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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.”

*double gulp*

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.

***************

Wikipedia has since put him Dave Simon’s page.

Comments

7 Responses to “Meeting Dave Simons”

  1. Jose Mari Lee on June 11th, 2009 9:29 am

    Whe-he-he.

    Indeed, the world wide web is almost like a paradox: It is a well of truth, yet also a web of lies.

    Who are these people running this Wikipedia site? There are so many inaccuracies in some of the entries. I went there after reading your comment here (my first visit), and a lot of things are guess work by the people who put the entries, especially details on well-known personalities. Is this a FREE-FOR-ALL type of site? The first few entries I checked out were all laden with inaccurate information. There should be some sort of QUALITY CONTROL over this site’s entries. Some of them are bordering on jokes and/or pranks by some sociopaths or simply irresponsible people who have too much idle time to waste.

    The site should also have a DISCLAIMER because some people who are not discriminating – might believe everything that this site is saying. I don;t know. I might sound old fashioned, but Encyclopedia is still the most reliable for me.

  2. Gerry Alanguilan on June 11th, 2009 9:54 am

    Yes, wikipedia is by nature an online encyclopedia that anyone can edit. It does open up the site to numerous inaccuracies. You have to register to make any changes and if you do, all changes to any particular entry is logged and attributed to whoever edited the page. The site does have main editors to check for spurious entries, but not enough I believe.

  3. Journalista - the news weblog of The Comics Journal » Blog Archive » June 11, 2009: Shorter Journalista 22 on June 11th, 2009 4:23 pm

    [...] comic-book artist and animator Dave Simons has died at the age of 55, after succumbing to cancer. Gerry Alanguilan offers a tribute to [...]

  4. Eusebio Yu on June 11th, 2009 6:54 pm

    Yeah, I remember Dave Simons. He inked a few Spider-Man books, and issue #27 of The Hulk! black and white magazine. It was the last issue. I still have it.

  5. Daniel Best on June 11th, 2009 7:06 pm

    Just a small thing – Dave was 54 years old. Mark E got it slightly wrong when he wrote his short piece on Dave.

    It’s little things like that that help make entries such as the Wiki incorrect. I wrote that entry, BTW, in conjunction with Dave, and he encouraged me, quietly, to keep fighting both the Wiki and to fix any errors that came along.

    I miss him already.

  6. Pinoy Comics USA on June 11th, 2009 10:09 pm

    Gerry, JM,
    And yet, I personally like to go to Wiki for anything I want to know about a person, hahaha. The thing is they’re fast and so accessible.
    Never noticed Dave Simmons myself. The guy died so young. I like your story about him in Facebook. I stopped going to or adding any images to Facebook after I heard that they would own all intellectual rights to anything you send to them, which is in fine print when you signed an agreement the first time you joined.
    Rod

  7. Mark Ammerman on June 14th, 2009 2:34 am

    Dave Simons’ middle name was Lloyd. It was his grandfather’s name…and his grandparents lived up the road from me in Seelyville, Pennsylvania. Dave and I connected somehow in our middle teens, one summer when he was visiting his name-sake. We drew comics together, swam in the river, rode horses, played golf (Dave couldn’t hit the doggone thing to save his life!)…and dreamed of becoming comic book pros. Dave’s dream came true. I have many wonderful memories from those years which now feel like fantasy.

    Dave’s first printed comic work (that I’m aware of) was a comic strip in his school newspaper called Night Rider (I have photocopies of some of them). NR was a motorcycle character…and Dave revisited his love for such characters in his later professional work on Ghost Rider.

    His first printed comic work in Fandom (to my knowledge) was in my own fanzine, Comic Courier…and later in a zine that he and I worked on together: The Wonderful World of the Wild and Wicked West. I have that artwork still (and stuff we hoped to publish but never did).

    Dave wanted to go to art school after high school, but parental pressure pushed him into the Coast Guard. He was stationed on Governor’s Island off Manhatten…and fell in love with the Big Apple.

    Scientology got a hold of him…and took all his money ( I wrote him a song during that time…reaching out to him when it seemed that he was so lost). He took classes under John Buscema. He lived in a roach-filled apartment in Greenwich Village. He lived in a warehouse at the lower end of Manhattan. He fell in love…wanted to marry… it didn’t happen. He was pencilling the first issue of Red Sonja during that time: beautiful pencils (ruined by Vince Coletta’s inks!) He lived lots of other places…made new friends…kept drawing. He made his mark in the real comic book world–and beyond.

    He and I lost touch. I tracked him down in California. Then back on the East Coast. Then no word. A phone call. A letter. Where was this guy?

    Then a couple of days ago I found him online! I saw pictures of him. I discovered that he’d been battling cancer. I saw that he had moved to Jersey City. I found his blog…an e-mail address…I sent him an e-mail…and then I revisited the site where I found his blog…and discovered my friend had passed from this planet two days earlier!

    Dave and I were both born in 1954. I have missed him through the years—I miss him terribly just now.

    “Life is a brief minute…eternity follows.”

    Mark Ammerman