Dave Stevens 1955–2008

rocketeer_pencils

I didn’t want my first post back to be something like this. I’ve been caught up in a lot of personal stuff (good stuff, but more on that tomorrow).

I never really met Dave Stevens. Oh, sure, I took stuff up to have him sign it at a bunch of San Diego Comicons. I gushed about how much I loved his work. He was always incredibly gracious and modest. However, I never had the guts to show him my work. I never felt it was good enough.

That’s a shame. Given what I know about Mr. Stevens (from accounts by his friends), he probably would have been very kind and generous looking at my awkward attempts to emulate his work. And by all accounts, he was always sincere in his compliments of other people’s work—even those less-talented than him (which is about 99% of the artists working in comics).

But I was a wuss. And I regret that.

Lately, I had been studying a lot of Stevens’ work. A lot. Trying to understand the expressive nature of his brush line. Trying to figure out how he so perfectly balanced juxtapositioning a slick, controlled line with loose, lush, rendering lines.

My mind still boggles at how perfectly he managed it.

I’d also been looking at his work in an attempt to do justice to a Rocketeer commission for my friend Matt. Pictured here are the pencils.

I’m really daunted to try and ink this.

Thanks for everything, Dave.

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