Dave Stevens interview from The Comics Journal (1987)

Fantagraphics published Gary Groth's 1987 interview with illustrator Dave Stevens, who died last week of luekemia.

Picture 6-51You have your priorities. Well, to what do you attribute your preoccupation with cheesecake?

All I know is that I draw what I like. I like those images. I think I'm also taking delight in that I'm able to draw the female figure because when I was a kid I could never draw one for the life of me. Although mine are kind of interchangeable – the same basic baby face, big eyes, and similar bodies. It's just an image that I find real appealing and positive. I don't see anything negative about it or unhealthy. The proportions are sometimes stretched, but there's nothing really gross in those proportions. It's bouncy and it's cute and I find that women enjoy it, too. I've never had a gal come to me or write to me and say, "This is exploitive. This is ugly. I don't like it."

Is that right?

Yeah, I've never had any complaints.

Not even from Cat Yronwode?


Or are you discounting her as a woman?

[Laughter.] In the beginning I had a little bit of a problem with her over Betty because Cat thought that I was swiping a Frazetta character who was a blonde. What she hooked into was that striped blouse Betty wore. That I definitely got from Frazetta, but Cat didn't realize that it was Betty Page that I was drawing, who was a real person. Cat kind of let me have it in print about stealing from another artist – I don't remember the context. As far as the pin-up art itself, I've never had anybody give me a hard time. The only time I did get one negative response was to that page of Betty in The Rocketeer when she was in the doorway. [Again, Rocketeer #2 from Pacific.] I got to admit that it was a little far. I should have had her at least in a negligee.