Joe Giella

Joe Giella

Joe Giella is an American comic book artist best known as a DC Comics inker during the late 1950s and 1960s period which historians and fans call the Silver Age of comic books. 
Giella attended the School of Industrial Art in Manhattan. He also studied at the Art Students League in Manhattan, alongside future comics professionals Mike Sekowsky and Joe Kubert, and took commercial art courses at Hunter College. He began working in art at 17, he said in a 2002 interview, explaining that “when your parents are struggling to keep the house going, the first son in the family, especially in an Italian family, had to go to work.” He described his first professional job as the humor feature “Captain Codfish”, which the interviewer described as “a less-eccentric 1940s ancestor of SpongeBob SquarePants”. A standard reference, the Grand Comics Database, lists one “Captain Codfish” feature, running six pages with the art signed by Giella, in Hillman Periodicals’ Punch and Judy Comics #11 (cover-dated June 1946).
 
Giella later freelanced for Fawcett Comics, commuting by bus to C. C. Beck’s and Pete Costanza’s studio in Englewood, New Jersey, to ink Captain Marvel stories. In either 1946 or 1947, he began freelancing for Timely Comics, the 1940s precursor of Marvel Comics, and shortly afterwards joined the staff. His start was rocky, however; as a 2012 article related:

“What he needed was a regular paycheck, so he kept dropping by the offices of Timely Comics … hoping to get a job. [Editor] Stan Lee rewarded his persistence with a tryout inking a strip that cartoonist Mike Sekowsky had penciled. Giella’s elation on his trip home soon turned to panic. “The first job he gave me I lost on the train. No one slept at my house that night,” Giella jokes. “I went in the next morning and thought that’s the end of my job.” He was nearly right. As a frantic Lee screamed at Giella for his carelessness, Sekowsky came to his defense. “Mike repenciled the whole job that I lost on the train and I did the inking,” he says. “Stan liked what I did and I got the staff position. I never left anything on the train again.”

“I would do any work that they offered,” Giella had recalled in a 2005 interview. “I started out doing a little touch-up work, a little background work, a little inking, redraw this, fix this head, do something with this panel”. Later, he assisted Syd Shores on Captain America Comics, finishing backgrounds, making pencil corrections and inking occasional pages. Giella did similar duty on Human Torch, Sub-Mariner, and humor stories. Inking soon became his specialty. In 1948, he joined the Naval Reserves, continuing with them for eight years.

His friend Frank Giacoia began drawing for DC Comics in the late 1940s, and eventually convinced Giella to join him at that better-paying company.[citation needed]Starting circa 1948, Giella inked stories featuring the Flash, Green Lantern, Black Canary and other characters under editor Julius Schwartz.
 
During the early-1950s lull in superheroes, Giella inked Westerns penciled by Alex Toth (including the feature “Sierra Smith”) and Gene Colan (on the series Hopalong Cassidy, splitting the work with fellow inker Sy Barry).

When the era called the Silver Age of comic books began with the resurgence of superheroes in 1956, Giella began inking science-fiction stories, including the feature “Adam Strange” in Strange Adventures, and Batman stories pencilled by the likes of Sheldon Moldoff (ghosting for Bob Kane), and Carmine Infantino. In the 1960s, he prominently inked Gil Kane on the series Green Lantern

This will be Joe Giella’s debut appearance at Indianapolis’, Indiana Comic Con!