Just got word that Gene Colan's wife, Adrienne, has passed away.
While there's been a lot of drama and turmoil surrounding her and Gene over the last few months, I'll always remember her very fondly.
Quick story: In December 2008, Gene and Adrienne flew out to San Francisco for a special reception celebrating his life and career, in conjunction with the retrospective exhibition we were hosting at the Cartoon Art Museum. We also sprung our lifetime achievement award, The Sparky, on him as a surprise.
Just a few days before that, though, my dad had a heart attack. Since I had to wait a few days for him to get out of the hospital and get settled back in at home, I decided to distract myself with work and stick around until after Gene's event, after which I'd fly back to Ohio to see my family.
I was pretty much a wreck that whole week, though, but I somehow managed to hold myself together long enough to get through that evening, serving as emcee and making sure all the Colans' needs were addressed. Adrienne had heard about my dad from Glen David Gold, who'd co-curated Gene's art exhibition with me, and she made sure to take me aside as soon as possible to say a few kind words, and to reassure me that this kind of thing is fairly routine, and that Gene had gone through the same thing years and years earlier, and he was still alive and kicking.
Basically, she knew exactly what to say, and how to say it, and she really helped me get through a rough spot.
And that's how I'm going to remember her.