Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

October 21, 2009

Ernie Colon Remembers George Tuska

this came to CR courtesy of Rand Hoppe, and I thought it lovely and sad; my thanks to Mr. Colon

By Ernie Colon

Rand asked me to give you something on George Tuska.

Unfortunately, it's a frustrating, very short story. When I was a kid in the Bronx I used to shine shoes on Prospect Avenue. I bought very few comics because I never much liked -- still don't -- superheroes.

imageCaptain Marvel was a favorite, as was Crime Does Not Pay.

The only reason I bought that book -- with my hard-earned dime, was because George Tuska was in it. I used to copy his gangsters with their fedoras and thug faces.

Fast forward about a hundred years, and I'm an editor at DC--a lofty positions I held for one year, two weeks and three days. Within that time, I met some of my heroes--none more valuable to me than Tuska.

Well -- in he walks into my office, portfolio in hand, looking very like a slightly moulting eagle -- in fact, the double of Samuel Beckett.

He was looking for work, Tom. That was shock number two. The first was seeing this imposing hero of my youth walk through the door. It was too much for me. I couldn't tell him how much he'd meant to me as I dreamed of becoming a cartoonist, copying his work line for line. I simply gave him the assignment, watched him leave, then sat for a long time doing nothing but being sad.

I'm afraid that's it. I missed it, that moment.
posted 8:30 am PST | Permalink

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