Monday, June 27, 2011

Remembering Gene Colan: Jaws 2 by Marschall, Colan, and Palmer.

As you no doubt know, we lost the great Gene Colan late last week. I think about all the hours and years of joy he brought to so many with his unique and amazing art style. Daredevil. Sub-Mariner. Iron Man. Dr. Strange. Captain America. Tomb of Dracula. Howard the Duck. And that's just scratching the surface of his Groovy Age/Marvel work. In the 80s he took his super-powered pencils to DC to great acclaim. Throughout the 90s and up until just recently, Gene kept giving of his talent. The man was a true artist. Many claim he almost literally painted with his pencil, and anyone fortunate enough to have seen his original art would no doubt agree.

I wanted to pay him a tribute today. Many throughout the internet already have, and have done it much more eloquently or authoritatively than I'm able to do. I'm just a fan with a blog, but I know one thing: the Greatness of Gene Colan will be sorely missed, but his legacy will be remembered for at least as long as I live. For my humble part, I decided to pull out something that might be forgotten, and will probably never see print again. It's one of my all-time favorite comics, Jaws 2 from Marvel Super-Special #6 (Summer 1978). Gene's pencils are inked and painted by the one man who, in Ol'  Groove's opinion, totally "got" Gene's pencils and made a perfect partner, Tom Palmer. The adaptation of Jaws 2 is also significant in that it's Marvel's first attempt at "Super Marvel-Color", a painstaking and breathtaking "next step" in comicbook evolution that's forgotten today, buried under mountains of computer-colored slick comics. For Marvel it started right here, Groove-ophiles.

Usually if a story is over ten or so pages, Ol' Groove breaks it up into a big splash and tons of thumbnails in order to share it with ya. Today, in honor of Mr. Colan, every page in this 46 page adaptation is super-sized. It'll make for a lot of scrolling, but I think these pages are worth it. Don't you?

Godspeed, Mr. Colan.


  1. Yes...inside the magazine is an article about the entire coloring process...very informative and very eye catching work. I believe this is the first book they used this process on as it was developed specifically for the magazine...I do believe there were several other Marvel Super specials that used this process...but has gone bye bye these days as you stated.
    Genes work beautiful. ( which I believe was the point ) rip Mr. Colon.

  2. What a stunning book! I had inexplicably never seen it before. Thanks a lot for sharing. Gene will definitely be missed!

  3. A wonderful reminder of the Deans amazing talent - I wasn't even aware of thi sbook so thank you for sharing - Gene was genuinely one of my all time favourites, whilst his work on Tomb of Dracula is undoubtably a high point in the artform its his work on Daredevl that did it for me, Miller and Romita Jnr were good , Colan was brillaint = thanks again Gene for all the fun and a great tribute well done Groove. McScooty

  4. I use to have that magazine. I didn't realize Colon illustrated it. I also forgot how viscous the shark was. Better than the movie!

  5. Greetings Groovy One!
    It was with a very heavy heart I heard of Gene's passing. We only met once in person in sept of 98. At the Thunderbird hotel in Minn. No one knew he was going to be there. They forgot to put his name on the fliers!

    We'll after meeting him & having him do a sketch. He asked me if I'd like to sit & chat. Of course I said YES! Figuring after 10-15 mins I'd be on my way. I ended up sitting at his table with him for 3 hours! That was quite a experience.

    Gene was a class act, a great artist & a soft spoken gentle soul. We ended up becoming friends, he'd even call me up to just chat at all hours! LOL Imagine my surprise to hear my cell phone ring once at 11pm. Only to see it was Gene Colan!

    It was very cool & sureal, growing up as a boy to a young adult. I never dreamt in a million years I'd be friends with Gene. Along with Joe Sinnott, Herb Trimpe, John Romita SR etc. I had the sad duty of breaking the news of his passing. To these childhood idols of mine as well. Just as I had of George Tuska's passing with Joe Sinnott on his last birthday.

    Ironically the last phone conversation I had with Gene. Was about death & the hereafter. I like to think Gene is up there. drawing his heart out, along with Jack Kirby, Bill Everett,& all the rest of those greats. Thanks groovy one for posting this book. I've never seen it, either I must have missed it. Or I was in the Marines overseas at the time. The artwork & coloring is beautiful.

    Not only will I miss all gene's beautiful artwork. Especially his stunning woman! WOW! I'll deeply miss his friendship & our phone conversations. R.I.P. my friend & Happy Trails to you, until we meet again! Give my regards o Inspector Columbo/ The Twilight Zone: The Mirror/ Castro aka Peter Falk.

  6. The shark was far more active in this comic than in the movie.

    1. One thing I loved about the draft written before Gottlieb's version is that the shark is so vicious and aggressive that I truly hated the thing by the end of the script and was happy to see it die a rather agonizing death. If you liked this comic, read that first script (it's online). I love Colan's depiction of the shark's death here, so explosive. And the text is right: it deserved those volts! :-)

    2. Totally agree! Loved this comic! It's a shame Universal brass didn't go with this better version. There was more emphasis on Chief Brody's post traumatic stress and the sailing teens had more character development. The shark is a menacing bitch too!

    3. Agreed. From what I have read, and please correct me if I am wrong, part of it was that they felt Hancock wasn't right for this kind of action thriller. Okay, I can buy that. Some directors don't do well with certain material. But the darker concept of “Jaws II,” with its haunted Amity, a gravid, aggressive white shark about to give birth (which I think heightens the suspense in what is basically a monster movie—the death of a real white shark mother and her young would be quite tragic, but let's be direct: these movies give us fantastical leviathans, not naturalistic animals)—the concept works.

      It's no surprise to me when I learned that the only material Hancock filmed that made it into the final cut was the gloomy reveal of the shark stealing into Amity harbor under the cover of night. That was one of my favorite moments in the whole movie. It's not exactly scary. It's not a shocking reveal. It's not chasing any thing or anyone. It's ghostly and gothic. It's the opposite of its predecessor's sunny disposition.

      I still wish someone would make that movie, a shark movie that's cold, damp, gloomy—haunting and eerie rather than bright and exciting and violent.

    4. *I should have said “some of the Hancock footage.” In “Jaws 2: The Making of the Hollywood Sequel” (2015), Hancock and some others working on the film said that he also shot the sequence of the kid riding the spinnaker.

  7. Wow, what a great tribute to an amazing artist. I've never seen this Jaws 2 magazine before. The colors are gorgeous. The artwork? Glorious and bright for Colan, despite the grizzly, exciting subject matter.
    Well, done, G.A.!

  8. Gorgeous work. This comic closely follows the draft written by Howard Sackler and Dorothy Tristan, before Gottlieb's rewrite. Very intensely drawn and colored, lovely. Thank you for sharing this!

    In case anyone is interested, here is the Sackler/Tristan draft and then Gottlieb's:

  9. My last comment—the ninth page, how Colan connects the blood in the first and second panel, that's a lovely detail. I will have to find this comic if it's available.

  10. This might have been better than the movie! Thanks for sharing it. I'd like to see this reprinted, but who knows what sorts of rights issues there are to clear up first. Agreed about the coloring, it looks amazing.

  11. As mentioned before here! This comic was based on director John Hancock's version before he was removed from the project. The screenplay was by Howard Sackler/Dorthy Tristan. This is what the Jaws 2 film should have been. Hancock's vision was a darker and more violent picture than what ended up on screen. Amity is on the brink of going bankrupt and the shark attacks were to be just as violent with twice the body count of the first film. The third act had the sailing kids lost in thick fog at dusk so you would never be sure where the shark would pop out next. This would have been intense stuff on screen. I had this comic as a kid and now I totally regret selling it. Gene's work on this comic was ahead of its time.



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