Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

Dave Stevens, 1955-2008

News That Stinks: Dave Stevens has died, surprisingly young, after getting hit with the cancer stick (leukemia).

Stevens deserves a special place in comic book history just for The Rocketeer, his insanely detailed comic about a 1930s superhero. (Harlan Ellison once said that Stevens, who was born in 1955, got the details of the Thirties exactly, almost eerily, right). He also was an influential glamour artist -- he did a lot to re-popularize the underground Goth fetish model Bettie Page. (I wonder if Stevens was involved in updating her merchandise and changing her name from "Betty Page," as she'd been known at the height of her career, to the real spelling Bettie Page. All Bettie Page merchandise after a certain point finally had her name correct; I'm guessing that's the stuff she could make money off of again, as it should be.)

Mark Evanier -- who unfortunately had to write a second obituary today, for comics colorer Jerry Serpe -- has written a good write-up about Stevens's life, including his friendship with Page:
Deciding that too many others had callously exploited her likeness, Dave voluntarily aided Ms. Page financially and even took to helping her in neighborly ways. One time, he told me — and without the slightest hint of resentment — "It's amazing. After years of fantasizing about this woman, I'm now driving her to cash her Social Security checks."
I'm going to hum to myself James Horner's nifty score to the Disney film adaptation of The Rocketeer...

Wednesday morning edit: A page for memorial messages has been created on Stevens's site. It includes a request that in lieu of flowers, charitable donations be sent to the Hairy Cell Leukemia Research Foundation.
Tags: books

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