June 24th, 2011

RIP Gene Colan

And another one of my favorite comics artists bites the dust. *Sigh* I first encountered Colan's work as a kid in Marvel Super Heroes featuring reprints of Tales to Astonish Sub-Mariner & Hulk stories, where Colan was known as Adam Austin. While I never liked how he drew Namor himself (too bulky), I loved how he drew the undersea life and always wished I could see him work on something he was more comfortable with, something more atmospherically inclined.

 Imagine my surprise when I discovered his horror-ish stuff like Tomb of Dracula! It blew my mind, both that there was an ongoing Dracula comic that I'd never heard of, and drawn by Colan. I didn't need to know that "Austin" was an alias, I recognized that style right away! The shadows, long grasping fingers, chiaroscuro buildings, unmistakeable. I soon made an effort to hunt down his work on Daredevil and Captain Marvel as well, and while fans will always credit Frank Miller as Daredevil's "real" artist, Colan's version remains the definitive one for me.

 I always considered myself lucky to possess original art by Colan, and that I got to meet him at various cons, where he was so nice to me, now that collection feels even more special. RIP.

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