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cbr.com
Preacher Season 2 Pays Tribute to Late Co-Creator Steve Dillon
Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Sam Catlin discuss how late Preacher artist Steve Dillon inspired the AMC show's visuals.

In the spring of 2016, AMC’s Preacher TV series debuted, after a nearly 20-year process of bringing Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s Vertigo lauded comic book series to live-action, with multiple failed TV and film adaptation attempts along the way.

Both Ennis and Dillon were involved in the show’s development on AMC as co-executive producers, and the show was quickly renewed for a second season — yet Dillon tragically passed away last October and won’t get to see the directions the show takes when new episodes begin this week, as the show starts to move closer to its source material.

REALTED: Preacher ‘Gets More and More Gory’ in Season 2

As the artist of Preacher, Dillon was responsible for illustrating all of the comics’ emotional, funny and shockingly violent moments — a tricky tone which has been reflected in the TV show. Tonight’s second season premiere will include a dedication to Dillon, which Preacher executive producer Seth Rogen called the show’s “responsibility.” Talking to reporters including CBR last week, Rogen and fellow executive producer Evan Goldberg described Dillon’s influence on the series.

“He was privy to all of the opening conversations, and Garth kept him in the loop about what we were thinking,” Goldberg told the gathered press. “We met with him a bunch. He came to the set once with Garth.”

“He came to Comic-Con last year,” Rogen added. “That was the first time we spent a couple days with him. It was great. He really seemed to like the show, and I think was, as Garth was, in shock that it was happening, and seemed very happy it was happening. It’s very sad. But I feel lucky that we got to spend a little bit of time with him.”

Dillon even drew a cover for a reissued Preacher #1 released last year, depicting the show’s versions of the characters — Dominic Cooper’s Jesse Custer, Ruth Negga’s Tulip O’Hare and Joseph Gilgun’s Cassidy. Rogen and Goldberg shared that Dillon gave them his original drawing of that image as a gift.

“One of my first impressions on reading the comic was just how cinematic it was, and how bold it was with the palette, and his use of wide shots and super-close shots,” Catlin told CBR. “It’s been a big influence, I know, on [veteran cinematographer and Preacher executive producer] Michael Slovis and our cinematographers; it’s influenced our costumes. It’s just been invaluable.”

“He was such a big influence on the show before I even met him,” Catlin continued. “He’s sorely missed. Obviously Garth was very close to him, and they both really fed off of each other, and never would have had Preacher, one without the other. I’m glad he got to see season one, and I just wish he would have been able to see more of it.”

Ennis and Dillon collaborated for all 66 issues of Preacher‘s 1995-2000 run at DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint, where it stands as one of the most acclaimed and influential comics of its era. Prior to Preacher, they worked together on Vertigo’s Hellblazer, and subsequently teamed for a number of well-received Punisher stories at Marvel.

Dillon’s death, due to a ruptured appendix, was a shock to the comic book industry. The artist was still active in the field, illustrating Marvel’s ongoing Punisher series, written by Becky Cloonan. In recent years, his imaginative and highly distinctive work was seen on multiple Marvel series including Punisher MAX, written by Jason Aaron, Ultimate Avengers and Thunderbolts.

Preacher season two will debut with a two-night premiere, starting at 10 tonight on AMC, before moving to its new slot — 9 p.m. on Mondays — tomorrow.

@dillonfrancis: “Here’s a picture of my beautiful Mom & Dad getting married and thank god they did. Shout out my Mom and Dad for being married for 31 years and still putting up with my shit. You guys are the real MVP’s in my life, and today we get to celebrate YOU Mom! Thank you for driving me to school every morning, helping me with book reports, science fairs, packing my lunch, buying me toys dad wouldn’t let me get, to then later on taking me to/picking me up from the airport every day when I first started getting real Dj gigs around the world, thank you for everything you amazing selfless woman. I love you with all my heart. Here’s to the future of celebrating many more Mothers days with you.”

Steve Dillon started drawing comics professionally at 16 years old, with no professional training. The son of a signwriter, a working class boy who muscled into comics on sheer force of talent. I always thought he was from London, because of his accent, and his friendship with Brett Ewins. Turns out he was from Luton- but to me, as a kid growing up in a run down part of south east London, I always thought he was a local lad, and his story was inspiring beyond words. It still is.

Steve Dillon drew all my favourite stories in 2000AD when I was a child. The secret garden story in Judge Dredd, the Harlem Heroes reboot, Rogue Trooper: Cinnabar, more besides.

Steve Dillon founded Deadline magazine with Brett Ewins. The significance of that is hard to express to those who don’t already know why it matters. To me, it’s probably the most important thing either of them ever did; and in the context of Dillon’s career that’s really saying something.

Steve Dillon was the artist on Animal Man when I started reading it, which was my introduction to the line that would become Vertigo.

Steve Dillon drew fucking Preacher, for fuck’s sake.

He was nice to me when I met him a handful of times as an awkward, opinionated child at signings and conventions. I once told him I’d wanted to be him since I was 9; he laughed and said it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

Goodbye to the most important artist of my childhood and adolescence; the guy who made me feel like comics was a thing I could do too, and on my own terms.

I’m heartbroken, to be honest. He was 54 years old, and still producing masterful work. Always a subtle artist, he never stopped quietly evolving, and in recent years his line has become astoundingly precise. It felt like he was going somewhere, getting ready to show us yet another way of drawing… But it turns out he was going somewhere else.

Rest in peace, Steve Dillon. 1962-2016. You were and are my hero.