Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Colan. Vigilante, "Balance", DC Comics

This is the second page of Gene Colan pencil original art that I own.

“Vigilante (Balance)” is written in the upper margin, along with the number “5”. I have run across two other original pencil pages that appear to be from the same abortive project. I say, “abortive” because it’s not in any of Colan’s check-lists and doesn’t appear in Wikipedia, DC Comics Fandom or any of the other likely spots. If you have more information, please share it with me.

I appreciate this page for its cinematic qualities; it would serve admirably and a live action storyboard, and would only need some aspect-ratio conforming and a few added poses to serve as an animation board. Actually, the overall page layout is somewhat tame for Colan, heightening the cinematic effect. HIs compositions, both in each panel, and the page of the whole, seems focused on “telling the story” rather than showing off with bravura abstract effects.

The drawing is realistic, yet expressive, both in terms of the backgrounds, the chosen camera angles and the characters. One hardly needs word balloons to get the gist of what the characters are saying. I also like the design of the characters; they are attractive yet individualized, maintaining their likenesses from shot to shot. 

Finally, Colan’s pencil technique is a gas, really fresh and unworked. He seems to be slapping it down with no discernible underdrawing or correcting. Hell, he’s not even using a straight edge. Is this the payoff for 60 years of professional drawing experience? One can only hope I will be so lucky.

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