Friday, March 5, 2010

Romance Comic Book Fans Speak... Colletta Wasn't So Bad After All!

Good evening, everyone! I really appreciate you all taking the time to voice your opinion about Vince Colletta on the last poll! It was something I was really curious about. I have heard from a number of people who really dislike his work, and then on the flipside -- I have heard a lot of people say they do like him. It left me a little stumped, but I think I have a clearer picture now on people's views on Colletta's romance work! On to the results!

Out of 33 voters, 8 gave Colletta high marks and said he was one of the greats

In the majority were 13 voters who felt that Colletta wasn't too shabby

Only 5 voters were indifferent to Colletta's work

And finally, 7 voters were not fans of Colletta

Very interesting! I had no idea how it was going to turn out, so thanks for participating! If you missed this one, be sure to get in on the current one about our favorite talented lady, Elizabeth (Liz) Berube!

I have a few links for you that I think you are really going to enjoy...

Have you checked out As Told to Stan Lee yet? If not, you really ought to! In her latest post, Spectergirl explores the romantic side of plane crashes. Look also for her hilarious modern day interpretations of advice columns!

Out of This World will impress you with its diverse range of subject matter, ranging from science fiction to war stories, but focused primarily on romance comics. Right now, KB is featuring Charlton's Haunted Love #6 (October 1974) with story by Joe Gill and art by Tom Sutton.

Over at Silver Age Comics, Pat introduces to readers the Secret Hearts storyline -- "Reach for Happiness," which ran for an astounding 29 issues! No small feat for romance comics! Go check it out!

If you enjoyed my couple of posts on the changing logos of romance titles (look for more in the future), you will really dig this fascinating DC romance logo study from the perspective of letterer, Todd Klein. Very, very cool!!!

Have a great Friday!!!


  1. I think if Colletta had only worked on romance comics he would have been considered one of the best. Colletta is most recognized as an inker on super-hero stories, and that is where it becomes problematic.

    I think a lot depended on who was assisting him, as well as the matter of deadlines. The inker is one of the last in production on a comic, and many editors went to Colletta to get the work done quickly and efficently. A closer look at his romance work shows just how good he could be in the proper venue.

    Nick C.

  2. Jacque: I'm not surprised that there was fairly general support for Colletta. There's something about his style that practically yells "ROMANCE". He is perhaps a little over-dramatic in the way he uses body language sometimes, but then again that's all part of the fun of the genre. As you know I'm in the process of sorting through my comic collection, and the other day I came across a late 50s Charlton comic with what looked like a Colletta story but with quite a big difference. I'm going to scan and post it and see what you all think regarding the art. I found it captivating in a way that Colletta's run-of-the-mill Charlton stuff doesn't always achieve. I'll try and do that later.

    Nick: Of course I so agree with your comments regarding Colletta's inking on superhero books. Kirby must have wept on more than one occasion.

  3. I disagree, Nick. Comic fans were raving about the Kirby and Colletta Thors and Tales of Asgards. Kirby weeping? No, it's the brainwashed Kirby fans (Colletta erasing, etc.) who are weeping. Jack was, I'm sure, elated to see his work received so well. I sure loved Kirby/Colletta more than Kirby/anyone else.

  4. I think I was complimenting Colletta, not knocking him down. I believe he did some nice work on super-hero stories at times, and he worked better with some artists than others. For instance, I enjoy his inking over Tuska and Heck much more than I did when rendered by Mike Esposito, whose style is very thin and lacks definition. I feel that Colletta excelled in romance comics, and that is a compliment.

    KB: Joe Sinnott assisted Colletta on some Charlton work, so he may have pencilled, with Colletta inking.

    Nick C.

  5. Anonymous (not Nick): I guess we all have our favorite Kirby. Those Colletta-inked Thors were my least favorite Kirby art of all time (although the stories were so great I never missed an ish!) but that's just my taste - I liked Chic Stone and Dick Ayers inking Kirby, personally.

    Nick: I'm going to post a couple of 1958 Charlton 5-page stories and I'd appreciate your opinion as to who the artist and inker are - I'm not that great at identifying Vince Colletta pencils versus inks versus both, so I'd like to see if I got anything right on these two.

  6. I'm a fan of Vinnie for the most part, but I am one who feels that over all he was best suited for the romance genre. I really like his early superhero inking, as on Thor and even FF. In fact one of my favorite early Fantastic Four comics was inked by Colletta. The infamous 'erased Mr. Fantastic' panel that is circulating on the web to me is such a minor thing to use against him. The entire story and the infamous panel can be found at
    When I see that panel I see a superflous Reed Richards mostly hidden behind the Human Torch. The fact is erasing him had no effect on the story other than making that particular panel a better design. I don't condone erasing the pencilled art, but look at how trivial this tiny panel is, and how much it has been blown out of proportion.
    Instead of looking at what is missing, take a look at what is still there. The whole story is beautifully inked , IMO. Clean and sharp. What Colletta brought to the THOR series was quite fitting in it's setting of Norse mythology, a wonderfully unique old styled engraving-like finish. No one can argue the success or the popularity of those comics.

    I will say his later super hero inks left me disappointed, when one was used to newer inker styles such as Klaus Janson and others.
    That is why I firmly believe Colletta was his best at romance art. I challenge anyone to look at his females in his romance comics, and tell me they are not strikingly beautiful, sexy even.
    I know that as mentioned, Joe Sinnott did work for Vinnie's studios, ghosting on art and mimicking the Colletta style, while Colletta signed his own name. Who did what and when, I don't know for sure, but that Sinnott, a fantastic artist, made conscious effort to emulate the Colletta style, says something about the popularity of that style. The Colletta style.

    KB, I will be looking forward to seeing the Colletta (possibly) stories you are going to post, I myself am pretty familiar with his early and later style, and in fact I have on one of my blogs an early Colletta sci-fi story where he tries to emulate Wally Wood! He experimented a bit early on. Colletta's thin, scratchy inks are typically devoid of any heavy black lines or shadows, which, while not necessarily suitable for the superhero genre, works wonderfully for romance comics.
    What I want to know is, what does Jacque think of Vince Colletta?
    (sorry for rambling)

  7. I read somewhere once that Steve Ditko would wince whenever he heard Colletta's name spoken. I don't know. Before reading all about the "Colletta Controversy" I liked his romance stuff, so I'll stick by that gut reaction to his work. -- Mykal

  8. Jacque: on a side note, I have a new blog. The address is: If after seeing it, you feel I have disgraced the good name of comic fandom, I will understand. Sorry for this public display of pan-handling. – Mykal

  9. My opinion on Colletta is like many of yours... I think his romance stuff is really quite good. Now, he is no Win Mortimer -- but like Mortimer his style fits romance perfectly and his talents put to much better use than on the superheroes. My feelings fit under the "not too shabby" category.

    Thanks everyone for this electrifying discussion on Colletta!!! Fascinating stuff!

  10. Mykal... no prob! I will check it out!!!

  11. Hi Jacque, couple of comments. Love your blog!

    I'm a big Matt Baker fan and there were quite a few of his later romance works that were inked by Colletta and a lot of the details were wiped out. Maybe in the 60's he slowed down a bit and added more details? But, in the late 50's it just seemed like he was on a crash course to get the work done.

    On Liz Berube's work, I love the edge she gave things. It's kind of like a Brinkley Girls meets mod feel. Love it! Thought you might like to see Jerry Bails info on her also lists where some of her work is..

    I used to have a Girls Love Stories 148. I have to see if I still have this. It has a large story in it with her work.

    Thanks Jacque


  12. One more link for you for "Women's History Month":


  13. Hi Joanna!

    Thanks for stopping in! Yes, many people speak of Colletta and how he rushed through work... not sure of the details, but I am guessing most of the artists had to hurry through things more than they liked.

    I often feel a Brinkley influence from Elizabeth, glad you noticed too! That issue of Girls' Love Stories does have a story she penciled, "The Stranger Next Door." I will have to post it sometime!

    Thanks for posting the link for that thesis. I actually printed it out a few months ago, and just haven't gotten around to reading it yet. Its a great topic... Its cool someone wrote such a detailed piece on it!

  14. Great entry, Jacque. Colletta (and Dick Giordano) excelled on womens' faces (the lush lashes, the lips) they were both very well-suited to the romance genre, with its abundance of female characters.

    And I have always admired Colletta's superhero work, too, and not just on Kirby's Thor: he was quite good on J. Buscema (on a few Avengers issues) and as others have noted, he enhanced Heck and Tuska. I'll always be a Colletta fan.

  15. Thanks, Sharon! I am glad to have heard from all the Colletta fans out there! We have proof they do exist!

  16. I'm surprised that no one mentioned the really well-drawn DC romance comics of the EARLY '60s. These had art by Gene Colan (he was especially good), Johnny Romita (better than most but not great sez me, but others seem to adore his romance work) and a host of other surprising names producing highly recognizable stylistic work--but not their accustomed superhero schtick!
    And of course, if we go back a little farther, to the mid-'50s, we see a raft of famous names e.g.; Kirby & Simon (who invented the genre, double-handedly--not single-handedly cuz there were two of 'em), John Prentice, Leonard Starr and several other artists who went on to newspaper strips of note. Y'know, someone oughta develop an ongoing project list of all the greats who worked the fertile fields of romance.

  17. P.S.--
    I forgot to mention that I just love yr site. It's a great concept, a gas to read yr commentary, and a blast to read yr editorial choices of the most intriguing Romance comics!

    You have a well-developed esthetic and it's an enjoyable challenge to figure out yr filters of taste and determine whether or not I agree with them. So far, I've at least been able to understand them, even if I don't always agree 100% with your particular twists and turn of evaluation.

    Keep on keepin' on!

  18. =link: Thank you for visiting Sequential Crush, and I am happy to know that you are enjoying the content!!! Ya know, I am not a die hard Romita fan either when it comes to romance, but his work is recognizable and is quite representative of the genre.

    I would love to eventually get a wiki of some sort started just for romance comics. The blog has been a good place to start, but that is one of my long term goals.

    Hope to see you again!