Legendary comic book artist Ernie Colón has died of cancer. He was 88. His death Thursday was first reported on his Facebook page Friday morning.
“I’m posting today with a heavy heart. The extraordinary Ernie Colón passed away yesterday afternoon in his home at the age of 88, surrounded by family, after over a year battling — and I mean battling — cancer. He did things on his own terms. The legacy he leaves behind is astonishing; a 60+ years career in comics, not to mention the work he did in other mediums including painting, writing, sculpting… I don’t think there was anything he couldn’t do. He loved to create — he was always creating. When people asked if he was “still drawing,” he said, “No idea what else I would be doing, since I would draw even when not paid for it. (half the story of my life).”
Colón’s career spanned more than half a century as well as multiple publishers and genres, and saw him take on multiple roles, including comic book editor (for DC in the 1980s), writer, colorist and letterer. He was, however, best known for his artwork on titles including Marvel’s Damage Control, DC’s Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld, as well as the illustrated edition of the 9/11 Commission Report.
His first credited work appeared in 1967’s Wham-O Giant Comics, although it’s known that he’d earlier worked on various Harvey Comics titles without his name being attached; from there, he moved to Gold Key Comics and Warren Publishing, with his work appearing in multiple issues of the latter’s iconic Vampirella, Creepy and Eerie titles. At DC, he would co-create two of the company’s 1980s fantasy mainstays, Arak, Son of Thunder (with Roy Thomas) and Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld (with Gary Cohn and Dan Mishkin).
In the latter years of his career, Colón kept busy with a variety of projects, including the weekly strip SpyCat for the Weekly World News, comic books based on Monsters in my Pocket, and a number of nonfiction projects with writer-editor Sid Jacobson, including adaptations of the 9/11 Commission’s report, the Warren Commission’s report into the assassination of John F. Kennedy and biographies of Anne Frank and Che Guevara.
Bleeding Fool extends sincere condolences to Mr. Colon’s family, friends and many fans.