Friday, June 24, 2011

Gene Colan 1926-2011

Sadly artist Gene Colan passed away last night at the age of 84 following months of declining health. You can read more about it here at Cifford Meth's blog.

I'm sure in the days ahead people far more eloquent than I am will be writing tributes to his art and career, so I'll share a small personal story instead.

The above picture was taken in San Diego in 2009, where I was fortunate enough to get the chance to spend some time with Gene over the course of the weekend. In fact, at a dinner Marvel hosted one night his wife Adrienne came to my table and told me that Gene wanted to meet me. It turns out he had been referencing issues of Captain America that I had drawn while he was working on issue #601 and wanted to tell me how much he admired my work. Needless to say I was (and still am) floored by this. I sat and talked with him about art and sequential storytelling for longer than I probably should have, but he was still so enthusiastic about what he was doing and saw something of a kindred spirit in me I suppose, particularly in the way we both approached shadows and spotting blacks. I could never hope to be in Gene's class as an illustrator or storyteller, but I can try to live up to the praise he gave my work, even if he was being overly generous in giving it.

I doubt he knew how much it meant (and still means) to me.


ty buttars said...

R.I.P., Mr Colan.

His Daredevil work was some of my favourite DD art. Just a dynamic style.

Guglie said...

So sad.

Gene Colan IS one of my main source of inspiration. Thanks for sharing this story because i never met the man, but as far as I can get from what you said He was a very nice man and with a very good taste for comic book artist! ;-)

Joe Tages said...

It's great that you guys could talk because I do see similarities in your handling of shadows and black spotting that remind me of Gene's material. He shall be missed and mourned, but his legacy prevails.

Tiziano said...

RIP Gene :-(

I remember when this pic was taken.

nkatradis said...

Steve, a great tribute to Gene "Gentleman" Colan, one of the greatest comic artists in history. He will be sorely missed as a legend in the comic industry as well as our hobby of comic art collecting!
ps: You must also feel very proud and satisfied to have Gene Colan tell you how much he admired your artwork!
Well, I tell every body that Steve Epting is the definitive modern day Master Draftsman of our hobby -apparently so did Gene Colan!
Nick K