I received a message from my deceased father a few days ago. I feel as if it were heaven-sent, anyway. Vinnie and one of his many friends – everyone up there knows Vince Colletta as anyone who knew him here on earth would surmise – one Harold Lambert, decided to reward me with a treasure I had no business finding. A component of the comic book The Unexpected #115, published in 1969 by DC Comics, is a letters to the editor page entitled Unexpected Mail. It was a curious discovery for me in that the issue carried no Colletta art. So, why was I perusing the comic book? And why on earth would I scan a letters to the editor page in any comic? It seems that, a month earlier, Harold had written DC’s editors Murray Boltinoff and Carmine Infantino to compliment Colletta’s art. He also asked the editors to provide further personal information about the artist. Whether credit goes to Murray or Carmine, they obliged Harold with a short and very lovely biography of the artist.
I was curious to know whether I could reach Harold after all these years. As it turns out, via a Google search, I learned that he passed away in December of 1991, the same year that saw Vince Colletta leave this mortal coil. Always gracious, Vinnie almost certainly was one of the first to greet Harold in paradise. To personally express his gratitude for that letter he wrote to DC Comics back in 1969.
Unexpected? Not only the title of a comic book but also this little joke perpetrated upon me by Harold and Vinnie. Maybe I couldn’t contact Harold, but he sure found a way to contact me. R.I.P Harold Lambert. And, thank you.