Dave Simons, Rest in Peace.


One day after we published his redesign of Squirrel Girl, Dave Simons passed away. Our love and condolences go out to all that knew him.

This is a bit about the brilliant artist, by his friend and colleague Mark Evanier.

Comic book and animation artist Dave Simons has died at the age of 54 following a long battle with cancer.

David Lloyd Simons was a native New Yorker with a childhood passion for comic books. Art teachers encouraged and advised him, and while he was serving in the Coast Guard in the seventies, he began attending classes conducted by one of Marvel’s star artists, John Buscema. Dave would later say he owed his career to those workshops, citing not only Buscema’s teaching but also the friendships he forged there with other young artists, including Armando Gil and Ken Landgraf. At a 1979 comic convention, he showed his work to Rick Marschall, who was then an editor for Marvel, and this led to Dave getting work at the company. His first assignment was inking a Falcon story that I wrote and which was pencilled by John’s brother, Sal Buscema.

Dave followed it with work on many Marvel titles including Howard the Duck, Tomb of Dracula, Ghost Rider, Red Sonja, Conan the Barbarian and many more, segueing from inking to also at times, pencilling. He also worked for DC and Disney, but by the early nineties, had moved more into animation work. Among the shows that featured his design and storyboard work were G.I. Joe Extreme, Captain Planet, Masters of the Universe, Exo-Squad and Courage the Cowardly Dog.

He was a very talented, enthusiastic artist. His work was well-liked and Dave was well-liked. A lot of folks are saddened to hear we’ve lost him.

Gene Colan worked with Dave Simons more than anyone, and he had some beautiful words to help us send him off.

In all the decades I’ve known Dave and worked with him, he never complained once. Never…about anything. Even with last year’s diagnosis, he remained spirited and helpful to his fellow artists, me among them! Adrienne and I loved Dave’s art. He had a thorough understanding of pen and ink. There was a joy in his art that beautifully transferred to the board.

We’re very very sad and will miss Dave deeply. I need to believe in Heaven. Perhaps we get all the art assignments we want, with no deadlines and anything we decide to draw is received with joy and celebration. A ‘bullpen’ where all we do is clown around and draw what we want. I think Dave would love that!

The comic books drawn by Dave Simons will live on, as long as people celebrate our modern myths. He brought us joy through superheroes, and now he flies into a story that cannot be told.




Filed under Comic Books

3 responses to “Dave Simons, Rest in Peace.

  1. Sadly Mark’s short obit has one glaring error – Dave was only 54 years old, still far too young.

  2. Thanks, I corrected the copy.

    Gone way too soon, but his work will live forever.

  3. Dave Simons’ middle name was Lloyd. It was his grandfather’s name…and his grandparents lived up the road from me in Seelyville, Pennsylvania. Dave and I connected somehow in our middle teens, one summer when he was visiting his name-sake. We drew comics together, swam in the river, rode horses, played golf (Dave couldn’t hit the doggone thing to save his life!)…and dreamed of becoming comic book pros. Dave’s dream came true. I have many wonderful memories from those years which now feel like fantasy.

    Dave’s first printed comic work (that I’m aware of) was a comic strip in his school newspaper called Night Rider (I have photocopies of some of them). NR was a motorcycle character…and Dave revisited his love for such characters in his later professional work on Ghost Rider.

    His first printed comic work in Fandom (to my knowledge) was in my own fanzine, Comic Courier…and later in a zine that he and I worked on together: The Wonderful World of the Wild and Wicked West. I have that artwork still (and stuff we hoped to publish but never did).

    Dave wanted to go to art school after high school, but parental pressure pushed him into the Coast Guard. He was stationed on Governor’s Island off Manhatten…and fell in love with the Big Apple.

    Scientology got a hold of him…and took all his money ( I wrote him a song during that time…reaching out to him when it seemed that he was so lost). He took classes under John Buscema. He lived in a roach-filled apartment in Greenwich Village. He lived in a warehouse at the lower end of Manhattan. He fell in love…wanted to marry… it didn’t happen. He was pencilling the first issue of Red Sonja during that time: beautiful pencils (ruined by Vince Coletta’s inks!) He lived lots of other places…made new friends…kept drawing. He made his mark in the real comic book world–and beyond.

    He and I lost touch. I tracked him down in California. Then back on the East Coast. Then no word. A phone call. A letter. Where was this guy?

    Then a couple of days ago I found him online! I saw pictures of him. I discovered that he’d been battling cancer. I saw that he had moved to Jersey City. I found his blog…an e-mail address…I sent him an e-mail…and then I revisited the site where I found his blog…and discovered my friend had passed from this planet two days earlier!

    Dave and I were both born in 1954. I have missed him through the years—I miss him terribly just now.

    “Life is a brief minute…eternity follows.”

    Mark Ammerman

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