Sunday, January 25, 2009

Graduation Present of DEATH!

Vince Colletta, the "Go-To Guy" when you had a printing deadline in the comics biz, did some pencils of his own once upon a time. The line art for this story in My Own Romance #39 (August 1954) isn't bad and is a little more representative of what the man could do as an artist when not applying his economical touch to the pencils of other artists.

But a few of the images are a little confusing and reveal some of the issues many fans have when the subject of Colletta is brought up. I know some people that are still fuming about his inks over Kirby's Tales of Asgard work.

The odd perspective of the splash page has me thinking this love story would end up as a murder mystery. The graduate student in the panel below could just as well have been getting strangled as preparing for a kiss. This could be forgiven once you consider how scripts were done in the old days. A creator sometimes never knew what magazine the story would ultimately be published in and could draw it in such a way as to have multiple endings. There were more than a few romance stories of the era that began as a typical love tale that took an unexpected and sudden turn into the fantastic or mysterious.

Then there is this panel from the exciting conclusion.

Amy looks thrilled, doesn't she? Again, reading the entire story leads me to believe the original script or idea Colletta worked from diverged from the end result by the time the art was completed. But it was just as likely that Coletta was contacted Tuesday night and asked if he could come up with something by Friday morning and worked from the barest outline.

"Vinnie? It's Stan. I need eight pages from you. I don't know...There's a girl, see? She's leaving school and she meets a guy, he might be a bimbo. The girl doesn't know if she should give up her telephone switchboard job for marriage. I'll figure that out later."

"Yeah. I'll have it to you by Thursday."
A lot of people have very little respect for the output of Vince Colletta. But one fact that needs to be taken into consideration in any critque of his work is that without him many of the classic books (and not so classic titles produced mainly to saturate the news stand with their brand) that helped create the modern comic book industry would never have made it to the printers on time or at all.


  1. Can this be happening? Sleestak saying nice things about Vinnie Colletta? You know, that was a very entertaining post and I commend you for daring to open the door to the barrage of crap that's surely headed your way.

    Nice to see the guy getting some respect from someone besides me.



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