This was supposed to go up earlier this week, but I just could bring myself to write this short piece on one of my favorite artists of all time. Last weekend Steve Dillon passed away at the age of 54 and I normally cover news I needed to write something about this tremendous lost to the comics community.
I never had the chance to meet Steve Dillon in the ten years of reading comics, in fact I didn’t discover his art until I purchased the definitive Frank Castle story Welcome Back Frank, which a friend of mind highly recommended to me. It was there I saw the brilliance of his unique style, as if the universe had opened another door to see comic art in a different manner. At first I enjoyed Dillon’s art work because it was unapologetically gratuitous when it came to the degree of violence that Frank would inflict on those opposing against him. I’ve read violent comics before but most of them played the realism angle, whereas Dillon’s approach was more cartoonish in his approach. Here’s a perfect example of that.
It’s a simple shot but looking at the whole this close range shot creates is over the top. However while most casual readers will recognize Steve Dillon’s art for the occasional grotesque moments of violence, Steve Dillon had something that is essential to comics, the ability to convey emotion through sequential storytelling. Yes Preacher still contains those moments that will shock and disgust you, but Preacher is story about it’s characters first and Steve Dillon makes Preacher that much more engaging for it. Look at this panel between Jesse and his father, even though this scene is out of context you can feel the emotion coming through. So yes Dillon’s take on violence is well know but more people should look at the moment below when talking about Steve Dillon.
I’m praying for his family in this turbulent time and I’m selfish in the fact that I’m never going to see new Steve Dillon pages ever again. I’m gonna miss your art Mr. Dillion. Rest in piece, pilgrim.