Goddamn, this one sucks. If you’re not a comic book person you’re unlikely to have heard of Steve Dillon, who passed away today (of as yet unannounced causes; if he was sick, his family kept it quiet, and he was working up to the end) at the disgustingly young age of 54. Dillon did a ton of work in a long career in comics but was known primarily for his work with writer Garth Ennis on titles like Punisher and Preacher. He also had a run on Hellblazer that I’m less familiar with.
Dillon was one of my favorite artists, despite having caught a fair amount of shit from me over the years. His greatest strength as an artist was tied in tightly with his greatest weakness: Steve Dillon could really only draw one face, when it came down to it, and most of his characters ended up being that same face with differences in hair, headgear, eyepatches, things like that. But the man could capture a range of expressions on that face that was flatly unparalleled among any artist I’m aware of. Absolutely goddamn nobody can capture shades of emotion in a comic book character’s look like Dillon could. He had a grounded, realistic style that made him perfect for the books he had long runs on and occasionally (and I say this with love, believe me) hilariously inappropriate for others:
That is, believe it or not, supposed to be the Hulk.
He’s also responsible for this moment, which will live forever:
If you have led the type of life that resulted in getting paid real money to draw the Punisher punching a polar bear in the face, you have won as a human being. Steve will be greatly, greatly missed. He was one of the good guys.