Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Gene Colan

Believe it or not, I had a sketch almost ready to post. And then lost it. I have no idea where it went.

Reminds me of the time my Critical Thinking assignment fell out of my notebook on my way to my review with my professor. “But...but...it was right here.” “Sure it was.” The guy was a total jerk and hated my guts for some reason. Though I excelled in every other class, this professor had singled me out and made me feel like “that guy”. You know the one. He never has his homework done and always has some excuse. He does that agonizing long search through his book bag for the assignment while everybody in the class watches uncomfortably and everybody knows it’s not in there because he didn’t actually do it.

I begged the professor to let me go back to my car and get the assignment. He said, “Our meeting was at 11:45. You were not prepared. Why should I give you a chance to go to your car and finish the assignment before coming back?”

Because it took 3 hours to do that assignment! Give me five minutes to go back to my car. If I don’t come back with it in five minutes, you can flunk me!”

“I should flunk you anyway. But...D-minus.” The assignment was sitting on the floorboard of my car, waiting for me, when I got back in.

I barely scraped out a C in that class by the end of the semester. And I had a teacher, Mrs. Martin, in middle school, that had similar issues with me. For some reason, she decided on day one that I was going to be her punching bag and she went out of her way to embarrass me in front of the class any chance she got. I would get so worked up I couldn’t function. Which just gave her more ammunition. In every other class, though, I was fine. Ah...memories.


Anyway, since I don’t have a sketch, I thought it would be a good time to point out to everyone that hasn’t heard that Gene Colan is in poor health. I don’t think there’s anyone who reads comics who hasn’t heard of Colan’s work. I would have thought that this news would be burning up the internet but I’ve barely seen a ripple. I had the great honor of meeting Mr. Colan at the Heroes Convention a couple years ago. Not only is he one of the greatest talents in the industry, he’s modest, accommodating and an all-around nice guy. Erik Larsen, prompted by Mike’s passing, wrote a great editorial railing on fans who don’t show their appreciation for someone’s work until they’re gone. He mentioned it seemed that the TELLOS hardcover had somewhat disappointing sales until Mike’s death caused them to sell out. I have no idea if that’s truly the case but we have here an opportunity to let Mr. Colan know just how much we appreciate his work while he is still very much with us. We should take advantage of that.

Clifford Meth has released an email from Gene’s wife requesting his fans send him get-well cards and tell him what his work means to us. I’ve already sent mine. The address can be found on Meth’s blog here:


Yesterday, I emailed him and asked if he would accept donations to help cover the growing costs of Mr. Colan’s healthcare. He politely declined but did say that there is an artwork auction in the works and that any money made from the sale of Meth’s books at http://www.aardwolfpublishing.com would be going directly to the Colans. He didn’t say it but I took it to mean the Colans are proud people and don’t want charity. So I’ll respect their wishes and I’ll be heading over to Meth’s site to do some shopping and I’ll be keeping an eye out for that auction.

If you’re a professional comic book artist, please contact Clifford. I understand there’s also a benefit book being assembled and they’re asking for contributions.

Finally, I asked Jim McLaughlin at the HERO INITIATIVE if they had heard about Mr. Colan’s situation. He said they were contacting the Colans at that very time. This is exactly why the HERO INITIATIVE (formerly ACTOR) was founded. To help these folks when they’re down. So, here’s where you can donate some money and be sure it will help:


And remember, the HERO INITIATIVE isn’t charity. The guys and gals that made the comics we loved as kids have earned this. No doubt.


Leaf said...

I'll definitely have to get a card out to Gene "The Dean" today or tomorrow. Nobody slings pencil lead like that man.

jmralls2001 said...

I would liked to have supported Mike more than I did. I've had to go out of town for some time to get comics so it's hard to keep up on them. Besides that they only have so much of a selection at the place I do get them. I've thought about suggesting some titles for them to get in. I did get the Tellos Collasal hardcover for Christmas last year. Apparently there's a volume two. So I'll have to think about putting that on my next Christmas list if I don't buy it sooner.

jmralls2001 said...

Actually I think I got almost every issue of Mike's last run on Fantastic Four. I'm thinking about a card to send to Gene. I'm an artist myself and I'm thinking of sending one with a drawing in it of a character he's drawn.

Anonymous said...

I have a great sketch of Baron Winter from Night Force that Mr. Colan did for me during a Richmond visit oh so many years ago. It is huge and gorgeous. Night Force was one of those odd books, which didn't sound cool, but I just could not wait for each issue to come out -- it was such a compelling read, like Alan Moore's Swamp Thing.

Matt Wieringo said...

You've been extolling the virtues of NIGHT FORCE for years. It's time I went out and picked up a set to read.

renecarol said...

I had a few teachers and professors like that. Maybe we all did.

I think its a great thing you're doing here for Mr Colan encouraging people to help him & his family out. Very Mike like:)

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