Friday, February 14, 2014

Cartoonists Make Better Lovers : Vince Colletta

Few cartoonists in American comics are as controversial as Vince Colletta. I believe the issues arise primarily from his inking on comic-god Jack Kirby. Surviving photostats for Kirby’s pencils reveal the changes and perceived shortcuts Vince took. Critics saw him as lazy but I’ll take the less popular side and defend him.

An inker is charged, not simply for blackening in the pencils, but to use his or her talents to turn them into a form suitable for publication. What some see as his being lackadaisical, may have been his artistic decision for a stronger composition. For my part, I’m an admirer of his work and enjoyed the fusion between his and Kirby’s styles.

For his first decade in the industry, Vince was kind of a Romance specialist. Here is a job for Youthful where he inks himself. It’s from the October 1953 issue of DARING CONFESSIONS and is titled “My Sister And I”.

Next is “I Gave Up The Man I Love!” which teams Colletta with one of the giants of the milieu, the great Matt Baker. 

The last example has Vince inking Kirby on one of the last Romance tales the co-creator of the genre ever did. Here is “Too Shy Am I!” from TEEN-AGE ROMANCE #85, January 1962.



  1. Although the three examples you posted aren't representative of Vince's best work, my opinion is that Colletta was genius and a much better artist than given credit for. The romance work he did for Atlas comics was heads above anyone else in the genre and his inking later on, mostly on superhero books showed a versatility that no other inkers could match. The Kirby-Colletta Thor series stands out as the best comic book art of all time.

  2. I do like Colletta's work on Thor with Jack Kirby but I prefer Wally Wood as an inker myself even though Wood was far more than just a great inker.