Word is spreading on the web that Dave Stevens has passed away of leukemia at the age of 52. For those who don’t know the name, Dave Stevens was an incredible comic artist and writer who created, amongst other things, The Rocketeer.
Dave’s artwork was amazing to look at. Simple and clean yet full of detail. He also drew women very, very well. His favorite “model” to use was one time cult fave Betty Page. He based the character “Betty” from the Rocketeer on Bettie Page’s physical appearance. So popular did Dave’s pin-ups of Betty become that he almost single handed restarted the real Bettie Page’s cult following in the 80’s and 90’s.
When it was discovered due to this resurgence of popularity that Bettie Page, long a mystery of the modelling cheesecake world due to her almost complete disappearance from the face of the Earth, was alive and well; Dave sought her out to pay her royalties and helped others do the same. She didn’t seek him out or make any move to seek legal redress and had no intention of doing so. Dave just did it because he felt that it was the right thing to do.
Great artist, good writer, great creator and, from everything that I’ve ever heard or read about him, a genuinely good man. I deeply regret having never met the man at a convention to tell him how much I enjoyed his work.
My deepest sympathies go out to his friends and family.
Mark Evanier has a more complete write up on Dave Stevens here: