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That's got to be one of the worst looking pages Colletta ever inked. The job he did on Thor's right arm in panel three is criminal.
...Colletta has done MUCH worse than this (lol)!
I'm never sure what's worse; when Colletta erases Kirby's lines, or adds a ton of counterproductive lines of his own.
Much of the Kirby dynamism may have been lost on this page during the inking process, but the composition is still fantastic!
"Much of the Kirby dynamism may have been lost"
You said it all LegacyHero!
Weird thing about Colletta (and panel three is a prime example), is an experienced pro he must have known the type of feathering he was doing was going to reproduce poorly. This page shows a good amount of effort and brush control, but you don't put lipstick on King Kong.
"This page shows a good amount of effort and brush control, but you don't put lipstick on King Kong".
Does that mean because no one will notice that effort? Help me out here, Patrick.
Looks like a typical Vinnie overnight effort to me. Ulik's face is completely butchered in both panels, looking more muppet-like than a fierce rock troll. Love the page nonetheless...
you vinnie-haters need to step OFF! Quit yer inkah-hatin'! Respect the man! Without vinnie inks, you'd be short about 70 thor books. Unless someone builds a time-machine and redoes history (which if btw, can you rig the nixon election results, plz?) vinnie put the INKED face of THOR to many many beloved fans.
You just gave most of us 70 reasons to hate, not Vinnie himself, but his monstruous subpar butchering inking job on Thor.
By the way, I dare you to bring on Wik 70 people that may share your viewpoint.
As a matter of fact, Vince Colletta is the ONLY reason why, until recently, I didn't care reading most of Thor's run.
Still, I've been willing to give it a try as Tom Kraft was gracious enough to bring me a copy of the Thor Omnibus when he visited Paris, earlier this fall.
I still can't stand his inking, the more I look at it, the worse it feels.
I can't get past the fact that he destroyed Kirby's pencils at his best!
I was gonna say, in response to TASB's comment, that WITH Vinnie's inks we were nearly short about 70 Thor books! And as far as "respectin' the man" goes, well, considering the stories I've heard regarding the rather nefarious truth behind Colletta's supposed "glamour photography" activities, I find respecting the man even more difficult to do than respecting his work!
Krackles my man--it's been a while. Soon as I saw the comment from truthAndSoulBaby I knew you'd be all over that. Welcome back my friend--it's been a while. I've been away myself being busy with the Vanguard series.
And truthAndSoulBaby--I'm one of the guys that actually likes Vinnie's inks on Jack for Thor. It wasn't always that way at first. I got to liking the nuance and mythic style that Vinnie brought that I thought fitted Thor. I do understand Krackles side of it too though. Vince Colletta is an acquired taste and not everyone can take it.
Hey Frankie, nothing like a good Colletta spanking to feel like home again!
Should I remind you that for me, Colletta is both an acquired taste and distaste?
When Vinnie started inking Thor on Tales of Asgard, I disliked it at first sight.
Slowly, I accepted his presence and, later on, I kind of appreciated it for this "antique" look that seemed to suit the feel of this backup.
Unfortunately, as soon as Vinnie jumped onboard of the main storyline, I grew more and more disgusted by Colletta's sloppiness and obvious departures from Kirby's style.
While Jack's art was blossoming I could not stand Colletta's inking anymore.
Whatever Colletta added in term of a so called "mythic" look (I prefer to say "antique") it was nothing compared to what he took away from Jack's art!
I would even go as far as to state that if ever he added anything, it wasn't intentional but more likely just his regular "out of fashion" style that didn't particularly suited Kirby's dynamism outside of Tales of Asgard.
Colletta was at best a terrible mismatch and at worse a lazy eraser without any respect for Kirby.
Given what he did to Jack's pencils, it's plenty obvious he didn't care a dime except maybe as a cash cow!
That guy would trail Jack just like a pilot fish would follow a shark.
I can just picture how confortable it must have been to get assigned to an artist who always delivered on time if not far ahead of schedule and a successful one at that!
That's a guarantee for months, maybe years of steady income.
If this was the only thing Colletta was after, I couldn't blame him but you'd think the guy would at least treat Kirby as his golden egg goose… Nah, just spill inks and grab the money!
Could you, guys, imagine what somebody who cared might have done with Kirby's Thor? Say, somebody like Wally Wood?
Now you had an artist who could illustrate "antique" stories or technology with equal ease.
Because, you know, and this might come as a surprise to some, but the "mythic" look was never really essential to its success since Thor adventures were probably more of a science fiction nature than anything else.
It looks like i'm one down on krackles' challenge (+1 for frank focso -- thanks frank). 69 to go !!!
Seriously, i don't see people being AS critical of sinnott, royer or giacoia as they are of colletta. And I think colletta's style stands out more than the others -- given a blind taste to a novice kirby admirer, i don't think they could tell the diff between giacoia and sinnott. But i think colletta's style is unique.
I read once something about Don Heck (prolly in TJKC) -- rather than thinking about how much (I) dislike his work, think of particular instances were you like his work. You can't universally pan Heck. To do so would be to just dismiss 30 or so good issues of avengers. He drew a beautiful Scarlet Witch, imo.
To universally pan Colletta, like you guys do, on virtually every scan posted, is like dismissing the 70 or so full issues of one of kirby's top 3 (imo) long-running characters stories during the marvel SA. PLUS, as frank sez, and i agree, Colletta's style fit the "mythical" context of thor quite well.
I'll be generous, 70 people, including you.
People aren't as critical of Sinnott, Royer or Giacoia because those guys are better inkers than Colletta! I'll admit I'm not as down on Colletta's stuff as Krackles or Patrick, but I still think the quality of his work was terribly inconsistent. Personally, I think Vinnie was capable of doing some pretty good inking on Jack's pencils, and he occasionally did; but he also did some downright awful inking on Jack's pencils -- as well as everything in between those two extremes -- with the resulting overall impression (for me at least) being one of general mediocrity. Additionally, he made it common practice to actually erase details in Kirby's work, as we all know, and there's just no excuse for that. You can't justify it by saying it was for the sake of meeting deadlines, because everyone knows that Kirby was never late. So what's his excuse? He hasn't got one -- other than sheer laziness. Or maybe he just wanted to spend more time with his female "models"...
I was curious about the volume of inked pages by each of these three. I always assumed Sinnott was slow, and had heard Giacoia was unreliable, which I read as slow, and of course, Colletta was the fast guy. I just picked one sample year, 1966, and for "cover story" for "marvel" (I can look at "covers" later, too) on GCD. I'm not counting reprints.
FF #46-57 20 pages each, FF ann#4 19 pages, strange tales #140 12 pages == 271 pages total
Avengers #26-31 20 pages each, DD #14-23 20 pages each, ST #141, 150 12 pages each, TOS #77-84 84 pages TOTAL (some half stories with kirby/cap some half with colan/IM), Millie the model #135 18 pages == 470 pages total
Colletta JIM #124-5 21 pages each, Thor #126-135 21 pages each, Thor ann#2 30 pages, Rawhide Kid #54, 55 17 pages each, Two gun Kid #83-4 17 pages each, TTA #75-78 12 pages each == 398 pages total
I'm aware that, at least, Gia and Col had other interests, which often included inker for other publishers.
Actually, looks like Gia had a prolific year, not just at Marvel, but also inking a bunch of THUNDER agents, etc. But I didn't count their non-marvel pages.
So, I haven't had time to digest this. Would be good to do another coupla years to see what the distribution looks like. The story with Sinnott appears as I had heard; he could do about one page a day. Maybe was just a good year for Frankie? I dunno....
Well, I'll letcha slam Vinnie for cranking out 90 fewer pages than Frankie, despite the quality, first ;)
That's an amazing number of pages for Giacoia, if those figures are correct. But it's still not an argument which proves much of anything, since, by your own admission, you haven't included any of the work these guys did for other publishers. Even if all they did, however, was their Marvel work, it would only reinforce most people's opinion that Giacoia was a much more gifted inker than Colletta, since he turned out significantly more work than Vinnie, and of a significantly higher quality. We also have no idea how many hours each inker devoted, on average, to each individual page. Colletta could have slapped out each page in a couple of hours and then taken the rest of the day off, while the others could have spent half a day to a day on every page. Who really knows? Also, Giacoia and Colletta both regularly employed assistants to help them with their assignments, while Sinnott did not; so of course they could turn out more work. And even if you could tally up all their credited work, that still wouldn't include the stuff they did that went uncredited. For example, Colletta did a ton of uncredited romance work for Charlton and other publishers at the same time he was working for Marvel. Some of it was even ghost-pencilled by Sinnott! Sinnott did a bunch of uncredited inking for Jon D'Agostino at Archie during the sixties, not to mention his assignments for Treasure Chest Comics and even the odd commercial art job. So who knows how much of an overlap their was with all this stuff? Just doing page counts doesn't really prove anything one way or the other. When it comes to judging any artist's work, there's always a lot of subjectivity involved. Guys like you and Frank like Vinnie's inks; I'm not a big fan, but I usually don't hate them; while guys like Krackles and Patrick can't stand them. So whatever. To each his own. I think the real fun is just in having these debates!
I agree on all counts. I was really just curious what these guys were cranking out. If Colletta had done 4 times as many pages as Giacoia, then I can understand some of the statements made about him used to finish up something fast.
You'll see in my second post, Colletta outdoes Giacoia in '65. Sinnott had some full pencils/inks responsibilities at another publisher, but Col and Gia both did some add'l work, too.
Sure, its impossible to account for the uncredited and ghost jobs.
Just reading all this back and forth makes me wonder why I ever build the forum section?
I just wanted to mention that I don't think Vinnie was lazy. In the book about Vinnie, "The Thin Black Line," it portrays Vinnie as a workaholic trying do get as many assignments as he could so he could maximize his income to pay the mortgage for his expensive home. In some cases, working several all nighters in a row. In some cases it was the laziness of other inkers or editors that caused books to be late. Vinnie was the go to man to save them. So although Jack was always on time his books they might have come to Vinnie on a stack of 3 other books that were crazy late and in trouble. So he had to rush through them all. And I'm sure in other cases he rushed through the books simply to get more books to ink to get more money.
Unfortunately it was a bad combination of factors. As you all say, history can't be changed and what remains is the physical results and all the circumstances that lead to Vinnie's rushed inking and shortcuts are now less important now.
Yeah, sorry I started the massive post-slide on a panel page, Tom!
hopefully we'll remember this page when the union divides and we have to pick sides ;)
But lotsa information here! Always good to read other people's opinions -- even if they're wrong :)
And, for me, personally, its hard to always put in writing what I like about particular artists, or in this case inkers.
Maybe I'll go defend or offend another page and see where that gets us!
No excuse for having been carried away on the lazy part.
I was already aware of the context. I knew Colletta was working a lot and fast, that was lazy complain from me.
Nonetheless, he chose or trick himself into becoming the go for guy, rushing job after job to make as much income as possible.
Other fellow inkers, whom I appreciate the work, put their ethic elsewhere and I suspect they also had to make a living.
The fact is :
What Colletta produced was mostly mediocre work, acceptable at times and, too many times, just plain bad.
Vinnie had a work ethic? So did Kirby.
Except that Colletta expressed his own at the expense of the quality and hard work Kirby put in his work.
No matter what the context in which Jack Kirby had to make a living, poor money or deadful deadline, he always managed to produce the most beautiful job you could dream of.
Really, I swear I could feel the love Jack put in his work.
So, again, no excuse.
Krackles is right. In fact this goes way beyond Kirby and Colletta. Name a comic book artist working during that time period who didn't have a good work ethic? The list might begin and end with Bob Kane.
The regret of not seeing Kirby's pencils inked with respect is unforgivable, be it Colletta, Bell, Heck etc. And the revelation of seeing Jack's raw pencils in the Kirby Collector only makes it worst. My point was that Colletta wasn't lazy. Unfortunately, in trying to make a living beyond his means, with the lowest page rate, he compromised quality over speed and money. To me the editors are also to blame for allowing poor work to be submitted, only to turn a round and give him more work to rush through. Why did Stan Lee accept this?
Why? Ask him… He'll probably reply he doesn't remember.
I don't think they were looking at this as ART back then, at least not to the extent that we view it now. If Stan Lee cared about it as art, as the priority, first I don't think they woulda been as successful with launching and keeping Kirby on so many titles. That is, "what if" Sinnott had inked all (3) of Kirby's main titles? I think that woulda slowed them down. Also, why would he use Heck on any of their key titles if he was worried about art quality? Still, the worst marvel art of the SA looks better than the average page from the distinguished Competition, and I assume Stan was just trying to keep the "art" at least a level above that.
There's a story that Ditko (see Colletta's wikidpedia entry) would throw Colletta-inked comics in the trash in front of Stan in protest. This anecdote actually seems UN-characteristically Ditko given his hardline politic views...But that's another post on another piece of Kirby art!
Stan has said on a number of occasions that he liked Colletta's inking and that he especially appreciated Vinnie's fine-line details. And knowing Stan's tastes in art, he probably also appreciated Colletta's penchant for making the faces of all the characters (especially the women) more conventionally attractive than Kirby normally drew them. In addition, Stan was an editor who knew that his readers generally liked Colletta's inking style, so he would have undoubtedly believed that Vinnie's inks helped the sales of the book. Add to that the fact that Colletta's page rate was probably lower than the rates of guys like Sinnott and Giacoia, and it's easy to see why Vinnie got the job. And hey, if all that wasn't enough, Colletta could probably supply "models" for Goodman's skin books (and any other uses Martin and Stan might have had for them), so how could "The Man" say no?
1966 marvel interior story
giacoia total 349
title pages #
ff39 20 1
jim115 17 1
patsy&heddy103 18 1
patsy walker 121-123 18 3
rawhide kid 47,48 22 1
sgt fury 16,19,20,23,24 20 5
sgt fury ann1 15 1
st 128,129 12 2
TOS 63,64,67,68 10 4
TTA 66,67 22 1
two gun kid 73 17 1
sinnott total 82
title pages #
ff 44,45 20 2
st 129 12 1
tos 71 10 1
xmen 13 20 1
colletta total 523
title pages #
ff 40-43 20 4
aan3 23 1
jim 112-115 toa 5 4
jim 116-123 21 8
ann1 15 1
rawhide kid 46 5 1
sgt fury 17 20 1
tos 69 12 1
tta 68, 70-74 12 6
two gun kid 74-6, 78 17 4
xmen13, 14 20 2
We can harp about this inker and that inker, and make all kinds of comparisons wishing this particular inker inked Jack on Thor. But what's done is done. It's history like it or not. I still see Kirby first and then Colletta. Imagine if it were another artist like Bob Powell or Dick Ayers being inked by Colletta on Thor, we could of had some real big time crap. But it was Colletta inking Jack--and the best thing about Thor was Jack Kirby whose pencils were strong enough that Colletta couldn't totally wreck them.
Amen to that, buddy.
Tell it like it 'tis, Frank!
Or worse, George Roussos/Bell!
butcha betta step OFF again if ur gonna knock Ayers!!!
Yeah, I agree.
You can't bring back the deads. What Colletta did is akin to murder, art wise speaking.
Though, I can't agree on your last argument Frank.
Kirby's pencils being bulletproof is no excuse for a bad inking job.
As for the ultimate argument : art is subjective?
Well, maybe but there are too many instances of bad craftmanship that makes Colletta's work less than appealing.
Sloppy lines, odd feathering, lazy shorcuts, bad modeling, hairy textures, poor face redrawing, erasing (*gasp*) and a total lack of dynamism.
I was talking about Ayers the penciler not the inker if he were to be inked by Colletta. Let's face it--when Ayers took over on pencils for any project Jack was on it was a huge let down. HUGE!!! No comparison.
That may be Krackles but my point being is I'm glad it was Jack and not some sub par penciler that Colletta was inking on Thor. I still got to enjoy Jack being on Thor inspite of Colletta. There was a time when I couldn't stand Colletta's inks also.
Not having an interest in Thor, it really wouldn't be a let down for me if someone other than Kirby had penciled the book.
If I didn't like the penciler, I'd just drop the book.
My interest is always in artists and their personal styles. What ever they are working on I follow the artist around.
Put Kirby on Jimmy Olsen and I read Jimmy Olsen, put Alex Toth on "Hot-Wheels" and I'm reading "Hot-Wheels." When the creator moves on I move with them. So if Colletta had been penciling and inking the FF and Thor, it wouldn't bug me since I assume Kirby would have been doing two other books.
As for Colletta's inking. I have no desire to see him ink any artist I like. Joe Kubert, Ditko, Wally Wood, Alex Toth.
Same thing for me Patrick.
I'm author centered first.
Also, since most of the time (in US), comicart is a collaborative effort between a penciller and an inker, if one of them doesn't appeal to me, I would pass on.
This is something that happened most of the times when Colletta inked one of my favorite artist :
Gil Kane, John Buscema, Alex Toth… Kirby being already an exception.
In this regard, you are correct Frankie, he's (almost) Collettaproof.
By the way, I was about to reply you :
Given what you just explained, it looks like you are character driven and would choose Thor over Kirby?
That's certainly a path where I couldn't follow you.
Somehow, I feel that's not exactly what you meant.
No, Krackles, like you and Patrick it was Kirby for me. It was Kirby's inventiveness that made Thor good for me. The sci-fi aspects along with the mythology was pure Kirby awesomeness and Thor would have been nothing like that without Jack.
So yeah, Patrick--if Jack had been doing some other book instead of Thor, that's where my 12 cents would of went to. And whatever other books he would have done because there may not have been a "Fourth World" with Thor not being the forerunner.
If not for Vince Colletta this site would possibly not exist. Did not Tom start in the Jack Kirby Collector, I believe, a WhatifKirby article because of Vince Colletta's inks? Tom wanted to see a recreation from Vinnie's inks from another Kirby inker--usually Mike Royer, sometimes Joe Sinnott. And if that's the case--we owe some gratitude to Vince Colletta for his awful inks. Vinnie kinda birthed this site through our man Tommy Kraft. And an awesome site it is.
Good try but you won't extort from me a thank you for Colletta.
That is correct Frankie baby. In 1998, I started comparing Jack's pencil pages (from the Jack Kirby Collector) to printed pages inked, not only by Colletta but by George Bell and didn't like their results. I felt other inkers could interpret the pencils in a more faithful way so I had at first Dick Ayers ink several creations, then Mike Royer and later Joe Sinnott and Dan Adkins. I really enjoy Mike's lettering and titling so in may cases I chose splash pages and Mike did a great job.
So if it wasn't for the Kirby Collector giving me a way to compare pencils to inks, this site wouldn't exist.
That's my Frankie!
If I read the last part of that line correctly you have there...from me a thank you for Colletta. I think Vinnie would say, "You're welcome, Krackles. Nyuk, nyuk.
I liked Vinnie-he was quite a character. A very talented man too. I worked with him on the ill-fated New Universe books. We went out to lunch multiple times-Jack Daniels no ice. He talked about the models, etc. I was so young I would just laugh. He was such a character/ I recall when my boss Michael Higgins gave a Tony Salmons Justice fill in job to Vinnie. When the pages came in, Tony nearly cried. Looking at these treasures, each and every one of them, at 500% magnification exposes plenty of flaws-flaws I overlooked in the print versions. In my chats with him he discussed how little time he had to do the work. He never refused a job-no matter the deadline. It's shame looking back. I love this site and all of the wonderful pages, no matter the inker. Vinnie's style was unique, and when he was on it was terrific!
thanks Mike! I'll consider that +3 on krackles challenge (see above) to get to 70!
Oh I love Kirby krackles but I don't understand this guy ??!! Count me ON I love COLLETTA inks ! nuff'said !!!
way to go TASBaby !!!
If you add in Erik Larsen, that puts the total up to five. Only sixty-five more to go (lol)!