Since news emerged Saturday of the death of Steve Dillon, there’s been an outpouring of tributes from comics creators and fans who knew and respected the veteran artist and his work. However, few knew Dillon better than his frequent collaborator Garth Ennis.
The two worked together on Vertigo’s “Hellblazer” and Marvel’s “The Punisher,” but their best-known, and most-acclaimed collaboration is “Preacher,” the epic story adapted earlier this year for television by AMC.
Ennis wrote his own tribute to longtime friend in a private post on Facebook, which has been republished with his permission by DowntheTubes.
In his piece, Ennis recalls how the pair first met in London and later “clicked” in Dublin, where they “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.”
“He changed my life in a couple of ways,” Ennis writes. “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.”
The writer also recounts the last time he saw Dillon, “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.”
Summing up their relationship, Ennis writes: “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.
Update: This story was edited to correct a factual error.
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