I have sad news to report. My old friend Steven Abrams died late last month of a heart attack at the age of 54. I first met Steve in 1992 at the San Diego Comics Convention when he was an intern with my first publisher Eclipse, and when he moved to New York shortly afterwards he became my assistant and letterer on Welcome To The Zone. After I moved to Portland and Steve moved to LA, we kept in touch by mail, even when everyone else had switched to pixels, and actually Steve was my last regular snail mail pen pal.
David Chelsea is watching:The Little Hours
starring Kate Micucci
Steve had a vexed history with paying work- Eclipse declined to hire him for a paying job after his internship ended because he refused to learn to type, and he worked at a number of other comics publishers and publications for a very short time before finding his longest tenure at the Jimmy Kimmel Show in LA, writing summaries of what the other talk shows were doing.
I have posted a number of the decorated envelopes I sent to Steve over the years on my Patreon page:
Steve had more confidence as a writer than an artist, but he sent me a few envelopes of his own over the years,
He also sent me this page from his sketchbook, evidently drawn in 1989:
When I put out an appeal to friends to send me fan art for my Patreon page, Steve came up with this portrait of Shroom, from Welcome To The Zone:
One of my most recent call slip comics (these are little book or video reviews drawn on the call slips that come with reserved material on the hold shelf at the library), about Andrew Garfield’s book To The Letter, ended up being a memorial to Steve:
Tomorrow would have been Steve’s 55th birthday. For years, I had a bad habit of sending Steve’s birthday gifts late, because I could vaguely remember that his birthday was in February, but I could never remember that it was the FIRST. This time I’m not going to miss the deadline. Happy Birthday, Steve. You will be missed for a long, long time.