So I got onto the ol’ Facebook this morning and checked my notifications and to my chagrin the first thing I read was a post from my pal Tim telling me that comic book artist Gene Colan had passed away. This was particularly sad news for me because Gene Colan happens to be one of my comic creator heroes. Mr. Colan was involved in several of my favorite Marvel titles such as Dr. Strange and Howard the Duck. He was a co-creator of Blade, and his art was a driving force behind some of Marvel’s top horror comics especially the iconic Tomb of Dracula series.
I had the great pleasure of meeting Gene Colan in person at the 2007 New York Comic Con. He was part of a silver age panel that they had there where he, Stan Lee, and others talked about working in the industry during the 60’s and early 70’s. Later that day I happened to catch up with Mr. Colan at the artist’s alley there where he was quite gracious and generous enough to sign several of my Dr. Strange and Howard trades I had with me. He took a few minutes to show me several of his sketches he had with him and some of the original comic book art that he was a part of. As I waited in line I saw him interact with everyone in front of me and I was surprised that he was familiar with, and knew by name, a few of the other fans who had obviously interacted with him at other conventions. After that day I was even more enamored with the man, a true comic book fan himself and a creator who was clearly dedicated to the material and the readers who embraced it. I knew he was having some health issues as of late but it is still quite a downer to hear the news of his death.
Today I leave you with this pin-up image depicting the iconic confrontation between the title characters of Dr. Strange Versus Dracula. Though it’s not my typical Friday Funny Pages material, this is one of my favorite stories Gene Colan drew which involved many of my favorite characters. This particular image was a poster that was part of the 1980 Occult World of Dr. Strange Marvel calendar with art by Gene Colan and inks by Tom Palmer.
You will be missed Mr. Colan, thank you for your years of great work and for taking the time to share your experiences with comic book fans across the country! Your art and iconic tales of fantasy will ensure that your memory goes on and I will personally do my best to continue to spread enthusiasm and appreciation for your unique style.
That is all!