Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Gutted: Dave Stevens RIP

So I'm bagging and boxing tonight, preparing my anticipated move this weekend (the problems I've had organising this thing are unbelievable!) but stop when I unearth some old artwork in a forgotten cupboard corner, and its Dave Stevens stuff. I stop to look at it for a few minutes and wished he would do more. I finish up, hit my e-mails and get an e-mail from Michael Eury saying that Dave Stevens has just died after a long battle with leukemia.

It's weird how the death of someone you've never met can hit you but I loved his work (see my earlier posts about favourite artists and comics for evidence of this) and I'm really gutted. As well as having one of the most attractive styles in comics and illustrations, Stevens' art also contained beautiful use of colour. Most known for his work on The Rocketeer (which saw him spearheading the revival of interest in 50s pin-up icon Bettie Page), he was also an inker on Marvel's original Star Wars movie adaptation (his pages come near the destruction of the Death Star if I'm right), he turned down the chance to storyboard Raiders of the Lost Ark and was briefly married to model/actress/softcore star Brinke Stevens.


Below are a few quick webgrabs (as all my stuff is packed away and I can't upload any of it) of Stevens' key works as mentioned above, the Rocketeer and Bettie Page.


Thanks for all the art, Dave..

3 comments:

davey said...

I never got Stevens. I never really liked the airbrush cheesecake style that he seemed to be a part of, but his Rocketeer is good old fashioned fun, and if we had justice, it would have been made into a film with the young Buster Crabbe, cos it seemed to me to be a loveletter to the old RKO serials. Instead most people will know it from the drekk staring Timothy Dalton.

All the good ones are dropping like flies while shit like J Scott Campbell and Micheal Turner live on vast paycheques for shitty covers. Where's karma now Earl?

Nige Lowrey said...

Like all art, its subjective whether one likes Stevens' work. I appreciate his style but not Kirby's for instance. I loved Stevens' smooth linework and soft colours, others may not.

While I'm far from a Turner fan myself, I give him props for the amount of work he produced while undergoing chemo. Granted, most of it was crap, but y'know, he still produced...

I can watch the Rocketeer movie, mainly for Alan Arkin's performance, but I was disappointed when I first saw it as it fell well short of the source material. The Rocketeer himself looked spot on though..

Rol said...

They're dropping like flies lately. Wieringo, Steve Gerber, now Stevens. Makes me feel old...