I was on the road when the news of Dave Steven's untimely passing flashed through the world of comics like a raging wildfire.
I really liked Dave. I did not know him that well--but he was a very good friend of many of my very good friends. And he spent several years at Eclipse Comics when I was on board at that publishing concern--both as Beanworld creator and a behind-the-scenes marketing consultant.
Dave was the first person that said that Beanworld Action Figures had "little faces." Which struck me as interesting because they were just little dabs of ink. He was such an incredibly gifted renderer, but he "got" what I was doing. I appreciated that.
He was not only an amazing artist he was also incredibly humble and gracious. I was at some convention or another when the comic book (or perhaps the catalog solicitation) sporting the cover with the above illustration showed up and Eclipse editor-in-chief, cat yronwode, and I were marveling at it when Dave strolled up and cat gave him a look-see.
I will never forget his reaction.
He said, "Oh dear. I could have done better. I left way too much purple on my brush."
I'm not the first to observe that Dave truly didn't seem to appreciate his own incredible talent. But the rest of us did.
I know he had a long, hard struggle the last few years and I hope he rests in peace.
He will definitely be remembered by a multitude of people who just adored the man and his work.