I met comic book artist Dave Simons online when he added me as a friend on Facebook in January of this year. And he thanked me after I added him. I knew who he was and I was flattered that he actually wanted to add me. At the same time someone had set up a Facebook Group, “The Dave Simons Appreciation Society“. I wondered why someone would do that until I learned that Dave’s Wikipedia page had been taken down because Dave Simons was considered by someone at Wiki as “not inherently notable”. Are they kidding? The man has been around since the 70’s inking numerous comic books for Marvel and DC.
I joined the group, and I sent Dave a message. I wanted to tell him that, well, he was notable to me and that I appreciate the work he has done, and that I knew who he was and that I had a lot of comic books here at home with his work on it. Look, I admit I didn’t know specifically which comic books they were, but I’ve seen his name often enough to know that I must own a bunch of comic books by him.
A pretty sharp guy, he wrote back and said, “Thank you. What do you have, a bunch of my old Conan stuff?”
*gulp* To be honest, I didn’t know. But I didn’t want to let Dave down. I knew I had a lot of his stuff and I’m sure some of those must be some Conans. I had a lot of old Conans. So I said yes. And to further back that up, I looked over at comics.org to see what other stuff he worked on. If I saw a list I’m sure my memory could be jogged. I saw on his list of credits a bunch of Moon Knights. And I thought yeah! I have a bunch of old Moon Knights. I’m sure he was an inker in one of those.
So I replied yes, I do have some of his old Conans, Ghost Rider and a couple of Moon Knights.
He replied, “Moon Knight? As I recall, I only inked one cover on that.”
So I went digging into my collection here in the apartment and much to my horror, none of my Conan or Moon Knight stuff had his name on it. I didn’t have any Dave Simons inked comic book, except one. And that was What If #44: What if Captain America Were Revived Today? “Today” meaning April 1984. I really liked this comic book as I liked a lot of What Ifs in this era. I was sure I had more Dave Simons stuff, but they must be at my old house where I keep most of my collection.
I replied: “Wow, I could have sworn I’ve seen your name on some of my Moon Knights, but in any case, one of the comics I just pulled which you definitely did is What If? #44, What If Captain America were Revived Today?”
He replied: “Oh yeah, I used a lot of my Woody tricks on that. Examine it closely, Bob Camp inked some panels.”
And that was the last of our correspondence. Dave passed away last June 9. Apparently he had been battling cancer for some time.
I went back to our old house, dug up my collection and there I found many of Dave’s comic books. I knew I had them. I just knew it. He was notable to me, and damn you Wikipedia, he’s notable in more ways than you can ever understand.
Rest in peace, Dave. I was glad to have met you.