Rocketeer creator dies at 52

Discussion in 'The Moving Picture' started by jake_fink, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. jake_fink

    jake_fink Call Me a Cab

    I don't know where to post this, but since the movie has a few fans here I'll go for the movies forum. Rocketeer creator Dave Stevens died today at only 52.

    Here is more: Dave Stevens 1955 - 2008.
  2. DavidVillaJr

    DavidVillaJr One of the Regulars

    Manteca, California
    That is just crushing.

    Rest well Mr. Stevens.

    The Rocketeer comic reingited my love of the golden age. Just loved the style and feel and look of EVERYTHING. I'm going to go re-read ALL of my Dave Stevens stuff today.

  3. Brian Sheridan

    Brian Sheridan One Too Many

    Erie, PA
    Oh my God! His knowledge of the 1930's bands was reportedly encyclopedic! The Rocketeer showed the love he had of the Golden Age. What a loss! I have his iconic Art Deco Rocketeer movie poster framed in my library.
  4. RetroToday

    RetroToday A-List Customer

    Toronto, Canada
    Oh my God! I'm so sad now... and shocked :(

    Another great loss. I was just getting used to the fact that local musician (and music historian) Jeff Healey passed away this week from cancer, and now this. Horrible.

    I hadn't imagined Dave Stevens passing away this soon in my wildest nightmares. This is very devastating to me as I've been in love with Dave's artwork since I was a kid, before the movie came out. Since I love the style of the 1930s and also love creating art, his great work has always been in my heart, it just fits so much of what I like in that deco era.
    I shouldn't forget to mention the ladies he created too, wow.

    I was always disappointed that he didn't get more artwork out, but I also understood that it's better to have quality than quantity - I'm the same way, I empathized.
    Years ago, after the Rocketeer comic ended, I'd be happy again for a few minutes when I'd discover a new pinup of his from time to time in various comic books, but that didn't quench the thirst for that 1930s Rocketeer art. The final Rocketeer comics (published by Dark Horse) came out late and he also needed help to finish the art from Mike Kaluta (famous for his comics resurrecting The Shadow) and Art Adams (another great). But, at least the comics arrived, and I ate them up.

    Funny, as Brian also has a framed poster of the Rocketeer - When the Rocketeer movie came out, I bought the poster from the theatre manager of the theatre I went to see it at - I had to really bother him to get it. He finally agreed and we pulled it right from the display case. I spent what I considered a lot of money at the time to frame it in a "deco" style frame. It's been on various walls in my home ever since.

    In 1994 I went with my family to the EAA airshow just to see a replica of a similar GeeBee to the one in the comic books in flight. Delmar Benjamin built and flew this replica and put on an amazing show. I must sound like such a weirdo for having done all this stuff because of a comic book, but Dave Stevens was truly a special influence in my life and art.

    I didn't have the pleasure of meeting Dave as I didn't have very much money to travel when he was still attending comic conventions and signings.
    I'll miss him even though we never met. His art just had that effect on me.

    Rest in peace Dave.

    Myself in front of Delmar Benjamin's Gee Bee R2 replica at Oshkosh, 1994

    My framed Rocketeer movie poster
  5. jake_fink

    jake_fink Call Me a Cab

    I was upset about Jeff Healey too. His hot jazz outfit was sensational.
  6. Retro Rob

    Retro Rob Familiar Face

    Lost in the Past
    What a shame, a great artist. I had the pleasure of working with Billy Cambell a few years back. A great guy, not the typical Hollywood type.
  7. Doh!

    Doh! One Too Many

    Tinsel Town
    This is most shocking news. I've been collecting his work since the '80s. He was a true talent and will be sorely missed.

  8. Doctor Strange

    Doctor Strange I'll Lock Up

    Hudson Valley, NY
  9. Bull Moose

    Bull Moose Familiar Face

    Central FL
    Loss of a great artist. I enjoyed Stevens's artwork.
  10. kpreed

    kpreed Guest

    A great talent, he will be missed. R.I.P.
  11. J. M. Stovall

    J. M. Stovall Call Me a Cab

    Rest in peace Dave, you were one of the best.
  12. J. M. Stovall

    J. M. Stovall Call Me a Cab

  13. Green Falcon

    Green Falcon New in Town

    Lawrence, KS
    Dave Stevens was a big part of my love of the pulp genre and the period in general. He had a huge impact on my life.

    I operate a publishing company, and we put out (among other things), a quarterly publication of brand-new pulp fiction, set in the classic era.

    I've made the initial efforts, with the help of some of Dave Stevens' friends, to hopefully eventually license the character of The Rocketeer from his estate, for the purpose of publishing a prose-fiction and art anthology, which will be a charity publication to raise money for The Hairy Cell Leukemia Research Foundation (which is the memorial request made by his family.)

    I'll post here once I know more.
  14. positivelypinup

    positivelypinup One of the Regulars

    that really sucks. I love the rocketeer.
  15. SpitfireXIV

    SpitfireXIV One of the Regulars

    I blame Disney for this. :rage:
  16. Story

    Story I'll Lock Up

    Art imitates life, life imitates art

    Man Soars Over Alps With Rocket Wing
    Posted: 2008-05-15 09:56:01
    Filed Under: Science News, World News
    BEX, Switzerland (May 14) - A Swiss pilot strapped on a jet-powered wing and leaped from a plane Wednesday for the first public demonstration of the homemade device, turning figure eights and soaring high above the Alps.

    Yves Rossy's performance in front of the world press capped five years of training and many more years of dreaming.

    "This flight was absolutely excellent," the former fighter pilot and extreme sports enthusiast said after touching down on an airfield near the eastern shore of Lake Geneva.

    Rossy, 48, had stepped out of the Swiss-built Pilatus Porter aircraft at 7,500 feet and unfolded the rigid eight-foot wings strapped to his back before jumping.

    Passing from free fall to a gentle glide, Rossy then triggered four jet turbines and accelerated to 186 miles per hour, about 65 miles per hour faster than the typical falling skydiver. A plane that flew at some distance beside him measured his speed.

    The crowd on the mountaintop below gasped and cheered.

    Rossy's mother, who was among the spectators, told journalists she felt no fear.

    "He knows what he's doing," Paule Rossy said of her son, who now flies commercial planes for Swiss airlines.

    Steering with his body, Rossy dived, turned and soared again, performing what appeared to be effortless loops from one side of the Rhone valley to the other. At times he rose 2,600 feet before descending again.

    After one last wave to the crowd the rocket man tipped his wings, flipped onto his back and leveled out again, executing a perfect 360-degree roll.

    "That was to impress the girls," he later admitted.

    Rossy said after Wednesday's five-minute flight, he is ready now for a bigger challenge: crossing the English Channel this year.

    The stunt, which will be shown on live television, will test his flying machine to the limit. Rossy said he plans to practice the 22-mile trip by flying between two hot-air balloons.

    "I still haven't used the full potential," he said.

    Rossy told The Associated Press that one day he also hopes to fly through the Grand Canyon.

    To do this, he will have to fit his wings with bigger, more powerful jets to allow for greater maneuverability. The German-built model aircraft engines he currently uses already provide 200 pounds of thrust, enough to allow Rossy and his 120-pound flying suit to climb through the air.

    "Physically, it's absolutely no stress," Rossy said. "It's like being on a motorbike."

    But on this ride, even the slightest movement can cause problems. Rossy said he has to focus hard on relaxing in the air, because "if you put tension on your body, you start to swing around."

    Should things go wrong - and Rossy says they have more times than not - there's always a yellow handle to jettison the wings and unfold the parachute.

    "I've had many 'whoops' moments," he said. "My safety is altitude."

    Rossy wears a heat-resistant suit similar to that worn by firefighters and racing drivers, to protect him from the heat of the turbines. The cooling effect of the wind and high altitude also prevent him from getting too hot.

    Rossy says his form of human flight will remain the reserve of very few for now. The price and effort involved are simply too enormous, he says.

    So far Rossy and his sponsors, including the Swiss watch company Hublot, have poured more than $285,000 and countless hours of labor into building the device. He would not estimate how much his device would cost should it ever be brought to market.

    But, he believes similar jet-powered wings will one day be more widely available to experienced parachutists ready for the ultimate flying experience.

    That is, if they don't mind missing out on the breathtaking panorama above the Swiss Alps.

    "I am so concentrated, I don't really enjoy the view," Rossy said.

    On an X-Files-ish note, there have been multiple reports (with photos) of "Flying Men" in Mexico within the last year or two..

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