Remembering Dennis Eichhorn

Image courtesy of Colin Upton. Taken in 1991

Image courtesy of Colin Upton. Taken in 1991. “Dennis Eichhorn at Misfit Lit, a major show of underground/Indie comics in Seattle’s Coco Gallery curated by the folks at Fantagraphics in 1991. As far as I know it was one of the first comic art shows of it’s kind. This was when Seattle was the place to be for comic artists, when comics wasn’t so much a business as a cause.”

With the passing of Dennis Eichhorn, I wanted to repost this interview that we did back in 2007. I was joined by Colin Upton and Donald King. All three of us were really excited to interview him. Dennis was one of the most important folks in late 80’s/early 90’s alternative comics. His series of autobio comics, Real Stuff and Real Smut, were revealing, brutal, human, hilarious and heart breaking. almost every independent cartoonist that you can think of from that era, has drawn a comic based on an Eichhorn script. Last Gasp comics recently released a new book of Real Stuff strips. Go check it out.

Colin Upton was one of those collaborators. I asked him for comments on Dennis’ passing

“I’m sorry to have to tell you this but JR Williams has reported that Dennis Eichhorn, journalist and comics author, has passed away suddenly. Details so far are non-existent, although he was known to be suffering from heart trouble. He wrote a story about it in his latest book. Dennis was the most important author of American autobiographical comic stories after the late Harvey Pekar. While Harvey’s life was one of angst and working class routine Dennis, who began as a burly, football playing redneck from Idaho, had a life full of adventures, often skirting the fringes of society, to write about. I had collaborated with Dennis over the last few decades, stories autobiographical, historical and journalistic. He often came to me to do Vancouver or historical related stories. I always found Dennis easy to work with, he was willing to incorporate suggested changes I made to the stories we worked on together without rancor. He had outlined a story to me, “Doughnuts of Spokane”, for the next book which now will never happen. Did I mention he was kind, gentle and open to people, no matter how strange? There was a Zen like calm to Dennis. It’s not right, it’s too soon… Dennis still had stories to tell for others to draw…”

I also asked Don for some comments too “Probably one of the most underrated writers in underground/ alternative comics. He deserves the same kind of status given to Harvey Pekar for being able to entertain and be poignant with slice-of-life stories. And I helluva nice guy. I’m glad I had the opportunity to meet him. I’m saddened to hear he’s gone.”

dennis

Drawing by Dennis from Colin Upton’s sketchbooks “This is a drawing I finally persuaded Dennis to do at a slow comic con in a failed shopping mall in Moscow, Idaho.”

 

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1 Response to Remembering Dennis Eichhorn

  1. Sarah Eichhorn says:

    There may be another book…he wasn’t done telling stories. And those who knew and loved him have some stories too.

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