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Posted at 09:38 AM ET, 06/27/2011

RIP, GENE COLAN: Stan Lee joins those memorializing the legendary artist [UPDATED]

"The Tomb of Dracula” as rendered by Gene Colan, whose wide-ranging, seven-decade career including drawing Dracula, Blade, Batman, Daredevil, Iron Man and Howard the Duck. Colan died in New York on Thursday from complications of liver disease and cancer. He was 84. (AP Photo/Marvel Comics) (AP)

MONDAY UPDATE: Late last week, the comics community mourned the great Gene Colan, who died Thursday at age 84. Colan’s Hall of Fame career — he was inducted into the Will Eisner comics hall in 2005 — dated from the World War II era to as recently as 2009.

Late Sunday, fellow legend STAN LEE — who knew Mr. Colan for much of the past seven decades — shared with Comic Riffs his thoughts on this gifted man:

“That Gene was a great talent is beyond dispute,” Stan Lee tells us. “But he was also one of the nicest, kindest, most conscientious, hard-worklng people I’ve known.”

Lee also remembered Colan’s cinematic artwork.

“Gene had a great love for movies, and that feeling was apparent in the way he laid out his strips — as though each panel were a scene in a movie, each effortlessly flowing into the next, just as such scenes might do on the big screen.

“He was truly an artist in the best sense of the word and I join his countless legion of fans in declaring he will be greatly missed.”

UPDATE: On Saturday, reported that Clifford Meth has set up the Gene Colan Scholarship at the Joe Kubert School. For more details, you can go to Meth’s own site.

UPDATE: To appreciate Gene “The Dean” Colan’s tremendous career in a snapshot, it’s worth it to check out the top of the Gene Colan website and gaze on an array of artwork. The rolling gallery of covers is a master class in a flash.

Click through to see some of the tributes and memories from colleagues that Comic Riffs compiled last Friday:


“Gene Colan was like no other artist of his generation. His ability to create dramatic, multi-valued tonal illustrations using straight India ink and board was unparalleled. The comics industry has lost one of its true visionaries today.”

Jim Lee, DC Comics


“He knew who he was — how valuable his contributions to the world of comic art have been — how prized it remains by so many. Yet he never felt less than grateful to anyone who’d even read a single panel that he’d drawn. ... And he was never satisfied with his artwork but always eager to learn a little more, do a little better, try something new. At 84.”

Clifford Meth


“The one time he drew a script of mine was one of those moments when I would have paid the company for the honor. I received Xeroxes of his pencilled pages — so much more wonderful, of course, than the printed product — and I just grinned for days…because I’d just written a comic drawn by Gene Colan. He always made everything look so damned good.”

Mark Evanier


“Gene is one of those rare breed of comic book artists that invent their own idiom. Colan’s work never looked like anybody else’s — he was a true originator, a one-of-a-kind visionary.”

Tom Brevoort, Marvel Comics

"Gene Colan is a one-of-a-kind artist whose style is as synonymous with my early comics-reading experience as that of Jack Kirby, Neal Adams or John Buscema.”

Axel Alonso, Marvel Comics


Gene Colan was one of the great draftsmen in the industry and his work is a fond part of some of my best comic book memories.”

Dan DiDio, DC Comics


“Gene Colan was one of my favorite artists in my early teen years, when I was first discovering comics. ... Gene Colan’s work was unique, personal, and always a joy to look at. May he rest in peace.”

Scott McCloud







By  |  09:38 AM ET, 06/27/2011

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