In Memorium: Marvel Comics Inker and World War II Veteran Joe Sinnott

This past June, the family of Joe Sinnott announced that the legendary Marvel Comics inker had passed away. Sinnott was born on 16 October, 1926, so we’ve chosen to commemorate his life on what would have been his 94th birthday.

Joe Sinnott was born the sixth of seven children in Saugerties, New York. After serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, Sinnott used his GI Bill benefits to attend the Cartoonists and Illustrators School (later renamed the School of Visual Arts) in New York City.

Sinnott started his illustrating career at Dell Comics before bouncing between a number of other companies including DC, Classics Illustrated, Charlton, and EC Comics. Amid all of the hopping and bopping of a freelancer, Sinnott would cross paths with Stan Lee at Atlas Comics. Lee who would later bring Sinnott back to Marvel Comics, where he would ink his first superhero book, Fantastic Four issue 5, which was penciled by Jack Kirby (and coincidentally the first appearance of Dr. Doom). While Sinnott made his mark on many Marvel characters including Spider-Man and Captain America, he is probably most remembered for his long-running partnership with Kirby on Fantastic Four. Sinnott stayed on the title for about 15 years, long after Kirby left the book.

Sinnott (left) with Jack Kirby

Sinnott remained active even in his later years, collaborating with Stan Lee by providing the inks for The Amazing Spider-Man syndicated comic strip until its cancellation in 2019. He was also very active on the comic convention scene, regularly making signing and panel appearances.

Joe Sinnott passed away on 25 June 2020. According to his grandson, Dorian, “He enjoyed life and was drawing up until the end.”

Sinnott’s passing is just another reminder that we are truly losing our “greatest generation” at a rapid rate. It’s no mystery why so many of our most beloved superheroes came from the creative hands of real-life heroes.

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