Wednesday 27th May 2015,
Comic Booked

Gene Colan: Comic Book Icon Dies

Comic Booked Guest Writer 06/24/2011 Features, Reviews

Daredevil was a side character I never knew about until a comic shop owner informed me about Frank Miller having Daredevil’s best run, this in turn invited me into Daredevil’s past and then I was introduced to Gene Colan. It is difficult to find anyone else with such a large resume of work. Gene worked for DC and Marvel but many other companies as well, especially in his early days selling his artwork to anyone who would buy it.

Gene was born September 1st 1926 in the Bronx. He was enlisted in the Army Air Corps and once discharged worked for Timely comics (better known today as Marvel). In the Sixties Gene Colan mostly worked for DC, for a boss (Robert Kanigher) whom he did not get along with. Gene decided to persuade Stan Lee for a job over at Marvel. Gene was hired and originally wrote under the pen name Adam Austin, not wanting Rob K to find out. Eventually Gene’s style won him the right to work on Iron Man and (drum roll please) Daredevil. He dropped the pen name and was credited under his own name.

I never met the man, never had the chance. It is safe to say the industry would not be the same without him. In a time where everyone was trying to be the next Jack Kirby, he was trying to be the first Gene Colan. As I read more about this icon I realize I want to learn more about him. When a movie star has passed I watch their movies, a singer; I listen to their songs, and of course a comic book icon, I read some comic books. I think it is time for some Daredevil.

Gene passed away at the age of 84 passing away on Jun 23rd 2011 at around 11pm. He had some great words so I will leave you with two sentences and a thought. “I’m not beyond Fear. I’m fearful about death.” Gene for as long as there is a comic book, for as long as there is a fan, for as long as your art is viewed, you shall never be forgotten.


Gene Colan, 1926-2011

Gene Colan, 1926-2011

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  1. Nick C 06/23/2011 at 11:03 pm

    Gene was, I have always felt, one of the many under-appreciated icons in the comics field. If you ask me, one of the more remarkable things about his work is just how good it looks in black and white. I've never been a fan of Marvel's Essentials. The reason is simply that, while you can't beat the price, if a comic was originally printed in color, I want a color reprint. However, I once came across an Essential Tomb of Dracula volume featuring Gene's art at a convention a few years ago. While I didn't buy it, I did flip through idly while waiting for a friend to catch up with me. I had already seen some his work on Daredevil and Iron Man, but seeing how well his pencils translated to black and white just blew my mind. This is something that I just can't say for the likes of Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby. Fond as I am of their work, it simply looks better in color. Gene somehow transcended that. He will be missed.

  2. Skott of Fables 06/24/2011 at 9:05 am

    One of the reasons I have a few different versions of some issues of The Tomb Of Dracula. I have a few of the monthly issues and the first three volumes of Essential Tomb Of Dracula.

    • Nick C 06/24/2011 at 8:25 pm

      Yeah, man. I don't know how he did it, but it's amazing to see.

  3. Yukiko 06/20/2012 at 2:42 pm

    Great piece of writing, thanks for sharing. Its always intriguing to view other people's impressions.

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