Tom Palmer
Born (1942-07-13) July 13, 1942 (age 80)
Area(s)Inker, Colourist
Notable works
Tomb of Dracula
Star Wars
The Avengers
AwardsAlley Award, 1969
Inkpot Award (2010)[1]
Inkwell Award for Favorite Finisher/Embellisher (2008)
Inkwell Award for The Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award (2014)

Tom Palmer Sr. (born July 13, 1942)[2] is an American comic book artist best known as an inker for Marvel Comics.


Although Tom Palmer has done a small amount of penciling work (as well as some cover art and some coloring), the vast majority of his artistic output since the 1960s has been as a comic book inker. Reminiscing about how he came to be an inker, Palmer 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.[3]

Especially noteworthy is Palmer's extensive work for Marvel Comics, including well-remembered runs paired with pencilers Neal Adams on The Avengers and Uncanny X-Men; Gene Colan, on titles such as Doctor Strange, Daredevil, and Tomb of Dracula; and John Buscema, on The Avengers. He also inked the entire run of John Byrne's X-Men: The Hidden Years.

Palmer is widely considered the definitive inker for Gene Colan, whose use of grey textures made his pencils notoriously difficult to ink in a way that did them justice.[4] Colan has stated publishers never answered his requests to be paired with a specific inker.[3] Palmer reasoned that, "I think the way we both worked in the business, we had a book to get out every month, bills to pay, and somehow we were put together as a team. We could have been forgotten and ignored, and we'd not be sitting here today. But somehow, I think, the fans have brought us to this point of recognition."[5]

Palmer's brushy, detailed, and illustrative inking style hearkens back to vintage newspaper comic strip strips like Steve Canyon and Tarzan, and has influenced later generations of inkers like Klaus Janson, Josef Rubinstein, and Bob McLeod.[6]

Palmer's son Tom Palmer Jr. is a comic book professional who had a long-running column, Palmer's Picks, in the now defunct Wizard Magazine: The Price Guide to Comics and he was also an editor for DC Comics.[7]


In addition to the awards below, Palmer was also named the #3 Inker of American Comics by Atlas Comics.[6]

Selected bibliography

Comic books

Marvel Comics


Annual #17 (inker), 300 (artist) 400


183 (1975–1981)

63, 65-91, 100 (penciller) # 10, 63, 65, 70,

87 (inker); #8-10, 46, 49–63, 65–94 (1981–

1985) Luke Skywalker: The Rise of a Hero



111–143; 73, 281–285, 288

(inker) (1999–2001)

DC Comics[edit]


348, 553–554, 80-Page Giant #1 (1982–



Action Comics Vol 1 749 Adventure Comics 80-Page Giant Vol 1 1 Adventure Comics 80-Page Giant Vol 2 1 Adventures of Superman Vol 1 563 Adventures of Superman Vol 1 564 Adventures of Superman Vol 1 570 Adventures of Superman Vol 1 571 All-Star Batman Vol 1 5

The Batman Chronicles Gallery Vol 1 1 Batman Secret Files and Origins Vol 1 1

Batman Versus Bane (Collected) Batman Villains Secret Files and Origins Vol

1 1

Batman: Bane of the Demon Vol 1 1 Batman: Bane of the Demon Vol 1 2 Batman: Bane of the Demon Vol 1 3 Batman: Bane of the Demon Vol 1 4 Batman: Black & White, Vol. 1 (Collected) Batman: Black & White, Vol. 2 (Collected) Batman: Bullock's Law Vol 1 1 Batman: Bullock's Law Vol 2 1 Batman: Gotham Knights Vol 1 15 Batman: Knightfall Vol. 1 (Collected) Batman: Knightfall Vol. 2 (Collected) Batman: Legacy Vol. 1 (Collected) Batman: Legacy Vol. 2 (Collected) Batman: Road to No Man's Land Vol. 1

(Collected) Batman: Road to No Man's Land Vol. 1

(Collected) Batman: Two Faces Vol 1 1 Batman: Two Faces Vol 1 2

Catwoman/Wildcat Vol 1 1 Catwoman/Wildcat Vol 1 2 Catwoman/Wildcat Vol 1 3 Catwoman/Wildcat Vol 1 4 Cyborg Vol 1 2 Cyborg Vol 1 2

Detective Comics Vol 1 704 Detective Comics Vol 1 725


  1. ^ Inkpot Award
  2. ^ Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Archived from the original on February 18, 2011. Retrieved December 12, 2010.
  3. ^ a b Field, Tom (2005). Secrets in the Shadows: The Art & Life of Gene Colan. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 91.
  4. ^ Field. pp. 83–84, 87
  5. ^ Field, p. 93
  6. ^ a b "The 20 Greatest Inkers of American Comic Books," Atlas Comics. Accessed Dec. 16, 2008.
  7. ^ Brevort, Tom. "Tom Palmer Lunch," Blah Blah Blog (Nov. 8, 2007). Accessed Dec. 16, 2008.
  8. ^ The Buyer's Guide to Comics Fandom #123 (March 26, 1976).

External links[edit]

Preceded byDan Adkins Doctor Strange inker 1968–1969 Succeeded byN/A Preceded byVince Colletta Uncanny X-Men inker 1969–1970 Succeeded bySam Grainger Preceded bySam Grainger Avengers inker 1970–1971 Succeeded byFrank Giacoia Preceded bySyd Shores Daredevil inker 1971–1973 Succeeded bySyd Shores Preceded byJack Abel Tomb of Dracula inker 1973–1979 Succeeded byN/A Preceded byCarlos Garzon Star Wars inker 1981–1985 Succeeded bySteve Leialoha Preceded byJoe Sinnott Avengers inker 1985–1996 Succeeded byDanny Miki Preceded byTom Palmer Jr. The Incredible Hulk vol. 3 inker 2002 Succeeded byScott Koblish