Controversial! Fun And Also Games! First Comic Book related blog to be featured in the Australian National Library's Pandora archive. 2016, 2017 Rondo Award nominee. Pop culture, music, film and comic book expert. Would be willing to write for biscuits.
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Gene Colan - A Call To Arms!
By now everyone associated with comic books should be aware of Gene Colan's health situation. Simply put the man isn't well, but when you look at it, he's not been all that well for a while now. Late last week Gene woke up with chest pains and shortness of breath, so his son took him straight to the hospital where he was admitted. He's now in a serious, but relatively stable condition, but the outlook could be better. A hell of a lot better.
Gene has had a rough trot in the past few years. First was his much publicized health issues, then there was the scandalous issue which we all know about. Then, sadly, his beloved wife, Adrienne, passed away. All of this adds up to a series of blows that would have seen a lesser man simply give up and wait for the inevitable. But not Gene, no, not by a long shot. Gene isn't going anywhere.
Clifford Meth is in touch with Gene on a daily basis and his reports have been encouraging. I had to chuckle when I read how Gene said he was enjoying the morphine drip, but then I began to worry - if Gene is on morphine then the pain must be savage indeed. Then Cliff announced the news that I think a lot of people had been expecting, even if Gene comes home, his days of drawing art are now behind him. It would appear that this latest blow has robbed Gene of his ability to draw art for any sustained period of time. The prognosis for recovery is as good as can be expected for somebody Gene's age, and with his pre-existing health issues, but time takes it's toll.
So, what happens next? There's no pension for Gene. Marvel won't be there to bail him out, nor will DC, or Archie, or anyone else that Gene has worked for over the years. What Gene will be relying on will be the proceeds of the sale of his remaining art, and the kindness of people. And that means you - people who've enjoyed Gene's life and career, who have read comic books with his art in them and salivated over them. That means the people who first saw his Iron Man and gasped. Who's first Daredevil comics were penciled by a guy listed as Gene 'The Dean' Colan. The people who were scared as youngsters by Gene's Dracula. Those people who were mesmerised by Gene's Dr Strange, or thrilled by his Avengers, or amazed by his Batman - that means all of you.
Be warned - read this, take note and learn the easy way - we've learnt this lesson the hard way.
As people who read this stuff on some form of a regular basis might be aware we're off to New York in just over a month. Three weeks in New York, one week in San Fransisco. The key, for us anyway, is booking some decent accommodation, so we decided that, as we're going to be in New York for three weeks solid, that we'd go for a serviced apartment over a hotel room. So we started looking on the proper web-sites for places until we found one. Great location, it does exist, great photos - the lot. Perfect for our needs. The other half made contact with the 'owner' via the web-site and made arrangements to pay. We were asked to pay via MoneyGram, no biggie and no alarm bells started to ring - we've not done this before and all seemed normal. We made the first payment and got an email back from the 'owner' saying he'd gotten the payment and could we fix th…
Let's nip this right in the bud now and call this image bullshit (as Penn & Teller would say). Yesterday a link was emailed to quite a few people, showing the image you see on the left, which is supposedly the Jack Kirby version of The Amazing Spider-Man. If it the art was genuine then it'd rewrite Marvel history as we know it. There's one slight problem though - it's a hoax, and not a very good one at that. Someone has taken the Giant Man image from the splash page of Tales To Astonish #51 and doctored it, using a logo taken from page #183 of Joe Simon's Comic Book Makers book and parts of the design that Steve Ditko drew for one of Robin Snyder's books (in which he discussed the differences between Jack Kirby's discarded version of Spiderman and the final, Steve Ditko-Stan Lee version of Spider-Man) and mashed them all together. As to why anyone would want to do that, or what end they hoped to achieve is beyond me. But then that's life.
Go and have a read, and, more importantly, pass the word on to everyone and anyone who is thinking of travelling anywhere and booking. First rule of thumb - NEVER pay anyone via a money transfer system such as Western Union or Moneygram. They assist the scammers, and once your money is gone, those companies couldn't care less. They've got their cut. Make sure you pay in such a way that you've got recourse - if it's a money transfer then it's a scam, as far as I'm concerned.