The Vince Colletta Letter

Perhaps you've heard of Vince Colletta. He's got the unfortunate reputation as one of the lesser inkers of his era. There are rumors that he was such a hack that he actually erased parts of Kirby's pencils so that he wouldn't have to do as much work. 

But he did have a way with words.

Over at, they've posted their letter of the day, written by Colletta himself. 

Colletta was a big supporter of the then Marvel editor-in-chief Jim Shooter, a man of some reputation of his own. In 1987, Shooter was fired from Marvel, and Vince took some umbrage to the action, and fired off the following missive:

Marvel Editors…you are the droppings of the creative world. You were destined to float in the cesspool till urine logged and finally sink to the bottom with the rest of the shit but along came Jim Shooter who rolled up his sleeves and rescued you.

He gave you a title, respectability, power and even a credit card that you used and abused. He made you the highest payed Editors in the history of the business. He protected you against all that would tamper with your rights, your power and your pocketbook.

He backed you against all Prima Donna free lancers no matter how big…his pockets were always open to you. No cry of help was too small for him to turn his back on.

As heard in the "Brass" section of the company…"He never asked for anything for himself…always for his men."

The roof over your head, the clothes on your back, the car you drive and the trinkets you buy for your blind wives and girlfriends you owe to the Pittsburg kid.

For all he did for you…you repayed him by attacking him like a pack of yellow, prickless faggots. Ripping away his flesh from his body and laughing and pounding your chest like conquering ghouls and long after his bones were dry you continued to pour salt on them to squeeze every ounce of pain out of him.

Not the slightest whimper or cry or tear came out of this man. With you still biting at his ankles, he put on his coat and walked away…Displaying more class and poise in defeat than all of you did in victory…Jesus had one Judas…Jim had many, those that speared him and worse, those that watched…

I stuck by him and for that you've nailed me on the same cross…I thank you for that…It's an honor to be crucified with Jim Shooter…a man who none of you will ever be.

Vince Colletta

For those of you further interested, make sure to check out the link to a Mark Evanier blog post regarding 

Colletta and Kirby.  For those of you interested in the history of the comics industry, it's fascinating stuff.


  1. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Some of this reads like a Robert E. Howard story. 

  2. ummm…. wow

  3. It feels like Warren Ellis had a hand with editing this letter.

  4. For all he did for you…you repayed him by attacking him like a pack of yellow, prickless faggots

    It’s a shame they can’t fire him again for this letter.

  5. I have one match left. Did I miss any bridges?

  6. It’s also interesting to note that his writing was given the same fine attention to detail and craftsmanship that his inks were.

  7. I would like to know everything about this story. The Marvel Employee Who Was Madly In Love With Jim Shooter in 1987.

  8. Did Vince Coletta ghost-write most of jay and silent bob’s dialog?

  9. Wow!  I laughed out loud several times reading this. Maybe Vince’s daughter wrote this:

  10. So who were the particular editors this was directed at?

  11. This made my day.

  12. I would like to add that I am quite relieved to find out that I am not the only out there that equates Jim Shooter to Jesus.

  13. You guys think this is bad, you should have seen the rant before he erased half of it.

  14. @Pudgy-Oh the first draft isn’t that bad, it is just a half-assed inked image of extended middle finger on shitty paper with dot-matrix coloring. 😉

  15. Besides being Jack’s inker, Vince was know for 2 things.
    ALWAYS making deadline.
    And being the go-to guy if you needed a hooker.

  16. Vince Coletta always was a shit inker. He made good work lifeless and dull.

  17. I’ve wanted to know forever, what the whole Jim Shooter story was. I’ve hunted and pecked across the internet and only found an interview with Shooter himself and a few lines here and there of people calling him names. Does anyone know where I can read about this? It all seems very soap opera.

  18. @siraim: I was thinking the same thing. I also picture Coletta walking out of Marvel like that bit in Half Baked.

  19. @blulew23: The book "The Comic Book Heroes: The First History of Modern Comic Books – From the Silver Age to the Present" by Gerard Jones and Will Jacobs has a section that covers Jim Shooter’s departure from Marvel.  And it’s a really interesting book in general.

  20. There’s also a great interview with Doug Moensch in this book (right here) where he talks about the same era, specifically Jim Shooter’s plan to kill off and replace all the heroes in the Marvel Universe.

  21. To answer an earlier question, off the top of my head, the editors at the time were:

    Denny O’Niel
    Larry Hama
    Carl Potts
    Ralph Macchio
    Jim Salicrup
    Michael Higgins
    Bob Harras
    Bob Budiansky
    Mark Gruenwald
    Tom DeFalco

    …I may have a few of them chronologically incorrect, but that’s my recollection twenty-odd years on.

  22. Only someone with passion, character and a huge set of balls would write that letter to his bosses. I understand Colletta was something of a loyal soldier wherever he worked. Too bad these editors sucked so bad that they destroyed a good company (Marvel.) Say what you will about Shooter, Marvel did produce good comics and, thanks to guys like Colletta, they got to the printer on time, every time. Fanboys suck because they hear things and blindly pass them on. Half the people who have said "I hate Vince Colletta" probably have no idea who he was.