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.”
“**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 has represented us several times previously in absentia. This year he was not able to make it in so Erick assisted for his scholarships. Erick can share 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
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.
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.
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 JoeSinnott 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.”
**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.”