Jul 13, 2010

Colletta Stars

Thor # 152,(1968), pg. 8 original artwork. Kirby/Colletta

I don't want to spend too much time dwelling on Colletta inks, but the new TwoMorrows book coming out soon sparked some online debate, so I'll make a few more comments this week.

Here is a close-up of panel 4, from page 8, photographed from the original artwork to Thor # 152. This HQ image gives us a great example of a Kirby/Colletta outer space scene from the same issue as the scene presented in the new book, The Thin Black Line, so we can take a close look at the artwork and see if we can figure out what techniques Colletta is using to deliniate Jack's pencils.

Below you can see how Vinnie approached inking an explosive cosmic Kirby outer space vista -- Colletta filled in most of the image in black, then added a few sparkles using white-out. I suspect this is another time-saving technique Vince developed to speed up his inking process. Those sloppy splatters of white-out are on top of black ink, so it is unlikely they are an accurate depiction of Jack's original pencils, which are obviously covered-up underneath.

Note here that Vince had originally inked one of the circles, but decided to cover it up in thick, opaque black ink.

It's a little hard to see in the scan, but the blue circle shows you the obscured circle (I feel like an astronomer looking for new planets). Again, notice how Vince then uses tiny splotches of white-out hastily applied ontop of the black ink to hint at his version of the stars.

Editor and publisher of the Steamshovel Press, Kenn Thomas has pointed out that in the future, someone might want to photograph Kirby/Colletta original artwork using new digital enhancement technologies (popularized in the various CSI: Crime Scene Investigation TV shows) to see if Jack's original graphite linework is still detectable beneath Colletta's obfuscation. This could result in an interesting article or book where we could reconstruct Jack's original compositions.