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Author Topic: Curt Swan Inkers...  (Read 14263 times)
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« Reply #24 on: October 17, 2006, 01:50:28 PM »

Aldous writes (re: Vinnie Colletta):

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He's always come in for huge criticism on these boards. I also remember he used to get a hammering on the old DC message boards. I only know what I see when I look at a page. Does he get any credit for actually being a comics professional?

Well, it's a matter of record that he was on the DC payroll for years.  So, seeing as how he inked comic art for money, yes I am willing to admit he was a "comics professional."  Wink

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Did he ever erase those pencil lines in the same spirit as an editor might trim away words from a script? Could the man draw and was he just in a terrible hurry all the time? I'm having trouble believing a comics pro can be ALL bad.

I think probably any inker, having studied another artist's pencils and tried to determine the best way to finish them, might erase a stroke here and there that just didn't "work."  But Colletta erased a LOT of pencil lines, removing details of anatomy, backgrounds, devices, etc in an obvious attempt to simply have less work to do.  Compare his issues of the early Fantastic Four to anything before or after on that book and you can see he took one of the most dynamically visual strips of all time and reduced it to crude, flat, simple scribbles on par with the average coloring book.

But to answer your question (I think) does that make him a hack?  Again I think it all depends on your mindset.  If you are in the camp that believes comics are kid's stuff, to be read and disposed of...if you are a production manager or publisher who needs material ready for the presses by deadline without fail...well then, Vinnie was the consummate professional.  He turned out probably more inked pages than any other artist of his, or any other day.  No doubt he could have done every page of every book published every month using his methods.  But by definition, comics "fans" tend to be people who appreciate the craft and care that goes into a book.  We make heroes of writers who use their imagination rather than relying on formula, and artists who take pains to make drawings that please, amaze or delight us.  Everyone appreciates getting something more for their money. 

Could the man draw?  To quote Mr Owl, the world may never know.  The pathetic part is, he never knew either.  There's a lesson in his career, in my opinion.  All of us sooner or later get to decide whether we're going to "phone in" a career and coast along taking the easy way out, or whether instead we're going to push ourselves to do something worthwhile and maybe even great.  Vinnie got what he wanted in the short run...money and a pat on the back from the suits.  But in the long run, he's earned himself a spot in the historical dustbin of forgettable also-rans who churned out unremarkable comics for decades on end, while his colleagues who put their hearts and souls into their work are still remembered and revered.

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« Reply #25 on: October 17, 2006, 02:58:21 PM »

But Colletta erased a LOT of pencil lines, removing details of anatomy, backgrounds, devices, etc in an obvious attempt to simply have less work to do.
By way of example, Colletta used a very small number of stock faces in his work; no matter who the penciller, he would evidently just erase the face and put in one of his tried-and-true ones: guy, old guy, bad guy or pretty girl.
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