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Secrets in the Shadows: The Art & Life of Gene Colan Paperback – June 29, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: TwoMorrows Publishing (June 29, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1893905454
  • ISBN-13: 978-1893905450
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,986,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Colan was one of Marvel Comics' key artists in the late 1960s and the 1970s, best known for a lengthy run on the superhero title Daredevil and his stint on the groundbreaking satire Howard the Duck. He is most closely associated with The Tomb of Dracula, which ran for seven years in the seventies. He fit uneasily in Marvel's lineup of superhero artists, for his realism ran counter to his peers' stylized approaches, and his mastery of light and darkness seemed less suited to the genre than, say, the bold simplicity of a Jack Kirby. Colan's star waned as fans' tastes changed, but he continued to work steadily in the field, even when that meant wasting his talents drawing Archie. Nearing 80, he remains at the drawing board today. Field, a longtime fan, thoroughly traces Colan's career (the segment on the 1950s comics industry is particularly fascinating) through biography, interviews, and page after page of everything from original comic-book pages to previously unseen fan commissions. Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Tom Field is an award-winning journalist with over 20 years experience in newspapers, magazines, books, comic books, events and electronic media. A veteran community journalist with extensive business/technology and international reporting experience, he has written news, sports, features, fiction and analysis for publications ranging from Editor & Publisher to Yankee Magazine, and he has held editorial management positions at weekly and daily newspapers, including The Ellsworth (Maine) American and Deming (NM) Headlight, as well as at CIO, a global business/technology magazine. An accomplished public speaker, Field has developed and moderated scores of podcasts, webcasts, roundtables and conferences, and he has appeared on C-SPAN, The History Channel and Travel Channel television programs. Field has won more than 25 regional and national journalism awards for writing, editing and community service, and his publications have been consistent "General Excellence" award-winners. His first book, "Secrets in the Shadows: The Art and Life of Gene Colan," was published by TwoMorrows Books in 2005. "Modern Masters: Lee Weeks" followed in 2008. His 1992 Incredible Hulk story, "Of Man and Man-Thing," will be included in a Hulk trade paperback to be published in 2010. Currently, Field serves as Editorial Director for Information Security Media Group, publisher of BankInfoSecurity.com, CUinfoSecurity.com and GovInfoSecurity.com.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 10 customer reviews
If you like superhero comics and want to learn more about the persons behind them, buy this book, read and enjoy!
Daniel Wamsler
Wonderful insight and candid anecdotes on Gene's personal life and how that impacted his art lend a real depth to the artist's history.
radams36
Secrets in the Shadows is a combination biography and tribute to one of the all-time great comic artists, Gene Colan.
Tim Janson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Tim Janson HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
Two characters come to mind when I think of Gene Colan...Doctor Strange and Dracula. They were two of my favorites when I began reading comics in the mid-1970's. I was fortunate to have two stores close to me that sold old back issues of comic books. I was able to put together quite a collection of silver age comics. Among my favorite comics was Gene's run on the original Doctor Strange series beginning with #169. These atmospheric, psychedelic stories were unlike anything I had ever seen. I had sold my collection in the 1980's but recently picked up that complete run all over again because I was still enchanted by the great Colan work on those books.

Secrets in the Shadows is a combination biography and tribute to one of the all-time great comic artists, Gene Colan. Author Tom Field takes on a guided tour through Gene's life, beginning with his upbringing in New York and his first comic book work for Fiction House. Gene tells a story similar to many of his contemporaries such as John Buscema and John Romita, and their mass dismissal from Timely Comics. Gene would go on to DC and then back to what was now Atlas Comics. Atlas would then implode leaving Gene again out of work in the late 1950's and with a lifelong feeling of insecurity about the comic book business. As Gene explains this was a difficult time in his life as he was not only out of a job, but also had just gone through a divorce with his first wife.

Stan Lee would come beckoning again in the early 1960's as the Marvel Age was off and running. Gene quickly became one of Marvel's top artists and perhaps the only one whose style was so unique that he was not asked to pencil over Jack Kirby's layouts the way many other artists were.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By radams36 on July 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
Tom Field's latest, "Secrets in the Shadows", is an absolute must-buy for any fan of Gene Colan, or of Silver age comics in general. Tom has put together a treasure trove of rare, sometimes never-before published art, from one of the greatest masters of the comic book art form.

Wonderful insight and candid anecdotes on Gene's personal life and how that impacted his art lend a real depth to the artist's history. Tom's writing style is clear and compelling, making the book very hard to put down.

An able assist from best-selling author Glen Gold adds considerably to the book, along with a terrific afterword from internationally renowned artist Mark Staff Brandl. Interviews with Gene, Stan Lee, premiere inker Tom Palmer, and acclaimed writers Steve Gerber and Marv Wolfman, provide enthralling perspective on how gratifying it was to work with Gene, both in terms of the amazing artwork he did, and in terms of what a fine and gentlemanly person Gene is.

The many illustrations show Gene's advancement as an artist, from early sketches Gene did as a child, to the masterful work he did on such books as Daredevil, Iron Man, Howard the Duck, and Tomb of Dracula. Recent commissions are shown both before and after inking, which lends great insight into how the inker affects the completed page, and how different artists approach Gene's challengingly detailed work.

This book is one great read, and is another terrific addition to the history of the Silver age from TwoMorrows publishing. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Wamsler on August 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
This piece covers the life-span career of GENE "THE DEAN" COLAN. From early drawings he did in his boyhood until his recent commissions. Lots of rare never seen before fotos and original art. From the early days at Timely and Atlas (later known as Marvel Comics), DC (Hopalong Cassidy), Marvel again with SUB-MARINER, IRON MAN, CAPTAIN MARVEL, DAREDEVIL, and of course TOMB OF DRACULA and HOWARD THE DUCK. Conversations with Gene and his collegues Tom Palmer, Marv Wolfman, his wife Adrienne and many others. Even Jim Shooter about the conflicts that lead Gene Colan to leave Marvel for DC, where he did BATMAN and some other series starring WONDER WOMAN and SUPERMAN. What else can I say? If you like superhero comics and want to learn more about the persons behind them, buy this book, read and enjoy! This one is unique. Hopefully publisher TwoMorrows and author Tom Field will continue this with other great comic artist...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Best on July 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
One word describes this book - fantastic! Out of all the similar, comic book artist biographies that I've read in the past couple of years, this one stands head and shoulders above them all. The research that's gone into it, the dedication, the love for Gene and his work - it's all there and it all shines. If you've even a passing interest in comic book art, Marvel or DC comics, or comic book history then this is one book that you need. It's essential!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andrey Alain on October 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
A genuine great book,long awaited, about that somehow underated

cool gentleman of the sixties and seventies...but I long for more !

somehing perhaps like "Bernie Wrightson, a look back", or ... "The Gene Colan Collector" ???

And of course good editions of his masterworks.

Aniway, I'm happy for the moment !
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