Colan: Visions of a Man without Fear Opens in San Francisco
Gene Colan’s artistic career will receive the retrospective treatment as San Francisco’s Cartoon Art Museum presents Colan: Visions of a Man without Fear, opening November 15 and running through March 15, 2009.
On December 4, there will be a special opening reception with Gene and Adrienne Colan in attendance.
The exhibition will include over 40 examples from Colan’s long creative career, from his one and only story illustrated for legendary publisher EC Comics in 1952, through his career-defining work for Marvel Comics from the 1960s and 1970s on titles as diverse as Iron Man, Tomb of Dracula and Howard The Duck, to his notable run on DC Comics’ Batman in the 1980s, to his more recent efforts, including illustrations commissioned by his fans and his beautiful pencil artwork on titles such as Michael Chabon’s The Escapist, published by Dark Horse Comics.
Guest Curator Glen David Gold, author of the novel, Carter Beats the Devil, put the museum show together. An exhibition catalog featuring high-quality reproductions of Colan’s artwork and essays from many of his most notable collaborators, including writers Stan Lee, Marv Wolfman, Roy Thomas and Steve Englehart, will be available at the Cartoon Art Museum prior to the exhibition’s opening reception on December 4.
For those unfamiliar with Gene “The Dean”, he was born in New York in 1926 and studied at the Art Students League of New York under illustrator Frank Riley and surrealistic Japanese painter Kuniashi. After a stint in the army, Colan’s official career in comics began in 1944 at Fiction House and Timely.
He has worked over the last 60 + years at almost every major publisher, including EC, Marvel, DC, Warren, Dark Horse, Bongo and Archie. His most memorable work includes unsurpassed runs on Daredevil, Iron Man, Sub-Mariner, Captain America, Captain Marvel, Dr. Strange, Tomb of Dracula and Howard the Duck, not to mention inspired depictions of Conan, Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman.
Beginning in the 1980s, Gene took on more varied and unusual work, including Nathaniel Dusk, Ragamuffins, The Spider, Stewart the Rat, and Michael Chabon’s The Escapist.
Colan has taught at both the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan and the Fashion Institute of Technology. He has enjoyed showings at the Southern Vermont Museum of Art, the Bess Cutler Gallery in New York City and Manchester’s Elm Street Arts Gallery where he lectured on Comics, Cinema, and Continuity Art.
Colan is the recipient of a Shazam Award, two Eagle awards and in 2005 was inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame.