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RIP

Bobby DerieBobby Derie Registered User regular
This is a thread for...talking about comics people that are dead. Writers, artists, editors, whatever. This is where we come to mourn and remember. BYOB.

...

Steve Dillon is dead. I've been going through my shelves and long boxes lately, to see what I actually have of his. A lot of collaborations with Garth Ennis. Preacher stands out, and Hellblazer, and some of the best runs on The Punisher in modern memory. Hitman...just, wow, Hitman. There's a ton more I'll miss, that I'll run across tomorrow or a year from now.

I remember some of the criticisms that fans have leveled over the years. That Dillon's characters tend to have the same faces. There is a certain square-jawed aesthetic that creeps in on a lot of characters. You could usually count on an eyebrow arch at least once an issue. Women tend to be thin with triangular faces, rounded off at the chin. But the same? I don't remember them being the same. I remember thinking "Only Steve Dillon could draw Arseface." I think folks had a tendency to get caught up in the lantern jaws, they never looked at the eyes. Steve Dillon did some of the most expressive eyes in the business. He could nail a squint, or a wide-eyed gape of wonder. Register surprise and anger and the blink in between. I think he's the only person that ever really managed to put the Punisher's thousand-yard stare on paper, or the betrayal as a polar bear's world went wrong...

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...or a seriously pissed rabbit.

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Mostly, though, I'll remember the stories. Because there's a line when boys grow up - I seriously have no idea how it goes with women, but guys look for role models, consciously or unconsciously. The people we want to be like, the people we model our behavior after. And in the stories Dillon drew, the heroes tend to be bastards and the villains tend to be bastards. Jerks with hearts of gold, in terrible worlds, but very human characters. Being human isn't always about being nice. You might see Superman allow himself a small smile of victory. But when John Constantine does it?

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Someone else could have drawn that panel. But it wouldn't have been the same moment. None of it would have been the same. Michelangelo couldn't capture that grin.

I keep looking through the old comics, some of them a little softer than I remember at the edges from use. Trying to find THE MOMENT. The thing that says Dillon to me. I'm not really finding it. There's too much. Too many old memories with his ink-stained fingertips on them.

RIP, Steve Dillon.

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Posts

  • TexiKenTexiKen Very cool. Verycool. Verrikool. Verikul.Registered User regular
    Paul Ryan died earlier in the year as well, prolific artist of The Phantom comic strip as well as long time Fantastic Four artist and Avengers/Flash penciller.

    It's been said in other mediums but 2016 has been a really bad year for passings.

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    Bobby DerieGrunt's GhostsMartini_Philosopher
  • BogartBogart Newsflash, fuckwads: I'm a good person. Registered User regular
    I first saw Dillon's art in 2000AD about thirty years ago. He was absurdly good even when he started in his mid-teens, and I don't think anyone ever matched his ability to capture emotion on a face. Wryly amused, exasperated, nervous, sardonic and of course angry as all hell. Want a comic that has nothing more than a couple of people talking at a bar. Dillon was your man to make every panel interesting to look at and to tell the story.

    As well as the other stuff mentioned above I remember his Judge Dredd and his Rogue Trooper vividly. He was also the co-editor of the much-missed Deadline, a superb, subversive comic that ran for a bit in the UK.

    And of course Darwyn Cooke died this year as well. 2016 sucks something awful.

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  • Linespider5Linespider5 flossing afficionado. Registered User regular
    I don't know if it's been confirmed yet but I read the Dillon died of a goddamn burst appendix.

    Just, fucking hell.

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  • Bobby DerieBobby Derie Registered User regular
    C7S5UoKVAAAK9fS.jpg:large

    Bernie Wrightson is dead.

    Bernie drew monsters. He drew a lot of other things, too, but let's get this straight: the man could draw a proper monster. A lot of comic monsters are half-assed things. No depth too them. Like shaved gorillas painted pink with a couple horns stuck in random places. I have yet to see another artist that could make moss looking fantastic.

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    He was...I don't want to say "old school." But I remember him from back when horror comics were still somewhere between hokey and edgy. Before the Comics Code Authority gave up the ghost, when the Addams Family and Munsters were the lazy fare, and Hammer Horror was the hardest of the hardcore. I don't want to say all comics art was crap back then, but comics were printed out on bad paper with garish colors that tended to spoil a lot of lines. You had to really be expressive with your characters...and Bernie Wrightson was.

    And he gave us Frankenstein.

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    Bernie Wrightson put the "Art" in "comic book art." 'nuff said.

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