I learned that comic great Gene Colan passed away just the other day at the age of 84. Aside from being "the" artist on Daredevil for many years, as well as an important artist on Iron Man, Captain America, Howard the Duck, Dr. Strange and Tomb of Dracula where he co-created Blade, I found him to be something else...a great guy who lived up to his nickname of "Gentleman Gene."
You see, for about the last three years, up to about four months ago, Gene and I talked once a month on the phone. It might have started whwn his late wife Adrienne called me to confirm an order I had placed on their website, but Adrienne put it very nicely but also bluntly when she told me, "you don't have to order something to keep in touch, you call us anytime or we'll call you."
So I did and even when he had company or family over and he asked if he could call me later, he still wound up talking for ten minutes asking me about my dad or Ripley, my little Schnauser. We shared a few health problems and he was always free and easy on tips and uplifting thoughts. We hardly ever talked shop, but once we did he gave me the greatest compliment. He said that although he was the artist and I was a writer, that I too painted. "You paint pictures with words."
Gene's health has always been fragile since I've known him and I already miss Adrienne since she passed away not to long ago. But now the two of them are together again and although I'm sure I wasn't on the list of even top 50 friends of his, he certainly made my list and I'll miss his voice on the phone asking about my dog and my dad.