Diamond Comic Distributors reports that Dave Hawksworth, Diamond employee since 1996 and longtime Diamond Outside Sales Manager, passed away in his sleep on January 9th.
His history in comics distribution goes back further than that, as he previously worked for Capital City Distribution as a field representative.
“Dave’s sales territory encompassed one-third of the U.S. and Canada,” said Diamond Executive Director of Sales Mike Schimmel. “During his time with Diamond, he visited more than a thousand stores. He loved discussing the industry with our customers, and was a big champion of the mom and pop retailer. His enthusiastic nature for the world of comic retailing made him a true superhero at his job and he will be missed by everyone he came into contact with.“
Other Diamond and industry colleagues shared such sentiments about Dave, as a positive force helping comic book stores grow their businesses, and introducing tools to increase productivity, known for dragging a suitcase of samples round from store to store, travelling the country. Fellow Outside Field Manager Eric Hitchcock talked about how it was a relatively solitary job, driving from town to town, but how there was camaraderie amongst them.
But there was also Dave’s popularity amongst retailers, as well as his knowledge of their concerns, issues and lives.
After Dave passed, I was contacted by a number of retailers, some of whom have a cantankerous relationship with the distributor, but only had good things to say about Dave.
Joe Field, Owner of Flying Colors Comics and founder of Free Comic Book Day, said:
“Dave Hawksworth will be forever remembered as one of the unsung heroes of comics. He probably visited more comic shops than anyone … and every shop he stepped into he made better by his presence, his professionalism, his calm demeanor and his ability to know what products were likely to work in each shop.
From his childhood experience working in his family’s small business, he understood the unique challenges comics retailers face every day. And despite his health challenges over the last several years, he persevered, kept working and did it with humility and kindness. Among all the great people working in the comics business, Dave was certainly one of the true Good Guys. This is a huge loss for the thousands who were lucky enough to call him a friend. My heart and prayers go out to his wife Patty.”
Diamond will share details of Hawksworth’s memorial service as they are made available.