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.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New Bedford, MA/USA—March 7, 2019) The non-profit Inkwell Awards has put their weekly fundraising eBay auctions on hold until after their annual awards show in April.
“We really appreciate the support from our regular bidders and buyers over the years,” said Inkwells founder and director Bob Almond. “We depend on them to support our advocacy and support efforts. But our tiny committee is made up of working professionals who volunteer in their spare time. Lately we’ve all been swamped with work as well as family issues which have forced us to put things on hold for now.”
The 501(c)(3) advocacy changed their awards venue and date to the The Great Philadelphia Comic Con on April 12-14, which is two months earlier than their previous setup at Heroes World in June, causing them to move up their awards schedule. “The time-consuming work of nominations and tallying the winners had to be compressed into a shorter window, making us lose even more valuable auction time,” added Almond. “Thankfully, Special Inkwell Ambassador (and international rockstar), Jim Starlin, went above and beyond to raise funds for us last August. So we’re okay for now. But we’ll need the fans’ support again soon.”
According to Almond, auctions should resume either the final week of April or the first week of May. The first new ones will tentatively resume with the Sinnott Inking Challenge Spotlight on David Finch. Specific details will be announced as those events draw closer.
VOTING HAS ENDED. THANKS TO ALL WHO TOOK THE TIME TO PARTICIPATE. THE AWARD WINNERS WILL BE CONTACTED IN THE NEXT 24 HOURS. AT THE GREAT PHILADELPHIA COMIC CON! (April 12-14) THE RESULTS WILL BE REVEALED AT THE INKWELL AWARDS LIVE AWARDS CEREMONY (date/time TBD).
2019 Ballot Voting for the 2018 Inkwell Awards categories is now open. Click HERE to vote!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (New Bedford, MA/USA—February 14, 2019) The Inkwell Awards, the only non-profit organization devoted to public education and promotion of the art of comic book inking, invites everyone to VOTE for the industry’s best of the year. The official public ballot will be available on the Inkwells’ homepage from February 15 through March 1.
Voting is open to fans and professionals alike. The five categories are “Favorite Inker,” “Most Adaptable,” “Props” (inkers deserving more attention), the “S.P.A.M.I.” (Small Press And Mainstream/Independent) and “All-In-One” for pencilers who ink their own work. The ballot covers all printed American comic books cover-dated 2018.
“This is the first ballot with our revamped nomination procedure where inkers could submit their work,” said Bob Almond, founder, and director of The Inkwell Awards. “It made a huge difference. Every category had two to four names that were chosen from artist submissions.”
As a courtesy, also listed on the ballot are the nominees for two lifetime achievement honors. The first is the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame (“HoF”) award for an outstanding inking career of 25 or more years in American comics, whose winners are chosen by an internal committee (to avoid a “popularity contest” where recent names have more influence than past masters). Two nominees are awarded each year.
The other is the Stacey Aragon Special Recognition Award (SASRA), which differs from the HoF due to the artist being out of the “public eye,” having limited name-recognition due to semi- or full retirement or death, limited-yet-influential output, social barriers such as gender/race, or other factors that might otherwise limit their consideration for the traditional HoF award. It was posthumously named in honor of the first female member of the Inkwells who, according to Almond, “was the heart and soul of our organization.”
He also added, “Too many inkers go unnoticed or are glossed over by some awards events. Ours caters specifically to ink artists and allows them to be recognized and appreciated for their best work. We encourage all who appreciate great artwork to participate and share on social media; the more voters, the better.”
The winners will be announced at the live awards ceremony at The Great Philadelphia Comic Con! in Oaks, PA the weekend of April 12-14.
THE INKWELL AWARDS
OFFICIAL NOMINATION BALLOT
for 2018 cover-dated, interior, printed American comic-book material
(in alphabetical order).
Favorite Inker: Favorite ink artist over the pencil work of another artist.
(Cannot also be nominated for the “Props” award.)
A) Jay Leisten: Suicide Squad (DC); Astonishing X-Men, Avengers, Incredible Hulk, Return of Wolverine, Spider-Geddon, Venom Inc.: Omega (Marvel)
B) Mark Morales: Justice League (DC); Avengers (Marvel)
C) Joe Prado: Superman (DC)
D) Trevor Scott: Damage (DC)
E) Dexter Vines: The Wild Storm: Michael Cray (DC/Wildstorm)
F) Walden Wong: Astonishing X-Men, Captain America Annual, Incredible Hulk, Marvel Two-In-One, Venom (Marvel)
Artist showing exceptional ink style versatility over other pencil artists.
A) Marc Deering: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra, The Black Order, Black Panther, Legion (Marvel)
B) Jay Leisten: Suicide Squad (DC); Astonishing X-Men, Avengers, Incredible Hulk, Return of Wolverine, Spider-Geddon, Venom Inc.: Omega (Marvel)
C) Norm Rapmund: Action Comics, Batgirl, Batman Beyond, Deathstroke, Mera, Teen Titans, Titans (DC)
D) Cam Smith: Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps, Nightwing (DC); Amazing Spider-Man, Hunt For Wolverine: Claws of a Killer, X-Men Gold (Marvel)
E) Walden Wong: Justice League (DC); Astonishing X-Men, Black Panther, Captain America Annual, Incredible Hulk, Marvel Two-In-One, Venom (Marvel)
Props Award: Ink artist deserving of more attention for their work over other pencil artists. (Those nominated for, or past winners of, “Favorite Inker” are ineligible.)
A) Elisabetta D’Amico: G.I. Joe (IDW); Avengers, Fantastic Four, Spider-Men II (Marvel)
B) Eber Ferreira: Detective Comics, Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps (DC)
C) Ruy Jose: Avengers, Immortal Hulk (Marvel)
D) Daniel Henriques: Aquaman, Hawkman, Justice League, Supergirl (DC)
E) Jordi Tarragona: Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps (DC)
F) Le Beau Underwood: Noble, Superb (Lion Forge); Immortal Hulk (Marvel)
The S.P.A.M.I: Favorite Small Press And Mainstream/Independent ink work over another pencil artist (non-Marvel/DC work).
A) Stefano Guadiano: Walking Dead (Image)
B) Andrew Pepoy: The Simpsons (Bongo Comics); Yellow Submarine (Titan Books)
C) Brian Albert Thies: X-O Manowar: Barbarians (Valiant)
D) Le Beau Underwood: Noble, Superb (Lion Forge)
E) Ryan Winn: Bloodshot: Rising Spirit, Ninja-K (Valiant)
All-in-One Award: Favorite artist known for inking his/her own pencil work.
A) Joelle Jones: Batman, Catwoman (DC)
B) Mike Perkins: Green Lantern (DC)
C) Andrew Pepoy: Dinosaucers (Lion Forge)
D) Liam Sharp: Brave And The Bold, Green Lanterns (DC)
E) Lee Weeks: Batman, Batman Annual (DC)
**Sorry about posting this article late. It’s the follow-up to our earlier article. ~B
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Inkwell Awards Announces Artists For David Finch Spotlight Challenge
(New Bedford, MA/USA—December 26, 2018) The non-profit Inkwell Awards, devoted to promoting the art of comic book inking, has released the list of 24 artists participating in its fourth annual Sinnott Inking Challenge Spotlight. This year’s Challenge features artist David Finch‘s take on DC’s iconic Batman. The artwork will be auctioned afterwards for fundraising.
The artists (in alphabetical order) are:
Victor Olazaba Serna
According to founder/director Bob Almond, the Spotlight Challenge, which grew out of its original Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge, showcases other contemporary, fan-favorite talents on a more 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.
“We are thrilled to have such a positive response from such a great group,” Almond said. “We realize schedules are tight and ever-changing so we are grateful to those able to step up for this one.” He added that the list may change somewhat if schedules change but there will be 24 participants in total. “If there’s one thing we’ve learned during our decade-plus operation, it’s flexibility.”
The Challenge Spotlight furthers the inking advocacy’s dual mission of promoting the artform and educating the public. Blue-lined art files featuring a tightly pencilled David Finch Batman pinup are sent to the artists to finish and/or embellish in ink. Each inked page will be signed by Finch and the inker, and include a certificate of authenticity signed and numbered by Almond. All pages will then be auctioned off at a later date as a fundraiser. Fans will be able to see the difference in the pencilled and inked versions to better understand how much inkers contribute to the artform.
“On behalf of the Inkwells,” said Almond, “our sincerest thanks to DC, David, Erick Korpi for setting things up with myself and David, the inkers, and all involved for their cooperation, support of our program, and appreciation of ink artists.”
<Copy/pasted from my Facebook page>
To celebrate the 501(c)(3) non-profit INKWELL AWARDS 10th anniversary just before the year ends here is the 11”x14” anniversary limited print on 100lb. cover stock! It is the first time spokesmodel Ms. Inkwell co-creator RANDY GREEN has rendered the character since he designed her with me in 2010. We were also fortunate to get Inkwell special ambassador and multiple award winning color artist LAURA MARTIN to do her palette magic on it. Asst Director and artist MIKE PASCALE handled the copy and design. All related parties, including me and senior live spokesmodel HAILEY SKAZA-GAGNE have signed the signed & numbered Artist Prints limited to only ten (pictured) which comes with a certificate of certification. There are also unsigned but numbered regular prints limited to 50. These will not be offered for sale once they sell out. If you find us at a show Hailey, myself and spokesmodel KATHY DENISE TAYLOR can sign the regular editions.
I hoped to have these for sale earlier as an option for holiday sale but all participants had assignments and obligations to fill up their time. At least it was finished in 2018, unlike the 6th and final Sinnott Inking Challenge/Anniversary album as mentioned a few days ago. Thanks to all involved, and especially GOOGLEPLEX COLLECTIBLES who turned these around and shipped them quickly! They came out GREAT!! Owner Dean Morris has been my vender, a supporting vender of the non-profit and is producing something special for us in 2019! #googleplexcollectibles
*Regular numbered version = $10 donation +s&h
*Limited numbered/signed version w/ CoA = $20 donation + s&h
These are available immediately and will soon be added to our website store or straight from me (at shows or to ship) firstname.lastname@example.org. Our next show will be the GREAT PHILADELPHIA COMIC CON! April 12-14! #greatphiladelphiacomiccon!
While supplies last! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
<copy/pasted from Facebook> I’d like to apologize for the 6th (and intended to be final) JOE SINNOTT INKING CHALLENGE book which dually acts as a 10th anniversary album. It was delayed in 2017 for our anniversary in 2018 and it missed the June host show release. With only days remaining the completed sections put together by many gracious and supportive members and associates have barely been collected and developed beyond a proof. The buck stops with me and I apologize to not only anyone looking forward to seeing it but all the Challenge artist participants, the authors Cliff Meth and Tim Lasiuta, the various folks who fed Mike Pascale celebratory statements, Michael Netzer who painted a cover portrait of Joe Sinnott and Joe and Mark Sinnott themselves. We are making plans to try to get the book produced for 2019, preferably early on, through contacts. It will be something special so it’d be a shame if it were to languish in limbo indefinitely. I’ll report any updates here and please contact me if you can help or know someone that can!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: (New Bedford, MA/USA—December 14, 2018) The non-profit Inkwell Awards, the only organization devoted to promoting the art of comic book inking, announces its fourth annual Sinnott Inking Challenge Spotlight focusing on the pencil art of a legendary comics creator. This year features artist David Finch‘s take on DC’s iconic Batman. The artwork will be auctioned afterwards for fundraising.
“With the ongoing success of our original Joe Sinnott Challenge, we expanded the program to include the Spotlight Challenge in 2015, with even better results,” said Bob Almond, founder and director of The Inkwell Awards (AKA “The Inkwells”). “For this event, we showcase other contemporary, fan-favorite talents on a more limited scale with veteran published inkers who may or may not have participated in other challenges. Our last three pencillers included Jim Lee, Neal Adams and Erik Larsen.”
The original Joe Sinnott Challenge, which features pencils by the inking legend inked by various professionals, semi-professionals and amateur inkers, began in 2010 but is being postponed for next year due to scheduling reasons. “Our annual Inkwell Awards show has been moved up two months due to a venue change and Joe’s own schedule is full so we thought it best to take a break,” said Almond. “Plus it gives us more time to focus on the Spotlight.”
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 will be sent to just 24 artists to finish and/or embellish in ink. Each inked page will be signed by Finch and the inker, and include a certificate of authenticity signed and numbered by Almond. All pages will then be auctioned off at a later date as a fundraiser. Fans will be able to see the difference in the pencilled and inked versions to better understand how much inkers contribute to the artform.
The list of participating inkers will be named later. “On behalf of the Inkwells,” said Almond, “our kindest thanks to DC, David and all involved for their cooperation, support of our program, and appreciation of ink artists.”
Much kind thanks to Inkwell venders Theresa and Kate from the Kubert Art Store for their annual donation of boards towards this program.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Extended version)
(New Bedford, MA – November 18, 2018) The Inkwell Awards is announcing that their annual live awards ceremony will be relocating to the Great Philadelphia Comic Con! at the The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA commencing April 12-14, 2019. Their awards ceremonies for the previous eight years, including 2018, were held at the June HeroesCon in Charlotte, NC.
According to Inkwell Awards founder and director Bob Almond, HeroesCon promoter Shelton Drum invited the non-profit organization to his long-running, family-friendly show in 2011. “We had been left hanging by a major convention,” Almond said, “and Shelton, who had endured similar problems, wanted to support a kindred spirit and show that this altruistic, annual event could be done and well-supported.”
Almond added, “Changing venues is both sorrowful and exciting. Our presence at Heroes’ industry-respected and community-loved show further boosted our credibility and exposure, which helped with fundraising in the long run. We can truly thank HeroesCon for where we are now. But the 16-hour drives and related travel expenses each season would leave our budget almost wiped out.”
When asked about the switch in locations, Almond explained, “When Great Philadelphia Con’s Creator Relations and Artist Alley Director Stan Konopka with promoter Christopher D. Wertz offered us their venue and funding support for all expenses, we were thrilled. A mere six-hour drive is a huge relief for us. Christopher’s convention has grown in a short time in reputation and attendance from both the celebrity/artist guests and the fans.”
After much patient waiting, as of November 7 the Inkwell Awards have finally received the 2018 Inkwell Awards live awards ceremony which celebrated our 10 year anniversary with recording from A/V volunteer Matthew Tyndall and volunteer panel coordinator Andrew Mansell from this past June at Heroes Con, our 8th and final event at that location. But that’s not the disappointing part. I wish I’d known/been told that Matt would be editing out several moments of the 90+ minute program down to 31+ minutes, only a third of the experience. Communication was lacking. Realistically, I can see the video person cutting out the post awards Q&A maybe, and certainly the door prizes, but it didn’t start with my intro to the festivities nor, more tragically, Guest of Honor Mike Royer and his presentation, but instead it starts with me introducing Presenter Dan Panosian which followed all that. I am not surprised when my announcements about seasonal Inkwell highlights are cut out including the silver inkwell internal awards, new ambassadors, fundraising results from certain programs, etc. but I wish it had included my annual public request, for 8 consecutive years now, to the Eisner Awards (our community’s version of the Academy Awards) to return the separate Inking category to their ballot categories. The video thankfully included the 10th anniversary debut of the “Above & Beyond Awards” to celebrate some remarkable mission-supporting achievements, whether they be internally or community-based, but it cut out Inkwell Ms. Inkwell spokesmodel Hailey Skaza-Gagne’s acceptance speech (the only recipient of the three announced to be present) and the original art portrait by Bill Sienkiewicz which was revealed after her words. It seemingly also cut out our Stacey Aragon Special Appreciation Award awarded to Russ Heath who passed soon after in August, truly regrettable. But the guts are here with all five ballot categories being read and the award recipients announced by Dan and the winners making their statements. Same about the Sinnott Hall of Fame lifetime achievement Awards presented by special Inkwell ambassador Pat Broderick to Bob McLeod and Joe Giella with Bob’s statement and Joe Sinnott’s comments regarding the winners. FOR ALL THIS I SINCERELY APOLOGIZE, especially after the 5 month LONG delay.
I will say this, whether we record it ourselves (like we’d intended to do in June and the June before that and have in the past at Heroes) at our new host show venue, or the show will have someone on the show staff recording, either way it will include the ENTIRE (or at least the majority of the) event, not just a third of it, and it will be posted SOON AFTER the show weekend takes place.
For a full summary of the awards results, photos, statements and generally ceremony info you can find that here.