Legendary Marvel Comics artist Joe Sinnott announced his retirement from comics with the release of his final Sunday edition of the Amazing Spider-Man comic strip, which Sinnott had been inking since 1992.
With this final strip (Alex Saviuk did pencils and inks on the daily comic strip with writer Roy Thomas, which will also be ending on March 23rd, with a new creative team possibly relaunching the strip in the future), the 92-year-old artist ends his regular work with Marvel Comics, where he has worked in one capacity or another for 69 years!
The final Sunday strip of the current creative team was posted on Joe Sinnott's Facebook page, along with a note stating, "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)"
Sinnott's son, Mark Sinnott, then replied to the post by announcing his father's retirement. He wrote, "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)"
Joe Sinnott was an uncredited assistant for artist Tom Gill (Sinnott would draw the figures and the background and then Gill would draw the faces so that it would look like Gill's work) when he approached Atlas Comics Editor-in-Chief Stan Lee about some assignments of his own. Since Gill was a regular artist for Atlas, Sinnott figured it would be an easy sell, and it was. Sinnott then drew stories for Atlas throughout the decade, although he branched out to other publishers, as well, when the Atlas worked dried up later in the decade.
By the 1960s, Sinnott was mostly working as an inker, but he still penciled comic books as well, including five of the earliest Thor adventures in Journey Into Mystery. Still, it was his work as an inker that made him a legend. Sinnott inked Jack Kirby and Jim Steranko on Captain America, but the comic book that Sinnott is best associated with from this period is clearly the Fantastic Four. Beginning with Fantastic Four #44, Sinnott inked the rest of Jack Kirby's run on the series (which included the introductions of the Inhumans, Silver Surfer, Galactus and the Black Panther) and Sinnott continued to ink (or do finishes for) Kirby's successors until the 1980s. This included comic book legends such as John Romita, John Buscema, George Perez, Rich Buckler, John Byrne and Bill Sienkiewicz. Sinnott then had a long run on the Avengers and West Coast Avengers, doing finishes for Al Milgrom before moving to Thor, where Sinnott did finishes for Ron Frenz on Frenz's run on the title with writer Tom DeFalco. That was Sinnott's last regular assignment in comic books, leaving his inking work on the Sunday Amazing Spider-Man comic strip being his last regular assignment in comics period until this Sunday.
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."
Joe Sinnott was elected to the Will Eisner Hall of Fame in 2013. Sinnott is also the namesake of the Hall of Fame of the Inkwell Awards, an organization dedicated to promoting and educating about the art of comic book inking. The portrait of Joe Sinnott we used for the featured image was done by Joe Orsak for the Inkwell Awards.