Hero Initiative, Marvel Comics come to aid of Gene Colan

Man, it's good to report news of comic book publishers behaving nicely. We've mentioned a number of times here that veteran artist Gene Colan had developed liver failure and he and his family face mounting medical costs.

Various fans and comrades have launched efforts to help out. And now the Hero Initiative, a non-profit organization created to help comic book creators in need, and Marvel Comics--where Gene did much of his best work on titles ranging from "Iron Man," and "Daredevil" to "Tomb of Dracula" and "Howard the Duck"--is joining in.

Here are details from the press release:

The Hero Initiative in conjunction with Marvel Comics is launching a series of Gene Colan-themed products, starting with a limited edition print of Gene's cover art to Invincible Iron Man #1, available at Wizard World Philadelphia, May 30-June 1. Only 200 prints will be available at the show at a cost of $25 each. Net proceeds from sales of these prints by The Hero Initiative will benefit Gene Colan. Another 50 prints will be available at a later date, with plans to have them autographed by both Gene Colan and Stan Lee.

Also at Wizard World Philadelphia, guest writers and artists at the Marvel Comics booth will be signing and sketching two large poster-sized boards, which Hero will auction benefiting Gene at a later date.

And that's just the start. Wizard World Chicago, June 26-29, will see the release of a second print featuring the cover art to Daredevil #47, the legendary "Brother, Take My Hand" story by Stan Lee and Gene Colan. A third print will be available later in the year, along with other products.

For August, a Gene Colan Tomb of Dracula poster will be available for order via Marvel Previews with proceeds routed to Gene; and in September, a special book reprinting some of Gene's greatest stories will be made available. In addition to these items, The Hero Initiative will take additional steps to help Gene in his convalescence.

"Gene Colan," said Roy Thomas, longtime Marvel Comics writer and Hero Initiative Board member, "is one of the most amazingly talented comic book artists in the history of the field. When I was scripting one of his stories, there was no one-not even Neal Adams or John Buscema-whose pencils could make me feel more strongly as if I were looking into a real world. He combines often-photographic realism with dynamism worth of a Kirby...and that makes him unique."

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