Scans of original art are from the Kirby Museum's Original Art Digital Archive.
Scans of pencil art photocopies for the Kirby Museum's Pencil Art Photocopy Archive courtesy of the Kirby Family, with thanks to TwoMorrows Publishing.
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… Joe Sinnott, John Verpoorten or Frank Giacoia when they were so much needed?
As long as I can remember, even as a kid, I disliked Colletta inks on Kirby.
We kind of get spoiled by Jack's consistent greatness, but what a feast for sore eyes this splash is! I've always admired Colletta's fine linework and thought it added a vintage, old world feel to Thor/JIM/TOA. I especially like the treatment here of the guy in the foreground, except his chain mail sucks. Odin's boots aren't that great either.
It's too bad artists and inkers weren't paid a decent wage in those days. You can tell that at some point Vinnie's clock ran out on this page, and he just roughed in what he didn't have finished, or declined to go back and polish up spots that he otherwise might have.
Whenever I look at these pages, and even as a kid, I'd admire the high points of the art and let the lesser aspects slide. These books were selling for 12 cents, and the economics were eons away from today's world of $4 comics and billion dollar blockbuster superhero movies of Jack's creations. Every artist--including Jack--turned in some mediocre art because the page rate at Marvel didn't support consistent excellence. It's too bad Bill Gaines wasn't publisher, because he paid fairly and got the best from his artists all the time. Of course, the net result in that scenario of higher quality would have been fewer pages from each artist, so Marvel's way of doing it had its advantages too.
What if it was Stan himself who put the chain mail on the foreground guy's chest? I'm thinking that no professional artist could have actually done it, so who does that leave us with? As Art Director, if he wanted chain mail, Stan coulda done it to spare having to route the page to the bullpen for a touch-up.
Are you kidding us, Lee working for free?
He was too busy grabbing money out of his artist's plots and story developments.