The Future of The Amazing Spider-Man Comic Strip – Updated with Joe Sinnott and Mike Kelly Remarks

This post has been updated on March 18, 2019 to include, below the original post, the final thoughts on the strip from Sunday inker Joe Sinnott and Stan Lee’s comic strip assistant and editor Mike Kelly.



Today Reed Brennan posted an announcement about
the future of The Amazing Spider-Man comic strip:


Attention Spider-Man clients:

You’ll be seeing some changes in your friendly neighborhood AMAZING SPIDER-MAN comic strip over the coming months. Starting on March 25, King Features and Marvel will be re-running some of Spider-Man’s greatest hits. We’ll be back soon with great new stories and art to explore even more corners of the Marvel Universe for you and your readers to enjoy. We’ll be announcing more about these new adventures in the very near future, so keep your Spidey senses tuned in!


Following the death of Stan Lee late last year I expected a change for the comic strip.
But I was thinking more in the way of ghost writer Roy Thomas getting public credit.
This sounds much more of a wholesale change in the direction of the strip and the strip’s creators.
Wait and see for now.



March 8 UPDATE:

Roy Thomas, responding to a question about the future Spider-Man comic strip:

“I know nothing of any Spidey strip to come, only that the one Alex Saviuk and I (and until recently Larry Lieber) had been doing is kaput.”


March 9 UPDATE:

Alex Saviuk has issued a statement to Brad Douglas on the future of the Spider-Man comic strip:

Hi Brad! Now that KFS has posted their statement yes, the Spider-Man strip as we know it has come to an end. And as much as Roy Thomas and I were hoping that the strip would go on to continue Stan Lee’s legacy just as King Features did with The Phantom after Lee Falk died 20 years ago, that’s not the case here. March 23 will be the last Daily and March 17 will be the last Sunday as we close out the current storyline. It’s news to me that in the statement it mentioned a new strip starting up possibly months down the road after they reprint some classic Lee-Romita stories from 40 years ago or 30 years ago whichever they choose! A strip further exploring the Marvel universe as they say which doesn’t mean it would or wouldn’t be Spider-Man and if they were going to feature new creators or if they would call on Roy and me again to create stories in any universe they desire us to go. Time will tell but in the meantime it was glorious fun while it lasted and I learned a huge lesson about not counting any chickens before they hatch. It was difficult inking and sending in my last week of Dailies a few weekends ago ( the Sundays were always done 3 months ahead of time so I hadn’t drawn one of those in months ). It was like saying goodbye to my old friend all over again.


March 18 UPDATE:

With the publication of his last strip on March 17, 2019 Joe Sinnott, the inker of the Sunday Amazing Spider-Man comic strip, has said thanks and goodbye.

Today we honor Spidey with The FINAL Sunday Spider-Man strip! Thanks Stan, for all the great memories. ‘NUFF SAID ! (Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, Alex Saviuk, Joe Sinnott, Janice Chiang)


Joe’s son Mark Sinnott added to the post that after 69 years Joe would be retiring.


My dad, Joltin’ Joe wants to thank all the fans for their support of the Spidey strip through the years. Now at 92, and working for Marvel for 69 years, Joe can finally say that he is “officially” retired! What a great run, dad. We need to thank the following creators for their work on the Spidey strip during Joe’s incredible 27 year run on the strip: Stan Lee and Roy Thomas, who made this all possible. Letterers Stan Sakai and Janice Chiang, Pencilers Larry Lieber, Ron Frenz, Paul Ryan, Sal Buscema, Fred Kida, and for the past 22 years Alex Saviuk. Also a huge thanks to the inkers that “filled in” for Joe from time to time: Jim Amash, Terry Austin, Bob Wiacek, Mark Sinnott, Belinda Sinnott, Tim Estiloz and Jim Tournas. Thanks for making Spidey look good all these years Dad. I love you, Mark (your son and biggest fan)


Brian Cronin, at Comic Book Resources, summarizes Joe’s career with Marvel Comics.

Stan Lee once said of Sinnott in TwoMorrow’s 2007 book by Tim Lasiuta, Brush Strokes with Greatness: The Life & Art of Joe Sinnott, “[P]encilers used to hurl all sorts of dire threats at me if I didn’t make certain that Joe, and only Joe, inked their pages. I knew I couldn’t satisfy everyone and I had to save the very most important strips for [him]. To most pencilers, having Joe Sinnott ink their artwork was tantamount to grabbing the brass ring.”


March 18 UPDATE:

Now Mike Kelly, Stan Lee’s assistant and editor of The Amazing Spider-Man comic strip for almost 25 years has chimed in on the “end” of the comic strip. (It seems not even the non-King Features Syndicate editor of the strip knew of the plans to reboot the strip after a rerun period.)

After 42 Marvel-ous years, “The Amazing Spider-Man” newspaper comic strip comes to an end this month.

Stan Lee started the strip with John Romita back in 1977, and I’ve had the rare privilege of being the editor for over half its entire run since the mid 1990’s.

Mike describes the process of creating the comic strip:

Stan would do about six weeks of script in a row. These were full scripts, as opposed to the loose plots that Stan would give his artists in the Marvel glory days…

Stan would give the scripts to me and in turn I’d get them out to our artists, particularly Larry and Alex…

The penciled Dailies or Sundays would arrive via FedEx or fax and Stan would go over them with me, initially, but soon due to his busy schedule he left the Sundays to me…

…when the final Daily or Sunday pencils arrived, Stan would have long forgotten the scripts he turned in weeks before, having written dozens of other things in the meanwhile. Therefore, Stan would see everything as new, with a fresh eye, and edit it that way…

Eventually we’d get the proofs of the completed strips back from the syndicate, and if there were any last-minute problems, the syndicate – King Features – made it easy to correct…

As Stan grew busier running his own creative companies, such as Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment, he turned to an old friend to help him plot and then later dialogue the Spidey strip, Roy Thomas. When they reached the point where Roy was doing dialogue, Stan would meticulously edit and revise every word to make sure it maintained that signature Stan Lee style…

Mike Kelly says farewell to the Spider-Man comic strip.

Late last year, on the passing of Stan Lee, Mike Kelly said goodbye to Stan.

As his Associate Editor and Chief Executive Assistant (Stan insisted on the “Chief” part) for just shy of twenty-four years, I am in a unique position to know. I got to see Stan on a daily basis for over two decades working as his assistant and editor on his beloved The Amazing Spider-Man newspaper comic strip.


March 19 (yet another) UPDATE:

Roy Thomas has discussed his time on The Amazing Spider-Man comic strip with Alexis Sottile at SYFY Wire.

…by coincidence, [Stan Lee] really needed a writer to work with him on the Spider-Man comic strip.”

Despite the fact that Thomas says he’d “never really liked writing Spidey compared to the FF [Fantastic Four], Avengers, Conan etc,” he said yes, with Lee cautioning him to wait til he heard the pay rate: just $300 a week. “I laughed,” says Thomas, “and told him that he had no idea how little it cost me to live on my 40-acre place in the middle of South Carolina.” (A convincing argument for not living in L.A. if there ever was one.)

It worked out well for Thomas. “As it turned out,” he says, “although I never got a raise in the 18 years I basically ghost wrote the strip (until recent years with his [Lee’s] hands-on editing), it was a great gig. I spent maybe two days a month writing four weeks’ worth of strips, and another day two or three times a year submitting outlines for upcoming storylines.”

above: first appearance of The Kangaroo in 1970  – image via Silver Age Comics

And Roy had plans when he was informed the strip, as it had been, was ending:

When Thomas got news of the strip’s upcoming demise, he had been plotting out a trip to Australia for Parker and MJ, where they were to encounter the villain Kangaroo and have various exploits and adventures. “Marvel decided to kill the script,” says Thomas, “and not print the final couple of weeks. And [artist] Alex Saviuk graciously reworked the final strip to show the two of us in it, and to add a ‘Nuff Said!’ headline on the Daily Bugle.”

Full article at SYFY Wire.




7 thoughts on “The Future of The Amazing Spider-Man Comic Strip – Updated with Joe Sinnott and Mike Kelly Remarks

  1. “Starting on March 25, King Features and Marvel will be re-running some of Spider-Man’s greatest hits.”

    It sounds more like it’s going to be discontinued and shift to reprints.

  2. Maybe the Spider-Man strip is preparing to switch comic syndicates? or AndrewsMcMeel could be candidates if King Features drops the Spider-Man contract.

  3. I don’t like the idea of re-running stories, if that is what they’re doing, but as long as Peter and Mary Jane are still married and they don’t wipe it from existence, like they did in the main book, still bitter about that by the way, I’ll be happy.

  4. Huh. Too bad for Roy…and Alex, I would presume. Despite their reference to the Marvel Universe, do you think they might run with the Oscar for the ” Into The Spidererse ” movie and have a semi-” Adventures “-style version with young Spider-Man Milo being trained by an older Peter – two Spider-Men?

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