Friday, June 24, 2011

Gene Colan: 1926-2011

My mind is simply reeling at the enormity of the talent that the world of comics lost yesterday.
Gene Colan self-portrait from 1967's Daredevil Annual #1
Born on September 1, 1926, Colan began working in comics at the age of 18, embarking on a career that spanned from the Golden Age into the early 21st century.  His best known, and arguably flat out best, work was for Marvel in the late Silver and Bronze Ages, where he was one of the company's most prolific pencillers.  If you had a complete collection of Marvel's black and white Essentials series of reprints, it would include just as much art by Colan as by Jack Kirby, if not more. He created the definitive look of Daredevil over the course of a run spanning more than eighty issues, drew every one of Tomb of Dracula's 70 issues, and made a talking cartoon waterfowl in the world of humans seem perfectly natural and believable in the pages of Howard the Duck.   Among his other credits at Marvel are Sub-Mariner, Captain America, The Avengers, the short lived Howard the Duck newspaper strip, and Iron Man, which he began drawing in 1966 under the pseudonym "Adam Austin."
At DC, he re-united with Tomb of Dracula author Marv Wolfman to create Night Force, and had memorable runs on Batman  and Wonder Woman.  
In 1980, Colan and his collaborator on  Howard the Duck , Steve Gerber, teamed up again to create one of the earliest independent graphic novels, Stewart the Rat.
Honestly, if I tried to list all of  Gene Colan's many credits and accomplishments in this post, I wouldn't get any sleep tonight.  (Today's post at Sequential Crush spotlights his work in the romance genre.)
Gene Colan, the man, will certainly be missed by those who knew and loved him, though his work will live on for a very long time to come.

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