Friday, September 01, 2006

Happy Birthday to Gene Colan, Master of Shadow

In recognition of Gene Colan's 80th Birthday, I'm presenting one of the reasons why he is my favorite comic book artist.

Daredevil #56 (Sept 1969)

He drew an invisible horse with the anatomy clearly defined by the use of light and shadow. Death's-Head was clearly a Scooby-Doo villain in that it was all special effects. He knew it, his victims knew it and Daredevil knew it. Gene Colan left no doubt that the bad guy of this story was not a supernatural creature but just an murderous bastard with a few clever tricks. Exactly the kind of creep that Daredevil should always fight. In drawing the Hollow Horse, lesser artists would have outlined the mount using dotted lines or drawn the rider as if it was riding only a skeleton, which for the story would have been artistically sloppy.

Not only did Gene Colan break from the Marvel style of emulating Kirby, he was one of the first to use rough pencils in mainstream comics as a way of story-telling, most notably in the Ragamuffins series for Eclipse comics.

From Eclipse, The Magazine #3 (Nov 1981)

All you comic noobs, treat yourself and read some Daredevil, Tomb of Dracula and Nathaniel Dusk. Let "Dr. Colan" heal the scars cut deep into a brain viciously wounded by the art-thugs of Liefeld, Ramos, Bachalo and pretty much anyone else who started working in comics in the 90's.

Other Colan entries *
Gene Colan and Motion

Groin Injury Saturday: Dracula

* Heh-heh

1 comment:

  1. While not my favourite artist (cough: Joe Kubert), Colan's stuff was the Stuff. And while I read Tomb of Dracula purely for his art I had to give it up because, well, vampires are even sillier than men wearing their underwear as outerwear.

    Happy Birthday, Gene.

    I miss you but carry panels you've drawn deep in my brain and I sometimes see them again as I go to sleep.


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