Friday, April 27, 2007


My good friend Gene has drawn just about all the major comic book characters in history, over a 60 years long career, working on the detective comic book KEN SHANNON at the beginning, in the late 1940's, then, from the 1960's to the early 1980's, working on a long run of characters for MARVEL COMICS, including DAREDEVIL, SUB-MARINER, DOCTOR STRANGE, IRON MAN, CAPTAIN AMERICA, THE AVENGERS, TOMB OF DRACULA and HOWARD THE DUCK.
Gene's work is very moody and Gene draws "outside the box", breaking up his comic book page panels in truly unusual ways and taking the reader past many traditional forms of comic book "grammar", enabling Gene to show the comic book enthusiast worlds never before dreamed of.
Mr. Colan also drew a movie adaptation for MARVEL, in magazine format, of the film METEOR, and produced work for magazine runs of DRACULA and HOWARD THE DUCK for MARVEL COMICS also.
During the 1960's Gene also set a standard for producing comic book work in a "wash" style, using various tools such as markers to give a very gray set of tones to his horror tales for WARREN MAGAZINES.
These titles, CREEPY and EERIE, were more expensive and more adult in nature than your average comic book of the era, and publisher James Warren lavished special attention to this line of black & white magazines, bringing a level of highly talented cartoonists rarely seen all at the same company to the US newsstands.
The 1980's saw Gene leave MARVEL to go and work for MARVEL's biggest competitor, DC COMICS, on the company jewels, such as SUPRMAN, in the mini-series, THE PHANTOM ZONE, and BATMAN, and WONDER WOMAN. Gene also worked on NIGHT FORCE, re-uniting him with his former TOMB OF DRACULA collaborator Marv Wolfman on this horror title, and the science fiction series, J'EMM: SON OF SATURN. One of the best comic books Gene drew during this era was an experimental series, NATHANIEL DUSK, an old-fashioned private detective saga produced in part from Gene's pencilled illustrations, rather than the traditional way of having an "inker" go over the graphite renderings with heavy, balck, india ink to make the drawings reproduce easily. This series, written by Don McGregor, is a real triumph in comics storytelling, and is one of my favorite series of Gene's.
Other series worked on by Gene include RAGAMUFFINS, a nostalgic look at kids of days gone by, and CURSE OF DRACULA, yet another take on the famous vampire.
Mr. Colan is now aged 80, and, while he is officially "retired" he is creating stunning commissioned work, which you can contact Gene directly about through his website, GENE COLAN'S VIRTUAL STUDIO", at

--additions and edits and more will follow!!!

No comments: