Sunday, October 30, 2005

Worth repeating: Gene Colan and motion

I've said it before...

I think one of the few artists who can effectively convey a sense of motion in their art is Jack Kirby and my own personal comic-deity, Gene Colan. As Erik Larsen observes in a recent Comic Book Resources column One Fan's Opinion:

One of the many things we don't have in comics is motion. Motion, sound, smell, taste-- most of the big ones-- we don't do. In movies, characters move. In comics, we can only approximate it, at best. Gene comes about as close as we're likely to get. Gene's characters are often a blur of motion. I've heard he's a big movie buff and it shows on every page. While most of us struggle to make a guy in a suit look like anything other than a mannequin standing in a store window, Gene pulls it off with ease. His characters live and breathe.
When was the last time you saw a character get hit and the artist effectively included the illusion of impact? Probably almost never, I bet. Most artists, even the technically proficient ones, may as well be posing action figures and using them as art references. Using Phototshop to blur a scene is a trick, and while pretty and useful, is not art. Colan can give still images inertia and convey realistic cause and effect.

Rachel Van Helsing gets Drac-slapped in Tomb of Dracula #68 (Feb 1979)

Wonder Woman never has her breasts fly in opposite directions when she gets punched.


  1. She probably did, when Colan was drawing her from 1982-83 (issues 288-305). Perhaps the BoobWar blog should investigate.

  2. Yeah but that would be Gene being true to form. other artists? Not so much.

    I just noticed that it looked as if PG's 'ladies' had to catch up to her movements when she turned fast in the recent JSA Classified.


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