The Mighty Thor, Issue 137, Page 10


Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | September 24, 2011

Plain pain

With Colletta on inks, it hurts my eyes plenty more than Ulik's own punishment fromThor.

John S.'s picture
Posted by: John S. | September 24, 2011

I was gonna say...

...that I thought Vinnie did a pretty good job on this page...but I won't, 'cause I don't want Krackles to have a seizure!

Erik Larsen's picture
Posted by: Erik Larsen | December 24, 2011


--happened with Ulik's mouth in that first panel? There's white out all over it--and clearly the previous page it was crazy wide so--what happened? Why was that changed? How crazy must it have looked for Vinnie (instructed by Stan--maybe?) to make that kind of change? I mean--that is not a good look. It just looks narrow and weird.

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | December 24, 2011

Arf, arf, arf!

A brutal detrimental happened, this is what.

Ferran Delgado's picture
Posted by: Ferran Delgado | September 25, 2011

I don't understand... can people defend Colletta's job. "It's not so awful as always" or "it could be worse" doesn't look like a compliment to me. Imho, the proof that Jack is the King is that his art survived inks so awful like this one. Not even Colletta could ruin his powerful storytelling...

Although I painfully agree that he did worse jobs than this one...

Frank Fosco's picture
Posted by: Frank Fosco | September 25, 2011

Jack thunders through!

So caught up in what Vinnie did you can't see that it's still great Kirby? And I'll say it again, I don't have any problem with Colletta on Thor. Yeah--there may be a lot of questions about his approach, but Jack still powerfully thunders through big time.

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | September 25, 2011

Excuse my bad

Frank, here's one argument that doesn't hold much logic.
If Jack's pencils can survive such a bad treatment from Colletta, all credit is on Kirby's side and I'm sure we are all aware of it.

Like Ferran, I'm not blind to Jack's art and THAT's the problem!
Obviously, during this period, Kirby produced his best work ever for Thor while Colletta didn't care a shit.
It's a shame that we didn't get to see his work polished by a good compatible inker.

Sure, you are entitled to your opinion on Colletta but I remember how much you wished Sinnott had been the inker on FF Annual 5 instead of Giacoia.

Can't we ask for the same?
(Although, I fail to see how a choice between Sinnott and Giacoia could compare to whoever and Colletta).

In short, Kirby is no excuse for any bad inking job.

patrick ford's picture
Posted by: patrick ford | September 25, 2011

If some kind of poll were

If some kind of poll were taken it might show most people who enjoy (or at least are okay with) Colletta's inks on Thor, grew up looking at Colletta's inks on Thor.
For me Colletta and Kirby are oil and water, their styles clash badly, and since Colletta is the inker he had the final word.
Look at it this way. People don't sit around thinking, "I kind of wish Colletta had inked Kubert or Ditko."

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | September 25, 2011

Poll position

I grew up with Colletta inks on Thor and I couldn't stand it already.
Now, it's getting worse and worse.

By the way, Colletta was equally bad on Ditko.
I bought the latest Ditko Omnibus from DC and, so far, the only story I had troubles with was inked by Colletta.

Please, don't tell me he put his hairy brushes on Kubert!

Frank Fosco's picture
Posted by: Frank Fosco | September 25, 2011

It took some time for me

Patrick, you're right, these books were coming out when I was a youngster, and I didn't like Colletta then. Back then I wanted Joe Sinnott to ink all of Jack's work.

Krackle's, I only wished the credit in FF annual 5 was true, but it wasn't. As a kid back then I was a fan of the Kirby/Sinnott combo. I do like Giacioa's inks in that book. Let me put it this way, you're a youngster loving the Kirby/Giacioa combo, and if you would had gotten a Thor comic that credited Frank Giacioa and it was really Vince Colletta--well...

Here's the logic Krackle's, and you said it yourself--"If Jack's pencils can survive....."and they did. The credit is on Jack's side--and Colan's side and Busema's side, other pencilers Colletta has inked. And where's this proof that Colletta didn't care? Did he say as much?

I look at Colletta's inks and see him rendering Jack's straight line with this fine intricate and deliberate rendering, something he could of done with one stroke. Seems to me his approach isn't the faster way of doing it--although he may have been fast, it probably could have been faster for him inking the way it was drawn by Jack the way Royer inked him. With that being said, it did take me some years to warm up to Colletta.

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | September 25, 2011

Time's on my side

But, Frank, where you see delicate rendering, I see a total mess!

Do I have proof that he didn't care?
No, it's an opinion based on my interpretation… just like you.

I understand you grew some bias towards him because of nostalgia but, still:

If he cared for Kirby's distinctive style, why should he try so hard to impose his style?
If he cared for Kirby's work, why should he erase his pencils?

Quoting you:
"if you would had gotten a Thor comic that credited Frank Giacioa and it was really Vince Colletta--well..."

Got you. Except, I wouldn't mind a mistake involving Sinnott/Giacoia as much as one with Giacoia/Colletta and I'm trying to put it as mildly as possible.

John S.'s picture
Posted by: John S. | September 25, 2011

Patrick makes a good point

Patrick makes a good point about people growing up with the Kirby/Colletta combo on THOR. I didn't read the mags in the sixties when they first came out, but I read quite a few REPRINTS of them when I was a very young kid reading comics in the first half of the seventies. At that time, I loved Vinnie's inks over Jack's art, as many other people did. He had a way of prettifying Kirby's stuff that was highly prized back then. It wasn't until the latter half of the seventies, when Jack returned to Marvel and had his stuff inked primarily by Royer, that I began to realize that all this prettifying was also robbing the work of much of its power. I do feel, however, that Colletta's inking style was reasonably appropriate for a book like THOR, and looked MUCH better than his generally appalling work on the Fourth World titles.

I also agree with Krackles, though, that there was absolutely no excuse for RUSHING the inking on ANY Kirby-pencilled book (and omitting details Kirby had included), since Jack was NEVER late with his jobs. And even when he had to produce an ENTIRE ISSUE over the course of a SINGLE WEEKEND -- as he did with the immortal CAPTAIN AMERICA #112 (which, by the way, had a particularly fine ink job from George Tuska) -- Jack never scrimped on the QUALITY of his work.

I'm not sure I agree with Frank's assessment that Vinnie's habit of laying down a bunch of hatching took longer than inking solid lines with the brush. Doing hatching with a pen the way Colletta did is much easier than, and just as quick as, inking the lines PROPERLY with a brush, and it doesn't require the same degree of skill, either. So honestly, the proof that Colletta didn't really care all that much is in the fact that he erased details and didn't make the effort required to ink the work with a brush, as it should have been. In my view, Colletta cared primarily about MAKING MONEY by grinding out as many pages as possible, and as long as the inking met a certain minimum standard of quality, he was happy. That's why his stuff was so inconsistent. Some of it looked nice, some of it looked awful, with everything in between. So really, I think you have to take Vinnie's inks at face value and judge them on a page-by-page basis. If you don't like them, you can blame Stan Lee, since it was his decision to have Vinnie on the books, and Vinnie gave him exactly what he wanted.

patrick ford's picture
Posted by: patrick ford | September 25, 2011

If Only

From my point of view there are three Collettas.
One is the hack job Colletta who erased backgrounds, and figures. Turned Kirby's deco style Brownstones into van der Rohe style glass monoliths, and used second rate assistants.
The other is the Colletta who maybe yearned to be a penciler, and imposed his rendering style over Kirby's style, which in my view is a complete mismatch. The Thor pages in question here don't look lazy, and the inking shows a level of technical skill. but the two men's styles clash badly.
The third Colletta can be seen in the Fourth World books shortly after Kirby is said to have given Colletta a "pep-talk." Good examples are the first issues of Spirit World, and Mob. Colletta is doing a careful job, and not getting carried away with rendering which isn't suited to Kirby approach to anatomy.
When Royer came in my first thought was, "What if Royer had inked all that stuff inked by Colletta."

Ferran Delgado's picture
Posted by: Ferran Delgado | September 25, 2011

What if Royer...?

"What if Royer had inked all that stuff inked by Colletta."

Wasn't this the initial spirit behind this site? But "what if Kirby" was shorter... ;-)

Tom Kraft's picture
Posted by: Tom Kraft | September 25, 2011

Not necessarily all about Royer

The initial spirit of the site was to have many of Jack's inkers do recreations. I have about 4 Ayers recreations I haven't posted yet and then theres the great recreations Sinnott and Adkins did. Royer did do the most recreation because, frankly, he's my favorite inker. So maybe What if Inker?

Ferran Delgado's picture
Posted by: Ferran Delgado | September 26, 2011

Yes, but...

...mostly of the pages recreated were originally ruined by Colletta.
So maybe... "What if everybody else but Colletta?" :-)

Frank Fosco's picture
Posted by: Frank Fosco | September 25, 2011

Not so much a King to some

These guys didn't reverence Jack the way he is nowadays. These guys (in their minds) were Jack's peers and equals. Colletta was probably making artistic decisions by what he thought as unnecessary details (which don't make it right) by omitting some of these details. As being an artist collaborator he assumed he also had some say on the page. Does that make him a hack or maybe someone who was in tune with what he thought the final product should look like? What some view as a clash of styles I see as a unique take on a mythic character. It works for me. That's my opinion.

I do inking on my own work--I'm pretty sure Colletta's way of inking a line in the rendered way he did it is not as fast as putting it down in a single brush stroke or two. For a long while I couldn't stand his work on Thor and I do understand you guys not liking his work and I'm not trying to make you like it. I became accustomed to it and like his work on Thor--not so much the Fourth World stuff. I was as happy as anyone when Mike Royer took over...who did reverence Jack.

Frank Fosco's picture
Posted by: Frank Fosco | September 25, 2011

re:What if Royer...?

That's a "what if" I'm glad that never happened. The time when Royer came on was at the right time. But I understand Ferran you mean the site being after the fact on the Colletta stuff.

"What if Kirby" is shorter? Shorter than what...5 foot 3? I think Jack was about 5'4'' or at most 5"5'. Lol.

patrick ford's picture
Posted by: patrick ford | September 25, 2011

Here's what Mark Evanier says

Here's what Mark Evanier says Kirby told him about a conversation he had with Colletta.

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | September 25, 2011

Evanier is right on the Mark!

Mighty thanks for this link Patrick, I couldn't have found a better advocate!

Judgement from his peers as reported by Mark:
"Kirby got rid of him. Alex Toth and Neal Adams both demanded that he never darken their pencils again. (Adams took the one job of his Colletta inked and personally retouched about 80% of it without compensation.) That was just in the early seventies, at a time when artists rarely demanded such a thing...but what Vinnie did drove Jack, Alex and Neal to break precedent. And Jack, Alex and Neal were arguably the three best artists then working in comics. Steve Ditko and Gil Kane — who may well qualify as the rest of the Top Five — made similar demands."

Finally, something similar to what I must have written several dozens of times:
"… a lot of us who looked at the work and simply felt Vinnie ruined an awful lot of great comic art"

Frank Fosco's picture
Posted by: Frank Fosco | September 25, 2011

No Vinniedication

None of this stuff is news to me--I know these guys felt this way about Colletta. I was at a convention when Gil Kane said that "Colletta was his second favorite inker". Someone asked Gil, "Who's your first favorite than?" Gil replied, "Everyone else".

I got to liking Colletta on Thor--Imo Kirby's dynamics still came through despite what one of these post said. An inker should strengthen/enhance the pencilers work--Colletta may have been on the weak side of that but Jack made up for it with his strengths. Would I want Colletta inking my work?--NO WAY!

John S.'s picture
Posted by: John S. | September 25, 2011

Re: No Vinniedication

"Would I want Colletta inking my work?--NO WAY!" Let's face it, that says it all (lol)!

Frank Fosco's picture
Posted by: Frank Fosco | September 25, 2011

Re:re: No Vinniedication

I said I got to liking his inks on Thor--I never said he was good. That may sound like I'm talking out both sides of my face, but I'm a Kirby fan and that's what really stands out for me in Thor. As I said before I couldn't stand Colletta's inks in the beginning but I warmed up to the nuance of his style, that for me, was working on the mythic aspect of Thor.

I never have come to like his inks on Fantastic Four and didn't care for them early on in the Forth World stuff.
As a matter of fact I was very disappointed that Colletta went along with Jack to DC--I wanted a better inker on that stuff. And thankfully after a few issues we got Mike Royer.

Frank Fosco's picture
Posted by: Frank Fosco | September 25, 2011


What if Kirby were inked by this inker was the way I took it as. Thus, What if Kirby.

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