My two favourite Christmas gifts for 2011 were 1) an eight-panel, single-page comic strip on 11 x 17 inch Strathmore bristol, pencilled, inked, and coloured by our 17-year-old son, just for the occasion, and 2) a page of original art from “Angelica,” a story that was published in The Tomb of Dracula #4 (April 1980), with art pencilled by Gene Colan and inked by Tom Palmer. Our son would prefer that I not post his piece, but if you pay a visit to our house in a month or so, I am fairly confident that you’ll be able to view it, framed, on the wall in our living room — if I let you in the door, that is. As for the Colan page, here it is, first as it was printed in black and white in The Tomb of Dracula, and second, as it appears “in living colour,” as it were:
Oddly enough, that beautiful page — which I first saw when I bought The Tomb of Dracula #4 new, off the newsstand, when I was in high school — has a very strong personal resonance for me. You see, once upon a time my father quit his job in the big city to chase a dream, dragging his family to a “godforsaken place” that my mother “despised” from the moment she set eyes upon it. The mute object of my mother’s contempt was a shabby, drafty, uninsulated log house with no plumbing or adequate heating located on a discontinuous, serpentine tract of marginal farmland that some anonymous homesteader had laboriously carved out of the bush in east-central Saskatchewan. I won’t burden you with the depressing details of my father’s fourteen-year experiment in pigheaded determination and wishful thinking. Suffice to say that by the time the man finally admitted defeat, he and my mother had already spent more than a year shuttling back and forth between the farm and various low-skilled jobs the meagre pay from which might have slowed but certainly did not stop their burden of farm debt from growing more burdensome every month — which led them, at long last, to conclude that the only way forward was to file for bankruptcy and retreat, with my brothers and sister in tow, back to the city… well, not quite back to the city, but that’s a whole other story…
One thought on “Look Here: A page of original art by Gene Colan and Tom Palmer”
And the most impressive facet of your story for me was that your mother stayed with your father through it all. Today, a good proportion of men can’t even marry for far lesser weaknesses.
Gene Colan has done a handsome job above.