June 26, 2010

The Man, the Legend: Gene Colan

The Tomb of Dracula, Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Batman, Howard the Duck, Dare-Devil, Captain America, and Nightforce; The list goes on for miles. If I was to be asked “Who is my favorite artist”, I’d probably give a list of “classic guys” and “current guys”, but when I sit down and think about my favorite book of all-time, only one springs to mind- The Tomb of Dracula. The stories in that series were nothing short of phenomenal courtesy of Marv Wolfman, but in my opinion, the artwork by Gene Colan told an even better story.

When I saw the preview back in 2008 for the book entitled A Tribute to Gene Colan, there was no hesitation, I had to have it. Now keep in mind that back then I was buying from my LCS (local comic shop) and was on a strict twenty dollar a week allowance, and this tribute book was ten dollars! That’s right, half of my budget for the entire week! I didn’t care though, I wanted that book even if it was at the cost of sacrificing a regular few issues for the week. Not surprisingly, the book was/is fantastic. It contains six stories all prefaced by someone in the industry that has either worked with Colan on that particular book or is a big fan of his. Each collaborator wrote a paragraph or two about the shear elation of working with Gene or being a life-long fan of his outstanding work. Names like Stan Lee, Ralph Macchio, Tom Palmer, Ed Brubaker, and Tom Breevort are on the list of Marvel people who wrote the kind words before each of the stories. The heartfelt expressions that these guys put down on paper about Gene really echo the thoughts of everyone that have met or worked with him.

If you haven’t heard of the Hero Initiative, please click on the link below to find out about this fantastic cause to help aid industry employees that are retired and cannot make it day to day in paying medical bills, or even normal requirements, like rent and groceries, that most of us take for granted everyday.

In closing, I’d like to take a minute to further explain another reason for writing this piece.

It came to my attention while researching Mr. Colan for this piece, that he has really been under some very stressful physical and financial tension in recent times. I won’t go into all the details, but he was physically assaulted by a family member and hospitalized with a broken shoulder. Keep in mind that he’s now eighty-four years old and not in the best of health to begin with either. As I’m to understand he’s still in the hospital and can’t go to his home for several reasons. One thing I’ve been reading in news articles is that most of his money and personal artwork has gone missing while he’s been hospitalized. I’d like to hope that Gene would be remembered not for these terrible things that have happened to him recently but for being someone who touched the lives of everyone whom he came in contact with, and also being an exceptional artist. I for one will never let people have anything other than a positive memory of Gene Colan as long as I have a medium to broadcast it! Please take a look at the links provided below so you can make a difference in someone’s life that was an industry professional. There is a website set-up specifically for the purchase of original artwork by Gene Colan that will only benefit him in these tough times. There has been some recent news regarding Gene’s family so please click on the breaking news link below to get the full story.

Breaking News

The Hero Initiative



Gene Colan

Billy Dunleavy



  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Connor Myers, Comic Attack. Comic Attack said: Honoring the man, the legend: GENE COLAN! #comics #comicbooks […]

  2. The Hero Initiative is an awesome thing Billy and there are industry guys who are really pushing this thing at the cons I go to which is a good thing. Helping those who made it possible for you to work in the field you love is a great thing and needs the support. Colan is one of the greats and I loved his Dracula books man, thanks for putting this one together!

  3. Billy

    @Speech- the Hero Initiative is definitely the best comi book related non-profit organization I’ve heard of. Colan’s work in ToD is top notch for sure.

  4. […] Wilson aka The Falcon was created by Stan Lee and Gene Colan and made his debut in the pages of Captain America #117 in 1969.  This future Avenger who began as […]

  5. […] was the genius behind that great (but short lived) series. Originally though, it was Len Wein and Gene Colan that produced most of the older stuff and also are credited with being the creators. This is one of […]

  6. […] Blade made his first appearance in Tomb of Dracula #10 (1973), and was created by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan. Now, for those of you who don’t know, Blade is not a full on vampire. His origin is […]

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