It’s been mentioned from time to time and images have begun appearing on Facebook but some of you may be asking exactly what is the Sinnott Inking Challenge Spotlight?
It’s an Inkwell Awards spin-off of the popular and successful original Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge that has been an annual event since I introduced it in 2011. Named and focused on the Inkwell special ambassador and Hall of Fame namesake, Joe Sinnott renders a character in tight pencils and another in loose pencils (breakdowns) and the challenge is for other inkers to interpret his work in ink. This idea has worked on two fronts. First, the artists donate their page, inked over blue lines of the pencils and signed by both Joe and the inker, to the Inkwells and we auction them off on eBay for fundraising. Second, between the event and the subsequent book collection we visually reinforce what the ink artist brings to the table in a ‘before & after’ comparison. The goal meets our mission state about educating what the art form of inking is. The first collection debuted in 2012 and the fifth and latest came out this past June 2015. All are available in our Store (with free signatures by Joe).
The success of the program had myself talking to former and founding committee member Jim Tournas a couple of years ago about a related program, still named after Joe in tribute, where other fan-favorite artists would authorize us with using their pencil art for a similar challenge and we’d rotate the artist for every event. I later handed the program which had lain dormant to another committee member (he prefers to not be credited because after the fact, today, I discovered that his project was significantly different than what it became). He took the promise of the task and ran with it, attending a New York-based DC editorial meeting and discussing the program to Jim Lee. Jim, with Eddie Choi of DC Comics, authorized that the Inkwell Awards could use his hi-res pencil file from his cover of Superman Unchained#2 (originally inked by his oft-partner Scott Williams). He signed about a dozen blue lines of the pages and we began the hunt for inker participants. Regrettably, that committee member would resign from the team and his project last spring. After sitting in limbo again contributor Joe Goulart volunteered to develop the program to build upon his accomplishments. At Heroes Con and subsequent summer/fall shows many notable artists where recruited. We decided that while the original Sinnott Challenge event was open to anyone (but not guaranteed a spot in the book collection), the Spotlight event would be ‘invite only’ and on a smaller scale.
Presently the following artists have agreed to contribute/donate to the project:
Joe Sinnott, Klaus Janson, Josef Rubinstein, Walden Wong, Wade von Grawbadger, Victor Olazaba, Mark McKenna, John Dell, Bill Sienkiewicz,
Scott Hanna, Bob Wiacek, Mike Lilly, Sean Parsons, Kevin Conrad, Cory Hamscher, Joe Prado, and some others that are in the works. For all of these participants this has been an honor and thrill to take a shot at the Challenge of interpreting and enhancing Jim’s work and having the best in the business involved adds a healthy does of competition which the charity, fans and bidders ultimately benefit from. The working deadline presently is just prior to Christmas so that all pages can be received, scanned and auctioned off in the new year. Much like the original Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge (also taking place this season), there’s tentative plans to collect everything into a charity book later.
In 2016 we can ask and decide “WHO SHALL MEET THE JIM LEE SPOTLIGHT INKING CHALLENGE?”