This is one of those columns I dread writing. Dave Stevens, one of our industry's brightest stars, died in March. Dave was a very special talent, but what's more important, he was a very special person. As an illustrator and writer, he created one of comics' great characters, The Rocketeer, a series that spawned a movie as well as renewed interest in '50s pinup queen Bettie Page. Dave was a private person who chose not to share his illness with the public, and, as a result, his death came as a shock to many. Sadly, this meant that he did not get a chance to see the degree to which he was loved by his friends and fans. Blessed with movie-star looks, Dave was a perfectionist in both his appearance and his work. Professionally, he refused to compromise his art, taking painstaking care in the creation of each painting or comics page. This was an approach that certainly cost him a fortune in potential fees and commissions, considerations which, to Dave, were secondary to the work itself.

Dave went to Madison High School here in Portland. It was during this time that I first stumbled into him at a local comics shop, Old Weird Herald's. He had been commissioned to re-create a Bernie Wrightson Swamp Thing cover. Though based on an existing work, that one painting made it clear that Dave was going to be a major talent. As the years passed, I was lucky enough to become one of his publishers, as well as one of his friends. All of us who knew him will miss him dearly. Our only consolation is that he will live on in the work he left behind.

Goodbye, Dave. You are truly one of the greats.

Mike Richardson
Dark Horse Comics