Steve Dillon, the iconic comic book artist behind brilliant runs on Preacher, Punisher, and Hellblazer, has died, according to a tweet from his younger brother Glyn Dillon. He was 54 years old.
Sad to confirm the death of Steve, my big brother and my hero. He passed away in the city he loved (NYC). He will be sorely missed. Cheers x— glyn dillon (@glyn_dillon) October 22, 2016
There's no official word regarding the cause of Dillon's death, but Bleeding Cool reports that he'd been sick for years, noting that he'd lost a significant amount of weight while still keeping up his workload. As Dillon and Ennis served as executive producers on AMC's Preacher, he'd also have to travel for that. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg—aka the guys who finally made Preacher happen on AMC—tweeted their condolences.
Devastated by the loss of Steve Dillon. My favorite comic artist who drew my favorite comics. RIP.— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) October 22, 2016
One of comics greatest artists, creator of Preacher Steve Dillon has passed away. I grew up worshipping his work. Still do. He'll be missed— Evan Goldberg (@evandgoldberg) October 22, 2016
Dillon's most acclaimed work might be his run with writer Garth Ennis on Preacher, which lasted for 66 issues during its five-year run on DC Comics' Vertigo imprint. While the series—which was turned into a television show earlier this year after Ennis and Dillon spent years trying to adapt it—dealt with many supernatural and religious themes, it was Dillon's art that blended the wacky with the realistic, which also helped distinguish their runs for Marvel's Punisher character, which feature two runs with the Punisher for the Marvel Knights series, Punisher War Zone, and the epic PunisherMAX series that Dillon did with Jason Aaron. Recently, Dillon had returned to Marvel to draw their latest Punisher series, which debuted in May of 2016.
Dillon got his start as a professional comic book artist in 1980 in England (he was originally from Lufton, Bedfordshire), drawing for characters like Doctor Who, Judge Dredd, and Rogue Trooper before jumping to DC Comics for runs on Hellblazer, Skreemer, and Animal Man.
Since news of Dillon's death hit, there's been an outpouring of condolences for Dillon for his decades of beautiful work in the field of comic books.
Looking at my shelves I had more Steve Dillon work than I had even remembered. RIP Steve, thanks for all the wonderful artwork.— SPACE KNIGHT DEMARCO (@Clarknova1) October 22, 2016
Oh no, Steve Dillon died? Adored his art on Preacher and Punisher. What a talent. RIP. pic.twitter.com/UNJyX3BrrA— Eric Goldman (@TheEricGoldman) October 22, 2016
We're saddened to report the death of Steve Dillon, one of Doctor Who Magazine's earliest artists, and co-creator of Abslom Daak. RIP Steve. pic.twitter.com/CiEgNCyetj— Doctor Who Magazine (@DWMtweets) October 22, 2016
RIP Steve Dillon. Thank you for PREACHER and some of the greatest PUNISHER stories. I can't believe this, this stinks. pic.twitter.com/lTe8AyoVqg— Brian Lynch (@BrianLynch) October 22, 2016
Steve Dillon drew my first Marvel script:Thunderbolts 12. Couldn't believe it; Dillon out of the gate? Felt so incredibly LUCKY - and I was. pic.twitter.com/htN3C0luwD— Charles Soule (@CharlesSoule) October 22, 2016
Rest in peace, Steve Dillon. And thanks for all of your beautiful art.