Unfortunately, we’ve got some bad news today. Bleeding Cool and Clifford Meth have let us know that comics legend Gene Colan was mugged recently. The mugger stole some of Gene’s original artwork relating to STAR WARS and NATHANIEL DUSK, and left the artist’s shoulder injured enough that he currently can’t draw. If any art collectors in our community come across some art by Gene Colan over the next couple weeks, be weary that it might have been stolen.
What’s frustrating about news like this is there’s little that we, as fans, can do about it. The dirtbag who attacked Gene is already out there in the world. Hopefully, Gene will make a swift recovery from his injuries, as any impairment on the arm is a significant setback for an artist. The unfortunate thing is that there are many artists from Gene’s generation that are experiencing setbacks like this, right now. If you feel strongly about helping these artists who’ve entertained audiences for so many years, I encourage you to look into the HERO Initiative, a charity that helps comic creators that need health, medical, and quality-of-life assistance .
Given that audiences can often have short memories, I think it’s worth it to remind everybody of Gene’s significant contributions to this medium that well all know and love. In addition to his memorable runs on DAREDEVIL, DR. STRANGE, IRON MAN and HOWARD THE DUCK, he’s perhaps best known for his work on TOMB OF DRACULA, a comic that put more adult-oriented horror in front of American audiences in the first major way since the restrictions of the Comics Code were put in effect. Modern comics like THE WALKING DEAD and 30 DAYS OF NIGHT owe so much to the trail TOMB OF DRACULA blazed. Gene also co-created a certain character called Blade the Vampire Hunter, who you might recall as being the first Marvel character to make a successful transition to the movies. Once again, the X-MEN movies, the SPIDER-MAN movies and all that followed them… I doubt you’d have seen them without the precedent-setting success of Gene’s creation.
I think the best way to properly recognize this artist in Comic Vine is to bring back the video of our tour of San Francisco’s Cartoon Art museum. At the time, it had an entire exhibit devoted to Gene’s artwork.
-- Tom Pinchuk is the writer of UNIMAGINABLE for Arcana Comics and HYBRID BASTARDS! for Archaia. Watch out for the HYBRID BASTARDS! hardcover collection this April - - available for pre-order now on Amazon.com.