POST-SHOW: THE 2016 INKWELL AWARDS AWARD CEREMONY SPEECH TRANSCRIPT

Due to Jim Steranko asking to start speaking first we restructured the ceremony from the usual timeline.  Between him running over as well as other speakers, I only read about the Scholarship info and silver inkwell recipients.  I skipped the rest of my speech on highlights in the past season like our two Challenge programs and fundraising and my usual rant about the Eisner Awards still not having an Inking category. Once I get it to work I will add the video recording of this ceremony and the adjusted speech above this article and possibly in the Winners page to come. Bob

Welcome to the Inkwell Awards 9th annual, and 6th live, awards ceremony! To all the new attendees, a sincere thanks for your support for the recognition of and promotion for the art form of comic book inking, and for returning attendees and members, much gratitude for your ongoing solidarity. This year we have a special treat and privilege to share with you. We are tossing the script and usual structure of the ceremony for a more than worthy reason as we will be starting off with a milestone, special appearance and presentation by Jim Steranko. But before I officially present him, I want to make a request and a note: please refrain from using any flashbulb photography while Jim is on stage. And second, Jim will be discussing a variety of things related to inking and among those things will be mentioning of a couple of notable ink artists who happen to be the latest lifetime achievement award recipients. They will be further mentioned later when I present all of the 2016 award winners. So now that we have that all covered, I am truly honored at this time to call to the podium, illustrator, publisher, author, musician, escape artist and Eisner Hall of Fame comics creator, Jim Steranko!”

<Jim speaks>  

Before proceeding I want to give a Heroes’ thank you to Shelton Drum who reached out and welcomed us six years ago for this convention to be our host show. I also want to pass the love on to Andrew Mansell, Rico Renzi, Trey Alexander, Karla Marsh and the entire Heroes Con staff. Unlike some, Shelton and company are not dismissive of ink artists. They are true supporters, friends and fans of inkers and it’s thanks to them that we get our own day to be heard and recognized.

Continue reading POST-SHOW: THE 2016 INKWELL AWARDS AWARD CEREMONY SPEECH TRANSCRIPT

POST-SHOW: THE 2016 INKWELL AWARDS AWARD RECIPIENTS ANNOUNCED!

Abbreviated version: the full article was posted today at FirstComicsNews.

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(New Bedford, MA/USA—June 20, 2016) The Inkwell Awards has released the names of the winners of its ninth annual awards for excellence in the art form of comic book inking. As before, nominees were chosen by a separate and independent nomination committee. Voting via live ballot at the non-profit advocacy’s website ran from April 15-30. One winner was chosen in each of five categories based on American-based interior comic-book work cover-dated 2015.

Separately, the Inkwells selected internally the two recipients of the annual Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award and the Special Recognition Award (SRA) category. Winners were contacted and some invited guests were present to receive their trophies at North Carolina’s Heroes Con, the host show for the Inkwells, for the sixth live ceremony on Friday, June 17. Winners and nominees are listed below, along with the percentage of vote received, where applicable.

FAVORITE INKER: Joe Prado (24.5%)

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(Batman ’66 The Lost Episode; Cyborg [DC Comics]). Other nominees: Wade von Grawbadger (23.7), Scott Hanna (22%), Danny Miki (20.4%) and Karl Kesel (9.4%).

 

MOST-ADAPTABLE INKER: Walden Wong (26.8%)

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(Earth 2: World’s End; Justice League Dark [DC]; Wolverines; A-Force [Marvel]). Other nominees: Norm Rapmund (20.2%), Scott Hanna (18.3%), Jonathan Glapion (14.4%), Wade von Grawbadger (12.8%) and Jay Leisten (7.5%).

 

PROPS (inker deserving of more attention): Wade Von Grawbadger (22.6%)

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(All-New Captain America; Spider-Man [Marvel]; Justice League of America; Legends of the Dark Knight [DC]; Astro City [Vertigo/DC]).

Other nominees: Eber Ferreira (20.5%), Danny Miki (13.5%), Juan Vlasco (10.8%), Mark Irwin (9.8%), Jonathan Glapion (9.4%), Stefano Gaudiano (8.4%) and Sean Parsons (5.1%).

 

S.P.A.M.I. (Small Press and Mainstream Independent): Stefano Gaudiano (37%)


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(The Walking Dead, Manifest Destiny [Image]).
Other nominees: Jordi Tarragona (17.6%), Cliff Rathburn (16.6%), Ryan Winn (16.6%) and Rich Koslowski (12.2%).

 

ALL-IN-ONE (pencilling and inking together): Jason Fabok (37%)

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(Justice League [DC]).
Other nominees: Fiona Staples (17.7%), Erik Larsen (13.7%), Franchesco Francavilla (9.6%), Terry Moore (8.2%), Paul Gulacy (8.0%) and Ben Dewey (5.8%).

 

THE SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD: Vince Colletta. Other nominees: Allen Milgrom, Jack Abel (tie for runner-up), Violet Barclay (aka Valerie Smith), Gary Martin and Dave Simons.

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THE JOE SINNOTT HALL OF FAME: Frank Giacoia and Josef Rubenstein. Other nominees: Bob McLeod and Jerry Ordway (tie for runner-up), Dan Adkins, John Beatty and Ernie Chan (aka Chua).

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Frank (with Joe Sinnott on the left)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In cooperation with Special Inkwell Ambassador and award-winning author J. David Spurlock, the ceremony kicked off with a special appearance by industry legend Jim Steranko who discussed the artform of comic-book inking, his related experiences in the medium, and its artists, including Joe Sinnott and Frank Giacoia. Inkwell Awards founder and director Bob Almond acted as both ceremony host and presenter, joined by hostess “Ms. Inkwell,” as portrayed by Holly Black. Artist Breno Tamura accepted Joe Prado’s award as a pre-recorded video of Prado’s acceptance speech was played. Guest speaker, artist-writer Mike Grell, spoke for Rubinstein. Writer Todd Dezago spoke for Giacoia, and statements from their respective families, including for Vince Colletta, were read. Silver Inkwell trophies were presented to three nomination committee members who served five years: Michele Witchipoo, Bob Bretall and Johnny B. Gerardy. All acceptance statements from the winners can be found in the “Results” section of the Inkwell Awards’ website in the near future (Award Recipients>2016 Winners).

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A Special Appearance by Jim Steranko to Highlight the 2016 Inkwell Awards Ceremony at Heroes Con

Trophies from 2015
Trophies from 2015
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Jim Steranko

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(New Bedford, MA/USA—June 9, 2016) Results from the 9th annual Inkwell Awards will be presented at the inking advocacy group’s 6th live awards ceremony this June 17-19 at Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC. Eisner Hall of Fame award-winning creator Jim Steranko will be making a special appearance at the event.

“Graphic artist, comic book writer/artist, historian, magician, editor, publisher and film production illustrator….Jim is a modern Renaissance Man, globally recognized and respected in the sequential art medium for his epics and innovations in the field” said Bob Almond, the non-profit organization’s founder and director. “Having a legendary icon like him speaking on behalf of ink artists and the art form of inking is an immense honor.”

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The Inkwells have five categories: Favorite Inker, the “Props” award for under-recognized professionals, the S.P.A.M.I., for Small Press And Mainstream-Independent work, Most-Adaptable Inker and the “All-in-One” for the artist who inks his/her own pencil art. Thousands of voters visited and voted from April 15-30 at the group’s website to show their support.

The awards ceremony is scheduled for Friday (not Saturday as in the past), June 17, 5:00 PM at the Charlotte Convention Center in room 209-210. In addition to Steranko, other speakers include host and presenter Almond, hostess Holly Black as spokesmodel Ms. Inkwell, legendary creator Mike Grell and award-winning author (and Inkwell special ambassador), J. David Spurlock. Announced with the award-winners will be the two recipients of the annual Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award and the second recipient of the Special Recognition Award.

Continue reading A Special Appearance by Jim Steranko to Highlight the 2016 Inkwell Awards Ceremony at Heroes Con

Gifs Galore! Sinnott Inking Challenges Get Attention!

Gifs have really taken off on Facebook lately. And after we launched our Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge spin-off program The Sinnott Inking Challenge Spotlight (the first one being on JIM LEE), I was impressed to see that FB friend and artist Patrick Blaine had cobbled together the Superman images by starting with Jim’s pencils and flashing like a dozen inked versions in succession for the viewer to visualize what each inker brought to the table. This gif, posted 4/13, went viral and was shared 1037 times (to date) for the first, incomplete version and 854 times (to date) for the updated version posted the next day! I contacted thanked Patrick for creating this brilliant tool for bringing exposure to our eBay auctions and for capturing and displaying within seconds to anyone not in the know exactly what the unique contribution of ink artists is. As an anonymous FB observer posted on Facebook on April 15:

“Very cool. I’ve always understood how penciling, coloring and even lettering styles can differ from person to person. Never could quite wrap my head around inking though. This shows the same pencilling inked by different inkers. I think I finally get it.”

Continue reading Gifs Galore! Sinnott Inking Challenges Get Attention!

BALLOT VOTING OPEN

UPDATE: THE BALLOT BOX IS NOW CLOSED FOR THE 8th SEASON.  THE WINNERS WILL BE CONTACTED THIS WEEKEND.  RESULTS WILL BE ANNOUNCED FRIDAY JUNE 7 AT THE HEROES CON 6TH LIVE AWARDS CEREMONY AND IN PRESS ANNOUNCEMENTS FOLLOWING THAT EVENT. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

Ballot Voting for the 2016 Inkwell Awards categories is now open at the following link

Click HERE to vote.

Voting Is Open For The Inkwell Awards From April 15-30

As reported today at FIRST COMICS NEWS:

New Bedford, MA/USA—April 13, 2016) The Inkwell Awards, a non-profit organization devoted to the education and promotion of the art of comic book inking, invites everyone to vote for the industry’s best of the past year. The official public ballot will be available on the Inkwell Awards’ homepage from April 15 through April 30.
Voting is open to everyone, whether fans or professionals. Besides “Favorite Inker,” categories include “Most Adaptable,” “PROPS” (inkers deserving more attention), the “S.P.A.M.I.” (Small Press And Mainstream Independent) and “All-In-One” for pencillers who ink their own work.
As a courtesy, the ballot also lists the nominees for the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame (“HoF”) and the Special Recognition Award (SRA) lifetime achievement awards for an outstanding inking career of 25 or more years in American comics, whose winners are chosen by an internal HoF committee to avoid a “popularity contest” where recent names have more influence than past masters.
The SRA differs from the HoF award due to one or more factors such as 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 would otherwise possibly limit them from being nominated for a traditional HoF award. This award was also chosen internally.
“We’re always thrilled for this event, where the best of the best ink artists and their work get the recognition they deserve,” said Bob Almond, founder and director of The Inkwell Awards. “Inkers have their own fans and followers, yet often go unnoticed or glossed over by most awards events. Ours caters specifically to ink artists and allows them to be recognized and appreciated in various categories. We hope to have even more voters than last year.”
Once voting closes after April 30, the winners will be announced at the live awards ceremony at Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC on Friday, June 17th.
The Inkwell Awards is an official 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to educate and promote the art form of comic-book inking, as well as annually recognize and award the best ink artists and their work. Now in its ninth year, the organization is overseen by a committee of industry professionals and assisted by various professional ambassadors and numerous contributors. They sponsor the Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship Fund for the Kubert School and host the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award.

GUEST ARTICLE: RICH BUCKLER- ‘INKING AS DRAWING’

Upon accepting the position of Inkwell ambassador as reported last month Rich Buckler graciously offered the non-profit organization to share this new, fascinating material on his thoughts on the art form of inking and his career experiences with it. Rich is an accomplished teacher on sequential art storytelling and master of many of the necessary skills involved in comic book production including INKING.  He has had several comic How-To books published in ’80s-’90s on these crafts.

Thanks, Rich!

~B~

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Inking As Drawing…

©2015 Rich Buckler

Most comic book art is a collaboration of a pencil artist and an ink artist. Two artists who produce, in separate stages, the finished art that (after being lettered and colored) goes to the printer. So really, every printed page has actually been drawn twice.

Most comics fans do not have a good understanding of that creative process and what that involves. Misunderstanding what an inker does can can cause all sorts of distorted ideas. Comic book pencillers have all sorts of ideas about inking. Some think inkers are only tracers (which is not accurate) or, at best they are a necessary evil (which is very inaccurate). Sometimes the inker gets too much credit for the look of the final art–sometimes, not enough.

I see the penciller/inker collaboration as a team effort. Inkers are artists. And every team effort of pencillers and inkers on a comic book is almost always a compromise.

There are no “super inkers” who make every penciller look great no matter whose art they ink (I wish there were!). That is just a gross exaggeration. Some combinations do work better than others. Generally inkers do a judicious amount of embellishing and make “improvements”–but not all of them do this. And nobody is perfect.
So let’s take a look at what inkers do.

The inker is responsible for the final look of the art–to make it as sharp and attractive for reproduction as possible. In that sense, they do correct things as they work. For example, a stray line, a missed detail, or some appropriate added black areas here and there–things like that. Pencillers who ink their own work do this too.

Nobody even attempts to duplicate exactly all of the subtleties and nuances of the pencil work. That is not only not desirable, it is practically impossible. What the inker is expected to do is faithfully render the drawings effectively in ink. He/she is expected to know good draftsmanship but not expected to redraw what has already been drawn.

Which is not to say that that doesn’t involve drawing; of course it does! So, ideally, every professional inker should have a good grasp of the basics of drawing. Why is that essential? When the inker comes on board everything has already been drawn, right?

Well, consider this: A good professional inker will never merely trace pencil lines with a pen and brush. That’s not inking; it’s just tracing. Trust me, that approach is amateurish and only produces mediocre results. A really substandard inker (one who is not competent or whose drawing skills are not up to professional standards, that is) may get work, but not for long–and certainly not on a regular basis! Okay, in the comics a few bad inking jobs may happen. (And it’s a wonder that there are not more!) But that almost never occurs on a top book. And I don’t know of a single instance where a totally inept artist was ever afforded the opportunity to make a career out of it.

Continue reading GUEST ARTICLE: RICH BUCKLER- ‘INKING AS DRAWING’

BOB’S BLOG: INKBLOTS: See what’s new at the Inkwells for 2016…

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We now have a  Tumblr account to our line-up of social networks! When the Inkwell Awards started out we used to have accounts with MySpace and ComicSpace and even our own forum, but those venues lost popularity so we changed with the times for maximum exposure. Our Facebook (group page and fan page) and Twitter accounts have expanded and thrived over time and members Stacey Aragon and Sarah Covert later added both a YouTube and Google+ account.  (And this doesn’t count our Comicart Fans Gallery maintained by Damon Owens, entry on Wikipedia, eBay Store, and our subsidiary page on DeviantArt, The Inkers Challenge which is maintained by JL Straw.) While Dorian is still in the early stages of designing it please drop in from time to time as he refines the look of the page.

 

shop-cart-icon-clipart-1.jpgAnother huge development is that our Store is (finally) upgraded to modern levels! For years I dreamt of having shopping carts and being able to calculate shipping and payment for online shopping but there was either never the time or tech-skill capabilities, or both. But now that our book line and inventory of products has expanded committee member and the latest website maintenance supervisor Rhys Evans has been working on this option over the past several weeks and as of a few days ago finally completed it.  Please feel free to check it out and browse down the aisles to see if anything catches your fancy to assist us in fundraising.  Let us know if anything doesn’t work proper or if you have any questions.  All we ask is patience as we’re a bare bones operation, meaning that  I’m the cashier, bagger, stocker, manager, heck, I’m the entire crew working in the store…and I only can devote part-time hours– LOL!  But you will hear from me.

I’ll keep you posted about any further social network or website updates.

 

Rich Buckler Made Inkwell Awards Ambassador, Roster Changes

The following press release was released today at First Comics News:

(New Bedford, MA/USA—January 7, 2016) Legendary “Bronze-Age” comic-book artist Rich Buckler (Fantastic Four, Black Panther, Thor, creator of Deathlok, et al.) has agreed to support the artform of inking by joining the ranks of professional ambassadors for the Inkwell Awards inking advocacy.

Rich Buckler
Rich Buckler

In a statement, Buckler said:
“Let’s hear it for the ink artists of the comics! And they are artists. And you know, I have so many favorites! I will even go so far as to say that a capable and skillful inker is, for pencil artists, a veritable treasure. I have written a lot about inkers and the craft of inking comics. Many pencillers do not appreciate them enough. That’s what I think.
“As a comics industry insider, I have endeavored in my writings on various blogs and websites to increase comics fandom’s awareness of the valuable contributions of these craftspeople who devote their careers to drawing in ink. I sincerely hope I have shed some light on just what these artists contribute to the pencil art and what it is that they actual do.
“I love to collaborate. I always have. And over the years I have had the pleasure to team up with many of the very best! For that I am grateful. Yes, I do also ink my own comic art. But comics, when it comes to the covers and interior art and the sheer magic of the medium, are for the most part a collaborative art.
“So let’s hear it for the comic book inkers!”
Ambassadors have been recruited since the formation of the organization in 2008, starting with artist Adam Hughes and editor Mike Marts. The most recent recruits were author Clifford Meth, writer-artist Jim Starlin and color artist Laura Martin. Members are drawn from various community skills and professions in a display of support and solidarity for the promotion of the art form of comic-book inking.
Season 8 began last summer with a “Help Wanted” announcement to replace departed volunteers from the previous season. “We were able to reorganize and fill some vacant roles and train them on the job over the fall,” said Inkwell Awards director Bob Almond. “We can always use more capable, dedicated people to help build and strengthen our organization, especially with matters related to fundraising. But there were also some advancements in the ranks from those members who’ve been paying their dues.”
Among those is the promotion of artist-writer Mike Pascale to assistant director. Pascale, a committee member since 2013, fills a position left by outgoing assistant director Michael W. Kellar. Besides administrative matters, Pascale handles copy and graphics, proofreading, and assists with fundraising. Joining the committee as contributors are two new members recruited from last fall’s membership drive: Rhys G. Evans, who handles website maintenance and has been acting as auctioneer (along with Pascale), and inker John T. Dixon, a disabled veteran who’s taken on the duties of Inker Resources & Database updates, advertising, and Nomination Committee Assistant.
In addition, Holly Black, who portrays the company spokesmodel Ms. Inkwell, is now a senior contributor after attending and fundraising at shows in that role for nearly a year. Daniel Best, a founding committee member, also returns to the organization as a senior contributor after a several month absence.

Start off the New Year with the 6TH ANNUAL JOE SINNOTT INKING CHALLENGE!

This is a copy/paste of the invitation that went out earlier today. But all the relevant info is there for those interested. Bob Almond

2/26/16-UPDATE: THE FINAL DEADLINE IS MARCH 15. WE MUST HAVE THE 400DPI HI-RES SCAN BY THEN AND YOU MUST SHIP IMMEDIATELY TO MARK SINNOTT. THANK YOU! BOB

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WHAT IS IT?

The Inkwell Awards invites you to the sixth annual Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge. Our Hall of Fame Award is named after Joe and, with his approval and support, we have taken a couple of his pencil donations intended for our fundraising, originally rendered on blank variant cover comics, and blown them up and converted them to bluelines for inking. We have chosen ink artists who are A) part of our organization, B) Inkwell award recipients, or C) notable for their career inkwork ranging from the veteran embellishers of the

sinnottchallengedeadpoolbl72silver-age through to the respected delineators of today, but any inker can take part, including novices. Since last year some of you who missed previous Challenges asked me to be added to the list and you are included here. For fundraising and educational purposes, we’d like to know if you would be willing to voluntarily participate in inking one or both of these pieces. We will take the final images and post them on our Comic Art Fans gallery in comparison to Joe’s initial pencil art in order to showcase to the public the contributions of various ink artists and what they bring to the table. Secondly, these pieces would be auctioned off to raise funds for our vital operational needs and philanthropic programs like the Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship Fund to the students of the Joe Kubert School and our COMPliments Program which allows HoF inkers who are singled out from receiving collections of their work from publishers to receive them through us and not have to purchase them. Last year’s successful program brought in over $3000 on our eBay auctions and this year we anticipate an even better outcome. You can see previous samples of donations from our first four years at our Comic Art Fans gallery (top left labeled links): http://www.comicartfans.com/GalleryDetail.asp?GCat=35444

Continue reading Start off the New Year with the 6TH ANNUAL JOE SINNOTT INKING CHALLENGE!