Remembering Steve Dillon, by Garth Ennis

Preacher by Steve Dillon

Garth wrote this tribute to Steve Dillon, who died this weekend, for his Facebook page and it is reproduced here with his full permission. 

Steve liked a drink or two, and if the truth be told that’s how most of us knew him. Or it might be more accurate to say that Steve liked the pub, because that’s where you go to meet up with people, and Steve loved people. He found them endlessly interesting, he was happy to talk to anyone.

Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, about 15 years ago. Photo courtesy Garth Ennis

Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, about 15 years ago. Photo courtesy Garth Ennis

He changed my life in a couple of ways. The first was with a phone call, somewhere towards the end of ’91: “All right, mate, I’m thinking of heading over to New York in the new year, maybe for a long weekend. Fancy it?” The second was with two decades plus of brilliant artistic collaboration, where he took whatever lunacy I threw at him and made it work flawlessly, every single time.

We met in London in the summer of ’89, but it was about a year later in Dublin that something audibly clicked. 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.

The last time I saw Steve was late last Saturday night in New York, walking down fifth avenue to his hotel after saying goodnight outside Foley’s. It could have been the end of any one of a thousand nights. It’s not a bad last memory to have. Steve was best man at my wedding and my good and dear friend. I think he probably taught me more about what that word means than anyone else.

I drank with Steve Dillon from Dublin to Belfast, from London to Glasgow, from San Francisco to New York City. I have not one single complaint. Cheers, mate.

— Garth Ennis

Steve Dillon’s Facebook page is here

• See also: Comic creators remember Steve  Dillon, a true comics legend

• Steve’s family has asked that memorial donations be made to Hero Initiative. You can do so at this link

My apologies to Garth Ennis and Ra Khan for an incorrectly captioned photograph in an earlier version of this item, which may still be frequenting social media caches

The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek Magazine) and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of "Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies" for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.

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