Images © The Rocketeer Trust.
This handsome oversized hardcover collects all of Dave Stevens’ comics work other than THE ROCKETEER, which IDW editor and Dave’s friend Scott Dunbier has already put out in several editions. Considering that Dave was notoriously slow and finicky about his work, and his untimely early death, there’s a lot to see and enjoy here. While Rocketeer certainly showed Dave had tons of potential beyond his ability to create images of beautiful women, that does dominate this book. The stories are mostly fluff with cheesecake, though there are a few good surprise endings. The covers and pinups are largely what Dave was known best for, and there are many great ones, as well as some surprises. I’ve seen about three quarters of the work inside, but mostly not reproduced this well. Many of the images are scanned from the original art, and there are some fascinating close looks at Dave’s technique like this one:
There are also lots of preliminary sketches, unfinished work, and collaborations. If you’re a Stevens fan or just a fan of great comics art, you’ll enjoy this book as much as I did. My one quibble is the cover image, not one of my favorites. That young lady seems to be smirking too much to me, while most of Dave’s work combines a more joyful innocence and sexiness that was reflected in the title of one of his collections, “Just Teasing.” But that’s a very minor quibble and probably a matter of personal taste.