finally I have to say that I still miss seeing some of the early art work Steve Wozniak and his Areba Kola from late 1976 to February 1977 from the Columbus Street Branch of Comics & Comix in San Francisco.

  71. George A. Evans says:

    I, also, used to Manage a Store for Comics & Comix in the late 1970’s and into the mid 1980’s. During this period of time I also had the pleasure of meeting Dave Stevens.
    Although our meeting was a very brief one, he left a lasting favorable impression upon me.
    He was one of the finest comic artists that I ever had the pleasure to meet.
    I realize that a period of time has passed since his death was announced and my posting this message.
    It has been nearly 22 1/2 years since Comics & Comix and I parted company and my life’s path has gone into an entirely different direction.
    On a number of occaisions, I find myelf wandering into Outer Limits Comic Shop in Murfreesboro TN.
    I look at the titles that are now being published and I might find a version of a Rocketeer type comic, however it is not draw by Dave Stevens.
    I see a book titled “The Spirit”, however down deep it is not drawn by Will Eisner. I look to see if I can find that great Jack Kirby look that I miss from the late 1950’s to early 1960’s. What I refer to is the Jack Kirby pencilled and Roz Kirby inked Green Arrow strips from Adventure Comics and from Worlds Finest.
    I also miss seeing art work by Joe Staton, Like the pencil and inked drawing that he did for me of the Huntress and the Dark Albatross together again.
    As I sign off from this message, I still have to put in two shameless plugs as I miss seeing more of Steve Moncuse’s early Fish Police from our time together at Comics & Comix in Berkeley. Finally I have to say that I still miss seeing some of the early art work Steve Wozniak and his Areba Kola from late 1976 to February 1977 from the Columbus Street Branch of Comics & Comix in San Francisco.

  72. George A. Evans says:

    I, also, used to Manage a Store for Comics & Comix in the late 1970’s and into the mid 1980’s. During this period of time I also had the pleasure of meeting Dave Stevens.
    Although our meeting was a very brief one, he left a lasting favorable impression upon me.
    He was one of the finest comic artists that I ever had the pleasure to meet.
    I realize that a period of time has passed since his death was announced and my posting this message.
    It has been nearly 22 1/2 years since Comics & Comix and I parted company and my life’s path has gone into an entirely different direction.
    On a number of occaisions, I find myelf wandering into Outer Limits Comic Shop in Murfreesboro TN.
    I look at the titles that are now being published and I might find a version of a Rocketeer type comic, however it is not draw by Dave Stevens.
    I see a book titled “The Spirit”, however down deep it is not drawn by Will Eisner. I look to see if I can find that great Jack Kirby look that I miss from the late 1950’s to early 1960’s. What I refer to is the Jack Kirby pencilled and Roz Kirby inked Green Arrow strips from Adventure Comics and from Worlds Finest.
    I also miss seeing art work by Joe Staton, Like the pencil and inked drawing that he did for me of the Huntress and the Dark Albatross together again.
    As I sign off from this message, I still have to put in two shameless plugs as I miss seeing more of Steve Moncuse’s early Fish Police from our time together at Comics & Comix in Berkeley. Finally I have to say that I still miss seeing some of the early art work Steve Wozniak and his Areba Kola from late 1976 to February 1977 from the Columbus Street Branch of Comics & Comix in San Francisco.

  73. George A. Evans says:

    I, also, used to Manage a Store for Comics & Comix in the late 1970’s and into the mid 1980’s. During this period of time I also had the pleasure of meeting Dave Stevens.
    Although our meeting was a very brief one, he left a lasting favorable impression upon me.
    He was one of the finest comic artists that I ever had the pleasure to meet.
    I realize that a period of time has passed since his death was announced and my posting this message.
    It has been nearly 22 1/2 years since Comics & Comix and I parted company and my life’s path has gone into an entirely different direction.
    On a number of occaisions, I find myelf wandering into Outer Limits Comic Shop in Murfreesboro TN.
    I look at the titles that are now being published and I might find a version of a Rocketeer type comic, however it is not draw by Dave Stevens.
    I see a book titled “The Spirit”, however down deep it is not drawn by Will Eisner. I look to see if I can find that great Jack Kirby look that I miss from the late 1950’s to early 1960’s. What I refer to is the Jack Kirby pencilled and Roz Kirby inked Green Arrow strips from Adventure Comics and from Worlds Finest.
    I also miss seeing art work by Joe Staton, Like the pencil and inked drawing that he did for me of the Huntress and the Dark Albatross together again.
    As I sign off from this message, I still have to put in two shameless plugs as I miss seeing more of Steve Moncuse’s early Fish Police from our time together at Comics & Comix in Berkeley. Finally I have to say that I still miss seeing some of the early art work Steve Wozniak and his Areba Kola from late 1976 to February 1977 from the Columbus Street Branch of Comics & Comix in San Francisco.

  74. Albert Roth says:

    I was sitting around at work today, and decided to check out Stevens art to see if there was anything new. As fans we all knew that Dave’s art was a little slow in coming, and of course we all knew the reasons why and completely understood. It just wouldn’t be his art without the painstaking amount of detail and time that went into every piece.

    My first introduction to his art was in the back of Pacific Presents (Starslayer, Groo, etc) and I completely fell in love with it. Gradually I began acquiring pieces of his art and began to amass quite a collection ( I still have every piece). One eveing my wife and I were planning on the artwork for our family room. Her comment to me was lets put up some comic art, cause I know how much your into it. One by one (and at that time there weren’t many pieces) I began to show her some of my pieces. I had quite a few of his “posters” and one special lithograph. It was the rocketeer with Betty tied up thrown over his shoulder. (to this day I wish I had gotten Betty’s boudair). Imagine my surprise when my wife’s only words were “I love it.” My family room began to become decorated with Stevens art, with that one print as the centerpiece. Rocketeer, his famous gun drawn, Betty thrown over his shoulders, hands and feet bound, gag on her mouth, and the infamous rear for all to see. My wife (who by the way doesn’t like comics at all) loved it.

    That year I made it to a comic con, where he was sitting at a table by himself, and we spoke briefly as I kept pushing comics in front of him for him to sign. He was a gentleman beyond compare.

    I guess I should have know something was up when earlier this year we both decided to start taking down the Stevens art and replacing it with some more traditional pieces. Time to move on I guess, or was it Mr. Stevens telling me it is time to move on.

    The man we all loved, even those that never met him, will be missed.
    May you forever rest in peace.

  75. Rest in peace….You have left the world a great thing…The Rocketeer…will live forever…..

Trackbacks

  1. […] > Dave Stevens at The Beat […]

  2. […] > Dave Stevens at The Beat […]

  3. […] Above is the cover to The Rocketeer Adventure Magazine#2, the first Dave Stevens comic I ever bought as well as the front and back cover to Planet Comics #1, which hangs above my desk here at Wizard. For more on Stevens, be sure to check out a rememberance over at The Beat. […]

  4. […] Dave Stevens 1955-2008 Chocante! Ainda esta semana estive a admirar comics dele que encontrei nos 80.000! Que traço incomparável! Um clássico. […]

  5. […] MacDonald at Publishers Weekly just reported that Dave Stevens, mostly known as the creative force behind The Rocketeer, has passed away due to a private battle with leukemia. Comics of The Rocketeerpublished off and on by Eclipse, Pacific, Comico, and Dark Horse in its various incarnations. In 1991 it Disney produced The Rocketeer starring Billy Campbell and a young Jennifer Connelly. Posted by: Brandon Miles on 03.11.08 Posted in: Celebrity, Health, Comics | […]

  6. […] Read an excellent remembrance of Stevens at The Beat Contribute to the American Cancer Society, because… screw cancer. […]

  7. […] Newsarama and The Beat remember Dave. […]

  8. […] The Rocket Has Run Out of Gas Posted on March 11, 2008 by ronpurtee Publisher’s Weekly’s The Beat writes: […]

  9. […] THE BEAT » Blog Archive » Dave Stevens 1955-2008 I’ve just received word that Dave Stevens, the artist of the Rocketeer, died yesterday at age 52. (tags: comics obituary) […]

  10. […] I wish I could say more to do this justice and I feel like a bit of a prat for not being able to come up with something fitting to remember him by even though I never met him. You can go over to The Beat for some more fitting words than anything I could attempt to come up with right now. Rest in peace, Dave. […]

  11. […] He was an incredible artist, notoriously critical of his own work, and probably most remembered for The Rocketeer and his “good girl” pinup art, particularly Bettie Page. Many others have said much nicer things already (Heidi MacDonald, Mark Evanier, Gilbert Hernandez), so I just wanted to add how much The Rocketeer meant to me. I would’ve been a teenager when the film version of The Rocketeer came out. Released only a few years after The Last Crusade, it felt in many ways like a continuation of one of my major childhood obsessions: Indiana Jones (the other being Star Wars.. Lucas owned my childhood). The film sparked an enduring interest in the 1930s and Art Deco that led me to another great obsession, although this time in adulthood: Raymond Chandler. […]

  12. […] Dave Stevens 1955-2008 The Beat Tue, 11 Mar 2008 15:54:08 GMT […]

  13. […] A lot of comics folks have posted their thoughts and memories of Dave Stevens and his comic work over the last couple of days. Heidi MacDonald remembers him over at The Beat: I have so many memories of Dave. Cat Yronwode once told me that Dave was unique among cartoonists because he wore clothes that fit him, which sounds like a sorry compliment, but Dave did stand out among the cartoonists of that time for paying a lot of attention to his appearance — Cliff Secord, the hero of the Rocketeer, was obviously based visually on Dave. It didn’t come off as vanity, but wanting to give an appearance that went with the art. It was part of his esthetic. Once he gave me a ride to a Golden Apple party in what I called “Old Betsy” his beloved vintage Ford. (I had no car when I first moved to LA and was always dependent on the kindness of friends.) Arriving in such a vehicle with a dashing, handsome man like Dave was the kind of thing that a girl writes about in her diary that night. […]

  14. Yipyop says:

    […] Already this year the comic book world lost two of its legends: Steve Gerber in February (Howard the Duck, Omega the Unknown) and now Dave Stevens (The Rocketeer). Dave drew the best Bettie Page in my opinion. And where would we be without Ookla the Mok? Posted in Uncategorized at March 12th, 2008. Trackback URI: trackback […]

  15. […] The Beat. Mark Evanier. Wednesday’s Haul. […]

Speak Your Mind

*