Saturday, August 10, 2019

Ernie Colon R.I.P.

Ernie Colon, the man who could draw any and every genre amazingly well... the man who did masterful work for nearly every publisher from the 1960s until just a handful of years ago has passed away at the age of 88. We have over a dozen posts here on the Diversions featuring his incredible work, mostly focusing on my favorite examples of his art--namely his work for Harvey Comics' Richie Rich and Atlas/Seaboard's Tigerman and Grim Ghost. Not nearly enough to explore the depth of the man's prodigious talent. Colan did some extremely cool issues of Marvel's Warlord of Mars that we'll have to rap about one of these days. For today, though, let's just admire his first credited work from 1967's Wham-O Giant Comics #1, "Kaleidoscope of Fear!"



(If you haven't done so already, you can see the whole mag here.)

3 comments:

  1. Wow! This is a shock. I knew Colon was in his late 80's, but it still comes as a surprise to me.

    I probably first read Colon's work in CASPER, RICHIE RICH, HOT STUFF and LITTLE DOT issues, uncredited, circa 1970-1972, not knowing he was the artist.

    The first series I read by Colon credited and visibly his work was his GRIM GHOST 1-3 and TIGERMAN 1, both of which I love.

    Then some work in the Sal Quartuccio/SQ underground HOT STUF', particularly in issues 6-8 (1977-1978), a 3-part story "Manimal", an interesting sci-fi/horror series about a Jewish scientist working in a lab in New York City with aging former Nazis, seeking revenge for the human experiments they did on his parents, that unknown to anyone caused their son, now in his 30's in the story, to become a werewolf. His werewold transformation somewhat allegorical to the rage he feels for what was done to himself and his family.
    This came out the same year as the movie "The Boys From Brazil", and there are some similarities.

    Colon also did some stories in the first few issues of EPIC ILLUSTRATED, that I felt worthy of inclusion with that anthology display the industry's greatest talents, in that nicer format. EPIC ILLUSTRATED for me remains one of the best representations of the comics industry ever published, alongside THE STUDIO book of the work of Jones, Kaluta, Windsor-Smith and Wrightson, and BERNIE WRIGHTSON MASTER OF THE MACABRE 1-3 reprint series, colored by Oliff.

    Colon also drew the first 12 issues of Roy Thomas' ARAK in 1981-1982. I especially like the preview story in WARLORD 48, and the first two series issues, ARAK 1 and 2. A wild twist on the usual storries of Europeans coming to the Americas, this story is about a Native American who crosses in a boaat to Scandinavia and adapts to life in Europe, raised as part of a Viking tribe.

    Even all these years later, Colon was prolific and did so much other work, that it still leaves plenty of other Colon series I planned to explore, such as MARVEL SUPER SPECIAL 8 (1979, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA), and BATTLESTAR GALACTICA 1-3 (probably the SUPER SPECIAL story broken up into 3 parts).

    Plus others I can't recall offhand. He also did black and white stories for CREEPY and EERIE, and briefly for the Seaboard Atlas magazines, THRILLING ADVENTURE 1, and WEIRD TALES OF THE MACABRE 1.

    Ernie Colon is missed, but will long be with us in the memorable work he left behind for us.

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  2. My first sight of Ernie's art was the 'Manimal' strip he did in Sal Q's Hot Stuf' (I picked up the Atlas stuff later on). Worth tracking down if you can find them.

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  3. AMETHYST is probably his best known work, and rightly so since he was at his absolute peak then, and the world finally got to see just how versatile and over-the-top great he was. He was also a great editor at DC, though his time there was far too short. But I think his magnum opus was probably THE MEDUSA CHAIN, his graphic novel for DC where he pretty much did the whole shebang by himself. Just a great showcase of his many talents. RIP Ernie!

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