Columbo à la Colan

With the news of the passing of two creative gents yesterday, comic artist Gene Colan and actor/artist, Peter Falk, it dawned on me they would have made a great pair. Wouldn't a Columbo comic drawn by Colan have been great? So, as best I could sketched up what that might've looked like, with apologies to both men. Both men had a distinctive style about them. Their personalities came through in their work, real passion and character. They were, each of them, one of a kind. Peter Falk was a great character actor for some time, somehow finding a long career as a leading man as seemingly bumbling and fumbling detective Columbo - my favorite fictional detective, followed closely by Chandler's Marlowe and Chesterton's Father Brown. I'm not a big fan of the mystery, solving the puzzle of the Whodunnit. I don't really care to solve a riddle, preferring to go along for the ride with a Why'd-TheyDoit? or How's-He-Gonna-Figgerit-Out? This approach focuses instead on the cat-and-mouse dance, the characters and situations, philosophies, ethics and world view. Peter Falk as Columbo was the best. And who could forget his fine turn as the grandfather in The Princess Bride? Marvelous and pitch perfect. Gene Colan was a superb comic book artist, handling superheros in a unique fashion, but really found his niche in the horror genre, with his long run on Tomb of Dracula, his black & white Blade tales, and his Creepy and Eerie stories for Warren. After those of Alex Toth's, Colan's just may be my favorites from these series. Nobody created mood, movement and drama on a comic book page like Colan, with an illustrative style and flamboyant sense of page layout. Here's to ya', Peter and Gene. You did it your way, and well. A larger version of this drawing can be viewed at the Saturday Sketch Day blog. Just click the small image there.