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.”
The Hero Initiative is the first-ever federally chartered not-for-profit corporation dedicated strictly to helping comic book creators in need. Hero creates a financial safety net for yesterdays’ creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work. It’s a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment. For more information, call 310-909-7809 or visit www.HeroInitiative.org.
With a library of over 5,000 characters built over more than sixty years of comic book publishing, Marvel Entertainment, Inc. is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in licensing, entertainment (via Marvel Studios) and publishing (via Marvel Comics), with emphasis on feature films, home DVD, consumer products, video games, action figures and role-playing toys, television and promotions. Marvel’s strategy is to leverage its franchises in a growing array of opportunities around the world. For more information visit www.marvel.com.