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This is Part III (of III)
Allen: Is there a chance we could print some of your commercial art samples in the Rocketpack Newsletter?
Dave: I could probably send you some copies of one or two, but a lot of that stuff I don't even have. A lot of people are real bad about sending a copy fo the finished job, I never see the stuff again. Unless it's something I specifically keep.
Allen: Do you make copies of your pencils before they are inked?
Dave: No, because I don't work methodically that way. I'll sketch oout one paneland then I'll start inking on it. Before it's even finished.
Allen: Do you do thumbnails?
Dave: Yeah, I think I've got some. But that stuff looks like caca. It's nothing.
Allen: We'd like to show a befoe and after. What you start with shown next to the final finished pages.
Allen: What would you say are the pros and cons of commercial art jobs.
Dave: The pros are the money and the good jobs coming from it. The cons are dealing with whims and tantrums of art directors and the clients who constantly change their minds. Nine times out of ten they don't know what they want, they just know it's not what you just gave them.
Allen: Do you give them a quote up front?
Dave: Always. I just throw out a figure. I think about the job, and about how much i don't want to do it then throw out the highest figute I can think of. If they go for it, I say, swell. If it's something distrustful to me I charge them an arm and a leg. Because, why do something that you're going to hate every minute of? If you're doing it for peanuts? If you're oging to have to put yourself through a lot of stress and strain, make it worth it.
Allen: If you had to sum up Dave Stevens as a person and artist what would you say about yourself?
Dave: (Makes sound) "Bronx Cheer."
Allen: At this starge in your live what are your top five priorities?
Dave: Just getting the work done that I've got laid out for the rest of the year. The biggest priority right now is finding an artist to take up the slack on the Rocketeer stuff. So I can jump off and do other things. But I shouldn't say that, I'll be deluged with samples. That's already happened.
Allen: Could you have someone at Comico go through them?
Dave: No, they have no idea what I'm looking for. A s matter of fact, one person I'm looking to give a same to is Rich Dannys. Just to see what he'll do.
Allen: Now, in the "Betty Pages" they are searching for her. I guess they eventually find her it it's possible?
Dave: I can't say anything about it.
Allen: Oh, you do know?
Dave: No, I wasn't a part of it. I'm just hoping that people will just leave her alone. Because she deserves her privacy. If people can't respect that then there's something wrong with them. I have no want to go to the trouble and I wouldn't advise it and I wouldn't tell anybody now to get in touch with her. I don't want her bothered.
Allen: Any word on when the "Betty Page Comics" will be released?
Dave: When everyone has had time to do their individual story. Right now it's kind of on the back burner. It's going to have four or five different artists. It's just a one-shot, just to see how it will go and if people like it.
Allen: Ten years down the road, where will you be in accordance with your goals?
Dave: Hopefully still alive. Hopefully still having all my limbs working. Well, I hope I still have my hair, my teeth, my eyesight....
Chuck: What about your goals?
Dave: Not to be leaving a puddle behind me when I'm that age. I have no idea because goals change.
Chuck: What types of music do you enjoy?
Dave: All kinds, everything. The only thing that I hate, cannot stand, is rap. I don't even classify it as music. And I don't like modern country. I like roots country, Hank Williams and Sons of the Pioneers, Bobs Wills, Etc...
Chuck: Any particular music you usually listen to?
Dave: Oh, I flip around a lot. I listen to a lot of jazz, a lot of big bands, a lot of early jazz. A lot of Patsy Cline and Crooners and Torch Songs, R&B, rock and roll. I probably listen to more rock-A-Billy than anything else. I've always dug that rock-a-billy thing. But generally I can listen to anything.
Chuck: Have you done any new Arora art?
Dave: There was a piece from a story I started a few years ago. But I never got back to it. But other than that, no. No reason to because ther's nothing being planned for the characgter. I may do a promo piece or a cover for something being re-packaged. I did a cover for Ray one, a compilation of old stuff by me and Bruce Jones. It's called "Space Vixens in 3-D" A homage to Russ Meyer.
Allen: I just saw Ron Goulart's Best Comic Artists Volume II and you are in it. You didn't know?
Allen: They don't have to contact you? They used some ar tof yours, too.
Dave: I hope it was something good. They never did talk to me.
Allen: that black inside cover from @1 says "Nightmare at Large" on sale soon...
Dave: It orignally said: "on Sale in October."
Allen: There is a volkswagen down in the bottom right.
Dave: That piece of art was something I doctored. It was a piee kaluta had done for the New York Times Book Review, and I said gee, this owuld make a perfect eeaster for the net Rocketeer. So I just dorpped in a little Rocketter Figure. It was all perfect, very indicative of the story.
Allen: Chuck was just curious. He didn't think that were Volkswagons back then.
Dave: That was sonething I was hoping most people wouldn't notice. I wasn't going to make Mike Redraw it.
Chuck Could Kaluta give us any hair-raising stories about you if we bribed him?
Dave (Laughs) Probably, he'd tell you a lot of untrue ones!
Then end. Recorded and transcribed by Allen Freeman. Interview by Allen Freeman and Chuck Haspel, over the phone. A few years later at Chicago Con, Chuck and I did get to meet Dave Stevens. We were sitting at a restaurant near the convention center and he walked in. We said hello as he passed us and yes, he was nice and remembered us. Around 2003, my first time at San Diego Comic Con, I found his booth and he was there! He remembered me and I got a photo of him. If I can locate it I'll add it here. I was there in 2004 and could not find him. 2005 I wasn't there. 2006 and 2007 I was there and didn't see him, if he was there....