Category Archives: Comic Books

Happy Birthday, Joe Sinnott!

I have to post this fast, before Joe’s 87th birthday is over! This is the first photo I’ve seen of Joe since his shoulder replacement surgery. Haven’t heard yet if he’s added working at his drawing board to his physical therapy routine.

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While I’m on the subject of comic books, a couple of things. PBS has made a big splash with the 3-part documentary Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle, and if you go that link the entire thing is supposed to be online for a limited time.

My interest level dropped off quickly in the third part of Superheroes, and I could nit-pick the first two parts — Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko deserved even more attention than they got — but as I said six years ago, when In Search of Steve Ditko by Jonathan Ross came out, I’m happy that comic books are now widely accepted as a valid creative medium. My mother sure didn’t think they were more than trash when I was a kid, because that’s where she threw my collection. In the second part of the documentary I was pleased to see Jim Steranko being featured prominently.

IDW Publishing has announced something that has me ignoring my self-imposed restriction on buying more big books, and these are REALLY big books! The Steranko Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Artist’s Edition, and the Steranko Nick Fury and Captain America Artist’s Edition. What makes these IDW editions special is that they’re scanned from the original art. After all these decades, Steranko has held onto all of the original pages — well, most — of his ground-breaking comic book work, and for fans like me this is the payoff.

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There is at least one piece of Steranko original art that isn’t in the possession of its creator. To scan the original cover art for Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #8, IDW will have to borrow it from none other than Jonathan Ross.

J. David Spurlock with Jonathan Ross

Joltin’ Joe on the mend

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That’s Joe Sinnott, a Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame inductee, with Tommy John. Yes, Tommy John the former Major League pitcher, famous for a particular type of elbow surgery. On Thursday Joe had some orthopedic surgery himself, but it wasn’t on his elbow. He had a shoulder replacement done and, yes, it’s his pitching arm — I mean his drawing arm! So Joe needs a lot of “GET WELL SOON” wishes while he heals and goes through physical therapy. Joe’s not an online guy, and he can be reached at this address:

Joe Sinnott
PO Box 406
Saugerties, NY 12477

I have something very unique and special. It’s a Sinnott-Sinnott Mighty Marvel Team-Up. A tapestry made by Joe’s daughter-in-law, Belinda, based on a drawing by Joe.

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Belinda is a whiz at making hooked rugs, and she’s been at it for a long time. When I saw her work for the first time, my immediate, spontaneous reaction was, “do one with Lockjaw!” Lockjaw is one of my favorite Fantastic Four supporting characters, created by Jack Kirby. He’s a giant 4th dimensional bulldog that can transport himself, and others, through space. But you knew that. ;-)

At first Belinda thought I was kidding, but I persisted and convinced her that I was serious about commissioning her to do a Lockjaw tapestry. Belinda is quite creative on her own, and she suggested that Lockjaw by himself may not be enough for visual interest, and she asked if I had another character in mind. Well, that was easy. Dragon Man, of course! And so, the team of Sinnott and Sinnott started working.

Here are Joe and Belinda with the completed preliminary drawing. That’s probably the last photo taken of Joe holding his right arm up so high, before his shoulder gave out for good.

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And here’s the finished masterpiece. Joe said, “Belinda put blood, sweat, and tears into this one, Doug!” And I don’t doubt it! Click to enlarge and see all of the detail and texture that Belinda put into this one-of-a-kind Marvel Masterwork.

Lock Jaw and Dragon Man. I love these guys!

Dragon Man and Lockjaw. I love these guys!

P.S. By the way, this was posted on the 7th anniversary of the blog.

Truth, Justice, and the Humanist Way

Superman #215, April, 1969

Superman #215, April, 1969 – Page 14, panel 4

On my Kindle Keyboard I’m in the middle of reading Larry Tye’s excellent book about the ultimate illegal alien, Superman: The High-Flying History of America’s Most Enduring Hero. The Boston Globe has a piece by Tye about Superman’s moral compass. The article is at this link, and it requires a login. If you have trouble logging on, click here.

The Superman radio show of the 1940’s with Bud Collyer led to the Superman movie serials with Kirk Alyn, which in turn led to the 1950’s TV series with George Reeves. On occasion the radio series took Superman back to his original comic book roots as a social crusader, and in Tye’s op-ed he points out a 16-part 1946 story called Clan of the Fiery Cross. It can be heard at this page on Archive dot org.