Remembering Comic Artist Dave Stevens on His Birthday, July 29

Today is a day of celebration as we honor the memory of one of the greatest artists to ever contribute to the comic book medium. 

Dave Stevens was born on July 29, 1955, and had he lived, today would be his 66th birthday.  Unfortunately, we lost Mr. Stevens on March 11, 2008 at the age of 52. 

This cover has it all: King Kong #1
Witchy woman, see how high she flies: Elvira’s House of Mystery #11
Dave Stevens was mentored by Doug Wildey, the creator of Jonny Quest. Stevens based the character Peevy in The Rocketeer on Doug Wildey: Jonny Quest #5

Dave Stevens was not the most prolific of comic book creators.  His profession was as a storyboard artist, working on films such as Raiders of the Lost Ark, animated shows such as Super Friends, and even the music video for Michael Jackson’s Thriller.  A true example of quality over quantity, the comic book works he did complete stand the test of time.  For those that were not reading comic books in the 1980s, it’s hard for me to emphasize just how much Dave Stevens covers meant to collectors.  Sales of a title would increase just by having his art grace the book.  A common practice now, but in the 1980s, that was something special.

Dave Stevens appreciated characters from eras gone by: Sheena Queen of the Jungle 3-D #1
3-D books were all the rage in the 1980s. This is one of Dave Stevens finest: Seduction of the Innocent #1

Dave Stevens contributed to numerous comic book series as a cover artist, but is most well known for his own creation The RocketeerThe Rocketeer proved popular enough that it spawned a movie from Disney (1991) and an entire line of merchandise.  Still, it was that original source work from the comic books that is most well remembered.  It is my personal opinion that The Rocketeer is the finest illustrated comic book in history.  There may have been other books that were drawn just as well, but nothing has ever topped it.  If you have never read it, it’s been reprinted a number of times, and I give the series my highest of recommendations. 

The Rocketeer Movie Adaption of the Disney Film
Can’t you just feel the sense of speed coming from this cover? Rocketeer Adventure Magazine #1
The Rocketeer appeared as a lead character in the anthology series Pacific Presents #2

Thank you for taking a few moments to help us remember Dave Stevens.  Although he is gone, he is not forgotten.  Please consider sharing any memories you have of his work in the comments section below.  It can be about a favorite comic book of his that you remember fondly, or perhaps an interaction you had with him in person at a con. 

This is just one of the covers Dave Stevens illustrated for the science fiction anthology series Alien Worlds #4
Sales seemed to spike in a series when Dave Stevens artwork graced the cover: Airboy #5

“Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?” – Terry Pratchett (author)

Thanks for reading!

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