Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Dave Stevens (1955-2008)

Comic Book Artist, Comic Strip Artist, Illustrator, Storyboard Artist
Born July 29, 1955, Lynwood, California
Died March 11, 2008, Turlock, California

Dave Stevens is too big a subject for a mere blog article. I have to admit that I admire his art so much that it's still hard for me to think about his passing or to write about his life and work. I will say only that Dave Stevens was married to the former Charlene Brinkman in 1980, that their marriage lasted only six months, that she continued modeling for him after that, and that she was the model for his only illustration for Weird Tales, for her own story "The Pandora Principle" (with A.E. van Vogt), from Fall 1984.

Dave Stevens' Illustration in Weird Tales
"The Pandora Principle" by Brinke Stevens and A.E. van Vogt (serial, Fall 1984)

Further Reading
Any number of sources on line and in print.

Text copyright 2016 Terence E. Hanley


  1. Dave Stevens was one of the greatest talents to ever grace the comics; period. I'll never forget the day that I first saw his work on Rocketeer in the back of Mike Grell's Starslayer back in 1982. Here was a mesmerizing artist whose technique was reminiscent of the best efforts of Frank Frazetta or Wally Wood. (Just look at this example of his art picrued above; it easily could be mistaken for a Frazetta piece.) The Rocketeer series was one of the best things to come out of the independent comics movement of the early eighties; and Dave Stevens just kept getting better and better as the years passed. He should be regarded as a giant in the field...

  2. Mike,

    You and I had the same experience then: seeing Dave Stevens' art for the first time in the back of Starslayer. I love Mike Grell's work (and he himself is a great guy), but when I saw the first installment of the Rocketeer, all I knew is that I wanted to see more.

    We will never see more now that Dave Stevens is gone. As John Donne wrote, "Any man's death diminishes me." We were all diminished by his death. But as an artist, I find it really difficult to think about it or to confront it. I wish like anything that it weren't true.

    Thanks for writing.


  3. That John Donne quote is indeed an accurate one, but there's no denying that some deaths impact us much more deeply than others. The untimely passing of people whom I admire always leaves me with a haunting ache and a soul-deep feeling that it just can't be true. The news of Dave Stevens' passing had such an effect on me. He and I were the same age, and he had so much more to offer...

    (As I write this I'm reminded of the death of Vaughan Bode. On July 7, 1975 I was talking with Vaughan at the Julycon in New York City, and he was as alive an energetic as ever. Then eleven days later he was dead and gone, at the age of 33! I've never completely gotten over that shock...)