Original Art Stories: Vintage Gene Colan, Part I
This first story is titled 'The Last Stop', and comes from World of Fantasy #10, as published by Atlas (Marvel) Comics in 1957. "When I first started with Timely," said Gene, "it was called Timely Comics, now it’s Marvel. We were working in the Empire State Building and that’s where I really got the experience that I needed. I was hired to do the work and I was paid for it and I didn’t know a heck of a lot about anything.
"I stared in ’46 working for Timely and before that I worked for a very small publication house on, I think it was right on 5th Avenue in New York and it was called Fiction House. It was just a summertime job before I went into the service. It was my first real professional job that I ever had and I knew from being with Timely that I really knew nothing and only because some very professional artists would come into that office from time to time and show me stuff that I ever got to learn. I picked up a lot just by observation."
When most people think of Gene Colan, they think of Daredevil, or Dracula, or even his Batman work, but mainly we think of Gene from the '60s onwards, but the reality is that Gene was there, right back at the start of things, working away and doing his thing. And he only got better - that was the scariest thing of them all...
I'll leave the last word to Gene on this one. "When I started I knew I wanted to be really good at it. I enjoyed the business, I really did enjoy it. I wasn’t aware of the passage of time or anything, I just did my job and I wasn’t aware of the hours that I kept, because the hours were brutal."