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Sad news - Steve Whitaker

jrmy not fair
Very sad news to give. I had a phone call last night from percyprune - I believe he and Matt Brooker amongst others were phoning round to let people know of the unexpected death of Steve Whitaker.

I don't know many details; apparently he was feeling unwell and was on his way to hospital so it was very sudden.

Steve was someone who I normally only saw sporadically in person, but whose art and words and thoughts I kept up with via Livejournal and Facebook and before those via BAPA and various comics creations. He was always amazing in his creativity and his beautiful art style - flowing graceful depictions of Helen of Troy or other characters from the Odyssey that still managed to have bones and angles and strength. Delicate colours applied sparingly in just the right places. Recently, the playing with the online vector tool that yielded surprising and intriguing results. Previously, the pen-and-ink sketches for friends or APAs that had a sly sense of humour and references to the wide range of music he loved.

In person he was self-deprecating and dismissive of himself and his abilities, but turning the subject onto the things he knew so much about - obscure or weird mainstream comics, eclectic music from tropicalia and jazz to no wave and Charles Wright and the 103rd Street Rhythm Band - and he was warm, open, a great teacher, a great communicator. He introduced me to Os Mutantes, Astor Piazzolla, and drawing with a firm line. His workshops for CAPTION were inspiring - I wish we could have had one more (having planned to ask him to do one this year).

Steemol - you'll be missed.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
23rd Feb, 2008 09:45 (UTC)
well said jenni

if anyone would like to look at some of steve's wonderful drawings, his livejournal account is still active as far as i know:
24th Feb, 2008 10:27 (UTC)
yes, I should have linked to stuff properly
As you and Terry below indicate, there's still loads of stuff on lj and flickr of his for people to look at. I don't think lj delete accounts or anything so that'll stay no doubt; I know less about flickr but again I think it's unlikely it will just disappear.

What a lot of lovely things are saying about Steemol - fantastic to see, and bringing back such memories. I have to dig out my Bapas again - last time I did that was for Andy, which is quite depressing. I must have them out on a more regular basis so I don't just associate them with death...
23rd Feb, 2008 12:20 (UTC)
I never saw him at Caption, but I remember him from his teaching at the London Cartoon Centre, many years ago. I learned more about drawing in those few weeks than I ever did in years of formal art lessons - it was a bloody good course.
23rd Feb, 2008 13:42 (UTC)
all hail the steemol

I remember a very large and gentle gentleman, whose talents remain scandalously unappreciated :(

many fine drawings to be seen on his Flickr account also:
24th Feb, 2008 02:59 (UTC)
Re: all hail the steemol
Aye, Jenni. "Steemol." "Whitko." Those whom the gods love, eh?
24th Feb, 2008 08:28 (UTC)
I will miss him enormously. No-one else I know has that encyclopaedic knowledge of and grand passion for comics that Steve had. That means there is now a kind of conversation about certain matters that I will never ever have with anyone again. Life loses a valuable element with that. Plus I loved the man. Damn!
24th Feb, 2008 18:33 (UTC)
Re: damn
Ditto ditto.
24th Feb, 2008 17:26 (UTC)
Memorial B-APA for Steve Whitaker
Apologies for spamming.

Steve Whitaker was one of the stalwarts of the comics British Amateur Press Association. I'm pretty sure that he was always in the apa whenever I was, from about 1990 onwards.

B-APA was wound up in 2004. However, there was a special in 2005, a commemoration issue when Andy Roberts died, to which Steve enthusiastically contributed. We can hardly do less for Steve. So I will be editing a commemorative special of B-APA, to be available at CAPTION, a convention Steve always supported. Obviously, I'd like as many ex-B-APAns as possible to contribute. But I don't want to restrict contributions to ex-B-APAns; I'd like anyone of Steve's friends who wants to be part of this to feel welcome.

If you want to contribute, please contact me at keentony at hotmail dot com. I'm looking for contributions of 1-2 pages, by mid-July, preferably as camera-ready copy. Thanks to those who have already agreed to be involved.

Apologies if you end up seeing this in several places.
24th Feb, 2008 18:34 (UTC)
Re: Memorial B-APA for Steve Whitaker
Thanks, I will spread the news - and sign me up too (I should have said earlier).
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )