“Dastardly Dave” Dawson Dies at 50
With terrible sadness, I must report that Designer, Photographer, Illustrator, and Friend, Dave Dawson, died over the weekend at the age of 50.
I crashed on Dave’s couch as we struggled to layout issues #1 and #2 of Lollipop Magazine in 1993. After a break, Dave returned to the glamorous world of independent publishing (lots of coffee, little sleep, few showers, lousy pay) in 1995 or 1996, and was a responsible for the look and feel of the magazine and the website until we stopped printing in 2007.
Dave designed our original website, Lollipop.com. He learned bits of code and made a static html site look pretty slick. He designed the Lollipop logo, all the merch, and took over the print layout again when others had had enough. He did illustrations for seriously dark fiction, and for silly word mash-ups. Prior to streaming services, he and I designed the world’s first and only mp3 compilation CD series, essentially a 100+ page website on a CD with band bios, images, and songs. I think we did about 15 of them.
I talked to Dave at all hours of the day and night, usually multiple times a day, and almost daily dropped by his place hours after saying I’d be there in 15 minutes. For 12 years. You could say we were close.
In 2007, I had to stop publishing the print magazine because I was in such crippling debt that I could no longer maneuver. Dave continued creating art, web designs, and increasingly, top-notch photography of women with more tattoos than clothing. All of his various works continued to be awesome, and his photography was both technically amazing as well as human. Anyone who ever met Dave knew he was genuine, thoughtful, and warm. I’m guessing that’s pretty important when you’re mostly naked.
Dave moved to Manchester, New Hampshire not long after Lollipop ceased publication. He landed at SOPHA (The Studio of Photographic Arts) with owner Bud Thorpe. Bud surely has stories to tell of the 12 years since 2007, and he surely speaks highly and warmly of Dave. It’s hard not to.
Dave had an amazingly life. He created a mind-boggling amount of work over a variety of mediums. He was a voracious reader and continued learning long after others settled comfortably. He challenged himself and bettered himself, simply to make his work even better.
You don’t meet many people like Dave in your lifetime. Not even if you look long and hard. I’m thankful I met Dave, and I’m crushed at the thought of a world without him somewhere, making something amazing. There’ll be time for sleep and a shower later…