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Rik Levins, 1950-2010
posted June 18, 2010

imageAccording to a full obituary at ComicMix, artist Rik Levins passed away on Saturday, June 12, in a Tampa, Florida hospital from complications due to cancer. He was 59 years old.

Levins was a relative latecomer to comics, and according to the ComicMix remembrance had a career as a civil servant before entering art school. He caught on as a pencil artist with Florida-based AC Comics, the former publisher Paragon which under a new name had devoted itself to color genre comics in the early flush period of the comics Direct Market. He worked at first on the company's (briefly) eponymous Americomics series but would go on to fulfill scripting and pencil artists on a wide variety of their titles: Dragonfly, The Armageddon Factor, Nightveil and even their flagship, FemForce. He also worked briefly on projects with similar publishers Innovation and Comico.

As 1989 became 1990 (meaning Levins likely worked on his first such project in the former year to see it published in the latter), Levins began to pick up work at Marvel Comics. Assignments in various locales across their expanding line led to a short run on Avengers and a longer one on Captain America with the late writer Mark Gruenwald, then a rock of traditional fan to pro values at the House of Ideas. His run of art came in the character's title from issues in the late #380s through about #425.

In 1994, Levins made what would have been at the time a sideways step, from the bigger, bloated and heading into trouble Marvel to the up-and-coming Acclaim line, primarily on the X-O Manowar title. He would be all but out of serial comics making by the next year, in order to pursue opportunities in gaming. He notes in a 2004 thread at the Byrne Robotics message board that he eventually took a full-time job with Full Sail University teaching art, was taking digital media classes himself, and that this left little time to make comics. The ComicMix piece mentions that Levins worked on a smattering of graphic novel projects in recent years.

A memorial service is planned for later today.