New Year’s Eve by Dave Hunt

Painter and comics inker Dave Hunt passed away this weekend at age 75. He had been fighting cancer for a while and took a turn for the worse following surgery a few weeks ago.

Hunt was one of the essential Bronze Age inkers, working on multiple Marvel and DC titles, including over Curt Swan on Superman in the 80s, and over John Byrne for a while, as well. He also worked at Disney Comics n some of their key projects, on Scooby Doo and just about everything else at one time or another.

Hunt’s true love in life was his painting though, haunting, hyperreal still lifes that told stories of mystery and loss through their moody lighting and composition.

I worked with Dave as an editor at Disney for several years, and as you do with the inker who is tasked with getting things back on schedule, we talked on the phone, a LOT. I was stunned when I heard about his parallel painting career, and truly mesmerized by his paintings. In recent years he’d been turning to  paintings of caves and other natural scenes. His art website went down a while ago, and the Wayback Machine has only titles, hopefully someone can restore some of this art for the internet to enjoy.

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Like Alfredo Alcala, Dave taught me a lot about the artist’s life and vision. While inking desperately late pages far into the night, an ashtray their companion, paid the bills, painting was where they put their deepest thoughts. And they were beautiful thoughts.

 

Heart by Dave Hunt
Sheriff of Bullet Valley by Dave Hunt

 

7 COMMENTS

  1. Nice article, Heidi. I often wished that I was born a little earlier so I could have enjoyed some of that Marvel 60’s magic. But I’m glad I got to experience Dave’s work off of the spinner rack first-hand

  2. I’m very sorry to hear of Dave Hunt’s recent passing. I was looking forward to seeing Dave at last year’s East Coast Comic Con in2016, but was disappointed when he canceled. Imagine my anticipation when Dave was listed to appear at this year’s ECCC in New Jersey. I am very saddened by this unsung talent’s demise. Somewhere in heaven there’s a Bullpen Gang with wooden drawing tables, half worn pencils and india ink spills abound.

  3. Thanks for sharing your memories of Dave! I have worked for over two years with Dave on a biography, which should be published in a few months. I’m sorry Dave will not be here to see it, but he was excited to share his stories with his fans. If anyone wants to see book previews and hear about the status of the book, check out this Facebook page for the book:
    https://www.facebook.com/DaveHuntBook/
    Thanks! Best regards, Lee Benaka

  4. Wow, those paintings are stunning. Thanks for sharing them, Heidi (and the knowledge that somewhere out there, there are more). Rest in Peace, Dave.

  5. I ran across a charcoal portrait of a light skinned AfricAn American man signed by David Hunt in 1960. The person looks familiar but I cannot place the face. It is matted and framed very well.

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