Comic book artist Gene Colan, who in his seven-decade career chronicled the adventures of characters including Dracula, Batman, Daredevil and Howard the Duck, died June 23 at a hospital in New York at 84. He had liver disease and cancer.
Mr. Colan had a subtle and emotional style that imbued the characters he drew with a sense of vitality that seemed to leap off the page. His art was a staple of the Silver Age era of comics, and his 70-issue run on “The Tomb of Dracula,” written by Marv Wolfman, in the 1970s remains critically lauded for returning horror to the pages of comic books.
In the 1980s, Mr. Colan’s work on Batman for DC Comics drew plaudits and is sought out by aficionados of original comic-book art.
Born in New York on Sept. 1, 1926, Mr. Colan began working in comics in 1944, drawing for Wings Comics. He joined the Army Air Forces and was stationed in the Philippines at the end of World War II. When he was discharged, he joined Timely Comics, the precursor to Marvel Comics and then drew for National Comics, now DC.
He returned to Marvel in the 1960s as the industry entered what is widely known as comics’ Silver Age. That period saw the revitalization of classic heroes from the 1940s, such as Superman, Batman and Green Lantern at DC, as well as the creation of Marvel’s Fantastic Four, the Avengers, Captain America and Daredevil.