Vinnie Colletta is a legendary name in comic book circles — legendary because he could be one of the worst inkers in the biz, but kept getting work becuase he was fast and reliable and had some powerful friends — including one time Marvel E-I-C- Jm Shooter. When Shooter left Marvel, Colletta found his employment opportunities considerably lessened, which leads to the letter reproduced at 20th Century Danny Boy:
You are the droppings of the creative world. You were destined to float 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 Pittsburgh kid.
The link contains much more on Colletta and the-then politics of Marvel in the early 80s, including a transcript of a conversation that was probably private, but what the heck after 25 years the Freedom of Information act applies.
The blog link in question also links to Christopher Priest’s thoughts on his more or less contemporaneous time at Marvel editing the Spider-man line, a time which was not a happy one for him. Priest doesn’t like pullquotes, but it’s worth reading as well.
We’d all like to be heroes of our own stories, and it’s hard to tell the story of when you were a chimp.