Tag Archives: Vince Colletta

George Perez: Quite An Artist, Quite A Legacy

This past weekend George Perez, one of the comic book industry’s greatest illustrators, announced he was retiring.

Retire? Hold on while I look that up…

“To withdraw from one’s position or occupation or from one’s active working life.”

What?! People can do that? How do their bills get paid?

Huh. Oh, well.

So, Perez is doing this retire thing and that got me thinking of when I first saw his illustrations. As I wrote in my blog about discovering Marvel’s The Uncanny X-Men in the summer of 1978, I had just determined to become serious about collecting comic books and start buying titles and reading the storylines, instead just buying books with interesting covers. Along with The X-men, I began buying The Avengers.

The first issue I picked up with this new zeal for comics was The Avengers #171 (May, 1978).

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It’s cover was drawn by George Perez and inked by Terry Austin and they proved to be a nearly as potent a creative team as John Byrne  and Austin were on The X-Men. The interior art of this issue of The Avengers was inked by Pablo Marcos and he proved to be an even better fit with Perez’s pencils. Some penciler and inker combinations are truly magical. Perez and Marcos was one such combo.

I quickly began scarfing up back issues of The Avengers, which had become my favorite title. (Oh, how I wish I had done the same with the Dave Cockrum drawn X-Men issues.) And what I saw was a young artist becoming great.

av141_2-3

Perez’s early work in the Avengers was more simple and maybe a little awkward. Some of that was undoubtedly due to the inkers he was paired up with in those early days. His drawings with Vince Colletta or Sam Grainger inking weren’t quite there yet. (See the example from Avengers #141 with Colletta inking, above.) Perez was showing promise, but he was still getting settled in and when he teamed up with Marcos his artwork soared.

avengers-161-14

By the time Avengers #161 was produced, Perez and Marcos were creating incredible pages. The action sequences were more dramatic and dynamic. The characters’ anatomy and poses were also more dramatic and more precisely drawn. In the example (see above), how great is that explosive first panel? And the expression on Iron Man’s… um… mask in the fourth panel is far more expressive than any of the faces in that earlier sample.

And Perez’s blossoming as an artist was not only confined to the pages of Earth’s Mightest Heroes. He also turned out some fine work in Marvel’s adaption of the 1976 sci-fi classic Logan’s Run. For that series he was teamed up with inker Klaus Janson. And they also gelled well together. In the first sample, just look at the center frame. Fantastic!

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The second sample is an outstanding example of his dramatic splash pages. Also from the Logan’s Run series.

perez logan's run 2 page 31

Finally, I want to look at a cover he did for the Fantastic Four #184 (July, 1977). He did a run of both covers and interior art with pioneer inker Joe Sinnott. Now, I think Sinnott was a fine inker, but by the 1970s his inking tended to overshadow the artist, not compliment them. However, Perez’s style was not too adversely affected.

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I also want to point out that Perez could be a maniac when it came to drawing backgrounds. There would sometimes be an incredible amount of detail involved, but he kept it under control and kept his covers and pages from looking too busy. That’s not an easy thing to do. I think the two covers I’ve included here are good examples of his attention to detail.

And this is all just his work from the 1970s!

George Perez’s career in comic books would span an additional four decades! Over those decades, his artwork maintained the highest quality as he worked for both Marvel and DC Comics. His work always looked fresh. He kept up with the times, while never losing that classic George Perez look. That in itself is a rare and terrific feat.

The man has left an impressive legacy as he now embarks on his well-earned retirement.

Kudos, Mr. Perez!

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And, for my money, no one drew Ultron better than George Perez!

Packing Peanuts!

Feel free to comment and share.

Images used under Fair Use.

Warehouse Find is the official blog of NostalgiaZone.com, where you can find books, games, toys, cards, and a huge selection of Golden, Silver, Bronze, and Modern Age comic books. Jim also has a podcast called Dimland Radio. He’d love it if you checked it out. It’s available on iTunes.

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Hang on! Vince Colletta Inked This?

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Comic books? Check. Hair helmet? Check. Safety glasses? Check. Girlfriend?

By my sophomore year of high school (1980/81), I was a few years into seriously collecting comic books. I had even been drawing my own with a friend since the fourth grade. And in that year’s yearbook there was a brief profile on me and my comic book fandom. It included a photograph of me with a few selected items from my collection.

When the yearbooks were handed out and we were all feverishly defacing them by getting our friends and favorite teachers to sign them, a fellow sophomore approached me. He asked how many comic books I had in my collection. When I told him he complained that I shouldn’t have been profiled. He said, “My collection is a lot bigger than yours!”

My sister is on the yearbook committee,” was my somewhat snarky response. You see, it was my sister who wrote the blurb. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

High school drama aside, do you that page just below and to the right of the Son Of Origins Of Marvel Comics tome? That is the one piece of original comic book art that I own. I bought it for a mere 12 dollars, which was right in my budget.

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Here’s a better look at the page.

The page is from the original Sub-Mariner series by Marvel Comics. It’s the second page of issue #72, the last of that series. The artist is Dan Green and the inker is Vince Colletta.

However, when I shared this image on a comic book fan group page on Facebook, there were plenty of people who questioned if Colletta really did ink this page. Well, the credits in the book say it was him, as does the comic book database site comics.org. So, I went with those sources.

However, I can see why it’s questioned, because Vince Colletta had a very recognizable inking style. His inks have a feathered feel to them. His shading lines tend to be thinner than what we see on the page from Sub-Mariner #72. In fact, the first few pages of that issue don’t look as though Colletta had inked them, but by page 10, his work is unmistakable.

Here’s a good example of his inks. This panel was drawn by George Tuska.

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Note the shading and shaping lines on Angel’s arm, chest, and hair. Those are all signs of Colletta’s inking.

Here are a couple of the first few pages of Sub-Mariner #72. It’s difficult to see any of the Colletta style:

Sub-Mariner Page 1

Page 1

Sub-Mariner Page 7

Page 7

Compare the original art page and these other two pages to that panel with the prone Angel. There doesn’t seem to be any of the Colletta feel. Perhaps a little in the creature’s left arm in the first panel of page 7.

Now compare those to these next two pages, also from Sub-Mariner #72.

Sub-Mariner Page 10

Page 10

Sub-Mariner Page 11

Page 11

I think it is very clear that Vince Colletta inked these two pages. His style is all over them. So, it may be possible he did not ink those first few pages. Maybe Dan Green inked them, he is primarily known as an inker. However, unless someone with direct knowledge as to the creators responsible for the artwork, I’ll go with the credits given in the comic book itself.

Can anyone provide that insight?

Oh, in case you’re curious as to how the original page I own looks when colored and printed, here it is:

Sub-Mariner Page 2

Packing Peanuts!

Feel free to comment and share.

Images used under Fair Use.

Warehouse Find is the official blog of NostalgiaZone.com, where you can find books, games, toys, cards, and a huge selection of Golden, Silver, Bronze, and Modern Age comic books.

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