Gene Colan Breaks the Box

DrStrangeColan01

(click image to enlarge)
Writer: Roy Thomas, Artist: Gene Colan, Inker: Tom Palmer
Doctor Strange #174

This is from the fantastic A Tribute to Gene Colan one-shot. Proceeds go to Gene Colan who worked in comics when creators were paid like non-union factory workers. Mr. Colan is in poor health and this 96 page reprint issue should help him out. It reprints stories from his whole career and we get to see his classic dramatic story telling with modern printing. 

I realized how much my own art has been influenced by Colan. I love his off center angles, rarely choosing a static center framed point of view. (would you have chosen the point of view in the top panel above?) Gene Colan was one of the first to break out of the panel grid. His page layouts are filled with diagonals to crank up the excitement in action sequences, especially in Dr. Strange. A few pages have collages like the one above. Yet it is easy to follow the order of events. That is not so easy to do. I just read a reprint of comics from the 40’s in the Twelve series where the artist resorted to arrows. Bendis/Oeming use some non-grid layouts in Powers and I often have to re-read pages to figure out the sequence. With Colan it always flows. He is a master comic artist. I am happy to see this one shot.

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