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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

UNDER THE INFLUENCE – Vince Colletta and Wally Wood

Here are two cool sci-fi stories from the fifties by two great artists – Vinnie Colletta and Wally Wood. After you read them both you will see that clearly one of them was *ahem* under the influence…of the other! All you need to really know is that the Wood story came first. Wood, who likely was the greatest sci-fi comic artist from the fifties (or all time), drew the typically wonderful “The Precious Years” for EC’s WEIRD SCIENCE #19, May-June 1953.

Atlas’ UNCANNY TALES #18 hit the newsstands in March 1954, and featured a story titled "The Machine Age" by a young artist named Vince Colletta, who would one day become possibly (in the opinion of some) one of the greatest romance comic artists of all time ( and who would one day become the object of controversy). It wouldn’t be long before Colletta would find his niche, but here he seems to be under the influence of Wood’s style for sure, if not the particular story, and throughout those influenced panels you’ll find trademark Woodisms such as the faces on the wall (in the splash panel), and faces with dual light sources (ex: page 1 panel 3), etc!

[Ironically, history has revealed that each artists trademark style was really the antithesis of the other -- Wood the master of solid blacks, bold lines and shadowed 3D-like figures, and Colletta the master of feathery cross-hatching and light, airy thin-lined ink strokes, perhaps exemplified best in his inking over Jack Kirby on silver age The Mighty THOR. But, although this particular Colletta story is virtually bereft of women (as depicted throughout his many romance comic artworks), both Colletta and Wood could sure draw some mighty fine female forms!] 
-The Apocolyte speaks



(click image to enlarge)



There you have it!

Two different stories,
one sci-fi theme, 
two different artists, 
one artistic master's style obviously heavily influencing the other...

Comic art legend Wallace Wood is still an influence upon knowledgeable students of the craft to this day, and Vince Colletta went on to simplify his style from the very detailed work shown here to his more basic depictions of romantic themed stories, to be highlighted here in the near future...

Although the details of the future as foreseen back in the Fifties was a bit hokey,
one aspect was truly captured with uncanny prophetic clarity...
that is the cloying dependence of modern humanity upon an ever intruding technology!

Hope you enjoyed it!
More soon!

- The Apocolyte