The Bell Tolls for Steve Dillon

steve dillon preacher premiere

Comics has lost a legendary and influential artist whose career spanned nearly 40 years.

Steve Dillon started creating comic books with his friends while still in secondary school. He started his professional career at 16 with the title story in Marvel UK’s Hulk Weekly. In the 1980s he drew for Nick Fury, Warrior, Doctor Who Magazine, and 2000 AD. He had an expressive style that was perfect for action heavy stories, and he excelled at making the narrative jump from the page.

tumblr_oblnm4hura1qf427ko1_1280

dredd panel dillon

dredd-dillon-panel-fade

Dillon (right) started Deadline with fellow artist Brett Ewins (left) in 1988. The magazine supported up and coming comics of the era including the first appearances of Tank Girl, as well as work by James Hewlett (of Gorillaz fame), Phillip Bond, and Nick Abadzis. The mag is credited with helping bring underground comics into the forefront.

 gallery_comics-brett-ewins-and-steve-dillon

He worked with Dredd alum Garth Ennis on Hellblazer from 1992 through 1994. The pair would go on to create one of the classics of alt comics: Preacher.

In an interview with EW this spring he recalled that “nothing like it had been done by a big, mainstream comic publisher before, and I wondered if we’d get away with the stuff we wanted to do. I remember drawing the first issue thinking, ‘This is either going to bomb completely or enough people will get it to make it a cult success.'”

Preacher won an Eisner in 1999, and made its small screen debut this year on AMC.

preacher-4-dillon

preacher-57-dillon

preacher-66-dillon

When Preacher wrapped in 2000 he worked on the Punisher (Marvel Knights, War Zone, MAX), Wolverine: Origins, Bullseye, and Thuderbolts.

1825632574_fe8d1aa130_o

punisher-2000-bear

wolverinr-origins-dillon

… and those are just some the highlights of his prolific career. He started working with Becky Cloonan on a Punisher series this last spring.

His work is instantly recognizable; it defined the look of books in the 1990s and influenced artists like Tony Moore and Mitch Gerads. His finger prints will be on this art form for years to come.

Steve Dillon was 54.

  • Alpharius

    RIP among the legends!

  • Beefcake the mighty

    R.I.P. A true legend of the medium gone too soon. Preacher is still the best series ever.

  • david

    Judge Dredd was always my favorite 2000AD character.Steve Dillon will be missed by all comic fans.
    Tharg will miss him,RIP Steve!

  • euansmith

    Florix Grabundae to the zarjaz Steve Dillion, Krill Tro Thargo, and Splundig vur Thrigg.

  • Manwiththedogs

    54… Too young.

  • Robert Schröder

    RIP