Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Pulp Spotlight: The Rocketeer

Pulp Spotlight
Alan Moore
Hello pulp-friends,

I usually try to keep one spotlight a month so we can have room for the radio episodes, but when I heard today the sad news of Dave Stevens passing away I felt I had to spotlight his most famous creation which is, undoubtly, Pulp at its core. And it's also the occasion to celebrate the man himself.

I met Dave at a couple of shows and in both cases he was in company of our common friend Jim Steranko. The last time we met was particularly nice as it was away from the chaos of the convention but in the comfortable and realxing enviroment of the hotel lounge. A very good person, a real nice and classy guy. We'll miss you, Dave.


The Rocketeer has been created in what we can define "recent times" but its settings and the art deco style of the illustrations make it feel like it coming out straight from the '30s. Accidentally becoming a superhero after finding a (cool) jetpack and with a helmet that seems inspired by Commando Cody, pilot Cliff secord battles nazi spies and evil villains while surrounded/helped by beautiful women who are the paper version of pinup moodel of that period like Bettie Page.
The Rocketeer was so popular that eventually got also a big budget movie feature which was quite enjoyable in my opinion.
I still listen to the soundtrack every now and then while working on my stuff. Speaking of which, I will definitely get back to that Rocketeer pencils (see above) and finish to ink them as my tribute to the great Dave.


Pulp Spotlight is the monthly feature where I cover other famous characters that have helped to build the Pulp genre not just on the radio but also in the other media.


Percy Bysshe said...

Thanks for great tribute -Francesco - that must have been some special meeting - The Rocketeer captured that era to perfection in my book - a huge loss...

Cunningham said...

Wow! Steranko and Stevens together... That must have been one pulpy corner of the lounge.

Francesco, thanks for memories of Dave and of those simpler times back in the 80's when The Rocketeer debuted.

I've emailed you already, but I'll announce it here:

We're having a Dave Stevens tribute show on Geekerati this coming Monday - the 17th.

For more info go to:


If you can't call in, please join the chat room of the show where we'll all be sharing our first encounters with Dave and his creations.

SRH said...

Great tribute. Unfortunate reason for the tribute though

Francesco Francavilla said...

skylark: thank you. Again, I wish I could have known the man a little longer and better...
Bill: it was a pulpy corner indeed :) Sadly it will not happen again... I have been buried in my projects - I hope the radio show went great!
srh: unfortunate, yes. I should be able to do something new soon.


Roger Alford said...

Great tribute to Dave Stevens. Your interpretation of The Rocketeer is superb.

Francesco Francavilla said...

Thank you, Roger :)