After a celebrated career working in comic books as an artist and editor for over sixty years, Ernie Colón has passed away at the age of 88. Confirmed in a post on Colón's official Facebook page, the Puerto Rican comic creator passed away yesterday after battling cancer for over a year.
Among the highlights of his long and storied career, Colón co-created DC Comics fan-favorite character Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld, and Marvel Comics' Damage Control.
Born on July 13, 1931, Colón began his career working as a letterer for Harvey Comics, while providing uncredited artwork as a penciler and inker for titles including Casper the Friendly Ghost and Richie Rich. After drawing Gold Key Comics' Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom in 1969, Colón would spend much of the '70s working on Warren Publishing titles including Vampirella and its horror anthology magazines Creepy and Eerie.
Following a stint with writer Roger Stern on Marvel Comics' adaptation of Battlestar Galactica in 1979, Colón began working for DC Comics. At DC, Colón co-created Arak, Son of Thunder with Roy Thomas in 1981, and Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld with Dan Mishkin and Gary Cohn in 1983. Colón would also work as an editor at DC during the '80s, overseeing titles including The Flash, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern.
By the end of the '80s, Colón returned to Marvel, where he co-created Damage Control with Dwayne McDuffie in 1988 and worked on various titles for Marvel and Valiant Comics including Magnus, Robot Fighter. By the 2000s, Colón shifted to working on nonfiction comic book titles, reuniting with former editor Sid Jacobson to create a graphic novel adaptation of the 9/11 Commission Report in 2006 and a follow-up in 2008 examining the ongoing War on Terror. In 2014, Colón reunited with fellow Amethyst co-creator Mishkin to create a graphic novel adaptation of the Warren Commission Report's investigation of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
With such an extensive career at several high-profile publishers as an artist and editor, Colón's impact and legacy on the American comic book industry cannot be understated as the industry transitioned out of the Silver Age and began to find its voice in the modern era. And through his work on horror and nonfiction titles, Colón demonstrated the possibilities of the medium beyond its superhero and pulp roots.