I'm sitting at my keyboard, with something I have to report, and suddenly not knowing what to say.
Gene Colan died on June 23rd of complications from a broken hip and a long battle with liver disease, at 84 years old.
I feel ashamed I didn't know about it sooner.
Colan drew comics at many major companies over his long career. His straightforward, smooth figures brought higher realism to the superhero and horror comics of the late Seventies, the era of work for which he is best known. He was drawing from his first professional comics work in 1944 to one-at-a-time personal commissions in retirement up until just a few months ago. Despite having lost his sight in one eye.
Mark Evanier said it better than I could:
"As a reader, I loved Gene's work. There was a credibility about it: No matter how outlandish the premise or plot, Gene somehow made you believe it."
Read this short post from close friend, writer Clifford Meth and have faith.
It's all true.
Evanier will moderate a Gene Colan tribute panel at San Diego Comic-Con next month.
I had the pleasure of meeting Colan quickly at an event for the "Marvelous Color" exhibit I covered in February of 2o1o. His passing is exactly what I am talking about when I say we need to make sure the elder artists of comics are well taken care of and know they are appreciated: I listed Colan among other comics creators still living over 75 years of age, in December 2o1o.
The Long and Shortbox Of It extends our condolences to Gene Colan's surviving family and friends.
He will be missed.