|Updated: 11 March 2008|
I'm deeply saddened to learn that Dave Stevens has passed away March 11th, 2008 from complications of leukemia at the age of 52.
My deepest condolences to all his family and friends.
I will miss you greatly - Rest in Peace my friend.
March 12, 2008I am totally devastated and still in shock from learning that Dave has passed away. He has left an empty void that seems impossible to ever fill again. I just cannot believe that he is gone.
My heart aches every time I update this memorial page, but it is very heartwarming to see how many people's lives he has touched with his artwork and his kind, warm and generous personality. That speaks volumes.
There is so much I wanted to ask him about, so much I wanted to learn from him, and so much I wanted to tell and share with him. But it is all too late now, and that brings tears to my eyes. I consider me privileged to have met him, and I will forever miss his witty comments, his beautiful brush lines, and his friendship.
Nothing could have prepared me for this sad day, but I find some comfort in knowing that he is probably racing the angels in the sky now with his rocket pack strapped to his back!
"Go get 'em, Kid!"
March 12, 2008 at 03:34I am deeply sadden and shocked to have heard Dave has past away, his amazing beautiful art will be missed. My husband has always been a huge fan. We really enjoyed meeting him and were always expecting to see him and his new work at every San Diego Comi-Con.
My deepest condolences to all his family.
March 12, 2008 at 10:35For anyone interested, in lieu of flowers, Dave's family would like people to make donations to the Hairy Cell Leukemia Foundation (www.hairycellleukemia.org)
March 12, 2008 at 11:20He was, is, always will be my favorite artist ever. Today is one of the worsts days of my life. I am very sad.
My deepest condolences to all his family and his fans all over the world.
David from Spain
March 12, 2008 at 12:17To Dave's friends and family: my deepest sympathies. A tremendous loss.
John E Williams
March 12, 2008 at 13:05I've loved Dave's work from the first time I experienced it, and I had the great pleasure of meeting him at San Diego a few years ago. He was kind enough to allow me to purchase each of his sketchbooks even though they were out of print, having accepted my solemn vow not to "flip" them on eBay. Then, as now, the idea of parting with them is unimaginable.
Dave was a kind, quiet, sincere man who was devoted to his craft, which was creating and honoring beauty. I am grateful for his life and his art and for the thrills he brought into the lives of fans like me. God rest his soul, we will miss him very much.
David T., Carlisle PA
March 12, 2008 at 13:07Your art graced my childhood and adolescence with a sense of wonder and hope, and an appreciation for the limitless horizons of the imagination. I see you everywhere I look, because you helped me to see the world how it looks in our hearts.
March 12, 2008 at 13:18Mr. Stevens was rivaled only by Frank Frazetta and Wally Wood for his brilliant renditions of the female form on the comics page. The comics world has lost one of its greatest talents ever. A very sad moment for us all.
March 12, 2008 at 14:39I met Dave but one time, but had an instant respect and liking for him. He was a very warm, caring and generous person.
I received a signed copy of one of his Rocketeer posters, and when I offered to pay him for it, he said' On the house'.
I will always remember him and cherish my gift from him!
God bless him and his family!
March 12, 2008 at 14:52our hero, dave stevens, may have not been in a class all by himself...
...but it sure didn't take long to call the role.
condolences to his family....
as well as to the rest of us who admired his work so.....
we've lost an irreplaceable talent...
March 12, 2008 at 15:20Dave Steven's work has been a great influence on me, my art and my life. Your character, the Rocketeer is one of my most beloved characters. Thank you for that Mr. Stevens. You and your family will be in my prayers. Rest in Peace.
March 12, 2008 at 15:53Dave's beautifully rendered artwork was, and continues to be, a tremendous inspiration to so many of us.
He will truly be missed.
- James LeMay
March 12, 2008 at 16:17I'm shocked to hear of Dave's death. His Rocketeer work was surely some of the most beautiful comics art ever produced and his "good girl art" second to none.
We have lost so many talents in our industry in the past few months and this is very sad news. Rest in peace.
March 12, 2008 at 16:31Sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Stevens. His beautiful art helped bring about the resurgence of the pin up in modern consciousness. His light will be deeply missed.
March 12, 2008 at 16:31Dave was kind, loving, always compassionate and gracious. During a shoot, he always had wonderful words to say and made me feel as though I had a perfect form, regardless of what I thought or saw in the mirror. :) I have a deep love for Dave and a deep feeling of loss and sadness. Although I treasure the art he has left behind, I treasured his friendship more. I offer my condolences to his family.
It has been a long road and one that, in certain ways, we are glad is at an end.
Even when we expect it to come eventually, we hope eventually never arrives. May you find peace in the days to come.
Click on the image to see it in full size.
March 12, 2008 at 16:35Growing up as sort of a strange, awkward girl, I always thought being a "Dave Stevens Girl" would be such an honor! Years later, when he asked me to model for him, I was shocked and elated!! However, I quickly learned, the true honor was his friendship! Dave will always be one of my dearest friends. I so deeply miss the sound of his laugh, his kind heart, his quick wit, his incredible stories. We've lost a legendary artist, and a truly wonderful man. My heart goes out to his family, his dear friends--and to Rebecka, I'm so happy we're friends.
Click on a image to see it in full size.
March 12, 2008 at 16:43We stand with heavy hearts and our heads bowed.
We have lost a true master.
March 12, 2008 at 16:46Dave will always be remembered!
My condolences to family & friends as well.
Tom - USA
March 12, 2008 at 17:07Dave Stevens' writing and art led me to my love of the pulp genre. I'll never be able to express how much I owe him for that. My deepest condolences to his friends and family.
March 12, 2008 at 17:17A great artist, the man who brought Bettie Page back, and a nice guy at conventions. He will be missed.
March 12, 2008 at 17:20I adored the work of Dave Stevens; whether it was The Rocketeer or his amazing cover work, it was always a treat to find something new from Dave. And for introducing me to Miss Bettie Page, I will be forever grateful. Rest in peace, Dave Stevens, you will be missed, and your gorgeous renderings of the female form will live forever.
March 12, 2008 at 17:24Just a guy here who was, and is inspired by Mr. Stevens work.
You will be sorely missed.
My thoughts and prayers are with the family.
March 12, 2008 at 17:45Dave, thanks for being an inspiration to this artist and countless others who worship beauty, grace, and talent. Though I only met you once but your quiet praise was more than enough to give me the courage to pursue art in my life.
You are my hero.
God bless you.
March 12, 2008 at 17:49When i was 7 or 8 i read the Rocketeer for the first time on a road trip to Idaho when my dad brought all the issues with us to read and loved the character, you were one of the best. You will be missed by many.
March 12, 2008 at 18:19The world is poorer for having lost him, and I am poorer for having never met him. If I did I would have thanked him for some of the best work a comic artist has ever produced. Godspeed, Dave
March 12, 2008 at 18:40I would just like to say how sorry I was to hear of Dave's passing. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this unbelievable time. I'd never met Dave but was an instant fan as soon as I saw his beautiful work. I will miss him greatly.
March 12, 2008 at 19:07Dave's art was such a great mix of nostalgic style, pinup chic, and futuristic imagination that it touched so many people on so many levels. We will all miss the wonderful creations he was yet to create, but will cherish the ones he left behind for us to admire and appreciate. I never met him, as others have, but from what I have read and seen, we will be missing a wonderful person, as well. My respects and condolences to all his friends and family. Rest in Peace, Dave.
Mario Artavia II
March 12, 2008 at 19:15"The Rocketeer" stands alongside a certain whip-wielding archaeologist as one of the iconic pulp heroes of the latter half of the Twentieth Century. Dave's artistry was unparalleled, and he will always rank high amongst my favorite comics artists. Peace, Dave. You will be missed.
March 12, 2008 at 20:13You are one of my inspirations Mr.Stevens. You will live on.
March 12, 2008 at 20:15I am truly bumed to hear of his passing his family has my sympathy and tonight i will watch the Rocketeer (if I can find it) out of respect.
March 12, 2008 at 20:56Dave was a superior talent and I've always been a huge fan of the man and his work.
My deepest sympathies to Dave's friends and family.
Shin C. Kao
March 12, 2008 at 21:04A lot of people did not know that another of Daves loves was old cars, thats how i met Dave, he had a 40 ford which he tried to hot rod but did not know how. I took Dave under my wing and helped him build a bitchen rod. At the time i did not know of his talents as an artist but soon found out and realized he was a great artist, Dave and I became good friends and remained so till the end, but the end has not come his art will last forever. I will miss you greatly Dave fly with the Gods. Who ever gets his 40 Ford remember who it belonged to, it also was a dream of his which come true. Goodby Dave you will be missed very much by all the friends lives you have touched..............
March 12, 2008 at 21:17I collected Dave's art back in the '80s. It was one of the few connections I was able to forge with my father, who was a fan of his Bettie Page material. The world's a little less pretty today because of his passing.
March 12, 2008 at 21:21Dave Stevens was the greatest illustrator ever to work in comics in my opinion, and in the opinions of probably most of the other masters of the medium. One of the most significant artists of the 20th century, a tragic loss to the arts, and as an all around really nice guy, by all accounts, a terrible loss to his friends and family as well, my sincere condolences to them. There is a hole in the world now, that no one can ever fill, but the art and memories of this man he leaves us, can still comfort us and fill generations with wonder and awe.
March 12, 2008 at 21:27I knew from the 1st moment of seeing Dave's artwork, that he would be "my favorite artist.." And as an artist, you couldn't help but be incredibly envious of his apparent ease/facility/dexterity with pencils & inks.. And wishing that you too, could hold a candle to the scope of his creativity & imagination.
I can't imagine seeing another artist like him, in my lifetime. And I'll look forward to seeing/reading/enjoying his 'Art Of' book, when it's published early next Spring!
My deepest condolensces & sympathies, for his family & friends. It was truly an honor & privilege to have met him & known him!
March 12, 2008 at 21:51I'm shocked that Dave passed away.
I love his art and it will always remember us what a fine person he was.
Condolences from a huge fan to friends and family.
Christian - Germany
March 12, 2008 at 22:07Dave will be truely missed, and we want to thank his many friends for their kind and thoughtfull words and prayers. We had the additional pleasure of watching Dave grow-up along with our kids and develope into the great artist he had become.
We will miss Dave greatly.
Uncle Dick, Aunt Virginia, Robb, Rick and Cheryl
March 12, 2008 at 22:14Words cannot express how I feel. Dave was one of the first artists that influenced me as a kid. An influence to create great characters and beautiful women that gave me the notion that it could be done. Red Skye Comics and myself offer our condolences to the family and friends of Dave Stevens. His work will always be remembered. Thank you, Dave.
March 12, 2008 at 22:27My deepest sympathies to Dave's friends and family. He was an inspiration to many of today's artists, including myself, not only with his art but with his kindness and generosity. I will miss him deeply.
March 12, 2008 at 23:02This is heartbreaking. Dave was and will always be one of my favorite artists of all time. He was taken far too soon... I'll post the obit in as many places as I can. I have at least one friend here in Nashville who'll be brought to tears by this ill news, as I have been...
Miles P. Vorkosigan
March 12, 2008 at 23:03I never met Dave or even e-mailed to him. His art is amazing and will live on even though the artist has passed away. Dave has made an impact to us through his images and will continue to do so as future generations see his art.
March 12, 2008 at 23:14Dave Stevens will live forever on the page, and in our hearts. There exists a photo of me in much younger days, recreating Dave's Bettie Page---his work was such inspiration! Fire up the DVD player---it's time to watch The Rocketeer!
Marita Beth Caruthers
March 12, 2008 at 23:33This is horrible, horrible news...
Dave was one of the people I was looking forward to meet every time I happened to be in CA.
I don't want to think of him as gone, so I'll just replay in my mind the sorta kinky discussion we had a few years ago at Jim Silke's (Dave was there, together with Jim, some friends and artists and a couple models) about armpit hair on women. The whole thing got sparked when I pulled out a portfolio of Giovanna Casotto's illustrations (the two are mutual admirers) and became heated pretty fast: we had such a great time and shared so many laughs...
And that's how I want to remember him.
I'll miss you, Dave: my trips to California won't be the same anymore.
March 12, 2008 at 23:42One of the greatest artist of this or any generation. He will sorely be missed.
March 12, 2008 at 23:46I heard about Dave's passing by sheerest accident. Just moments ago, out of the blue, I was wondering if Dave had done anything new, since he's always been one of my favorite artists, and was shocked and dismayed to find that his passing had been announced just minutes earlier.
I never met him; I was strictly an admirer of his seemingly effortless technique. I have looked for long hours in awe at his picture of Bettie with the red carnation in her hair and wonderd "HOW does he do it?"
My condolences to his family and all his friends.
March 13, 2008 at 00:15His work was one of my early inspirations. I have no words to describe how sad I feel. We just lost a Master of the Pin-up art.
March 13, 2008 at 00:24My introduction to Dave Stevens and The Rocketeer was at the local library. My eyes couldn't stop tracing his lines seeing how subtle and natural they were. As if he was relaxed as he had drawn them leaving no trace of stiffness, no sign of rush....an artist enjoying his craft for the sake of the craft. As his work is immortalized on paper; I hope his work will inspire a new generation of artists out there. Rest in peace Dave Stevens.
March 13, 2008 at 00:32Saddened to hear - surely one of the absolute greats in cartooning and illustration - his Rocketeer was like a breath of fresh air, the stories had such a fun, entertaining, lively quality to them with an endearing sense of romance, nostalgia and decency that felt like an honest, heartfelt reflection of the man himself - a big loss, too young for someone who had so much to give... Peace.
March 13, 2008 at 00:39My ex-wife and I met Dave at Dragon*Con in 2002 and though he was jet-lagged he hung out with us, Bob Burden, and J. David Spurlock. He did a drawing of my ex and did something he rarely did and that was sign the drawing. He paid her to model for his next sketchbook, but I will never forget that he complimented me on my artwork that I had with me. Being a longtime comics fan and artist it always makes me sad to hear of the passing of someone in the field, but Dave I had met personally and it is like losing a friend that you admire. Dave I hope you're wearing your rocket pack as you soar along with Jack Kirby and all of the other greats in the afterlife. We miss you.
March 13, 2008 at 01:06Boy , what a shock. I cannot possibly express what a loss he will be to all lovers of comic book and fine art.
Besides losing an astounding artist , I've also lost a good friend. I became pals with Dave in San Diego many years ago and have great memories, stories and photos to share. Long live Dave Stevens!
March 13, 2008 at 01:07You meant so much to me. I know you knew that... I am staring at a photo of the time we went to Paris, the time we went to New Jersey, the time...
I wish you were still here... my heart aches for you.
March 13, 2008 at 01:45You were the rocket-man for me and so much more.Great art always...and thanks for supporting dear old Bettie...great soul too.
To all your family and friends my shared sadness, but also joy for all he gave to us.
Ernesto - New Zealand
March 13, 2008 at 02:05Sure, Dave's work was incredible, and he will always be remembered for that. But Dave had a great laugh and a love of wicked humor. And he really loved the bad girls! One of his best friends said to me today, "I'll really miss that I could say anything to Dave." Even during his illness, he retained his sense of humor and you would never have known he was suffering. So, here's to you, Dave! Hope you're getting the world's greatest lap dance in that big exotic dance club in the sky. We love ya, Baby!
March 13, 2008 at 02:07Grew up knowing Dave, and his family. My deepest and heartfelt condolences to all of the Stevens family, and friends. Dave was a true talent. His work will live on, but he will be sadly missed on this earth. Fly high with the angels Dave, and we'll all see you again, one day.
March 13, 2008 at 02:11My heart is once again breaking. I'm so sorry to hear about Daves passing.
Incredible talent. and a wonderful individual. An inspiration in more ways than one.
March 13, 2008 at 02:12I was lucky to be able to call Dave a friend for 19 years. Back in 1989 , I invited Dave to one of my comic book conventions and he quickly agreed to be a guest.When you meet some one with that much talent it really is wonderful to find out he was a much better person than artist. And that is staying a lot.
Everyone who walked into my comic book store the last few days talked about how much they respected Dave and how much they loved him.
I will always remember him at a dinner we held after the show and George Evans was telling a story about old time comic artists. Everyone broke out into laughter and Dave was laughing so hard he almost fell out of his chair.
I will miss you Dave and think of all the good times laughing with you.
Dave Stevens was one of the good guys.
March 13, 2008 at 02:16I was saddened to hear from Bud Plant of Dave Stevens passing. He was a brilliant artist and was very kind to his fans. It was an honor to meet him in San Diego and he will be sorely missed. Thanks for the Rocketman and those exquisite Bettie Page illustrations Dave.
March 13, 2008 at 02:36Dave's art is as good as it gets. He was and always will be a true inspiration. My condolences to his friends and family.
March 13, 2008 at 02:40I borrowed his "Rocketeer" book many times at my local library. He was a great artist and he made me like the pulp heroes like Doc Savage. I also liked the movie very much.
Rest in peace Dave !
March 13, 2008 at 02:52Dave Stevens was and still is an inspiration to us all. Nobody can draw Bettie Page like Dave.
March 13, 2008 at 03:07I met Mr. Stevens at Freedonia Funnyworks, so long ago I'm almost embarrassed to say. He autographed my movie poster and some of his books. That poster has hung on the wall of every apartment I've had since then; I tell my kid about the time I met the nicest person in comics. I am blown away. Thank you for being so nice to a gawking fan, Dave.
March 13, 2008 at 03:08May you soar with the the Angels.
Douglas R. Reynolds
March 13, 2008 at 03:29I was introduced to Dave's art in Art college, around 1985, by my friend Tom. I was immediately affected, and in fact, his art affected my own. I got several autographs from Dave over the years, and still have the wrapper from a stick of Beemans gum that he gave me!
Thanks Dave, your style and grace will always be with us.
Now, you can truly fly in the clouds.
March 13, 2008 at 03:52Wow, what a shock! Back in the days of the Rocketeer film I got to know Dave pretty well because I was putting together the Poster Book. He was a wonderful artist, intelligent, funny and very down-to-earth. Later on we were exploring doing a book on Bettie Page and I got back in touch with Dave to be able to speak to Bettie. On every occasion I spoke to Dave or saw him, he was one of the most gracious gentlemen I have every known. In many ways, I considered him a friend.
I kept hoping to cross paths again when I was able to get to a convention on the coast. Sadly, that door is closed.
Dave, truly you will be missed on this earth.
March 13, 2008 at 03:52I did not know Dave personally but loved and enjoyed his artwork immensely over the years. My deepest sympathy to Dave's family and friends. Best Wishes.
John D. Razan
March 13, 2008 at 03:57I always loved his style, and the Rocketeer was one of only a few "gems" that I kept when I gave up my comic collection.
Too soon, too damn soon.
March 13, 2008 at 04:22He will be missed. Such a happy, great guy.
I used to see him every year at the San Diego Comicon.