Steve Dillon, one of the great figures of British comics, has sadly passed away at the age of 54. The I newspaper has run a tribute to him by Hellen William today, 26th October 2016, on page 14. The piece runs
Comic book genius Steve Dillon, who is best known for his artwork on Judge Dredd, Preacher and The Punisher, has died aged 54.
His younger brother, Glyn, also a comic book artist, confirmed on Twitter that his ‘big brother’ and ‘hero’ had died.
Dillon, who grew up in Luton, Bedfordshire, started his career by drawing Nick Fury for Hulk magazine when he was 16. By the 1980s he was contributing artwork to Doctor Who magazine and created his own character, Absalom Daak. He also drew for the comic 2000 AD, contributing artwork of Judge Dredd.
In 1988, Dillon founded Deadline, with fellow comic book artist Brett Ewins. The comics magazine focussed on promoting younger and underground comic artists, including artist Jamie Hewlett, who went on to create the comic Tank Girl and co-create the virtual band Gorillaz with Damon Albarn in 1998.
Dillon and Ewins also collaborated on the comic book series Preacher from 1995 to 2000. In it a religious Texan, his girlfriend and an Irish vampire attempt to track down God and hold him to account for the state of the world.
In 2016, the series was adapted for a television show in the US, featuring Dominic Cooper, Ruth Negga and Joe Gilgun. It has now been renewed for a second series.
Actor and film-maker Seth Rogen, who helped adapt the comics for television, tweeted, “Devastated by the lost of Steve Dillon. My favourite comic artist who drew my favourite comics. RIP”
Shortly before his death, Dillon appeared at Comic Con in New York City. He met fans and signed books, the profits of which were partly donated to The Hero Initiative, a charity which provides medical and financial help to comic book artists.
Tributes also come from author Neil Gaiman, who added: “Just heard about Steve Dillon’s passing. It’s been so long since we’ve talked, but he was kind to a young writer long ago, and a good guy.”
Wonder Woman artist Liam Sharp wrote: “My old friend Steve Dillon has died. He was like my industry big brother. Pragmatic to the core, casually cool, and effortlessly brilliant.”
Marvel Entertainment, which ran much of Dillon’s best-known work, said: “Marvel is saddened by the passing of Steve Dillon, a great storyteller. We offer condolences to his family and remember his incredible work.”
Doctor Who magazine tweeted: ‘We’re saddened to report the death of Steve Dillon, one of Doctor Who magazine’s earliest artists, and co-creator of Absalom Daak. RIP Steve.”
Vertigo Comics tweeted: “We lost a giant among creators and artists today. Steve Dillon will be missed by us all here at DC and Vertigo.”
Dillon is survived by his parents, three children, his brother, sister and two grandchildren.
Born: 22 March 1962.
Died 22 October 2016.
The newspaper also carries a photo of the great man.
Dillon was one of the great figures in British comics when I was a teenager in the late 1970s and 80s, contributing strips to a number of Marvel UK comics, as well as 2000 AD. I’ve also got a feeling he may also have drawn for Warrior, the short-lived adult British comic, launched by Dez Skinn, in which V for Vendetta first appeared.
I’m also seriously impressed by how young he was when he started work in comics. His artwork was great, and it showed the immense talent he had that he started when he was only 16.
Truly, a great talent and one of the mainstays of comics for the last 30 years has left us.
There’s another tribute to the great man by Pete Dorree in his The Bronze Age of Blogs. This is a site devoted to 70’s comics, including reproductions of some of the strips. In addition to the tribute, Dorree has also put up the Nick Fury strip, which was Dillon’s very first strip for Hulk comic. It’s a great piece, and shows the man’s artistic skill at such a young age. Here’s the link