Today family members and close friends reported on his Facebook wall that Marvel Comics’ ink artist Jim Sanders III had passed away yesterday, Monday the 20th of November. It was not reported what he died of but Jim had been sick for quite some time. The Inkwell Awards first became aware of Jim’s misfortunes when Josef Rubinstein brought it to Inkwell director Bob Almond’s attention in 2013. Hero Initiative had assisted Jim earlier but they do not normally assist return requests for help due to budget limitations. Jim and Bob had correspondence thereafter and the Inkwells circulated a message to the comic book community showing need, and subsequently, with the essential help of Inkwell special ambassador Clifford Meth, the non-profit was able to run two weeks of fundraising auctions to assist him with living conditions and expenses thanks to auctioneer Michael Kellar. Longtime Inkwell member Danny Best also assisted with this situation on his blog. Regrettably, requests for news/social media support fell short and the non-profit advocacy was only able to raise $455 not counting private donations. He again contacted Bob in 2016 after divorcing his wife, their last correspondence, and he said “thank you-I am overwhelmed by the support from those who gave it-very difficult time for me emotionally-disappointed by some but overall very greatful for those who helped and came thru-especially you knowing things have been rough for you these last months.” He was living in a nursing home but was soon actively taking on private commissions.
Born in Jacksonville, FL James Sanders would enter the comic book industry as a professional artist in the 1980s and would work for several publishers, primarily as an inker, over the years and into the 1990s such as Marvel/Marvel UK/Malibu/Epic, DC Comics, AC Comics, Valiant Comics, Image Comics and First Comics. “The Colonel”, as he was affectionately called by his friends, listed the following as his career summary on his Facebook account (edited): “freelance artist-formerly for Marvel and DC comics-primarily an inker, but has done coloring and character design- has worked with pencillers Ron Lim, Bryan Hitch, Todd McFarlane, and Erik Larsen- I am now open for commissions, both pencil and/or inks of comic book and fantasy characters-no nudity or porn plz”.
The Inkwell Awards offers our sincerest condolences to Jim’s family and loved ones for their loss.