Silver Age Comics Artist Joe Giella Dead at 94
Joe Giella, a legendary inker known for his work in the Golden and Silver Ages of superhero comics, has passed away at the age of 94. The news was broken in a post to Giella's official Facebook page, which confirmed that he passed away peacefully on Tuesday, March 21st.
"Joe was such a special person," the Facebook post reads in part. "His presence alone would put you at ease. Even on the most difficult days, just being with him would make everything OK again. He was so honest and sincere, so kind and gentle and so loving and proud. He was so proud of his service for his country in the US Navy. He was so proud of his long prolific career in comic books and comic strips. And he was most proud of his family. To him, family was everything. Nothing made him happier than sitting around the dinner table with family and friends. Sundays and Holidays became sacred events full of laughter and great food. Joe's legacy in comic books and comic strips will live on. Our family wishes to thank all of his friends and fans for their support. He truly was humbled by all the attention and love he received. Thank you all and when you think of Joe please try to smile. The world needs more superheroes like Joe."
The Giella family wishes for all to celebrate the incredible life of Joe Giella. Joe passed peacefully on March 21st at...Posted by Joe Giella – Artist on Wednesday, March 22, 2023
Born on June 27, 1928, Giella grew up in New York and studied alongside fellow comic pros Joe Kubert and Mike Sekowsky at Manhattan's Art Students League. After serving as a freelance inker on Fawcett Comics' early Captain Marvel stories, he began to freelance at, and later join the staff of, Marvel's precursor, Timely Comics, working on books involving Captain America, Human Torch, and Namor the Sub-Mariner.
Giella followed Frank Giacoia to National Periodical Publications (later known as DC Comics) in the late 1940s, inking stories for a number of early superhero characters, including Flash and Green Lantern. He also inked the very first Flash Comics stories that introduced Black Canary. He remained at the company through the 1980s, inking for many of the Batman and Green Lantern comics of the 1960s, as well as the era's Batman comic strip. He was also one of the inkers on The Brave and the Bold #28, the first-ever appearance of the Justice League of America.
Giella's other work included the Flash Gordon and The Phantom syndicated strips, as well as the daily and weekly strip for Mary Worth. He was involved in Mary Worth up until retiring from it in the summer of 2016.
"72 years in the business. I unbelievable. It's like a dream. Where the hell did it go?" Giella said with a laugh in a 2019 interview with The Comics Journal. "But I'm still doing projects like the Archie cover and taking commissions. I still feel that I have not done my best work yet. Dan Barry once told me, "Joe, you're like a fine wine, you get better with age."
Our thoughts are with Giella's family, friends, and fans at this time.