For today's feature, something that honors both Gene Colan and Benjamin J. Grimm.
There's a fella after my own heart, called the Marvel Two In One guy (see his website here). He's commissioned many pieces of original art featuring the Thing and another Marvel character, in honor of the Thing's Marvel Two-In-One teamup series. One of these pieces is a wonderful illustration featuring Dr. Strange and the Thing by Gene Colan and Bob McLeod.
Bob McLeod has the pencils to this piece on his website, in the other artists commissions section. Everytime I see a Gene Colan pencil piece, I'm reminded that this man really knows about shadows and light. You have to say that Colan is a consummate craftsman, spending the time with the edge of the pencil on the paper to detail these shadows on the page. Look at the streaks of water on top, imagine Gene carving them out in his pencils. In today's world, where the majority of artists are using the computer, or putting in X's to indicate blacks, it's no longer necessary. But it sure is a great joy for us to see pencils like this.
At this stage of the drawing, Dr. Strange has a noble appearance and almost regal pose as he strides next to Ben, seemingly unaware of what is happening. Dr. Strange, like Dracula, must be one of those characters Colan could draw in his sleep.
Notice the Thing's head. It's a bit funny looking, not your typical Thing head, which is understandable, as Colan never drew the Fantastic Four on a regular basis. According to Bob's comments, I think Two-In-One guy asked for changes in that area.
Now here's the full illustration with Bob's inks and washes. What a beautiful job. McLeod has always been one of my favorite inkers, up there with Klaus Janson and Tom Palmer, and I love it when he does washes. While this is still very much a Colan drawing, McLeod has enhanced this with his own touches. The Thing's head as well as his rocky hide now have that classic look (what I call Sinnott-y look, after inker Joe Sinnott).
As Fernando Lamas used to say: Simply Marvelous! Nuff said.
Originally published on May 27, 2008.