Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another


The Man Without Fear!

Shivah Stars

Print Email

Each week, we select the most interesting Jewish obituary. With our double-fisted superhero coverage today, it seems timely to note the obituary of Gene Colan, the famed comic-book artist who passed away last month at 84. Known as “Gene the Dean” to comics fans, his career lasted seven decades; not even glaucoma could halt it. Colan’s use of the figure in comic books—his renderings of anatomy and noir-ish photo-realistic style—helped move the art of this medium from hack-infiltrated novelty to something that could take itself seriously (while wearing tights). Looking at his renderings of characters including Daredevil, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Falcon (the first black hero to have his own series), and his iconic Dracula, it’s clear to see his influence on Frank Miller, Todd MacFarlane, and Alex Ross—the superhero artists who brought these pulp heroes to the films now making billions of dollars every summer.


Born in 1926 in New York City, Colan went to the venerable Art Students League, and served with the Air Force in the Philippines during World War II before starting his multi-decade career. He was an artist’s artist, to the point where publishers started running his comics in their pencil-sketch form. “Authenticity, for me, was important, because it made the reader feel ‘This is real,'” Colan said in a recent interview “‘This is not just a comic book,’” .

Gene Colan, Prolific Comic-Book Artist, Dies at 84
Gene Colan: On Vampires, Shadows, and the Industry [Graphic NYC]

Print Email

Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

This is spooky — I was just thinking today about the original “Howard the Duck,” and how Mr. Colan’s art transformed that story of an out-of-his-universe duck into something akin to Kafka with a noiresque hangover. He could render the most complex emotion in short sharp lines — and make it look easy.

Thank you sir. We’ll miss you.



Superb! usually I by no means read whole content articles nevertheless the method a person authored this information is simply amazing and also this stored my awareness in analyzing and that i loved it.


Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

The Man Without Fear!

Shivah Stars

More on Tablet:

A Tale of Three Twitter Feeds: Hamas Tweets in Arabic, English, and Hebrew

By Aaron Magid — Analysis of the social-media messaging of Hamas’ military wing reveals distinct voices for the West, the Arab Middle East, and Israel