|Images copyright MARVEL COMICS|
Saturday, 22 April 2017
THE INVINCIBLE GENE COLAN...
Here's a great book I acquired recently. It's a great book that really should have been even greater, but I'll get to that presently. If you're a genuine comics fan, you'll know of GENE COLAN. Gene was a master of light and shade, and one of the finest contributors ever to freelance for MARVEL. IRON MAN, SUB-MARINER, DAREDEVIL, HOWARD The DUCK, and DRACULA are just a few of the titles he drew for 'The House Of Ideas' in the '60s & '70s.
There are some great images in this 132 pager, but, alas, also some not-so-great ones. It's always somewhat disappointing to read what a sublime artist someone is, and then see art which doesn't quite bear that out. Case in point is the example below. Nice pencil work, superb texturing, but that apart, it's a dreadful drawing. The figure is too squat, the head's too big, the body's too small, and the legs aren't right in any way. And the fact that ol' DOOM's left arm appears to be sprouting from the middle of his torso all result in a less than perfect illustration. (And the right arm is seriously dodgy as well. Where exactly does the elbow bend?)
For all the excellent examples of Gene's artistic ability, there's a few I wish they'd just left out, because they don't do his reputation any favours at all. It's not the first time I've found myself wishing that compilers of books like this had been just a little more discerning in their choices, and, unfortunately, this is another such occasion. It also suffers from several areas of over-printing, where one caption has been printed on top of another, resulting in something that's practically unreadable. Don't they have proofreaders any more?
However, it would be remiss of me not to put things in context by mentioning that Gene suffered from glaucoma for many years (being almost blind in one eye and having tunnel vision in the other), and had to draw with his face practically pressed up against the page. This no doubt explains the instances when his art wasn't at its best, and makes it all the more amazing when it was. So despite its few shortcomings, this tome should be a welcome addition to the bookshelf of any devoted fan of 'The Dean'. Published in 2010, it may yet be available. Try your local comicbook store right away.
Posted by Kid at Saturday, April 22, 2017