Gene Colan, who spent seven decades bringing comic book heroes like Daredevil and Batman to life with nothing more than a pencil and a prodigious amount of talent, died on June 23 from complications of liver disease and a broken hip. He was 84 years old.
Colan’s 70-issue run on Marvel’s Tomb of Dracula in the ’70s is one high point in a career full of them. His atmospheric pencils brought full life to the Count, and his Dracula managed to be both suave and feral at the same time. Probably my first exposure to Colan’s work (although I didn’t realize it at the time, being too young to care about who wrote and drew my comics) came from a Power Records version of Tomb of Dracula #19, “Terror In The Snow.” With a Power Records set you got the comic and a record with the story narrated on it so you could listen and follow along. I remember being fascinated with it, and more than a little creeped out.
I’ll be digging out my Essential Tomb of Dracula collections this weekend and enjoying some of Colan’s amazing work (not to mention that of writer Marv Wolfman and inker Tom Palmer) in his memory. Best wishes to his family and friends.