Dennis Eichhorn, underground comic writer with Boise roots, dies at age 70 (video)

Dennis Eichhorn, who died in Washington State on Oct. 8, was known for his generosity and his willingness to talk with fans and to share his work. The celebrated writer traveled back to his home state of Idaho regularly. He participated in recent Comic Con events and cultivated fans and friends in the area.

At a Comic Con at Boise Public Library in 2013, Eichhorn said, “I’m the ‘Betty White’ of underground comics because I’m older than everyone else.”

Eichhorn had held many posts in the underground comics world, including senior editor at The Rocket, a Seattle arts magazine. He started publishing his comic, “Real Stuff,” in the 1990s. He won a number of awards, including an Eisner, the comic industry’s version of an Oscar.

Eichhorn grew up on the Boise Bench and played football for Borah High during his teenaged years and later for University of Idaho.

Boise writer Al Asker became friends with Eichhorn after a long correspondence. The two collaborated on several projects.

“I was a huge fan of his ‘Real Stuff’ comic books published by Fantagraphics up in Seattle. He was very, very kind, very generous and easy to talk to. There were more stories he wanted to tell. It was a huge honor to finally meet him in person. How many people get a chance to meet their favorite writer?” said Asker.

Before drawing “Real Stuff,” Eichhorn was the publisher and editor of the “Northwest EXTRA!”, an art weekly.

“It was amazing, the people he got to contribute to his free weekly,” said Asker. “He got contributions from Allen Ginsberg, Hunter S. Thompson, William S. Burroughs, Robert Crumb. All of those guys were his heroes.”

Read more about Dennis Eichhorn and see more of his work on the blog Boingboing. The Albertson Library at Boise State University is hosting an exhibition of Idaho comics that includes Eichhorn’s work. The exhibition will be up through December and is open to the public.

Check out Al Asker’s video remembrance of his friend.