The simplest thing anyone interested can do is drop Mr. Colan a card or letter just to cheer him up. Well-wishes, sympathy, thanks for a lifetime of fine work enjoyed, whatever. The details, as well as a letter on the subject from Mr. Colan's wife, can be found here.
Beyond that, apparently the health issues being faced by the Colan family has taxed them financially, and there are several ways folks can help out if they can and choose to do so.
Art by Gene Colan is being auctioned off here.
Direct donations can be sent to the Colans through Paypal. The Colans are registered at firstname.lastname@example.org .
I made a small donation. I wish I could have sent more. I don't know anyone who has a bad word about the Colans (we've met them briefly at two local conventions over the years and they were just simply swell folks), and if I had a dime for every person involved in comics who was a fan of Gene Colan's lovely artwork, I'd have a nice big fat check to send them.
Personally, I have tremendously fond memories of growing up on rich, non-house style Colan artwork on Daredevil, Iron man, and especially, especially, Howard the Duck, a comic I loved and was likely heavily influenced by in some way, shape or form. Steve Gerber has passed on, and Gene Colan is ill, and I'm heartsick and wish I had Todd McFarlane money. Or a way to get George Lucas to cough up a few grand in spare change lying around the couches at Skywalker Ranch as a way to apologize for the Howard the Duck "movie". And, hey, Marvel, yeah, it would be nice if they chimed in, but Marvel and DC suits don't necessarily act like heroes, they just make money off them. Okay, the cynicism's starting to leak out, so let's tie this off and wrap it up before I get good and cranky about how the publishers treated the old-timer freelancers who built them up and created their characters, and the U.S health care system and industry.
Dirk Deppey's Journalista write-up with further links can be found here.
Tom Spurgeon's write-up at The Comics Reporter with further links can be found here.
If you're a fan, give it a think, won't you? Every $5 helps. Every letter brings cheer. Skip a few crossover comics this week and send the amount to someone who broke their hand working on hundreds of comics that looked swell and entertained a ton of people. We all say we love the older artists. They ain't getting any younger, folks, and most of them didn't make anything close to the money the Wizard Top 10 studs make working on the characters and concepts the vets bashed out like clockwork in order to pay the bills.
It looks like some big guns are coming out to donate items for a benefit auction, which is a great sign and hopefully just the beginning of a major effort on the part of comics professionals and fans.
Drop a line, transfer a few bucks. Show the damned love.