Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Dave Stevens Dies

I remember when I first saw Dave Steven's work. It was in the back pages of a Pacific comic, Mike Grell's StarSlayer. Like everyone reading it I was blown away by the artwork. The story that went along with this artwork proved pretty good too. Pacific published a few more chapters of the strip which was of course The Rocketeer and it was finally finished and collected by Eclipse Comics. Than Comico got a go at the series for two issues. It finally ended up with a final issue at Dark Horse Comics.

I'm not sure if Dave was the first to start championing Bette Page or just at the start. In the Rocketeer he created a character that was a stand in for the former pin up queen Bette Page. He was a big fan of hers and latter became a friend and helped her.

Dave Stevens was not a fast artist. From what I've read he would labor over a single panel, working till he got it perfect in his eyes. Unfortunately the comic industry is not set up for such a painstaking artist and he did little more work. He made his living doing commissions and illustrations for others.

When I first saw Dave's work it was an exciting time for the comic book industry. The direct market was just beginning and it seemed like there was an infinite multitudes of possibilities for the industry. Marvel and DC were no longer the only comics that people wanted to read. New companies were appearing almost overnight. Pacific, Eclipse, Comico and more were publishing a lot of new exciting comics.

Dave's art and writing seemed to reflect that excitement. There was such a love for the medium in his artwork. His stories were fun to read. Everything didn't have to be doom and gloom. You could have fun in comics.

My sympathies go out to his friends and family.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Howard Again

More of Steve Gerber and Howard the Duck. I picked this up when it first came out years ago as a miniseries and have been meaning to pick up the trade collection but never got around to it. A few weeks ago I decided to get it. It's Steve Gerber back on his creation and is worth the price of admission. If you're a fan of Steve Gerber or Howard the Duck, pick up this collection and you'll be glad you did.

The Ten-cent Plague

A new book by David Hajdu, the author of Positivetly 4th Street, is coming out next week on March 18. I haven't seen anything about this book before this week. The book is about the censorship battles from the fifties. I enjoyed his previous book on Bob Dylan so I'm looking forward to this. I'm always interested in finding good books on the history of the comic industry.