Yes We Colan
Friday Comic Book Day.
A couple of years ago I wrote an article about Gene Colan for a tribute book that never materialized. It compared his work for Stan Lee at Timely/Atlas in the fifties to his work for DC in the late fifties and early sixties. For years Gene had been one of the best things in Stan Lee's books. His often scrachy style was bold, weird and impressive. When page prices dropped in the late fiftes, Lee allowed Colan to work on a smaller size paper and his inking style changed. At the same time he started working for DC, where he was not allowed to ink his own work (after a few false starts). In the next few years at DC his own unique style was buried under the work of house inkers such as Sy Barry and Joe Giella. Both very nice people, but what they did to the work of Colan and others was terrible. One of the results was that Gene Colan got the impression that his own inking was not up to scratch or worse, that his pencils were uninkable. The work that he was doing at Timely/Atlas, cheap and easy though it may have been, was proof of the opposite.
I hope the article will someday be published somewhere. I might even put it up here. Until then, here are a couple of samples of this forgotten period of Gene Colan's career. I have added two samples of the even lesser seen romance work he did for DC in the early fifties.
From Andventures Into Terror #21:
From War Comics #46:
From Our Army At War #8 (typical Colan pose can be seen on page three):
From Hopalong Cassidy #92:
From Girls' Love Stories #101:
From Heart Throbs #87: