The Mighty Thor, Issue 137, Page 5


John S.'s picture
Posted by: John S. | November 27, 2011


This is the 900th page, right Tom? I can only imagine how great the pencils for this page must have looked before the Master of Mediocrity got to them. It's a big, bold action sequence with another ingenious Kirby Kontraption in panel two...and then good ol' Vinnie does his best to neutralize the whole darned thing!

Erik Larsen's picture
Posted by: Erik Larsen | December 23, 2011


Zoom panel two and see the characters Vinnie didn't ink. He made the action clearer--but still--!

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

Blast him!

Erik, obviously you didn't operate a mortar battery during your military service.
If you did, you would appreciate why Kirby added a third man.

Kirby was great in putting all types of details that would add a believable touch to his storytelling.
Colletta was great in ruining Kirby's efforts.

By the way, what does 'MIA" mean?

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

M.I.A. ...

... is military terminology for Missing In Action. So it perfectly describes those figures Colletta erased.

Ferran Delgado's picture
Posted by: Ferran Delgado | December 28, 2011

There was more than a third character.

This is a darkened image of the second panel.
Colleta has no excuses for this...

patrick ford's picture
Posted by: patrick ford | December 28, 2011

No doubt

Various Colletta fans offer up the idea that Colletta erased figures and backgrounds to improve compositions.
The logic would seem to say any complex drawing could be improved by eliminating figures and background elements.
It's more likely Colletta was cutting corners in a rush to complete pages.
The cartoonist Eddie Campbell has defended Colletta, but I wonder what would be the reaction if Colletta inked some of Campbell's art, and the pages came back with figures erased?
If you remove Kirby from the equation and think as an artist, "Would I like to see Colletta ink my work? How would I feel if I noticed Colletta has erased figures, and eliminated, or greatly simplified backgrounds?"

Hans Kosenkranius's picture
Posted by: Hans Kosenkranius | December 28, 2011

My take on Vinnie

I think we tend to forget that during this period completion of work was much more important than its quality. Pride in one's labor seldom translated into extra pay. I once read a letter from Joe Sinnott to Jack Kirby in the 80's where he joked about his poor compensation on Fantastic Four...which was only $5.00 per page during his 1960's peak years on the book.

For professionals like Jack and Joe, pride in their work and doing their best was probably just as important as the paycheck they earned. On the other hand, Colletta was cutting corners for sheer expediency. My take on Vinnie is this was just another gig for him. More pages completed, and on time, meant higher take home pay. As far as a sense of pride of ownership in his work, I don't think that mattered much to him.

Erik Larsen's picture
Posted by: Erik Larsen | December 28, 2011

Oh, yeah...?

Vinnie was adding considerable rendering to figures and backgrounds while adding all kinds of textures to things. Surely it would have been easier for him to simply ink what was there and erase what he thought was unnecessary than to add lines and textures. The fact that he was both adding and subtracting is what leads me to believe that there was some conscious thought put into his efforts. Now, you may not like the results--and that is certainly your right--but to claim you know what he was doing and his motivation for doing it is unfair.

There are certainly places along the way that indicate that Vinnie was cutting corners but in many cases, those corners being cut helped compositions and clarified complex actions. I've seen both. In a page I own Vinnie eliminated a train from a panel where Hercules was hurling a tree from the tracks. The train was a visual distraction and it looked like a toy sitting on the bottom border of the panel. Removing it was a good call--it made for a better panel composition and it strengthened the page.

Vinnie inked by work and at one point made a guy with hair bald, which I thought, at the time, was more cutting corners. Looking back at it--I could see why he made that decision. The man was not a main character and he was in the foreground. We were looking past him at the action in the background and his hair was hindering that. Since it was an unnecessary distraction--there was no harm in eliminating it. On the contrary--it made for a better panel.

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | December 28, 2011

E for effort

Sorry Erik but I can fill up a page with ugly random hatchings faster than what it would take me to achieve any kind of decent brush control for a couple of strokes and it would still compare favorably to Vinnie's own "effort".

This is precisely why Vinnie consciously took this path… the fastest way to make a buck.
and I would guess the only "thought" he seems to ever have applied to his inking assignments.

Most Colletta followers try to justify his subpar work, pretending he supposely gave Thor its so called "mythic" touch.
I prefer "archaic" to describe his stylistic contribution.
Did they ever find a Colletta job that didn't look like a Colletta job?
Romance, Science Fiction, Horror, Super-heroes, Humour… whatever Vinnie has been working on he did it in the same clumsy outdated style!

I don't buy the extra effort and I also don't believe he ever gave any special thinking for his Thor's inking approach.
The "archaic" look was hardly more than an unintended side effect of Colletta's own regular butchering routine style.

In my opinion, each and every lines Vinnie put on the page was a collateral damage inflicted on Kirby.
He didn't add anything, just quickly piling up crude lines to cover Jack's pencils beyond recognition.

Jack Kirby was the one who put extra love and creativity in Thor.
It's Jack, both as the creator, writer and artist, who conciously designed Thor "mythic" look… DESPITE and CERTAINLY NOT THANKS to Vince Colletta.

Erik Larsen's picture
Posted by: Erik Larsen | December 28, 2011

I don't buy it--

And the bullying of Colletta by Kirby fans has gotten to a point where it seem like abusing a child with no ability to defend itself. It seems harsh. It seems cruel and it seems unfair.

So, you don't like Vinnie's style. I get it. But Vinnie Colletta really can't be blamed for inking like Vinnie Colletta. He certainly did try to make changes--at times he relied more on a brush--at others he used zip-a-tone. But Vinnie Colletta is Vinnie Colletta and he's going to bring to the board what he does. You don't like it? Fine. But don't presume you know what was going in inside his head. You can't possibly know what motivated him.

For a lot of readers--Vinnie Colletta's style defined Thor. They thought that Vinnie Colletta's added lines and crosshatching gave it a look more classic appearance.

I hated it as a kid but it's grown on me.

patrick ford's picture
Posted by: patrick ford | December 28, 2011

Forget Kirby

Not being a fan of Colletta has nothing to do with Kirby. As a kid it was agony for me every time I saw him ink an issue of Thor drawn by John Buscema. When Verpoorten or Sinnott inked an issue it looked great, when it was Colletta the artwork looked nothing like Buscema. It's the same with every other penciler Colletta inked. Colan, Buscema, Adams, Heck, Toth. Colletta had a very assertive style of inking, and his style simply isn't appealing to me. I don't ever thinking , "Gee I wish Colletta would ink Ditko.''
On the subject of short-cuts. Colletta told Kirby that he hacked out pages, and that Kirby should do the same.
EVANIER: "More significantly, when Jack and Vince had an in-person meeting about their working relationship, Colletta offended Kirby with his attitude, which Jack said was along the lines of, "Hey, for what this company pays, I just knock it out as fast as I can and you should do the same.")
The idea Colletta was blessed with such a great composition ability that he took it upon himself to erase figures, and render carefully drawn architecture as simple rectangles in order to improve on who ever he was inking (forget Kirby) really isn't something I can get behind.
If it was true for Thor it ought to be true for the FF, but I'm not aware that Joe Sinnott erased figures, and I don't notice people complaining that the art in the FF has inferior compositions. I don't see people wishing Sinnott had reduced Kirby's Tenement buildings down to glass monoliths.
Bottom line is. There isn't one time I ever thought, "I sure hope they get Colletta to ink Steranko, Romita, Heck, Buscema, Colan, Adams, Toth, Andru, Kane, etc.
So for me, it's not really about Kirby, he could be left out of the equation and it would change my opinion of Colletta one bit.

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | December 29, 2011

It's a given…

… I'm not shy to express how much I loath Colletta's inks on Kirby or any other favorite artist of mine but, really, "child abuse", "bully"?
Let's not escalate this discussion outside the boundary of art comments.
I disagree with you on Colletta to the highest point but I respect your opinion.

Also, when it comes to mind reading, I'll take my fair share of blames but don't you agree you are as faulty as everyone else?
Who claimed that Vinnie "helped compositions and clarified complex actions" when he decided to modify or to erase Kirby's work?

Let's have a look at some facts, instead:
Didn't Colletta himself claim he was rushing through a job as fast as possible as reported by Kirby?
Didn't he erase pencils?
Didn't he modify pencils ?
Wasn't he a very handed inker, at least, one far from being faithful to the penciller's lines?

I already dislike his particular style but for all the reasons mentioned above, I do blame the man's decisions.

You say that many fans appreciated his work on Thor;
So what? What's so relevant in numbers when we are debating about art?
Am I alone in voicing an opposite opinion? Why is Vinnie's reputation so controversial among comics art fans?
Why did most pencilers pray that their work might not fall into Vinnie's hands?

I already can't stand what Vinnie made out of Kirby's greatest pencils but what I find infuriating is pro Colletta's fans propension to pretend he fixed or helped improving Kirby's art. Like if Jack ever needed Colletta!

Jack's art suffered more than he ever benefitted from Vinnie's inks, I wouldn't trade Kirby on his worst day against the best of Colletta and I suspect you'd probably agree with me.

One more thing:
Erik, did you fancy the idea of Colletta inking your work?

Erik Larsen's picture
Posted by: Erik Larsen | December 29, 2011

Vinnie DID ink my work--

--it was an issue of THOR, which Stan Lee scripted--it was the last issue of the book either of them worked on and at the time--I hated it. It has since grown on me. By the time I really did appreciate what Vinnie brought to a page he was no longer around. He wasn't my favorite inker by any means but he wasn't my least favorite either.

I don't think there's any question that Vinnie took some shortcuts but I do think he thought about them as he did them. I think he considered what he was doing and how it would affect the final page. He made choices--and he wasn't eliminating anything which would make pages harder to read. Yeah, he was sloppy. Yeah, he was cranking out pages as fast as he could--and yeah editors weighed him down with assignments because they knew they could rely on him and that gave him less time to do his work but while he did fire through a lot of pages--I don't think it was as thoughtless as you seem to think it was.

Vinnie modified pages. Joe Sinnott modified pages. Both changed faces and altered Kirby's work. And as much as most Kirby fans (myself included) prefer Royer's faithful inks-- Kirby's popularity slid once he was being inked faithfully and readers started making disparaging comments about square finders, funky knees and squiggles.

I can't talk you into liking something you don't like. That's not how that works. You could talk to me about the virtues of brussels sprouts all day long but that's not going to change my feelings toward them. You make your own choices. But the reality is that Jack was not infallible and sometimes compositions were a bit clumsy and occasionally Vinnie's editing made storytelling clearer and strengthened compositions. That's reality. You don't have to like it.

John S.'s picture
Posted by: John S. | December 29, 2011

Sorry Erik...

...but while I'm not as down on Colletta's stuff as some others -- because I think the final product as it appears on the page is what's ultimately important, and because I view Jack's sixties Marvel work as more of a collaborative, company effort than, say, his seventies work -- there's still no excuse for erasing details on Kirby's pages the way Vinnie did. You can't say it was a deadline issue, because Kirby was never late. In fact, he was sometimes even early! If Colletta was, on a CONSISTENT BASIS, rushing through Kirby's pages (and he was) and not investing the time in them that was warranted, then, at the very least, he wasn't managing his time appropriately. Sinnott generally only inked one or two books a month. He made the sacrifice in money to achieve the quality. Colletta didn't. He chose to go for the money. Sinnott spent the time, so he got the glory. Colletta didn't spend the time, so he deserves the criticism. That was HIS CHOICE. As for Vinnie leaving stuff out for the sake of clarity...come on, that's the lamest excuse ever. Did Sinnott or Giacoia or Royer ever have to leave anything out for the sake of clarity? No. If you're going to use that as an excuse, you may just as well admit that Colletta didn't know how to ink properly. He should have been able to make those panels perfectly clear while inking everything in them, just as the others did. And by the way, for you to say that Vinnie's "editing" made storytelling clearer and strengthened compositions... Really? How many of those Thor pages have you seen the pencils for? You've named ONE instance where that may have been true (on the Hercules page). Were there any others? As I said, any competent inker could have made Kirby's compositions perfectly clear without having to erase any details. And 99% of the time, I'd say JACK KIRBY was a FAR better judge of what qualified as good storytelling than Vince Colletta. I dare ANYONE to post ten pages of photocopies of Kirby's Thor side-by-side with the final Colletta-inked pages and tell me that the storytelling was better after Vinnie's erasing!

Lastly, as far as Kirby's popularity sliding once guys like Royer started inking him more faithfully than Colletta...well, that may be true, but honestly, anyone who likes Colletta's inks better than Royer's probably isn't much of a Kirby fan anyway. In fact, he's probably just a stupid fanboy who knows zero about art. I liked Colletta's inking better than Royer's at one point, too. But then I turned twelve. Nuff said.

Erik Larsen's picture
Posted by: Erik Larsen | December 30, 2011


There aren't that many pages where we can compare things side-by-side and second--it doesn't matter what I say. On a site whose very name suggests the question, "what if Kirby's pencils weren't butchered by Vince Colletta?" --that opinion would be unanimously shouted down by the people who post here.

It's been repeated ad nauseum here: Kirby knew better--100% all of the time no matter what--because he's Jack Kirby. Vinnie Colletta was 100% wrong all of the time because he's Vinnie Colletta--'Nuff Said.

I've dared set foot in the lion's den by even suggesting that not everything Colletta did was a crime against humanity.

Comics fans weren't necessarily Kirby fans back when comics sold to the teeming masses instead of those who frequent specialty stores devoted exclusively to contemporary pictorial literature. Fans knew they found Kirby's stuff more dynamic and exciting than others, to some degree, but that's not necessarily a bad thing just as it's not necessarily bad that the man on the street consumes anything which devoted fans also enjoy. If the comic book fans weren't there--Kirby would have been out of a job.

Lee chose Colletta purposefully. He hired Sinnott purposefully. He wanted artists who could make Kirby's women prettier, his men better looking and fix areas where Jack got too abstract. And it worked beautifully. The books sold. So a handful of art snobs thought it was criminal what Colletta did--who cares? Those snobs weren't there in the numbers required to make those books viable. Stan made a judgement call and it paid off.

In the panel I've cited frequently, a number of alterations were made--all of which strengthened the panel and its composition. In Kirby's version a jutting rock and extending branches essentially grounded the tree. Colletta inked those elements and later whited them out in order to give the composition room to breathe. The train was never inked.

I'm not suggesting Colletta was outstanding--far from it. But I know a number of comic book fans who were not Jack Kirby fans that liked his work when Colletta inked it because of the things he added. One, who always found his work blocky and ugly said Colletta "made his stuff look like Barry Smith." To a lot of fans--more lines = better. My main point is that I don't think Colletta's efforts were thoughtless--and I do think that Colletta thought he was improving what Kirby did--as misguided as many here feel that was.

As far as hacking goes--John Buscema taught a class on that. Young pencillers were gathered together to hear the master talk about various shortcuts one could take in order to get work done quicker. I had a guy sit down with me at one time and go over my pages, pointing out various things which I could omit in the future because they were cluttering the panels and might very well be covered over with word balloons anyway since I'd left no room for those. Who was this guy who talked to me about leaving out details in order to get pages done quicker? A fellow named Mark Evanier.

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | December 30, 2011

This is not reality…

… this is your opinion and interpretations I disagree with, Erik.

Erik Larsen's picture
Posted by: Erik Larsen | December 30, 2011

That's not how that works.

You have your opinion--I have mine. We disagree.

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | December 30, 2011

We disagree a wee, are we?

At last, something we can agree on!

We are already doing good.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step… Brussel here we are!

Since we are the best of buddies again, don't forget me in your will for your Kirby art collection.
Actually, why wait? I'm not so much yonger than you anyway, send it now!

Erik Larsen's picture
Posted by: Erik Larsen | January 4, 2012

Sorry, man--

I'd rather that issue of Thor inked by Colletta go to somebody who would actually appreciate it. ;-D

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | January 4, 2012


Do you own a Thor page inked by Colletta, Erik?

Don't bother replying, I found this one on Wik:

Erik Larsen's picture
Posted by: Erik Larsen | January 4, 2012


Not only do I own the much talked about Hercules tossing a tree page from #125--but I own all 20 interior pages from #155.'s picture
Posted by: | December 28, 2011

what to buy and what not

I don't know what was in Vince's head, no. I accepted his work when reading Thor et al. It didn't bother me much and sometimes I liked it. But I do think it's sheer laziness or hackwork at best to simplify Kirby cool buildings into simple grids and erase background figures. Hell, Jack put all that stuff in for his own reasons and I think it goes beyond the purview of an inker to choose what to ink and what to obliterate. (Wood and Sinnott brought their own touches to the proceedings for sure but they didn't erase figures and simplify backgrounds.)
Whether one likes what VC did as an inker or not, the real issue seems to be whether he was justified in messing with Kirby's art and I have to vote "no" on that one. I didn't really know what Vince was doing to Kirby's art at the time but I remember being thrilled when Sinnott and Stone showed up. And even more so when Royer arrived. Thank God Royer took over for Colletta on the Fourth World books early on. And it's a shame we don't seem to have pencil copies of the early issues to see what they looked like before Vince did his thing on them.
I am not here to beat up on the guy but I don't think it was right for him to alter Kirby's compositions. Jack knew what he was doing and everything he put into a picture was put there on purpose. Every panel may not have been a masterpiece, in fact one of those battle scenes has a famous Kirby "guy with two left hands" in it... Vince could maybe have fixed that! :) No need for anyone to get nasty, we love Jack and it's all ink under the bridge at this point anyway. But it IS a revelation to see the pencils and changes that were made. I can understand some of the indignation.

Tom Kraft's picture
Posted by: Tom Kraft | December 29, 2011

Re: What to buy and what not

Ronrex I feel you said it best for my point of view.

But there are many shades of acceptance of VC's inking. Some prefer his inks and look at it as the end product of the comic book process, they care little for the original pencils. Some don't like Kirby at all, thinking his art was blocky and cartoony and might prefer Colletta since he softens Jack's pencils, or not. Some look at VC's inking and it makes them resentful of what he did to Kirby's perfect pencils. Some are in between, liking Thor for its old world feeling but acknowledge VC's short comings...but are willing to overlook them. And there are many shades or gray in between love and hate. All are valid opinions by the individual and is difficult to persuade otherwise.

Is been over 45 years since VC first put his pen and brush to Kirby's pencils and the debate started immediately and will most likely continue for another 45 years+ but only the art remains the same.

patrick ford's picture
Posted by: patrick ford | December 29, 2011

NIce inking

Now here's some good looking inking.
And the same guy did a great job inking Ditko in one of those 70's Atlas comics.
This guy has promise, he's almost as skilled as Royer.

Erik Larsen's picture
Posted by: Erik Larsen | December 29, 2011

That's NOT Wrightson...

--it's Gary Martin--sometimes Steve Rude inker.

patrick ford's picture
Posted by: patrick ford | December 29, 2011

He did a great job

Martin did a great job on the piece. It looks like the pencils. I like an inker who has complete respect for the pencils of the artist he's inking.

Tom Kraft's picture
Posted by: Tom Kraft | December 29, 2011

Re: He did a great job

Very nice job. This is as good as the recreations I've had done by the source, Mike Royer. He recreated his inks on spreads from Demon 1, OMAC 1, New Gods 5, Mister Miracle 6 (I think this issue - spread of the girls locker room) and a Kamandi spread.

John S.'s picture
Posted by: John S. | December 29, 2011


...and we're STILL waiting for you to POST those re-creations, Tom! Come on, stop denying us the enjoyment of viewing all those dynamite jobs by Royal Royer!

Tom Kraft's picture
Posted by: Tom Kraft | December 29, 2011

Never ending work

I know John. Its been on my mind to add back more of the "Creations" I had on the old site. I'll add 1 or 2 over the long holiday weekend. I'm constantly torn between posting new pages to the Gallery section, adding new blog articles, adding new programming to the site and adding new art to the Creations section.

A gallery page takes about 15 minutes for a once up page and 25-45 minutes for a twice up page. A twice up page requires stitching together 2 halves of a scan for both the front and back. This is at 600dpi so its not fast.

Adding a Creations page takes much longer (1-2 hours per page) than a Gallery page since there are 4 versions of the art: Creation Art, Recreated Pencils, Jack's Pencils and Published version. I have to scan, stitch together and input data/images into the content management system so I've opted to add 3 more pages in the Gallery instead of 1 Creations page.

John S.'s picture
Posted by: John S. | December 29, 2011

Re: Never Ending Work

I can certainly understand and appreciate how much work is involved in getting those big pieces posted, but look at it this way: You only have a finite number of creations to post, so once they're up, they're up, and you won't have to worry about them again. They'll always be there for people to enjoy, and you'll only have to deal with the new ones (like the Charlie Chan cover) as they come in. With the other stuff, it could practically go on forever, so there's no real rush, since there's always going to be more of it to post.

Plus, I've gotta say, just on a personal level, I'd really love to see those jobs. The only one I remember from the old site was the Demon spread, and it was INCREDIBLE. Mike did such a fantastic job on it, it seemed indistinguishable from the original! I love that double-pager from OMAC#1, so with Royer doing the re-creation, I can only imagine how cool that must look! And come to think of it, the others sound pretty great, too! So we'll be looking forward to them, whenever you can get them posted!

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | December 29, 2011

A thing of beauty…

… I mean, Kirby and Martin's pairing, not the monster jumping at the Demon ;-)

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | December 29, 2011

New stuff

Tom, just out of curiosity… Why recreate art from pencils Mike already did ink instead of something new?

Tom Kraft's picture
Posted by: Tom Kraft | December 29, 2011

Re: New Stuff

These spreads were really special and I knew the owners in most cases. Which means I'd most likely never own the originals so I asked Mike to recreate them from large size output (from the comic book or the owner gave me scans) that he light boxed onto one large clean sheet of bristol. The first one was New Gods #5 spread in about 2002 and the last one was the OMAC 1 spread he did earlier this year.

This way I can own and enjoy the closest thing to the originals.

patrick ford's picture
Posted by: patrick ford | December 29, 2011

A Possibility

That Martin recreation had been attributed to Wrightson. When I saw it my thought was about the same as Tom's. The page was just about perfect. My second thought was "Well Wrightson would be at least as expensive as Mike Royer."
Seeing as the inker is an assistant to Steve Rude (who is currently out of the industry), Martin might be an affordable option.

Erik Larsen's picture
Posted by: Erik Larsen | December 29, 2011

Martin is a mixed bag.

Some guys he inks really well--others--not so much. He inked my work on the Doom Patrol and I was not thrilled with it at all. We clashed and it wasn't pretty. He does do a reasonably good job with Rude and Kirby though. I'll give him that.

patrick ford's picture
Posted by: patrick ford | December 29, 2011

KIrby certainly wasn't infallable.

One of the best places to see just how distorted Kirby work could be would have to be the Timely Captain America comics.
Another good example is Avengers #2 where the size and scale of the Hulk keeps changing from panel to panel, as well as the number of his toes.
Despite the expressive abstractions found in Kirby's work from day one, when it comes down to trusting the judgment of Kirby or Colletta in making decisions about composition I'd say Kirby is right 100% of the time.
And I'll take the judgment of their own pencils by Adams, Colan, Buscema, Toth, and Heck, over what Colletta may have thought was an improvement 100% of the time as well.
In no way can I see Colletta as some kind of brilliant mind when it comes to the layout and design of panels and their composition, or as well suited to make decisions about graphic storytelling.
I do think it's possible he looked at panels and thought about what he could leave out in order to save time on a page.

Erik Larsen's picture
Posted by: Erik Larsen | December 30, 2011

And I'd say you are biased--

There's no way, given the examples you cite--that Jack was right 100% of the time. Was he right to forget costume details the very next panel--often on the very same page? Was Colletta wrong to add those elements at Stan's instruction in order to make pages look more consistent?

I don't buy it.

Kirby was blazing along just as fast as anybody and often faster. He'd give characters two left feet or miss details left and right. Nobody is arguing that Colletta was brilliant. So you can put that Straw Man away. What I'm saying is that, despite what many here would have you believe, he did actually make some decisions for aesthetic reasons rather than simply expedient ones. Nobody's saying he wasn't a hack. He fired through pages like a mental patient. But there were times where he chose to make a girl look prettier--to lengthen those lashes, slim those hips and soften that jawline and eliminating and adding other details weren't necessarily arbitrary.

If anything--I'd prefer the shift went from people talking as if "Colletta was deliberately destroying Kirby's pencils" to simply--"he took an approach that I didn't care for."'s picture
Posted by: | December 30, 2011


Possible to see the Hercules page with the phantom train etc? Is it posted somewhere? Could you post it? There has been so much said about it, it would be great to see it! Thanks, PVS

Erik Larsen's picture
Posted by: Erik Larsen | December 30, 2011

I tried scanning it--

The train really didn't come through at all. You can see the white out but little more. I'll see if I can recreate what was obscured.'s picture
Posted by: | December 30, 2011


Great! Thank you.

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | December 31, 2011

Yes, we scan!

Where can we have a look at this scan?

Erik Larsen's picture
Posted by: Erik Larsen | December 31, 2011

My scanner's not that good...

I'll have to get Tom to scan it. My efforts really don't show much. You can't even see where the white out is much less what's under it.

Frank Fosco's picture
Posted by: Frank Fosco | December 30, 2011

Pass the Notion

All this reverence for Jack NOW, wasn't so much back in the sixties. We have this hind sight seeing how great Jack was and think it was the same way back then. It might have been to a point where they respected Jack and appreciated his talent. But these guys were peers and collaborators. It wasn't so much about showcasing one aspect of the work but the total of it as a finished piece. Yeah--maybe Vinnie took too many liberties with Jack's work--but Vinnie wasn't going, "This is Jack Kirby and I need to give him special attention more so then any other ones work". It was a job as any other job. They all had deadlines to meet. They were all churning this stuff out.

When you think about Marvel during that time--what did they have, 9 maybe 12 titles? Jack was doing about 2 and a half to 3 of them. And at Marvel Vinnie mostly only inked one title of Jack's at one time. Out of all the work Jack did that's a small percentage. Good and bad--mostly bad to a lot of you--I'm still okay with how Vinnie handled Thor.

Tom Kraft's picture
Posted by: Tom Kraft | December 30, 2011

What WiK means and Colletta

It concerns me if the interpretation of this site is "What if Kirby's pencils weren't butchered by Vince Colletta?." If so, I need to change the site's name. It is not the purpose of this site and not what I'm working so hard to create. If you feel this is the interpretation, please contact me through the contact form.

There is and should be good and bad criticism for all the inkers and Jack's work in the Gallery section. Although the Creations section has a lot of VC originally inked pages, there are also George Roussos, Neal Adams and Dan Adkins originally inked works. Criticism/comments must adhere to the site's Terms and Conditions.

Re: Colletta
It seems that we've all expressed our point of view on Vince Colletta, loud and clear, so I'm hoping we can move on. These comments are meant specifically for the page or art you're viewing. Off topic criticism can be a topic in the forum section of the site as long as it meets the Terms and Conditions of this site. If a topic doesn't fit under an existing category, let me know and I will create a new category.

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | December 30, 2011

Brussel Sprouts

Hey Tom,

You beat me to it.
I was about to write that this site is about KIRBY ART, first and above all.
Colletta is only relevant to the extent of his poor art contribution with Kirby (my opinion).

For everybody involved in the Colletta controversy, I would like to say I appreciate your opinions and passions on this matter.
Although this ongoing debate may appear like an heated one, thanks to you guys, I always find our discussions quite interesting and enlightening.

Since, obviously, we are far from closing the case on Colletta, it's a good idea to move our aguments onto the forums. I'll wait for you there, if you dare, Colletta lover!

Erik, when I'm finished with you, you'll always request Brussel sprouts on your menu!

patrick ford's picture
Posted by: patrick ford | December 30, 2011

"Snobs?"This could be a Gene Colan site.

I'm here because I like Kirby's work, not because I'm a fan of Colletta.
This could be a Gene Colan site, and my feelings about Colletta's inking would be identical.
What I see often is people who like Colletta trying to say it's only people who hold Kirby in reverence that have a problem with his inking.
Absolutely not the case for me. Hate to keep saying it but it doesn't matter one bit to me who the pencil artist is. I don't like Colletta's work period. And I'll take any pencil artist's intent for his own compositions 100% of the time over what Colletta thought. If Colletta were penciling a story I'd like to see his pencils get the same respect. I have no doubt Colletta would be his own best inker, and I wouldn't want to see his pencils inked by a Wally Wood, or Murphy Anderson who would submerge Colletta's style.

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | December 30, 2011

Snobs board on winter

Yeah, I'm with you Pat.
Furthermore, do Brussel sprouts eaters look like snobs?

Erik Larsen's picture
Posted by: Erik Larsen | December 30, 2011

The world we live in NOW is very different from that world.

At this point inkers are largely tracers--and that's what they do--essentially making pencils dark enough to be reproduced. Pencils are so tight there's very little room for interpretation and often jobs will have several inkers and it's difficult to tell where one stopped and another began.

Earlier on, inkers were supposed to have a style because they were expected to complete pages. Pencilled pages were far looser than they are today and there was plenty of room to make choices. That was the whole point of this assembly line process. The penciller would put down the basics and the inker would embellish.

Blame Jack for not inking his own work.

John S.'s picture
Posted by: John S. | December 30, 2011


I like brussel sprouts. I guess that makes me a snob (lol).

Frank Fosco's picture
Posted by: Frank Fosco | December 30, 2011

re: Brussel sprouts

Krackles said, Erik, when I'm finished with you, you'll always request Brussel sprouts on your menu!

Using that analogy you're gonna be liking Colletta too. I assume that's gonna be a big "NOT" on both counts.

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