Friday, May 23, 2008

Original Art Stories: Gene Colan, An Update II

This just in.

Print at Wizard World Philadelphia kicks off series of Colan-centric products

LOS ANGELES (May 22, 2008)-Artist Gene Colan has been one of comics' favorites for a staggering seven decades. Now, as Gene is suffering illness, some of the characters Gene worked on are coming to save the day.

The Hero Initiative in conjunction with Marvel Comics is launching a series of Gene Colan-themed products, starting with a limited edition print of Gene's cover art to Invincible Iron Man #1, available at Wizard World Philadelphia, May 30-June 1. Only 200 prints will be available at the show at a cost of $25 each. Net proceeds from sales of these prints by The Hero Initiative will benefit Gene Colan. Another 50 prints will be available at a later date, with plans to have them autographed by both Gene Colan and Stan Lee.

Also at Wizard World Philadelphia, guest writers and artists at the Marvel Comics booth will be signing and sketching two large poster-sized boards, which Hero will auction benefiting Gene at a later date.

And that's just the start. Wizard World Chicago, June 26-29, will see the release of a second print featuring the cover art to Daredevil #47, the legendary "Brother, Take My Hand" story by Stan Lee and Gene Colan. A third print will be available later in the year, along with other products.

For August, a Gene Colan Tomb of Dracula poster will be available for order via Marvel Previews with proceeds routed to Gene; and in September, a special book reprinting some of Gene's greatest stories will be made available. In addition to these items, The Hero Initiative will take additional steps to help Gene in his convalescence.

"Gene Colan," said Roy Thomas, longtime Marvel Comics writer and Hero Initiative Board member, "is one of the most amazingly talented comic book artists in the history of the field. When I was scripting one of his stories, there was no one-not even Neal Adams or John Buscema-whose pencils could make me feel more strongly as if I were looking into a real world. He combines often-photographic realism with dynamism worth of a Kirby.and that makes him unique."

"Speaking as an artist, in addition to his awe-inspiring renditions of classic comic book heroes, 'Gentleman' Gene Colan has been a tremendous inspiration to those of us who have drawn Daredevil," said Marvel Editor in Chief Joe Quesada. "I'm happy to say that Marvel is working along with The Hero Initiative to help one of the industry's greats and a member of the Marvel family. Our hearts and thoughts go out to Gene and his family during this tough time, and we hope the rest of this great community can do what they can to help support one its founding members."

This is excellent news. Clifford Meth has also posted a letter from the Colan's expressing their gratitude over the outpouring of assistance and affection - that's also heartening.
To Gene's fans and colleagues:

"I'm on my fourth attempt to find the words to express my gratitude to you. Our gratitude. Our current challenges are dwarfed by your generousity, love and respect for Gene. It means even more to be coming from men and women of great accomplishment in their own right. You've all enriched our life throughout Gene's six decades in Comics. Thank you all dear friends.

Adrienne for Gene

Mind you I suspect a lot of the Hero Inititive/Marvel Comics assistance came about due to Clifford and his excellent behind the scenes work. Clifford needs to take a large bow when this has all settled.

Just as an aside. On the tribute section of this blog some sicko posted a comment claiming to be John Byrne. I'm not going to waste time re-hashing the comments, suffice to say that at the time I thought the comment was a tad odd, and I've since discovered it wasn't the John Byrne, but some sick bastard trying to get a cheap chuckle. Hopefully that cretin has fallen under a bus somewhere. John has turned over a good five pages of his forum (and still growing) to Gene's plight, and has more than politely asked that I inform people that he doesn't leave comments on web-sites in general, so if you see something, somewhere, with his name attached then it's either a different John Byrne or someone posing as Byrne. Fair points. If anyone wants to leave a comment as Byrne then go right ahead - it won't be seeing the light of day here.

Keep the tributes coming in!

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