His career was extensive, and his talent was unparalleled. The fact that he worked for every major comic company around today tells you how far reaching his talent was. Sadly, Mr Dillon is no longer with us, but the artwork he left behind will remain firmly in bookshelves of comic book history and in our memories for all time.
Dillon was born in London in 1962 and raised in Luton, Bedfordshire. He was the oldest of three siblings, a sister younger by three years, Julie, and a brother younger by nine years who is cartoonist/costume designer, Glyn Dillon.
The Rise of Dillion
Dillon began his career as he intended to carry on, by drawing the title story in the first issue of Hulk Weekly for Marvel UK. After getting a taste for it, he went on to pencil for Nick Fury, Warrior and Doctor Who Magazine.
After cementing his name with the British arm of Marvels sequential art empire, went onto the UK’s answer to Marvel – 2000AD, using his artistic prowess to bring iconic futuristic bad ass Judge Dredd to the page, as well as spending 2 years pencilling for the 20 issue run of Deadline, an anthology series aimed at an adult audience. Dillions career as a comic book artist continued to move from strength to strength.
Steve meet Garth
In the mid-80’s, Steve Dillion met legendary British comic writer, Garth Ennis with whom he would eventually have his most notable professional collaborations. During a social gathering about a year later in Dublin, Ennis recalls, ‘After everyone else had passed out, we sat up 'til dawn and killed off a bottle of Jameson, talking about what we wanted to do in comics - what we thought could be done with them, what the medium was for. I can recall a sort of mutual 'Oh yes, you. You’re the one. You get it.' This was to pay off handsomely in the years to come.’
Preacher is probably Dillons most well known work among modern day comic fans. The run that the collaborative team had on Hellblazer set the path for Preacher to become as explosive as it was (currently enjoying it’s 4th season of the adapted TV series). The artwork that Dillon produced on the page lasted for #66 wonderfully sick issues that I advise everyone of you to read if you haven’t already!
The Death of a Legend
Dillon's younger brother, concept artist Glyn, announced on social media on 22 October 2016 that Dillon had died in New York City. The cause was complications of a ruptured appendix.
His death was met with an outpouring of grief and a number of tributes from the comics creator community, as well as the following statement from DC Group editor Marie Javins: "To say working with Steve was a pleasure doesn't begin to describe his gentle nature, or his easygoing demeanor. I worked with him from 1991, long before Preacher, up to his most recent covers for Sixpack and Dogwelder, , but his impact on the comics industry resonated most through his interpretation of Jesse Custer and company.
His name, along with writer Garth Ennis, is practically synonymous with Preacher, but I know him as a lovable wisecracker who enjoyed New York and could always be depended on to deliver a sly remark. Steve had a great sense of humour; it's fitting his last work for DC was a cover of a tin foil Dogwelder. To the rest of the world, he's a giant among creators and artists. He will be missed by us all here at DC and Vertigo."
We all raise a glass to you, Mr Dillion, and thanks for allowing the world to experience your great talent. Cheers!