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Primarily an inker during the Silver Age, comic artist Joe Giella is best known for his large body of work at DC during the 1950’s and 1960’s on such titles as The Justice League of America, Batman, Detective Comics, The Flash, Strange Adventures and, most prominently of all, Green Lantern.
Giella attended Manhattan’s School of Industrial Art, studied at the Art Students League, and took commercial art courses at Hunter College. Breaking into the comics biz at age 17, his first published work, on the humor feature “Captain Codfish,” appeared in Punch and Judy Comics #11 in 1946. From there, he went on to freelance at Fawcett – where he worked on Captain Marvel – and then on to Timely. While there, Giella mostly worked on humor and teenage comics. But he also inked, preformed pencil corrections, and finished backgrounds on such superheroes as Captain America, the Human Torch and Sub-Mariner.
In the late 1940’s he left Timely, following his friend Frank Giacoia, to work for DC Comics. At DC, he initially inked the Golden Age Flash, Green Lantern, and Black Canary before all their superhero characters (excepting Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman) ceased publication. He worked on Westerns at this time, including inking Alex Toth and Gene Colan’s work on the “Sierra Smith” feature and Hopalong Cassidy, respectively.
After the dawn of the Silver Age Giella would go on to produce his most widely recognized work, inking other industry veterans like Carmine Infantino, Sheldon Moldoff and, of course, Gil Kane. Many of DC’s classic Silver Age covers bear a lushness and eye-catching detail thanks to his fine inking. He also did memorable pencil work as well, drawing DC’s Batman newspaper strip for four years.
Giella’s other work includes both Flash Gordan and The Phantom newspaper strips, commercial artwork for Doubleday and Simon & Shuster, and even some recent work for DC Comics. Illustrating Mary Worth since 1991, he retired from the strip in 2016.