Tuesday, March 18, 2008
EXTREMELY SHOCKED TO HEAR THAT COMIC ARTIST DAVE STEVENS HAS DIED of complications from leukemia. Stevens was best known as the creator/artist of The Rocketeer and his artwork was beautiful, slick and almost photo-realistic. I can remember waaaaaay back in the 80's when The Rocketeer first appeared; the amazing 1930's retro look was something new and really nice to look at. The Rocketeer's helmet looked just like a classic car, somehow; and the look also brought to mind that classic 30's Rocket Men serial. That was the whole point. But perhaps the greatest and most long-lasting contribution Dave Stevens made to this comic readers psyche was the introduction of Bettie Page to a whole new generation of teenagers with surging hormones. The first appearanace of Bettie Page in the Rocketeer (as the hero's girlfriend) was stunning; thousands of lads must have fallen in love immediately. It was only a little later on that we came to know that Bettie Page was actually a real person. We sought her out and REALLY fell in love. For this alone, Dave Stevens earned my undying gratitude. But the man was unquestionably one hell of a great comic artist. It seems impossible to believe that we won't be seeing any more of his artwork now that he's gone at the age of 52.