Rest in Peace, Gene Colan - Romance Comic Book Artist Extraordinaire

Sad news struck the comic book industry early this morning -- Gene Colan has passed away. Primarily known for his work on Daredevil, Howard the Duck, and Tomb of Dracula, Gene was also a prolific romance artist. Gene had been on my mind lately and I think that is why I posted a "Reach for Happiness!" episode just the other day. He had been ill for quite some time, so while not completely unexpected, his death is nonetheless a time for reflection. Below, are a few images which I feel eloquently capture Colan's distinct 1960s and '70s romance work for DC and Marvel.

Colan excelled at illustrating the sadness that sometimes accompanies romantic relationships.

  "Love is Two Strangers!"  Secret Hearts  #101 (January 1965)

"Love is Two Strangers!" Secret Hearts #101 (January 1965)

On the other end of the emotional spectrum, Colan drew kisses effortlessly, and with a high degree of intimacy. 

  "A Visit to a Lost Love!"  Young Love  #56 (July/August 1966)

"A Visit to a Lost Love!" Young Love #56 (July/August 1966)

Colan's romance work was realistic and never shied away from the vulnerabilities inherent in romance. 

  "Diary of a Broken Heart"  Young Romance  #144 (October/November 1966)

"Diary of a Broken Heart" Young Romance #144 (October/November 1966)

Gene's 1970s pencils for Marvel helped to show his range. Colan's characters most definitely knew how to have fun! 

  "Born to be Unloved?"  My Love  #8 (November 1970) Inks by Dick Ayers

"Born to be Unloved?" My Love #8 (November 1970) Inks by Dick Ayers

Youth and movement were not things Colan took for granted in the pages of the romance comics. 

  "I Loved You Once -- Remember?"  My Love  #9 (January 1971) Inks by Dick Ayers

"I Loved You Once -- Remember?" My Love #9 (January 1971) Inks by Dick Ayers

Gorgeous layouts and sweeping cinematic scenes came naturally for Colan.

  "He's Hers, But -- I Want Him!"  Our Love Story  #21 (February 1973) Inks by Dick Ayers

"He's Hers, But -- I Want Him!" Our Love Story #21 (February 1973) Inks by Dick Ayers

Rest in peace, Mr. Colan