Steve Dillon, 'Preacher' Co-Creator, Dies at 54

The death of the comic book artist, whose work also included 'Hellblazer' and 'The Punisher,' was announced Saturday morning on social media.
Steve Dillon/DC Entertainment
'Preacher' original art by Steve Dillon

Steve Dillon, the comic book artist and co-creator of Preacher, has died at the age of 54, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. News broke of the artist's death Saturday morning on Twitter, followed by a number of tributes from fellow comic book professionals and fans.

Dillon's career in comics stretches across five decades and two continents. His first professional work came when he was just 16 years old, in the debut issue of Hulk Weekly for Marvel's U.K. subsidiary. In the years that followed, Dillon's art would appear in stories for 2000 AD, Doctor Who Weekly and the classic Warrior anthology, including a chapter of Alan Moore's groundbreaking Miracleman series.

The artist arrived in the U.S. in the late 1980s with the DC Entertainment miniseries Skreemer, with other work for the publisher including issues of Animal Man and The Atom. It was at DC's Vertigo imprint where Dillon created the work that he'd be most remembered for, working with writer Garth Ennis first on a critically acclaimed Hellblazer run from 1992 through 1994, and then on Preacher from 1995 through 2000.

Subsequently, Ennis and Dillon worked together on The Punisher at Marvel on multiple series, while also creating artwork for a number of other Marvel titles including Wolverine: Origins and Thunderbolts. His most recent work was a new Punisher series with writer Becky Cloonan.

In addition to his artwork, Dillon will be remembered for co-creating and co-editing the British comics anthology Deadline with Brett Ewins in 1988, which published early work from Gorillaz co-creator Jamie Hewlett — Tank Girl was a Deadline strip — as well as Philip Bond, Nick Abadzis and Al Columbia.

According to a tweet from his younger brother, Glyn, Dillon died in New York City, although no other information has been released about the circumstances of his death. 

Seth Rogen also shared his condolences for the comic book artist. He tweeted, "Devastated by the loss of Steve Dillon. My favorite comic artist who drew my favorite comics. RIP."

Author Neil Gaiman, who has written a number of graphic novels, also shared his best wishes. "It's been so long since we've talked, but he was kind to a young writer long ago, and a good guy."

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