When it comes to losing idols, 2016 has been one bitch of a year. This weekend marked the final chapter in the book of Steve Dillon — the hugely influential comic artist whose simplistic, bright yet deeply disturbing artworks have, and still will, inspired generations. He was 54 years old.
Mostly famed for his work on the #Preacher comic series, which has recently been adapted for AMC, Dillon's career spanned decades and continents. His professional debut coming at 16-years-old, he went to create the pages of works such as 2000 AD, Doctor Who Weekly, Hellblazer and The Punisher, among many many more. His various projects have garnered international acclaim and a huge fanbase from professionals and readers alike.
Social media pages the past two days have been a testament to Dillon's influence; the below 20 posts from fellow comic book professionals and enthusiasts are but a fraction of the tributes flooding the Twittersphere.
- A Life In Panels: Remembering The Legendary Preacher Comic Book Artist, Steve Dillon
- 7 Of The Most Fucked Up Moments From The 'Preacher' Comics That TV Won't Dare To Touch
- 5 Things We Want To See In 'Preacher' Season 2
1. Preacher writer, collaborator, Garth Ennis, wrote the following, heartbreaking tribute to his dear friend, which is reproduced in full below:
"Steve liked a drink or two, and if the truth be told that’s how most of us knew him. Or it might be more accurate to say that Steve liked the pub, because that’s where you go to meet up with people, and Steve loved people. He found them endlessly interesting, he was happy to talk to anyone.
He changed my life in a couple of ways. The first was with a phone call, somewhere towards the end of ’91: “All right, mate, I’m thinking of heading over to New York in the new year, maybe for a long weekend. Fancy it?” The second was with two decades plus of brilliant artistic collaboration, where he took whatever lunacy I threw at him and made it work flawlessly, every single time.
We met in London in the summer of ’89, but it was about a year later in Dublin that something audibly clicked. After everyone else had passed out, we sat up ‘til dawn and killed off a bottle of Jameson, talking about what we wanted to do in comics- what we thought could be done with them, what the medium was for. I can recall a sort of mutual “Oh yes, you. You’re the one. You get it.” This was to pay off handsomely in the years to come.
The last time I saw Steve was late last Saturday night in New York, walking down fifth avenue to his hotel after saying goodnight outside Foley’s. It could have been the end of any one of a thousand nights. It’s not a bad last memory to have. Steve was best man at my wedding and my good and dear friend. I think he probably taught me more about what that word means than anyone else.
I drank with Steve Dillon from Dublin to Belfast, from London to Glasgow, from San Francisco to New York City. I have not one single complaint. Cheers, mate."
2. Warren Ellis, award-winning writer of Transmetropolitan, The Authority and Crooked Little Vein among others, tweeted:
And posted the following touching obit (that simultaneously introduced us to the term "pinted"):
"Steve Dillon died Thursday or Friday in New York City.
Which I am still having trouble processing. I hadn't seen him in a good few years - I stopped doing conventions, I drifted away from comics circles in general -- but I must have known him since around 1990. He was about six years older than me, which means he was around 54 when he died.
I wouldn't say Steve was indestructible, because I remember the day when he was trying to get to his convention panel from his hotel room via every toilet in between those two locations. But there was something of the immortal about him. He could soak up phenomenal amounts of damage and stress and keep moving. I think most of us assumed he would live to be a hundred, just to spite everybody, giant and inviolate to the end.
And that's how I'm going to remember him. Walking around a pub in Ireland making sure everybody had a drink. "You got your pint? Is everybody pinted?"
Everybody's pinted, Steve. You can sit down and rest now. You earned it, mate."
3. A theme Marvel & DC writer Ivan Brandon continued:
4. The graphic-novel mastermind behind Daredevil:Born Again, Sin City, 300 and Ronin, Frank Miller, wrote:
5. Tom King, who penned DC's Batman series, The Vision for Marvel and the novel A Once Crowed Sky offered:
6. Canadian cartoonist Jeff Lemire talked of Dillon's influence:
7. Founder of Madefire Inc. and comic artist Liam Sharp praised Steve 'the glorious bastard' Dillion:
8. Marvel and DC artist Russ Braun shared his memory of the time spent with him:
9. Comic veteran Darick Robertson on losing a dear friend:
10. Watchmen collaborator and comic artist Dave Gibbons offered:
11. Comic creator, writer and artist Martin Dunn on his inspiration:
12. Author of American Gods and numerous graphic novels offered a simple, sweet memory:
13 & 14. AMC Preacher collaborators who brought Dillon's work to the silver screen earlier this year, Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, shared their condolences:
15. Thor, Star Wars and Doctor Strange writer Jason Aaron gave high praise:
15. Daredevil and Death of Wolverine writer Charles Soule reminisced:
16. The Walking Dead comic artist Tony Moore tweeted his grief:
17. Marvel-ous mind Jonathan Hickman — whose work includes Fantastic Four and S.H.I.E.L.D — wrote:
18. Comic and TV writer behind the likes of HBO's Westworld Ed Brubaker thanked Dillon's dirty mind:
19. The comic artist Mike McKone who's worked on Justice League of America and The War Zone offered:
20. The Secret Life of Pets and TMNT writer summarized the stink:
A fan of Steve Dillion's work yourself? Share your favorite memories in the comments.