Tom Palmer 1941-2022

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Tom Palmer passed away three days ago at the age of eighty-one. He was a master inker and finisher, spending almost the entirety of his career as such working for Marvel Comics.

For the longest time, inkers got very little acclaim for their work in comics. Joe Sinnott was the first one to sorta get the “star” treatment for his work, while Terry Austin would be lauded similarly later on, but Tom Palmer is right up there with both those guys.

Palmer first gained notice in the late 1960s when the powers that be at Marvel partnered him up with Neal Adams on Avengers and X-Men. Then, in the 70s, Palmer was similarly paired with Gene Colan on almost everything Colan did, from Daredevil to Tomb of Dracula to Dr. Strange. Palmer also did a great deal of work on Marvel’s Star Wars title during this period, where he contributed pencils, colors, and even a few painted covers in addition to his inking work. He also inked the lengthy John Buscema run on Avengers in the mid to late 80s.

A gifted inker, a great illustrator, and a touchstone name for comic fans of my generation.

R.I.P., Tom Palmer.

2 thoughts on “Tom Palmer 1941-2022”

  1. A couple of years ago my daughter bought me a Marvel duvet and pillow case set for the bed where I go when my back condition impinges upon my wife’s sleep. It wasn’t cheap and that is reflected in the quality of the reproduced artwork which allows easy identification of both original artist and inker (for those of us who care about such things).
    I mention this only because I regularly share a pillow with a panel from “The Man Called Nova” #3 pencilled by Sal Buscema and, unmistakably, inked by the one and only Tom Palmer.
    Another light of the Bronze Age has been extinguished.

    1. Not a lot of free time in the last week, as I seem to be fighting one figurative fire after another around the house here lately, but I didn’t want the passing of Tom Palmer to go without comment. Another reason for the brevity is that discussing the deaths of these big Bronze Age names gets depressing for me, and the fact that we’ve been losing more and more of them in recent years makes it still worse.

      If I were to explore things in greater detail, maybe include some illustration samples, the one thing I would have gotten into more deeply was the pairing with Gene Colan. Not a lot of guys meshed well with Colan, but Palmer did so magnificently. He will be missed.

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