So sorry to hear about the passing of Gerry at Newsarama who was a member of the Inkwell Yahoo Group in the 2000s, now regrettably canceled, that was involved with my formation of the Inkwell Awards. He was a member of the proud legacy of Filipino ink artists that made their mark first in the Bronze-age at Marvel & DC. On behalf of the Inkwell Awards may he rest in peace and sincere condolences to his wife, loved ones and fans.
Author: Bob Almond
After a long break, stocking stuffer affordable original art sketch cards are up for grabs on eBay for the holidays! Good luck & happy holidays!
Bob and the Inkwells were recently invited to the 4th Syracuse New York Comic Con, a new venue for us, taking place on Saturday December 7. FREE ADMISSION! We don’t normally attend one-day shows but the promoter Jason Randall is pulling all stops to accommodate and promote myself and the non-profit. The attending team will consist of Bob, Senior Contributor Mike J. Prast will once again act as show assistant and we’ll be debuting new Ms. Inkwell spokesmodel Becka Sargent. You can find out more info at their website. Our 2020 public appearances schedule will be posted in December. (*Becka is not replacing anyone. Hailey and Kathy are still active but will be appearing, much like Beck, part-time as they attempt to juggle their Inkwell duties around their jobs at home.)
IT’S TIME TO GET RECOGNIZED! Submit your work for free for the 2019 Inkwell Awards!
YOU, the ink artist (or your agent/publisher), can submit your work for nomination in any of our five categories. (Unlike some other awards, we do not charge a fee.) While our volunteer nomination committee (“NomCom”) can still submit their choices, they just can’t see all the wonderful work during the year from all publishers large and small. So it’s up to YOU! We know no one likes to read long emails, but this is important and worth it (previous winners/submitters can skip the “Who We Are” section).
WHO WE ARE:
In case you still haven’t heard, The Inkwell Awards (inkwellawards.com) is an official 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to educate the public and promote the art form of comic-book inking, as well as annually recognize and award the best ink artists and their work. Founded in 2008, the organization is overseen by a volunteer committee of industry professionals and assisted by various pro ambassadors, numerous contributors and supporters. We sponsor the Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship Fund for the Kubert School and host the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award.
WHAT TO SEND:
1. Examples of TWO (minimum) to THREE (maximum) interior pages of published & printed comic-book ink work you’ve done from any USA-published comic book (per each category below) COVER-DATED 2019 (sorry, no webcomics unless also printed.). Send either links to your specific samples (not general site links), or low-res image files. (Do not send large files–we’re not a printer!) DO NOT SEND PHYSICAL COPIES–they will not be eligible.
(Make sure you read and understand the BIG RULES below before sending.)
2. Your NAME, preferred EMAIL ADDRESS, the TITLE/ISSUE #(s) and PUBLISHER.
3.The CATEGORY(-IES) to which it belongs. You may submit the same or different work to different categories, EXCEPT “Favorite Inker” and “Props”–pick one or the other. Categories are:
- Favorite Inker: favorite ink artist over the pencils of another artist. (Can’t be nominated for “Props.”)
- Most-adaptable: showing exceptional ink style versatility over other pencil artists. (Minimum TWO pages per penciller, up to three.)
- Props award: ink artist deserving of more attention for their work over other pencillers.
- The S.P.A.M.I: for favorite Small Press And Mainstream-Independent comic book ink work over another pencil artist (Non-Marvel or DC).
- All-in-one award: for favorite artist inking his/her own pencils.
WHEN TO SEND: The deadline is DECEMBER 31st, 2019 (we’ll post reminders, but earlier is better).
PLEASE help us help you by following the directions and rules specifically. If not, your work cannot be considered. We are merely a few working professionals who volunteer when time allows so we don’t have the time/manpower to micro-manage.
THE BIG RULES (Please read):
-Inks can be with traditional or digital tools (e.g., brush, pen, marker, stylus, Apple Pen, Wacom, etc., but NOT just pencils darkened/manipulated via Photoshop/software–must be drawn by HAND).
-Work must have been printed in the USA with a 2019 cover date. No Web-only comics.
-Our volunteer NomCom may also submit their choices. All entries will be considered equally and tallied.
-The core committee is not permitted to nominate, nor vote, for anyone (so save your bribes).
-All links sent must be to the specific pages being considered. Any general site links (“JohnDoe.com,” DeviantArt portfolios, etc.) will be ignored. No physical copies.
-If work does not meet the criteria above or is not submitted in accordance with these rules, it will not be considered. Fraudulent entries will be voided and will result in your not being considered for any future awards (and any awards won will be forfeited and given to the runner-up).
–The Inkwell Awards is not responsible for any power outages, server issues, software or hardware malfunctions, human error, acts of God, zombie apocalypses and any other stuff beyond our control.Again, if you have questions or need more info, send an email to either firstname.lastname@example.org, or to me directly at the address below.
Thank you and good luck!
Bob Almond (and The Inkwell Awards Committee)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: (New Bedford, MA/USA—June 21, 2019) The Inkwell Awards, a non-profit organization devoted to promoting the art of comic book inking, will auction the artwork for their fourth annual Sinnott Inking Challenge Spotlight, which focuses on DC’s Batman pencil art of award-winning creator David Finch. The fundraiser event debuts on June 23.
The Sinnott Inking Challenge Spotlight, which grew out of the Inkwell’s original Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge, showcases various contemporary, fan-favorite talents on a limited scale with veteran published inkers who may or may not have participated in other challenges. The previous three pencillers were Jim Lee, Neal Adams and Erik Larsen.
This year’s 24 participating ink artists (in alphabetical order) are:
Gerry Acerno, Ken Branch, Brett Breeding, AJ Cassetta, Keith Champagne, Kevin Conrad, Marc Deering, John Dell, Guy Dorian Sr., John Floyd, Scott Hanna, Tony Kordos, Jay Leisten, Criss Madd, Jose Marzan Jr., Mark McKenna, Andrew Pepoy, Rodney Ramos, Bill Sienkiewicz, Andy Smith, Mark Stegbauer, LeBeau Underwood, Keith Williams and Walden Wong.
“We are excited to see the amazing work from such a skilled and talented group,” said founder/director Bob Almond. “We realize schedules are tight and ever-changing so we are grateful to those able to step up for this one. I want to credit committee vet Erick Korpi for not only initiating this year’s program but for recruiting A.J. Cassetta, the Kubert School student recipient of the 10th annual Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship Award, to the line-up!”
The Challenge Spotlight furthers the inking advocacy’s dual mission of promoting the artform and educating the public. Blue-lined art boards featuring a tightly pencilled David Finch Batman pinup were sent to the artists to finish and/or embellish in ink. Each inked page is signed by Finch and the inker, and includes a certificate of authenticity signed and numbered 1 to 24 by Almond. All pages will be auctioned off on eBay as a fundraiser. Fans will be able to see the difference in the pencilled and inked versions through a gif to better understand how much inkers contribute to the artform.
“On behalf of the Inkwells,” said Almond, “our sincerest thanks to DC, David, the inkers, and all involved for their cooperation, support of our program, and appreciation of ink artists.”
Posted yesterday on social media:
“**AT LAST! INKWELL AWARDS FUNDRAISING AUCTIONS ARE BACK! Starting today we have 16 original art donations on the block on eBay for the next 7 days! Much kind thanks to the generosity of several donors and supporters such as Jae Lee, Elias Chatzoudis, Tony Kordos w/ Paul Pelletier, Joe Prado w/ Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez and Joe by himself, Brian Stelfreeze, Tom Raney, Walden Wong w/ Keith Giffen (2), Josef Rubinstein, Bob Camp, Mark Farmer, and a few past Inkwell Joe Sinnott Inking Challenges that weren’t run previously such as a Neil D Vokes embellished job over Loki, and for Erik Larsen’s Spotlight#3 Savage Dragon inks by Marc Deering, Scott James and Tom Schloendorn. These will be gradually leading up to the upcoming 4th Sinnott Inking Challenge Spotlight on…David Finch! PLEASE SHARE AND LOOK (BIDDING WOULD BE GREAT, TOO!) And thanks as always to my team that makes this all happen! https://www.ebay.com/sch/theinkwellawards/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_ipg=&_from=&rt=nc&LH_Auction=1
On May 4 the Kubert School had their annual scholarship awards ceremony and the Inkwell Awards awarded their 10th Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship Award with veteran core committee Erick Korpi representing our non-profit organization to AJ Cassetta. Special Inkwell ambassador, author and advocate Clifford Meth, who has represented us several times previously, was in absentia this year. So Erick assisted for disbursing his scholarships. Erick shared his experiences and details from this special event.
Thanks much to Michael Chen for the photos and info. And to Erick for taking the day to attend this event on behalf of us and the late Dave Simons and his sister Bette Simons Rock.
2019 Award Winners:
Danielle Farino — $1000 Dave Cockrum Scholarship
AJ Cassetta — $1000 Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship Award
Adam Quinones — $250 Gene Colan Scholarship
Adam Kubert, Kubert School Co-President
Carol Thomas, Kubert School Associate Director
Erick Korpi, representing the Inkwell Awards
Lloyd Briggery, Kubert School Events Coordinator
Mark Monahan, representing the Dave Monahan Family
Tyler Chin-Tanner, President & Co-Publisher of A Wave Blue World
Lisa Y. Wu, VP of Sales & Marketing of A Wave Blue World
A little late posting this here…
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (New Bedford, MA/USA—April 13, 2019) The Inkwell Awards released the list of winners of its 11th annual awards for excellence in the art form of comic-book inking. Nominees were chosen by a separate and independent nomination committee. This year the process was enhanced by inviting professional ink artists to submit their top work for consideration in each category. Nominators could also submit their own nominees and include inkers from both sources. For the first time, the same candidate could no longer be nominated for both the Favorite Inker and the Props categories. Voting by professionals and fans took place in February for two weeks on the official ballot at the non-profit advocacy’s website. One winner was chosen in each of five categories based on American interior comic-book work cover-dated 2018.
In addition, the Inkwells’ internal committee selected the two inductees of the annual Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame and two recipients for the Stacey Aragon Special Recognition Award (SASRA). Some of the winners were present (along with special guests) to receive their trophies on April 12 at The Great Philadelphia Comic Con! in Oaks, PA, the new host show for the Inkwells.
Winners are listed below with nominated credits and the percentage of votes received, where applicable. In four of the five categories, winners won with approximately twice as much as the next leading candidate, the largest margins in the awards’ history.
FAVORITE INKER: Walden Wong (48%) (Astonishing X-Men, Captain America Annual, Incredible Hulk, Marvel Two-In-One, Venom [Marvel])
Other nominees: Jay Leisten, Mark Morales, Joe Prado, Trevor Scott, Dexter Vines
MOST-ADAPTABLE INKER: Walden Wong (50%)
(Same above credits.) Other nominees: Marc Deering, Jay Leisten, Norm Rapmund, Cam Smith
PROPS AWARD (inker deserving of more attention): Elisabetta D’Amico (30%)
(G.I. Joe [IDW]; Avengers, Fantastic Four, Spider-Men II [Marvel])
Other nominees: Eber Ferreira, Ruy Jose, Daniel Henriques, Jordi Tarragona, Le Beau Underwood
S.P.A.M.I. (Small Press and Mainstream Independent): Stefano Gaudiano (37%) (Walking Dead [Image])
Other nominees: Andrew Pepoy, Brian Albert Thies, Le Beau Underwood, Ryan Winn
ALL-IN-ONE (pencilling and inking together): Lee Weeks (31%) (Batman, Batman Annual [DC])
Other nominees: Joelle Jones, Mike Perkins, Andrew Pepoy, Liam Sharp
THE STACEY ARAGON SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD (SASRA): Jack Davis and Marie Severin
Other nominees: Pat Broderick, John Buscema, Sal Buscema, Frank Chiaramonte, Johnny Craig, Mike Esposito, Michael Golden, Don Heck, Rick Ketchum, Peter Krause, Erik Larsen, Norman Lee, Steve Lieber, Todd McFarlane, Frank McLaughlin, Dave Simons
Mike Pascale wrote “Today we have two posthumous winners, but they have more than that in common. Both are Atom-Age alumni of the legendary EC Comics:
First is JACK DAVIS, one of the most loved and prolific artists in both comics and illustration. Jack was first published in Tip Top Comics, 1936, at the tender age of 12. After a stint in the Navy, the University of Georgia’s magazine and inking newspaper strips, Jack eventually joined Bill Gaines’s EC bullpen in 1950 as their fastest artist, pencilling and inking every genre including horror, war, western, science fiction, drama and of course humor. He was the cover and lead artist for Al Feldstein’s Tales From the Crypt and a founding member of Harvey Kurtzman’s “Usual Gang Of Idiots” for MAD, where he created laughs for 40 years. Over a half-century, Jack’s intricately inked and controlled color chaos graced the covers of TV Guide and Time magazine, several iconic trading card sets from Topps and others, and dozens of movie posters and album covers. Jack passed away in 2016 at the ripe age of 91. He was a SASRA runner-up in 2015 and nominee again in 2017.
The other recipient is MARIE SEVERIN who’s never been nominated for this category but regrettably left us just last year at 89. Another comedic action master, Marie started in comics in 1949 as a colorist for her brother John at EC. She studied color and its applications, making EC stand out amongst its more garish imitators. Marie’s comics artist career began at Marvel when they needed an artist for an Esquire magazine article. Upon seeing her work, Stan Lee gave her the art chores on Doctor Strange. In addition to a stint as their head colorist, she drew many major characters including a historic Silver Age run on The Incredible Hulk. She won an industry Shazam Award and was nominated for two others in the humor division for her landmark work in Not Brand Echh! and Crazy! magazine. In 1976 she designed and co-created Spider-Woman. She had a 50-plus year comics career and was inducted into the Eisner Hall Of Fame and won a Comic-Con International Icon Award.”
THE JOE SINNOTT HALL OF FAME: Neal Adams and Dan Adkins
Other nominees: John Beatty, Brett Breeding, Karl Kesel, Bob Layton, Pablo Marcos, Allen Milgrom, Bob Wiacek, Bernie Wrightson
J. David Spurlock shared: “Neal Adams is one of the most celebrated artists in the history of comicbooks. His work on Batman, Green Lantern, X-Men, Deadman, and the Avengers is literally, legendary. Adams has likewise been a staunch, innovative supporter of creator rights over the decades, fighting for art returns, royalties for all comics artists, and in the ’70s, he was key to securing a pension for the creators of Superman. This is the first time Adams has been celebrated specifically for his unique virtuosity with brush and ink.”
“Dan Adkins’ career spanned from T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents with Wally Wood, to drawing Dr. Strange in the far-out ’60s, launching Conan the Barbarian with Barry Windsor-Smith, classics featuring the Sub-Mariner and Silver Surfer with John Buscema, to art for sci-fi magazines and Creepy horror comics. Adkins’ work helped entertain millions of people, and he mentored a new generation. It is very deserving that the sometime Pennsylvanian is being honored here and now.”
Joe Sinnott, the award’s namesake and first winner, made the following statement about this year’s inductees: “I was thrilled to learn of the 2 newest members to be inducted into the Inkwell Awards Hall of Fame. Neal Adams has certainly made his mark in the comic industry. When I think of Neal, I am drawn to his work on Batman and Green Arrow. Also running Continuity Associates Studio in NYC that gave many new up and coming young artists their start in comics. Neal and I were fortunate enough to work together on two Thor stories (#s 180 & 181). Then decades later we were asked to work together once more on a Batman blank cover to support the Inkwell Awards. That was certainly a lot of fun.
“Dan Adkins has also had a long distinguished career in comics. Dan was a great penciller in his own right, but primarily as an inker. His work on the Dr. Strange comics is what I remember him best for. Dan, like me, was a very sought-after inker, having inked a number of artists, far too many to count. His ink line sure brought out the best in many pencillers. He is truly missed.
“It is with great pride and pleasure that we get to welcome these two fine artists and inkers into the Inkwell Awards family. Congratulations on your election into the Inkwell Awards Hall of Fame, and the newest recipients of the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award, class of 2019.
“Well done, Gentlemen!”
Joltin’ Joe Sinnott
The live awards ceremony featured an introduction by Inkwell Awards founder and director Bob Almond as host/MC, followed by Guest of Honor and 2012 Sinnott Hall of Fame Award recipient Mark McKenna (scheduled keynote speaker Scott Hanna, a 9-time Inkwell award recipient, was sick and not available Friday) who discussed the art form of comic-book inking and his 30-year career. Both were joined by two hostesses and spokesmodels as “Ms. Inkwell,” portrayed by Hailey Skaza-Gagne and Kathy Denise Taylor. Convention host J.M. Clark presented the five category awards. Clark and Almond each presented one of the two lifetime achievement awards.
Continuing for the second year was the Above & Beyond Award, for organization members who have performed exceptionally (or others in comics who have made special efforts to advance the art form of inking). Two were handed out by last year’s winner, Hailey Skaza-Gagne (the longest-running Ms. Inkwell spokesmodel), to Michael Hoskin, the second person to annually serve on the nomination committee for its 10-year existence; and Shelton Drum, creator/promoter of HeroesCon, who invited the organization to host its first live ceremony at the show in 2011 and annually through 2018.
Almond also awarded “Silver Inkwells” for five years of service to four nomination committee members: Jim Johnson, Edward Harris, Damon Owens and Shawn Pryor. Full acceptance statements from the winners will be found in the “Award Recipients” section of the Inkwell Awards’ website in the near future.
SPEAKERS SCOTT HANNA, LARRY HAMA, J. DAVID SPURLOCK ANNOUNCED FOR THE 2019 INKWELL AWARDS CEREMONY AT THE GREAT PHILADELPHIA COMIC CON!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (New Bedford, MA/USA—April 1, 2019) Industry luminaries and professionals will present the voting results from the annual Inkwell Awards at the inking advocacy group’s live awards ceremony during their new host show, the Great Philadelphia Comic Con!, in Oaks, PA. The event is scheduled for Friday, April 12 from 5:00-7:00pm at the The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in room 1. The convention runs from April 12-14.
Longtime ink artist, teacher, lecturer and nine-time Inkwell Awards record-holder, Scott Hanna, is scheduled to appear as the Keynote Speaker. “Scott has attended more of our ceremonies than some of our team members,” said Bob Almond, the Inkwells’ founder/director and MC of the event. “He’s also one of the best and most-prolific ink artists in the field, spanning four decades. We’re honored to have him attending our special day of recognition.”
In addition to Almond and Hanna, the convention’s Panel Coordinator and traditional host, J.M. Clark, will act as presenter. Both he and Almond will present the Inkwells’ lifetime achievement awards, the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award and the Stacey Aragon Special Recognition Award. Writer, artist and former editor Larry Hama will introduce one HoF recipient, and award-winning author, publisher and advocate J. David Spurlock will introduce the other.
Also appearing will be veteran hostess and senior spokesmodel Hailey Skaza-Gagne as “Ms. Inkwell”, who will be joined by Kathy Denise Taylor as a co-spokesmodel.
Other related guests at the convention include Inkwell ambassadors Aldrin “Buzz” Aw and Sal Velluto. There may also be surprise appearances at the ceremony by member-creators, the award recipients and/or other supporters.
The Inkwells have five categories: Favorite Inker, Most-Adaptable Inker, the “Props” award for under-recognized professionals, the S.P.A.M.I. (Small Press And Mainstream-Independent), and the “All-in-One” Award for the artist who inks his/her own pencil art. Except for the internally-chosen lifetime achievement awards, winners were chosen by fans and professionals casting ballots on the group’s site.
At the ceremony, Almond will also name recipients of the Inkwells’ “Above & Beyond” Award for
members, volunteers and others in the comics community who have served beyond the call of duty to educate the public and
promote the artform of comic-book inking and its ink artists.
“There’s so much turnover when you are working with unpaid members,” Almond added, “so when those rare and special volunteers stay long-term and go the extra yard for us, we thank them for their exceptional dedication.”
During the show, The Inkwells will be set up in Artists Alley. To help raise much-needed funds, they’ll be offering (for donations) a variety of limited edition, signed and other Inkwell merchandise.
They’ll also be displaying the blueline-inked original art for their 4th Sinnott Inking Challenge Spotlight, which this year was on fan-favorite David Finch. There will be about 20 interpretations for attendees to study and help understand and appreciate the skills of inking.
Almond concluded, “We can’t show enough gratitude to CEO and Promoter Christopher Wertz and Director of Artists Alley & Creator Relations Stan Kanopka for reaching out to us in hopes of making their convention our new home show for the long run. Their staff and ours are thrilled to make this inker-supportive event something unique and special for all attendees.”
From 2011 until 2018, the Inkwells’ host show was HeroesCon as run by promoter Shelton Drum in Charlotte, NC.
As reported at CBR and on Joe Sinnott’s Facebook page on March 18, first Inkwell special ambassador, Hall of Fame namesake, award recipient, Eisner Award winner, inking God and all-around great guy, JOE SINNOTT, is officially retired after 69 years of a continuous, prosperous and impactful comic book career in his life. Much-deserved relaxation for the Joltin’ One! He retired officially from Marvel Comics from monthly comic book deadlines back in 1992 (attached photo) and has worked on inking the Spider-man newspaper strip until this month as well as doing commissions, small assignments and convention hopping. Post retirement, only the convention attendance will continue and they will be limited and tentative dependent on Joe’s health. He’ll be doing limited signings at these shows but no sketching. How does this effect his association to the Inkwells? Not significantly. We will join him at two shows: at The Undiscovered Realm Comic Con in White Plains, NY May 4-5 we’ll be sitting beside him and we’ll both be in attendance at the Terrificon at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT August 9-11 (only 9-10 for Joe). We have the 6th Sinnott Inking Challenge Book & 10th Anniversary Album being produced after a three-year absence by new, incoming Book Production Editor Renee Woodruff. It will contain Joe’s “Sinnott Soapbox” and he will tentatively sign copies of this final edition to the Inkwell series. After giving Joe a season off, the 9th Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge has been discussed and is tentatively being considered with help from good family friend, handler and Inkwell senior contributor Jim Tournas. One thing is ultimately clear: the most important and shared goal of us and Joe’s family and friends is Joe’s health and wellness. Shows, signing and his Challenge, these are all subject to change and we will not put pressure on him about anything is he’s not up to it. After witnessing how Stan Lee’s final year played out we aim to be concerned and cautious about our loved one in our family first and foremost. He loves the medium and community but he still deserves to enjoy life in his twilight years. We hope you all understand.