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Joe Sinnott – RIP

Famed comic book artist Joe Sinnott has passed away.


Joseph Leonard (Joe) Sinnott
October 16, 1926 – June 25, 2020

From the Joe Sinnott Facebook notice:

It with great sorrow that we must announce the passing of Joltin’ Joe Sinnott on June 25th at 8:40am at the age of 93. He went peacefully with the knowledge that his family, friends, and fans adored him. He enjoyed life and was drawing up until the end. He always loved hearing from all of you and having your comments read to him. Each and every one of you were special to him.


above: splash panel from Joe’s first(?) solo comic book story (1950)

(updated) From the obituary:

In 1950, Joe started work as an artist for Marvel Comics until his retirement in 1992. He continued to work as a freelance artist for King Features Syndicate from 1992 to 2019, inking the Sunday Spider-man newspaper strip. His art appeared in numerous Marvel comics. The Fantastic Four and Thor were among Joe’s most notable books. Joe was instrumental in inking the very first appearance of some of Marvel’s most iconic characters including Thor, Dr. Doom, Silver Surfer, Galactus and Black Panther. He also illustrated the life of The Beatles, Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII, and Mother Teresa, among others, for Dell and Treasure Chest Comics. Archie and Charlton Comics were other books his work appeared in.

Joe enjoyed illustrating baseball and football players, many for charitable organizations. Three of his drawings reside at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. His work has also graced several Bing Crosby record album covers.

 

Joe’s greatest acclaim came from being the preeminent inker of of Marvel Comics during their rise in the 1960s and ’70s, most notably on Jack Kirby’s Fantastic Four comic book. But Joe’s career began years before that and lasted decades after.

  

Jerry Bails’ Who’s Who is malfunctioning at this writing, so in lieu of their general overview of Joe’s career here is the Grand Comic Database’s itemized list of Joe Sinnott comic book credits.

As artists do, Joe spread his talent beyond comic books – into illustrating for a wide variety of commercial and charitable projects. Those included comic strips. He began learning the ropes as an assistant on the Dixie Dugan comic strip. When Marvel expanded onto the newspaper syndicated comic pages he joined in by briefly inking The Incredible Hulk and, for 27 years, inking the Sunday Amazing Spider-Man page.

Joe’s son Mark has a partial index of Joe various comic book and strip contributions.

Comic Art Fans has a gallery of Joe’s art and other art improved by Joe’s inking.

And certainly go to JoeSinnott.com for more about the great man.

For those of us who grew up on Silver Age Marvel comic books Joe is a legend. He beautifully and expertly smoothed the edges of Jack Kirby’s grandiose pencil art. And if you couldn’t have Steranko ink his own pencils Joe was the man to have. Joe kept a continuity of art as pencillers came and went.
If you were to compile a list of distinguished Silver Age embellishers, and a stellar list could be put together, Joe would be predominant. Legendary is a woefully inadequate word to describe Joe.

A “Joe Sinnott” search on Facebook will get a deluge of praise better stated than I can.

Mark Evanier’s fine remembrance of Joe.

Thank you Joe. Rest in peace.

Community Comments

#1 Kip Williams
June/25/2020
@ 3:30 pm

One of the greatest inkers, and a personal favorite. He could always make someone look better with his beautifully controlled linework. Joltin’ Joe was legendary indeed. A master of his craft, and a large part of what made Marvel so exciting, back in the day.

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