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I just opened my union newsletter this morning and learned of the death of cartoonist Dave Stevens. He was 52 and had been battling leukemia for a long time.

Dave Stevens was a staff animation artist doing layouts and designs in the various TV studios in LA for years in the 70's and 80's. In 1982, Stevens hit stardom with this stylish retro character THE ROCKETEER. The comic, merchandise and feature film were a big success. He said he modeled the character on himself and his sidekick was cartoonist/director Doug Wildey. In addition, for the hero's love interest, Dave reached back into 1940's-50's pulp arcania and brought back the raven-haired, kinky, pin-up queen, Bettie Page.

The Rocketeer succeeded in resurrecting interest in Bettie Page, who had long since undergone a spiritual conversion and dropped from public view. It spawned a whole new industry around the glamour symbol- fan magazines, documentaries and movies.

Adieu Dave. Not only were you a great cartoonist, you are a great example to all of us toiling away at small desks for our forty hours pay.

That it's never to late to be a star.