July seems to be Birthday Month in the ’Warp Central offices! This past Monday we celebrated cover painter Bob Larkin’s 68th birthday; and today, it’s comic-art legend Ernie Colon’s 86th!
I’ve known Ernie since the late 1990s, when I was the assistant editor at book packaging company Byron Preiss Visual Publications who’d been handed the editorial reins on a quartet of science-fiction anthology books for middle-grade (ages 8–12) readers. Ernie provided the cover art and interior illustrations for all four: Bruce Coville’s UFOs, Bruce Coville’s Alien Visitors, Bruce Coville’s Strange Worlds, and Bruce Coville’s Shapeshifters. (Bruce, in case you were unaware, is the award-winning author of the My Teacher is an Alien book series.) Ernie later did an illustration for The Ultimate Hulk, another anthology I wound up editing—and even he gave me the original art to keep!
But I was a fan of Ernie’s work long before that. He was the artist of DC Comics’ popular teen-fantasy comic, Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld and a truckload of titles for all manner of comic publishers during the course of his lengthy career. He’s drawn superheroes and adult fantasy characters, but what fans probably know him best for is his work on Harvey Comics’ kid-friendly Casper the Friendly Ghost and Richie Rich.
Most recently, he got a “special thanks to…” acknowledgment in the closing credits for the new box-office hit, Spider-Man: Homecoming! See, back in 1988, he and writer Dwayne McDuffie (who passed away in 2011) created Damage Control, the Marvel Comics crew that cleans up all the rubble and ruin generated by superhero battles—and they’ve now made their Marvel movie debut in the latest Spidey flick!
Oh, and he also did a little art wizardry for a little company called StarWarp Concepts…
In The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1, Ernie teamed up with fan-favorite comics writer (and my old college buddy) Sholly Fisch (Scooby-Doo Team-Up, Action Comics, The All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold) to present “After Hours,” an eight-pager about a demon dropping in at his favorite watering hole after a hard day of scaring the crap out of folks. It’s a lighthearted character piece that Ernie told me he really enjoyed drawing, which meant a lot to Sholly, who’s also a longtime fan of his. You should definitely check it out, by ordering a copy today (said the publisher 😉 ).
The Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1 is available in print and digital formats. Visit its product page for ordering information, as well as sample pages and chapters.
Ernie doesn’t have a website, so to see more of his amazing work, pay a visit to the incredibly detailed fan site, Ernie Colon Unlimited.
Happy birthday, Ernie!