Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Remembering Gene Colan....

While it's old news by now, it doesn't make it any less important in the comic world, but legendary artist Gene Colan died last Thursday. He had been apparently battling with liver disease, and that combined with a broken hip he suffered after a nasty fall, finally took its tool on an already deteriorating health. He was 84.

I myself didn't know the man. I was introduced to his work while reading thru Les Daniels' Marvel: 5 Fabulous Decades of the world's greatest comics History book he wrote. There were really cool panels of art from Colan's days penciling Captain America. This one scene that was depicted, featured the Red Skull transforming back into his real form after using the Cosmic Cube to morph into looking like Captain America. I always though how cool he made the whole process look.

Colan worked on countless titles by both DC, Marvel and other publishers. You can wiki or google him, and be amazed at the amount of work he produced during his long career.

Here's a neat little nit of info about the man I recently found @
"Gene grew up in New York & graduated from George Washington High School (a one-of-a-kind public school majoring in gifted students in the visual arts). Gene also studied at the Art Students League of New York under renowned illustrator Frank Riley and the famous surrealistic, modern Japanese painter Kuniashi. During World War II, a two year ticket with Special Services in the Army Air Corps found Corporal Colan in the Philippines where his artwork brightened the pages of the Manila Times and won him numerous awards. Back in the States, Gene Colan's official career in comics began in 1944 at Fiction House drawing Wings Comics. Gene then settled down to the task of finding a permanent niche in the comic industry, showing work to both National (DC) and Timely (Marvel) Comics. Stan Lee at Timely Comics was impressed enough to hire Gene for around sixty odd dollars a week. Since that time, Gene has been associated with both companies from 1946 to the present day. In addition, Gene has also freelanced for numerous independent publishers over the years as well."

Below are just a few quick samples of the type of characters he's worked on during his career:

You know, I remember watching a brief interview on him on the Daredevil movie DVD, and in the extras section. He talked about working long hours to complete an issue, but that he loved doing it. He also briefly mentioned how being so meticulous and so into finishing his job, that he often neglected/missed out on time with his family. You almost get a sense of regret there, but that could just be me. I hope if he had any issues with his family over devoting so much time to his work, that there were eventually settled.
Great work by a great man. He'll be sorely missed.

If anyone's interested, his long-time friend and biographer, Clifford Meth, has a blog devoted to his memories, stories, and lessons he learned from Mr.Colan. You can find it here:

Have a good one....

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