The world has been filled with great comic book artists since the dawn of the medium, but very few of them can be called true legends. Steve Dillon earned that distinction, though, for decades spent honing his craft with some of the most memorable characters in comics, and ones that have recently been embraced by the TV world. Sadly, Dillon's days of co-creating projects such as the standout series Preacher are no more, as the artist has died at the age of 54.
Reports of Steve Dillon's death first hit over the weekend as stories were shared across social media. One of those reports came from his brother and fellow artist Glyn Dillon, who said his sibling passed away in New York City, "the city he loved." According to The New York Times, Dillon's Preacher co-creator and comic writer Garth Ennis says Dillon died from a ruptured appendix that was initially thought to be tied to food poisoning.
To be expected, there were a lot of recognizable names and faces posting about Steve Dillon's passing over the weekend, including both Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. They, of course, teamed up years ago with Sam Catlin to develop the theology-driven paranormal western thriller Preacher as a TV show for AMC, and it's something that worked quite beautifully despite the seemingly not-for-TV material that Dillon was known for. It doesn't get better than Arseface.
Born in London in 1962, Steve Dillon first kicked off the career that made him famous when he was merely 16 years old, working on a Hulk Weekly series for Marvel UK. He would develop his talents in the 1980s on projects like 2000 AD (including Judge Dredd stories) and Animal Man, but it was in the 1990s that he would create the images that secured his seat in the pantheon of comic icons. From 1992-1994, he worked on most of a superb run of Garth Ennis-written issues of Hellblazer, which features the eventual unfortunate son of DC TV John Constantine, while he and Ennis' epic Preacher run lasted 66 issues from 1995-2000.
Steve Dillon made the shift from DC/Vertigo to Marvel Comics in the 2000s, and the character he worked with the most at this point was The Punisher, with Garth Ennis once again penning the stories on several of those projects. It's not an outlandish assumption that some of the events they told in miniseries like Welcome Back, Frank or their Punisher: War Zone revival will get used in the Netflix series based on the violent vigilante. At the time of his death, Dillon was working on a new Punisher series with the fabulous Becky Cloonan that debuted in May.
2016 has been a rough one for the world of entertainment figures, and Steve Dillon's death is a sharp sting to comic fans the world over, but at least TV is finally catching up with his most popular characters and giving them the live-action justice they deserve. We here at CinemaBlend send our thoughts and condolences to the family and friends of Steve Dillon in their time of mourning.