About Vince Colletta

Vince Colletta (October 15, 1923 – June 3, 1991) was an American comic book artist and art director. His Romance art in the 50s and 60s brought a new realism into comic book art. Colletta is best known as one of Jack Kirby's frequent inkers during the Silver Age of comic books. This included some significant early issues of Marvel Comics' Fantastic Four, and a long, celebrated run on the character Thor in Journey into Mystery and The Mighty Thor. His inks on the Tales of Asgard series were hailed as an artistic breakthrough. Vince also contributed art to DC Comics' Wonder Woman, Batman and Warlord.

Is it Art? Or, is it Comic Book Art?

Have a look at the drawing that accompanies this article. At first glance, you would correctly conclude that the illustration came from a comic book. Upon closer inspection, however, the man and the woman resemble real people rather than cartoon characters. In the 1940s and 1950s, the Golden Age of Comics, the human form as illustrated by the comic book artists of the day hardly resembled actual people.

Lovers 64 Art by Vince Colletta

This particular example of romance art was published in 1954, long before most comic book aficionados were born. Prior to the Vincent Colletta-era of comic book illustration, the human form was depicted by employing thick, graphic lines to denote shadows and depth. These were augmented by evenly-spaced, carefully measured lines. Colletta created with pencil, pen and brush, what many artists working in oils were unable to match for realism. This creativity was on full display for many years to come as Vince came to illustrate hundreds of pages of romance covers and stories.

Romance comics fell out of favor when the superheroes began capturing the attention of teenage buyers. Art work such as this ceased to exist. This glimpse into the past offers us a chance to appreciate the evolutionary process as well as the passing of true illustrative art in comic books.

ALEX GRAND: “I’ve never met the guy, but I wish I had, and will look at his past work with some degree of appreciation, as part of the variety of 20th century comics.”

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