Famed inker Joe Sinnott, one of the most in-demand inkers of Marvel’s Silver and Bronze Age, has passed away. He was 93 years old.
Sinnott was born on October 16, 1926 in Saugerties, New York. He grew up in a boarding house where his love of drawing began with early influence by Batman, Hawkman, and Terry and the Pirates. As a young man, he enlisted in the Navy, serving in Okinawa during World War II. Next came three years working at his father’s cement manufacturing plant.
He began his art career by studying in the Cartoonists and Illustrators School in New York City, in March 1949. Sinnott’s first professional art job was the backup feature “Trudi” in the comic Mopsy #12 (September 1950).
Tom Gill, an instructor at the school, asked Sinnott to become his assistant, drawing backgrounds and incidentals on the Western movie tie-ins at Dell Comics and then titles at Atlas. In 1951, he talked to Stan Lee about taking on some assignments for Atlas Comics. He drew stories for a multitude of titles, including Strange Tales, Tales to Astonish, Tales of Suspense, Adventures Into Terror, Battlefront, Navy Combat, Gunsmoke Western, Two Gun Western, and many more.
Sinnott did some commercial art work on record covers and billboards, and worked for a few other publishers, ghosting for some DC artists. He worked with publisher George Pflaum on the Catholic-oriented comic, Treasure Chest, collaborated with Bob Wischmeyer on the strip, Johnny Hawk, All American, and had a stint at Charlton on romance comics.
By the 1960s, Sinnott was working mostly as an inker, but he also did some penciling, including on early Thor appearances in Journey Into Mystery #91-92 and #94-96. His contributions as an inker are what cemented his highly regarded reputation, which included inking Jack Kirby and Jim Steranko’s pencils on Captain America.
This period is particularly marked by inking Fantastic Four, starting with #44 in 1965, and the rest of Kirby’s run on the series – which saw the introduction of mainstays like Black Panther, Silver Surfer, Galactus, and the Inhumans. After Kirby left at #102, Sinnott continued inking or doing finishes for the title through the early ’80s, inking the works of John Romita, John Buscema, George Pérez, Rich Buckler, John Byrne, and Bill Sienkiewicz.
He had a lengthy run on both Avengers and West Coast Avengers, then moved to Thor where he did finishes for Ron Frenz in his final regular comic assignment. Sinnott’s art has appeared on US Postal Service commemorative stamps of the Thing and the Silver Surfer.
Sinnott was inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame in 2013, won an Inkpot Award, and the Inkwell Awards honored him by naming their hall of fame, the Sinnott Hall of Fame.
In March 2019, Sinnott announced his retirement from comics with the release of his final Sunday edition of the Amazing Spider-Man comic strip, which he had been inking since 1992. Sinnott ended a bountiful run with Marvel Comics where he had worked in different capacities for 69 years.