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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...
...or a seriously pissed rabbit.
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?
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.