Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

Home > News Story and Obituary Archive

Steve Bates, 1962-2010
posted December 10, 2010

Longtime retailer, columnist on industry issues and more recent Diamond Comics employee Steve Bates died on December 3 from complications due to cancer. Bates passed away while sleeping. He was 48 years old.

imageA lifelong comics reader, Bates managed a two-store chain Bookery Fantasy, headquartered in Fairborn, Ohio outside of Dayton. Bates stayed at Bookery Fantasy for 18 years, finally moving to Diamond and their marketing department in 2005 as a writer in the marketing department, a move he discusses here. A year before making the move, Bates went from frequent talkback contributor at the hobby business and analysis site to that site's first full-time, outside contributor. His column was called "I Think I Can Manage" and fit in with's focus on direct market industry issues. Among his outlets at Diamond were writing for Diamond Daily, Diamond Dialogue, Diamond Dateline and various Diamond outreach web sites. Bates was later promoted to Retailer Marketing Associate, and held that position until his death.

Bates was a frequent attendee of regional conventions while at Bookery Fantasy, and later served as a presence at various Diamond-attended shows. According to one message-board remembrance, while in Ohio Bates wrote a comic book called The Covenant with local artists Marvin Bean and Justin Wasson.

Bates was a literacy volunteer, a member of Fairborn's downtown business association when at Bookery Fantasy, and studied Tae Kwon Do in his spare time. He is survived by three brothers, two nieces, a nephew, a mother-in-law, a father-in-law, a wife of twenty years, a mother, a two daughters.

According to a memorial post at Diamond's Scoop, contributions to the Madylin and Sophia Bates Education Fund can be made through Century National Bank of New Concord, Ohio -- information available in that link.