Gene Colan is the recipient of the 2008 Sparky Award, which was presented to him by Cartoon Art Museum's founder Malcolm Whyte during the museum's "Salute to Gene Colan" on Thursday, December 4, 2008.
The Sparky Award is named in honor of Charles "Sparky" Schulz, the creator of PEANUTS. Schulz was nicknamed "Sparky" after the horse Sparkplug featured in the comic strip BARNEY GOOGLE. The Sparky Award is presented on behalf of the Cartoon Art Museum and the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Library.
The award celebrates the significant contributions of cartoon artists who embody the talent, innovation and humanity of Charles M. Schulz. Past recipients include Schulz himself, Sergio Aragones, Gus Arriola, Carl Barks, Will Eisner, Creig Flessel, Phil Frank, Lou Grant, Chuck Jones, Ward Kimball, Gary Larson, John Lasseter, Stan Lee, Bill Melendez, Dale Messick, John Severin and Morrie Turner.
Live testimonials were given by several notable collaborators of Colan's, including writer Steve Englehart, comic book inkers Steve Leialoha and Joe Rubinstein, and Daniel Cooney, a former pupil of Colan's, who is now a professional comic book artist and a professor at the Academy of Art University. Written testimonials were provided by Mike Richardson and Diana Schutz of Dark Horse Comics, Paul Levitz of DC Comics, and Dean Mullaney of Eclipse Comics, and a video tribute was provided by Colan's longtime friend and collaborator Stan Lee. Colan was interviewed onstage by noted author Glen David Gold, the lead curator on the Cartoon Art Museum's current tribute exhibition, "Colan: Visions of a Man without Fear," which is on display at the Cartoon Art Museum through March 15, 2009.
For more information about Colan, visit http://www.genecolan.com.