The Dean’s A Jolly Good Fellow: Happy Birthday Gene Colan

In honor of Gene Colan’s birthday today, Panel Surfing will look at one of the all time great artists who can paint with a pencil. Much like the spry Stan Lee who still writes at 85, Gene “The Dean” Colan is still drawing, still teaching, and still visiting with fans at Cons at 84 years young. Maybe the old Marvel Bullpen had a water cooler with elixir from the fountain of youth?

Some of Gene Colan's famous friends

Colan began working during the Golden Age of Comics but would become part of history helping to usher in the Marvel Age of Comics in the “Silver Age” of the early to late 1960’s. Drawing the Sub-Mariner feature in Tales To Astonish, Iron Man in his own title and with a hugely influential run on Daredevil, The Dean became a staple with The House Of Ideas. Colan is famous for his dark and moody shadowy pencil work. His masterful work with light and darkness in telling a story in one of the most dramatic and film noir cinema styles ever to grace the pages of the medium.

Gene has been inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame (in 2005) and even won a 2010 Eisner Award himself recently as part of the creative team that was responsible for Captain America #601 – voted best single issue.

For years collectors have wanted a Kirby and Ditko art was near impossible to find so John Romita art was the gold standard and you could go on and on with high quality blue chip artists and artwork from the formative years of the industry to seek out and acquire for your collection. Gene Colan belongs in this list as well and until recently his work was still very reasonable to obtain for such a pioneer in creating the look of a billion dollar global brand in its infancy.

One of the best Gene Colan collections can be found in the online gallery of art lover from down under – Australia’s own Andrew Van Embden. Andrew has loved Gene Colan’s style for years and has spent that time amassing some gorgeous examples of The Dean’s work.

Daredevil #20 splash by Gene Colan in Andrew Van Embden's CAF gallery

Daredevil #31 splash by Gene Colan in Andrew Van Embden's CAF gallery

Two Great Silver Age Large Art (Twice Up) Daredevil Splashes by The Dean of Comics – Gene Colan!

Gene Colan’s dark moody style also lent itself superbly to one of the most popular non-hero titles Marvel Comics has ever produced – Tomb of Dracula!

Tomb Of Dracula #20 splash by Gene Colan in Andrew Van Embden's CAF gallery

Gene Colan will be appearing at the Comic Art Con in Secaucus, NJ on September 12, 2010. This is the first ever convention devoted exclusively to comic art only. If you are in the Northeast try to stop by and wish The Dean a very Happy Birthday.

Right now is a great time to invest in Gene Colan art as there are still some very high quality pieces to be found. You can search on ebay and on CAF in both art dealers for sale pieces and collector classified. There are many great pieces out there.

Panel Surfing would like to say Happy Birthday Gene & Thanks for the great stories!

Jason

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