Thursday, September 19, 2013

True or False: Joe Sinnott's Addition to the FF Staff Was the Best Creator Change of the Silver Age


david_b said...

I thought we'd have a hard question today...:

TRUE (in a subjective sense...).

Mr. Sinnott's inks was the best thing to happen to the FF's long history.., a close second to the Lee/Kirby team. I was not liking Chic Stone's finishing touches at all.

Other Silver Age creator changes come close..:

1) Romita taking over for Spiderman;

2) Infantino's 'new look' for Batman;

3) Steranko on Captain America;

4) Perhaps Buscema on Avengers, and arguably Conan (from Smith..) but that may be more Bronze-ish.

Great topic..!

Joe S. Walker said...

Absolutely true, though I always liked Chic Stone on Kirby. Until Mike Royer came along, he was possibly the inker closest to Kirby's original pencil style.

Doug said...

David, that's a great set of nominees to enhance today's discussion. Certainly the Infantino Batman helped to move the character toward the era of O'Neil/Adams that would begin the Bronze Age -- pretty significant!

I wonder if the impact of Amazing Spider-Man #s 121-122 would have been as great had Romita not enjoyed the run he had on the book in the second half of the 1960s and into the Bronze Age? The Jazzy One brought a soap operar-ish, lushly illustrated feel to the magazine that really humanized the characters (who were already great under the care of Steve Ditko) and made readers care as much for the non-Spidey moments as they did for the slam-bang stuff.

Also, just as a note: the image of FF #48 in the post is my copy. Which is for sale as part of my collection (wanting to move all of it, not separate). Just sayin'...


Humanbelly said...

Pffft--- true, truetruetrue. . . true.

Although I know there are voices out there (possibly on this board) who legitimately do not like Sinnott. I think the criticism I've heard most is that his style overwhelms the style of whomever the penciler is. But truly, when I read through the whole series 'way back, the FF never fully "looked" like themselves to me until Joe took on the inking chores. I do think he improved Kirby, even, as Joe always made the visuals look cleaner, clearer, sharper-- more "real", I guess. If there was a House Look for inkers, clearly Sinnott set that standard.

And as I've mentioned many times 'round here, I maintain that Joltin' Joe was the visual salvation of The Avengers during Al Milgrom's time on that title in the 80's.


Edo Bosnar said...

Don't know if I'd call it the best creator change of the entire Silver Age - people seem to be forgetting Neal Adams on X-men, David makes a great point about Buscema (although I'd say both John and Sal) on Avengers - but I tend to agree with HB that it was certainly the best thing to happen to Fantastic Four. The Lee/Kirby run really looked its best with him doing the inks.

Doug said...

Edo, the funny thing about Big John taking over the Avengers from Don Heck is that (speaking of reading reprints, not reading at the time) I don't dislike Heck's tenure on the team at all. In fact, he in the reprints and Sal on the Celestial Madonna arc were my entry points to the title.

That being said, John Buscema's run through the high Silver Age is the best the book has ever looked, in my opinion.

I would offer that Sinnott's appearance over Kirby was as "jolting" a difference as Romita's first Spidey post-Ditko. THAT noticeable.


Doc Savage said...

False. Made no difference to me. New Look Batman saved Detective from cancellation and brought in some great new characters like Poison Ivy and Batgirl.

But the best change was Jerry Siegel taking over the Fly with Paul Reinman.

Anonymous said...

You guys are reaching.

Doug said...

HB --

The years you reference on the Avengers may be the lowest point any of Marvel's key titles ever went through. As part of my complete run of volume one I of course own those books. But I have never read them, and have no plans to.

Personally, I found the Milgrom/Sinnott combination "cartoony" (this is no hate to Sinnott, just the combination -- which stretched over to the WCA also). If we were going to do a similar post for the 1980's, I'd argue that JB/Palmer coming onto the book was as stark a contrast as some we've already mentioned, such as Romita and Infantino.


Doug said...

Anonymous (love that) --

What do you mean? It's a question to generate discussion.


Edo Bosnar said...

Sorry, man, if you mean a "jolt" from what came before, I have to go back to X-men: Neal Adams, with Tom Palmer inking to boot, was such a drastic difference from the mainly Heck and Roth work that preceded it that none of the other examples really compare.

Doug said...

Edo, I would have no trouble at all agreeing with your statement. I am always sad when thinking how short Adams's tenures were on X-Men and the Avengers.

Question -- was Sinnott's run with Kirby uninterrupted? I don't recall any issues in the regular series nor any Annuals where someone else inked the King once Sinnott had joined the team.

Also, it's worth mentioning -- Sinnott inked FF #5, the first appearance of Dr. Doom. Visually, it really stands out among those first couple of years of the book.


Humanbelly said...

"Striving", Anonymous-- we're "Striving". It has a much more noble and positive connotation.

(C'mon, chum, if you're gonna cast unsupported criticisms, go ahead and have the courtesy to create some sort of identity, eh? Heck, there may be other "anonymous" posters out there who may not want you speaking for them, as it were. This is a fairly congenial group-- I don't think I've ever seen one flame-out happen over a disagreement in matters of taste or preference.)

I, too, had forgotten about the Roth-to-Adams transtion in the X-Men. I think that one probably would top Joe's comin' on to FF. But-- can anyone think of a single other inker change that had such a profound impact on the look/perception of the book? I dunno. . . that's a tough one. Especially in the Silver Age. . .

Oh! Holy Cats! John Severin over Herb Trimpe in the Hulk! How could I miss that?


Karen said...

We're reaching? OK, "Anonymous," why don't you come in and give us a good, thought-provoking question. Or maybe stay longer than 30 seconds and explain what you mean. It's easy to do a no-name drive-by.

I think Sinnott was huge for the FF, which stands in my mind as the most ground-breaking comic of the Silver Age -or maybe any age. So yeah, it's a valid topic.

Adams is a good one too, as is Romita taking over Spidey. Lots of good creators to discuss here. Although I gotta wonder if Matt was joking about the Fly...

Anonymous said...

In the interest of reaching/striving, does "Creator" have to be an artist or inker? How about Roy Thomas on the Avengers?


Doug said...

Tom --

It's all yours, brother! "Creator" can be whatever or whomever you want it to be.

And Roy's a good suggestion on many a'book.

And in case there's any worry about negativity in the nature of the question, I don't think any of us are denigrating what came before. "Better" does not mean that what was replaced was bad.


Anonymous said...

While it is on a late Bronze Age Avengers issue, Joe Sinnot's signature is on my prized comic possessions. :)

Edo Bosnar said...

Striving, HB? Mere striving? I say thee nay! 'Tis yearning! Yearning for the age when the very pages of the booklets so woefully misnomer'd as 'comic' shimmered with the silvery light of morning dew - aye, a morn that would give way to a high noon of resplendent bronze... Reaching?! Striving?! - fie!

...wait, what was the question again?

Rip Jagger said...

I am an unabashed fan of Chic Stone's work on "King" Kirby's Marvel work, but that said, there's no denying that Joltin' Joe Sinnott gave the whole shebang a sophisticated gloss that elevated the whole affair.

I consider Mike Royer Kirby's "Best" inker, but Sinnott was certainly the one who helped to meld the FF into a first class operation.

Other changes that came to mind were John Buscema's taking the reins of The Avengers heralding his soon-to-be-role as Marvel's go-to artist, and Jim Steranko's spin on SHIELD which to this day defines his comics career.

Rip Off

Doc Savage said...

I still stand by the Fly conversion into Fly Man! Went from a run-of-the-mill super hero to hilarious outdoing of Marvel's tropes. Lots of fun and great artwork.

J.A. Morris said...

True, but I'd say "Joltin' Joe is tied with Romita becoming the regular Spider-Man artist.

For me, there's the FF before Sinnott and after Sinnott. When most people mention "Kirby's FF", they really mean "Kirby & Sinnott's FF". The series made a great leap in quality when Sinnott became the regular inker. He was also instrumental in the books history, providing continuity to the FF's art from departure of Kirby into 1981.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'd have to vote for Romita replacing Ditko on Spidey...that was definitely a jolt! Also O'Neill/Adams revamping Batman...I think they started in the (late) Silver Age.

Mike W.

Graham said...

Doug, regarding Sinnott's tenure with Kirby, Frank Giacoia inked several issues in the 90's...I was reading through some of these a while back. Can't remember the exact issue numbers, but remember it was near the end of Kirby's run.

Great question and definitely true. Sinnott did bring out the best in Kirby's pencils.

Anonymous said...

Hmm dunno about the addition of Joltin Joe being THE best creator change of the Silver Age, but it sure is up there. While many people think Mike Royer complemented Kirby's pencils best, I believe that Sinnott also enhanced the King's sketches considerably. Like JA Morris said, it was the combination of Kirby and Sinnott which most FF fans remember as being the classic standard for the FF.

The closest would be Jazzy John Romita Sr. as the new artist on Spidey. I'm in awe of both these two gentlemen so I won't even try to rank how Sinnott and Romita changed the direction of their respective books.

- Mike 'Sinnott shoulda replaced Vinnie Colletta on Thor too!' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Edo Bosnar said...

As to the subject of Kirby's best inker, I would put Sinnott at the top, followed closely by Joe Simon.

david_b said...

Actually I seem to recall there WAS an inker who substituted for Joe Sinnott on a Kirby FF issue or two, but yesterday was WAY too busy for me to research.

It was either in an Annual (not a reprint..) or a single ish, will have to check further when I have time...

Matthew Bradley said...

Just took a quick look on the Marvel Comics Database, and it seems that the non-Sinnott issues between when he became the regular inker on #44 and the King's last issue, #102, were #s 93 and 96-7, all of which were indeed inked by Frank Giacoia. So Joltin' Joe missed an unbroken 50-issue run with Kirby by a single month!

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