Legendary Comic Book Inker Tom Palmer’s Death at 80
It’s with the deepest sadness we inform you of legendary comic book inker Tom Palmer’s death at the age of 80. The devastating news was shared on August 18, 2022.
A post to Palmer’s Facebook page announced: “We are very sad to share the news that legendary comic book inker and artist Tom Palmer passed away on August 18, 2022, at the age of 81. He will be remembered fondly by his loving family and his many fans.”
Tom Palmer Sr. was born on July 13, 1942, in the United States. Although he created a small amount of penciling work, the vast majority of Palmer’s artistic output since the 1960s was as a comic book inker.
Reminiscing about how Palmer came to be an inker, he recounted: “I walk in the door and pencil [an] issue of Doctor Strange – first job I ever penciled. At the time, I thought I did a good job, but really it was a stinker. It wasn’t up to par.”
“I went back two weeks later to get the next issue, and they said, ‘No, we’re getting someone else to pencil it; would you like to ink it?’ I said ‘Sure!’ I’d never inked anything before! But to this day, if someone asks, ‘Can you handle this new assignment?’ I’ll say ‘Sure!’ I may not know how to tackle that specific assignment today, but by tomorrow or next week I will.”
Palmer did some pencils, colors, and cover art during the course of his decades-long career. He started his professional career on Doctor Strange in 1968.
The artist would continue to work for Marvel regularly until the early 2000s. Later in life, he would continue to work in comics, shifting his focus to companies like Valiant and IDW.
Palmer had a long career as a painter and illustrator in the advertising industry and worked with companies like Hertz and Panasonic.
He would go on to work with iconic artists like Neal Adams and Gene Colan on a variety of Marvel titles. Palmer would earn acclaim working on Colan especially, because his style was difficult to ink, and he had a reputation for making it work.
Tom worked with Colan on Tomb of Dracula and Daredevil. He inked Adams on Uncanny X-Men and John Buscema on The Avengers. Later, the artist would work on notable event series and miniseries like X-Men: The Hidden Years, Magik, Marc Spector: Moon Knight, and Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
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Comic World Mourns Tom Palmer’s Death
Tom Palmer’s death was confirmed by a post shared on his Facebook page but his cause of death has not been announced at this time. May he rest in peace.
The great artist drew The Man in the Iron Mask and The Three Musketeers. During his career, he won a Comic Fan Art Award, an Inkwell Award, an Alley Award, as well as 2014’s Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award from the Inkwells.
Palmer’s son Tom Palmer Jr. followed his father into the comics industry, well known for his Wizard magazine column Palmer’s Picks, as well as for his time as an editor at DC.
Following the news of Tom Palmer’s death, her friends and fans took to Twitter to express their deepest condolences.
The official Twitter account for Copper Age Gold tweeted: “We have just learned that legendary comic book artist Tom Palmer has passed away. Tom was known as one of the best inkers to ever work in the comic book industry. We send our condolences to his family and friends.”
Jimmy Palmiotti shared a picture of Palmer and wrote: “I told him more than a dozen times how I admired his work & he was one of my favorite artists. I also told him he made everyone he worked over look so much better.”
He continued: “Man, he had major skills. He was sweet, generous, and kind to everyone. I will miss him. R.I.P. I would see him and his daughter carrying portfolios at the start of a show and walk with them both and give them a hand in the process and chat. Both such lovely people.”
Dan Slott said that he had the honor to be the assistant editor on some of Palmer’s books in the 90’s. Slott added: “He was already a legend back then, and a total pro at his job, always delivering the highest caliber of work and always on time. And an absolute gentleman too.”