Saturday, June 25, 2011

Gene Colan 1926 - 2011
One With Eternity

Gene Colan has passed away.
He slipped away at about 11 pm on June 23 at the age of 84.

While known for his work on Daredevil and Iron Man, to me, he will always be synonymous with  Night Force (DC), Tomb of Dracula, Blade, Howard the Duck and, of course...

In fact his Doctor Strange is what I first encountered when I began collecting Doctor Strange comics.
No, his wasn't the interpretation that I first came across (that would be in the pages of Man-Thing and ROM - as told HERE), but when I bought my very first issue of Doc's own mag, it was Gene Colan's ethereal, moody chiaroscuro that made me a fan for life.

Gene Colan rendition of the masked Doctor Strange from the 1960s series,
which was turned into a psychedelic black-light poster and piece of awesome.

When I began reading and collecting comics in earnest, I found that I would follow Gene Colan to just about anything that he put his pencil to render.
And while I did find the occasional fault with some of his renderings, I knew that they were minor and when stacked up against the sheer majesty of his work, were nearly imperceptible.
The fact that Gene was responsible for two of the most awesome runs on Doctor Strange's title(s) only cemented his greatness in my eyes.
Not only did he draw a bulk of the "Master of the Mystic Arts" series, but he also produced the majority of art on Doc's first series as well.

 Hail The MASTER, indeed!

His work on Tomb of Dracula (which I first bought due to a cross-over with Doc's comic) was so inspired and deeply detailed with period pieces, realistic clothing and dynamism (despite there being a lack of skin-tight costumes anywhere), that I sought out the entire run.

Taking over the reigns of Howard the Duck from Frank Brunner only made the Duck's adventures more realistic!

I followed Gene to DC with his work on Night Force, another truly atmospheric body of work laced in shadow and mystery and the Nathanial Dusk series', his pencil-only work on which echoed my own belief that if drawn well enough, and tightly enough, no inker would be required to cover over lavish pencil art.

There are many things that I should say about Gene Colan, and my admiration for his work, but I never had the pleasure of meeting him, and as such, my words would only pale compared to those who actually knew him (Clifford Meth can be the go-to source - HERE).

As an artist, Gene Colan's work is immortal, and will be seen forever.
Now his spirit is as one with eternity as well.

There He Is... Looming Before Me... ETERNITY!

Rest in Peace, Gene.


cerebus660 said...

Nice tribute! Mr. Colan was a truly unique artist who will be sadly missed.

Predabot said...

I was hoping you'd do a post like this, and you certainly did not disappoint, Ptor :)

I was a fan of the Dean myself, and discovered him during his run on Tomb of Dracula. His dark and moody vision, the long ominous shadows that he drew, were simply perfect on that series.

Good journey Mr Colan, and know that Legends are never forgotten, they simply become greater.

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