Back in February at New York Comic Con was the last time I saw Dave Simons face to face. He was already battling the cancer that the doctors termed incurable and was far skinnier than the last time I had seen him. The fact that he was sick did not stop Dave from interacting with fans and walking around the con stopping by to visit old friends. He was weak, but Dave had no time for that. He was in his element, among his colleagues, and among his friends.
Dave's sense of humor always came through when he talked and I remember laughing my head off at a couple of the drawing Dave had done at the time. He would just sit there with that huge smile of his and say that's the reaction I was looking for. He would then stretch out his drawing arm trying to loosen it up so he could get back to what he loved, drawing.
The strange thing about the cancer was that while it had landed square in the one part of his body that provided his living and his joy, it did not hurt (as much) when he was drawing. He was thankful for that (thankful!) and drew as much as he could, when his health allowed him to. It was his passion and his love. It showed in his illustrations and the life that he brought to them.
The Help Dave Simons auctions by that time were also in full swing. The response was amazing. We received artwork from noted industry vets as well as from independent new comers. I received e-mails from across the country and artwork from around the globe. Dave was stunned and couldn't believe the response.
Contributing artists included Mike Mignola, Walter Simonson, Fred Hembeck, Brian Postman, Paul Ryan, Mike Pascale, JM DeMatties, Frank Brunner, John Romita Sr, Bob Almond, Scott Ambruson, Kris Carter, Andy Brown, Craig Rousseau, Herb Trimpe, Kevin West, Keith Tucker and more. Many of Dave's fans also contributed, including Jerry Livengood, Steve Kriozere, Stacey Aragon, myself, and many who contributed anonymously. Dave being Dave even contibuted to his own cause.
Dave was a big contibuter to charities including the Hero Initiative and the March of Dimes. The March of Dimes cards were done while Dave was going through radiation and having a tough go of it. He just could not let anyone down, his heart was so big.
During a conversation a couple of months ago. Dave opened up and told me that he had questioned his career choice at times. Whether or not, he had made a difference in the industry and if anyone would remember him. After the overwhelming response from the auctions and the well wishes Dave received on Facebook and through his own website, he knew that his answer was "YES."
Thank you to all that donated, bid, won, e-mailed, IM'd, or have expressed their thoughts on Dave. Take solace in the fact that YOU helped his last days on this earth be happy ones. Through the letters of support, expressions of adoration for his art, and simply by just being there. Dave indeed knew that he was loved and inheritably notable within his profession/passion.
From all of us at Comic Art House and the Inkwell Awards. THANK YOU!