One area of focus in comic collecting that has been overlooked since other forms of media began to have such a great influence on the hobby is that of hunting down key comics by top creators. Never fear. We’re here to help you sort through the top books by individual creators, both in terms of investing and reading. This time we’re looking at the works of Dave Stevens.

Drawn to Perfection

Dave Stevens, perhaps best known for his creation The Rocketeer was a phenomenal artist. His drawings – particularly his comic book covers – harkened back to an earlier time, especially his good girl art. Sadly, Stevens lost his battle with leukemia in 2008 and passed away. He was only 52 years old. Since, while he still had fans and collectors who enjoyed his work, much of it saw moderate price increases. Many Stevens comics – Rocketeer issues being an exception - saw no bump during the COVID boom years. Then came the release of the documentary Dave Stevens: Drawn to Perfection in late 2022. It took a bit of time for the film to make the rounds, but by summer 2023, we were seeing a resurgence in interest for Stevens-drawn comics. Now in 2024, we’re seeing an absolute explosion.

Early Works

Stevens got his start providing pencils and inks for San Diego Comic-Con programs in the 1970s. By 1975, he was inking theTarzan newspaper comic strip at the age of 20. From there, he moved to Hanna-Barbera in 1977 to work on storyboards for their animated cartoons. He also had his first uncredited comic book work in 1977, providing background inks for Marvel’s Star Wars #6. He would go on to ink backgrounds on a few more Marvel comics.

The Rocketeer

Dave Stevens took the comic book world by storm in 1982 with his creation The Rocketeer. First appearing as a back up in Starslayer #2, published by new indie publisher Pacific Comics, The Rocketeer would go on to become Stevens’ most well-known work, appearing in a Disney produced film in 1991. There are 1,217 graded copies of Starslayer #2 in the CGC census, including one 9.9 that has never sold. Copies graded 9.8 can currently be found in the $200 to $225 price range, down from a peak of $565 in August 2021.

The Rocketeer would headline the first two issues of Pacific Presents, with Pacific Presents #1 being considered something of a first issue for the character. After reaching a peak of $400 in March 2022, prices fell. However, we’re starting to see prices climb again. After languishing in the $150 range since late December, the most recent sale of a 9.8 was for $200 in a March 6 fixed price eBay sale.

Pacific Good Girl Covers

While admittedly a slow artist, and unable to keep to a regular monthly schedule, Stevens would, throughout his career, become well known for his cover work. Three of his better covers for Pacific included Alien Worlds #2, Alien Worlds #4, and Vanguard Illustrated #2. All three are fine examples of the Golden Age style good girl art that became a large part of Stevens’ legacy. Additionally, these three comics are seeing peak prices for 9.8 sales, with Vanguard Illustrated #2 in particular reaching $500 in a March 9 fixed price eBay sale.

Work for Other Indie Publishers

With the folding of Pacific Comics in 1984, Stevens’ work would grace the covers of multiple publishers’ comics throughout the remainder of the 1980s, including Eclipse, Comico, Renegade, and Blackthorne. Again, the focus was on good girl covers. Many of his Eclipse covers are showing steep upward trends.

Airboy #5 from 1986 has seen copies in the 9.8 grade selling at a $373 one-year average, $538 90-day average, and $620 30-day average. We’re seeing similar, if to a lesser extent, trends for Seduction of the Innocent 3-D #1 with $389 one-year, $439 90-day, and $479 30-day averages. But the big kahuna in this group has to be World of Wood #1. In October 2022, a 9.8 graded copy sold in an eBay auction for $214. By January 23 of this year, the selling price was $1,300 in an eBay auction. A subsequent eBay fixed price sale on April 4, although down a tad at $1,257, shows us that prices are remaining high for this book.

We’re also seeing similar trends for books from other publishers. Johnny Quest #5, published by Comico in 1986,  has jumped from a one-year average for a 9.8 of $566 to a 90-day average of $957. Planet Comics #1, from Blackthorne in 1986, has seen the biggest rise. A 9.8 sold for $550 in September 2021. There were two sales in 2022 for slightly higher and no sales in 2023. In 2024, there have been five sales, starting with a $1,227 eBay fixed price sale on January 27. The latest sale, also an eBay fixed price sale, was for $2,888 on April 1. And don’t overlook Jungle Comics #1. A 9.8 sold in an August 2023 Heritage auction for $900. It’s since risen to $1,200 in a January 27 sale and $1,350 in a March 8 sale, both fixed price eBay sales.

Later Works

Dave Stevens covers began to appear less and less throughout the 1990s. Among his better works are Cheval Noir #7 from Dark Horse in 1990. The one-year average for a 9.8 currently sits at $576 compared to 90 and 30-day averages of $686. Bettie Page Comics #1, a 1996 comic also published by Dark Horse, currently shows a one-year average of $183 and a 90-day average of $362. Bad Planet #6, published by Image shortly after Stevens’ death in 2008, has shown solid recent gains as well: $850 one-year average, $873 90-day average, and $1,050 30-day average.


Dave Stevens leaves behind a remarkable body of work consisting of some of the most gorgeous covers to ever grace comics. His exceptional craftsmanship shows in everything he drew. It is gratifying to see collectors finally giving his work the attention it is due.

Do you collect Dave Stevens’ works? What are some of your favorites? Let us know below.