Sunday, April 18, 2010

Joe Sinnott: Everything is Beautiful

As we circle the wagons to help Gene Colan, I find myself in touch with old friends and had the great pleasure of speaking with Joe Sinnott for quite some time this morning about Gene and Dick Giordano and careers and what a drag it is getting old and what a blessing it is to have family when it happens and how it doesn’t necessarily beat the alternative when you don’t.

“It’s been tough since Betty passed away,” said Joe remembering his wife of 56 years. “She did everything for me. I never even wrote a check. But I've got my kids and my grandkids--they all live very close by and we’re together all the time. I just got back from breakfast at my daughter’s home. She’s just 10 minutes from here and I have breakfast there every Sunday.”

Joe, who is nearly 84 now (just like Gene) also suffered a bad shoulder injury four years ago, from which he’s only partially recovered. He was visiting his pal Mickey Spillane at his new home (the first one having been torn up by Hurricane Hugo) when he suddenly pitched forward and fell off the author’s deck, breaking his shoulder in four places. “I can still draw but I can’t easily lift the shoulder to dip my brush in ink,” says Joe. “So I use the other hand to dip the brush. There’s still pain but you get used to it, you know? I’m just grateful that I can still draw. I love the work. That’s what keeps you young.”

Joe is looking forward to Pittsburg Comicon. “My son Mark, who is 49, loves these comics conventions and he knows more about comics than I ever did, so we go to everything together. I just look forward to seeing old friends so I’m sorry Gene won’t be there. I’ve always admired his work and we’re friends for many years.”

Everything Joe talks about has a silver lining. He mentions how grateful he is knowing that one day he’ll leave behind a legacy of work for his family to look back on. But clearly that’s only a small part of what they’ll remember. Despite his wife being gone, and the recent tragic loss of one of his daughters, everything is beautiful to Joe Sinnott.

photos of Joe Sinnott and Gene Colan at Creation Con 1977 (top) and in 2007 (bottom) courtesy of Mark Sinnott)

1 comment:

Mike P said...

Wow, that was incredible. I don't know which was more wonderful-the column or the two photos! Just a great piece on two great guys who do great work.

Thanks, Cliff.

Mike Pascale