R.I.P. Gene Colan

Legendary comic book artist Gene Colan has passed away at the age of 84 on June 23, 2011 due to complications with liver disease. This man had a career that spanned seven decades, he chronicled hundreds of stories for both DC and Marvel, and was the artist behind countless huge heroes – from Batman, to Daredevil, Captain America, Howard the Duck, Iron Man and many more. If that’s not impressive enough, Gene Colan and Stan Lee together created the first African-American superhero, The Falcon. This incredible man was one of the kings of the comic world, his art was an essential part of the Silver Age era of comics, and even now he continues to be one of the most beloved artists in the industry.

While Gene has done work on some of the greatest superheroes ever created, he is best known for his 70-issue run on The Tomb of Dracula, a comic that continues to be critically praised for returning horror to the pages of comics. But that’s not where the vamptastic goodness ends – he also penciled the final pages of Blade Vol. 3, #12, the last issue of that series and he worked on Dracula Lives and even drew a couple of stories for Dark Horse’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Below is a small look the vampire artwork of Gene Colan and the man himself, for more on this fantastic artist check out his official website.

Here are a couple books featuring Gene Colan’s work that I highly suggest checking out:

Gene Colan Tribute
“In conjunction with the Hero Initiative, Marvel’s top creators select their favorite stories featuring the groundbreaking artwork of Gene Colan – reprinted here in their entirety – and offer commentary on his prolific contributions to the comic-book industry, from TOMB OF DRACULA to DAREDEVIL to HOWARD THE DUCK!”

Tomb of Dracula – Volume 1
“Dracula has haunted the Marvel Age of Comics for years – now, see his modern misdeeds from Night One! When the Prince of Darkness rises, longtime enemies are ready for a fight – and so is one of his own descendants! Undead armies, time travel, deathbed voodoo, and more! Featuring the first appearance of multi-media marvel Blade: Vampire Hunter! Collects Tomb of Dracula #1-12.”

Tales of the Slayers
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the latest in a long tradition of young women who’ve been trained to give their lives in the war against vampires. We’ve gotten glimpses of these other women over the years on T.V., in comics, and in books. Now for the first time, the writers from the television series, including the show’s creator, Joss Whedon, and one of its stars, Amber “Tara” Benson, present the tales of these girls, with the help of comics’ greatest artists. Gene Colan, co-creator of Marvel’s Blade and Tomb of Dracula, returns to Dark Horse for the story of a young girl in 1970s New York, battling vampires. Tim Sale, artist of recent epics Batman: The Long Halloween and Superman for All Seasons teams with Joss Whedon for a grim tale of a medieval slayer. American comics legend P. Craig Russell (Dr. Strange, The Ring of the Nibelung) and international rising star Mira Friedmann (Actus Tragicus) also join the stellar lineup.”

Those are just three out of MANY Gene Colan projects you should check out.

R.I.P Gene Colan

– Moonlight

By Moonlight

Moonlight (aka Amanda) loves to write about, read about and learn about everything pertaining to vampires. You will most likely find her huddled over a book of vampire folklore with coffee in hand. Touch her coffee and she may bite you (and not in the fun way).


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  3. Certainly the saddest news of the world. Despite the fact that its today hard to find Gene Colan Tomb of Dracula in France (no reprint since the first publication), I bought the entire Omnibus of the serie. A very good job, with an impressive style !

  4. I came across this blog while looking for info and images of Gene Colan’s art. I grew up with Tomb of Dracula and always loved Mr. Colan’s beautiful style. He was a unique talent, producing art unlike any before or since, and he is sorely missed.

    On another note, I must point out that four of the images above are NOT Gene Colan pieces and shouldn’t be offered as examples of his art. On the top row, second from the left (Dracula fighting Frankenstein): that’s by Art Adams. Fourth on that row, the painted cover of Dracula Lives! is from Luis Dominguez. The color piece in the second row is not an official Tomb of Dracula cover, and was drawn by some (amateur?) artist I don’t recognize. The cover to Tomb of Dracula #1 on the bottom row was by Neal Adams.

    Otherwise, a nice tribute.

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