Sunday, August 16, 2009

Gene Colan: The Secret Was the Eraser

As we await Gene's return home tomorrow, let's return to my interview notes with Gene, which were done in preparation of Marvel's forthcoming INVINCIBLE GENE COLAN:

Your Iron Man was more emotional than Steve Ditko's, Jack Kirby's, and Don Heck's earlier versions of the character. Was that difficult to portray?

Gene: I thought the eyes and the mouth were the most expressive part of Iron Man's emotions. I felt something had to be left out [of the mask] because of the fact that his face was mostly metal. He has to see and in order to keep a sort of masculine, heroic look, I would have to put the eyes in.

I played down any protrusion of what would indicate his nose. See, the eyes and nose are the things that complete a face. I didn't want to "complete" the face. So I had to leave something out. By eliminating his nose, the eyes would tell it all: whether he was angry, sad...whatever the emotion, it would be revealed by the eyes and mouth. I left an ever so slight opening on the mouth. Actually (laughing) I no longer remember how I did it! But it certainly was a challenge! And thank God for the eraser! I developed his face with tremendous help from the eraser as I went along with the plot by adding and subtracting facial expressions until I got what I wanted.


TheDave said...

Heh, Gene's a funny guy. Last time I was able to meet him he was so quiet it was hard to speak with him, but his wife was a blast. That's an interesting tid bit there about working with Iron Mans mask.

alxjhnsn said...

I am very ready to see this book. Any ideas on when we might be able to order it?


I am hoping to deliver film to Marvel in another 30 days. Then the ball's in their court. But my guess is early to mid-2010.

In the mean time, you can always get PERVERTS, PEDOPHILES & OTHER THEOLOGIANS, which Gene & I did together for Aardwolf Publishing in 1997.

alxjhnsn said...

I bought it and enjoyed it. Thanks.