News broke yesterday that Dave Stevens, creator of The Rocketeer and Bettie Page fan, has died following a long fight with leukemia. Stevens, whose geek credentials include a stint working on Hanna Barbera's Super Friends and Godzilla cartoons in the late '70s, made his name creating The Rocketeer in 1982.
Due to Stevens' perfectionist tendencies, the character appeared rarely in comic books over the following years, despite being adapted into a movie by Disney in the early 1990s. According to Stevens' friend, Mark Evanier, his reputation for outstanding quality despite his low output stood him in good stead once the disease took its toll on his work:
We tried to get together for dinner every month or so but it wound up being more like every six months. The last time, he joked that it was lucky he had such a reputation for slow production. Now that he was unable to work for weeks at a time, no one noticed that his output had declined.
Stevens passed away on Monday. He was 52. Dave Stevens [News from ME]