In my efforts to add all (yes all) of animations greats, I have started to collect comic types. Whether it’s original artwork., commissions or signed comics/books; my goal is to effectively have something from all of the greats.
As you may know, Gene Colan has recently had health issues and is unavailable for commissions/signings and so I opted for a signed copy of “Invincible Gene” (available in comic shops)
I wish I hadn’t.
Realistically, Gene Colan is somewhere between 20th and 40th in all-time comic book importance. Acomics.com has him 25th, Comicbookresources.com has him 31st and I think that’s reasonable.
My first thought on starting this book was to actually be uncomfortable at the amount of reverence heaped on this guy. Sentences like “prepare to be mesmerized” and “easily one of comicdoms five most important artists” (ummm…you really going to tell me he’s more important than one of Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, George Perez, Alex Ross, Joe Kubert, John Romita Sr, Neil Adams, Frank Frazetta, Jim Lee…I could go on…remember the fact that he worked for 60 odd years isn’t a mark of importance in and of itself)…are all over this “book” to the point where it’s creepy.
The reality is that of 126 pages about 90 are full-page illustrations and there is very little that you couldn’t find by reading Wikipedia and looking through www.coverbrowser.com.
Essentially, this book shows why insiders shouldn’t write books about their own industries. It’s more of a gushing tribute than an actual book and it’s clear that this “book” exists more to finance Gene’s retirement than to provide any real insight into his work or his life.
Unless you’re a huge Gene Colan fan, I’d give this a pass.