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2015 Inkwell Awards Award Winners Announced!


The press release was released first thing Monday morning at FirstComicsNews following the live event that took place Friday June 19 at the Inkwell Awards’ host show Heroes Con. The 4th Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge book also has it’s own, different report of the results in it.  The only development that changed following the press release being sent to FCN was that Erick Korpi and Michael Kellar did indeed show up and attend the ceremony and accept their silver inkwells. Regrettably, while the full results and related info like statements will be added to the website this summer, there was a problem with recording the ceremony so we do not have a video of it, which is tragic because this was our best ceremony yet. We’ll probably do like five years ago and add the transcript to my speech.  Here is a quick rundown of the winners:

FAVORITE INKER: Victor Olazaba


PROPS: Wade von Grawbadger

S.P.A.M.I.: Dan Parsons

ALL-IN-ONE: Fiona Staples


JOE SINNOTT HALL OF FAME AWARD: Joe Kubert and Steve Ditko

Guest of Honor Klaus Janson to speak at the 2015 Inkwell Awards Ceremony during Heroes Con

First Comics News just ran this press release announcement for us.

Inkwells at Heroes Con


Klaus Janson

(New Bedford, MA/USA—June 10, 2015) Results from the 8th annual Inkwell Awards will be presented at the inking advocacy group’s 5th live awards ceremony this June 19-21 at Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC. Legendary ink artist Klaus Janson will be one of the speakers.

“It’s exciting and rewarding to celebrate with fans in recognizing the industry’s best ink artists,” said Bob Almond, the non-profit organization’s founder and director. “Since one of the major awards organizations dropped their ‘best inker’ category years ago and later began awarding ‘best penciller/inker team’ to individuals, we’ve been proud to pick up the slack and show the world the vital and varied contributions made by inkers.”

Rather than just “Favorite Inker,” the Inkwells have five categories, including the “Props” award for under-recognized professionals, and the S.P.A.M.I., for favorite Small Press And Mainstream-Independent work. Thousands of voters visited and voted during May at the group’s web site to show their support.


The legendary art team of (l-r) Mark McKenna & Mike McKone will act as presenters!


The awards ceremony is scheduled this year for Friday (not Saturday as in the past), June 19 at 5:00 PM in room 209-210. In addition to past Hall of Fame award-winner and guest of honor Klaus Janson, other speakers include host Almond, presenters Mike McKone (Inkwell special ambassador) and Mark McKenna (2012 Sinnott Hall of Fame winner), plus Steve Hampton, Craig Yoe and Orion Zangara. Announced with the award-winners will be the two recipients of the annual Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award and the first recipient of the Special Recognition Award.


Holly Black debuts as spokesmodel Ms. Inkwell




Other attendees include Inkwell ambassadors Mark Brooks, Cully Hamner, Laura Martin and Mike McKone, contributors Randy Green, Enrica Jang and Dan Panosian, and more. Also appearing will be the Ms. Inkwell spokesperson character, portrayed this time by Massachusetts model, Holly Black.



As an added bonus, the first 20 non-member attendees will receive a raffle ticket for an automatic door prize. After the event, every ticket holder will win a prize as explained at the ceremony.

The Inkwells will be set up in Artists Alley at table 307, offering for donations their new, 4th annual Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge book and plenty of other Inkwells merchandise to help raise much-needed funds. “We’re immensely grateful to Shelton Drum and the Heroes Con staff for supporting the community and giving fans an opportunity to learn more about and appreciate this often overlooked industry craft.”


Cover art by Joe Orsak (not final design)




UPDATE 2/16: THE INKWELL AWARDS VOTING RESULTS ARE IN AND THE AWARD RECIPIENTS CONTACTED! We are now awaiting responses from them in regards to attending our Heroes Con awards ceremony. Thanks to all who voted and spread the word. Congratulations to the nominees and especially the confidential winners who will be announced in Charlotte on June 19 and subsequent press and social network announcements.

The ballot for the 2015 Inkwell Awards is now live and will remain so from May 1st until May 15 at midnight EST. Voting is open to anyone but only one ballot per ip address will be recognized. Thank you and good luck to all nominees!

*NOTE: we’ve learned that the ballot is not accessible when using the Chrome browser.  Other browsers seem to work fine as far as we know.




As reported today at First Comics News:

Voting Is Open For The Inkwell Awards From May 1-15
(New Bedford, MA/USA—April 30, 2015) The Inkwell Awards, a non-profit organization devoted to the education and promotion of the art of 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 May 1 through May 15. Voting is open to everyone, whether fans or professionals.
The ballot also lists the nominees for the internally-chosen Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame (“HoF”) lifetime achievement award. To avoid a “popularity contest” where recent names have more influence than past masters, the two winners have been chosen by a separate, pre-arranged Hall of Fame Nomination Committee. Current nominees are listed as a courtesy. Past HoF award recipients can be found on the organization’s web site.
New for this year is the Special Recognition Award (SRA) for an outstanding inking career of 25 or more years in American comics. This 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 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 cater 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 May 15, the winners will be announced at the live awards ceremony at Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC June 19-21 on Friday the 19th.


The ballot link will be added tonight at midnight EST.

BOB’S BLOG: INKBLOTS: “Unsung Heroes”-Our Retailers


It’s been almost exactly two years since I last ran an Unsung Heroes article (on Larry Dempsey) for my Inkblots column so I’m obviously overdue (former articles were on Michael Netzer & Bob McLeod and Serge LaPointe & PJ Magalhaes).  This time I wanted to give special recognition to our retailer associates who we never want to take for granted.  They have assisted us in two crucial programs, the COMPliments Program and Fundraising. Early on Bob Shaw helped establish our general fundraising system where we not only acquire donations from artists at conventions to auction off on eBay but to purchase at cost the blank cover variant comics that suddenly became the rage at Marvel soon after we started up. We received these from a number of retailers at the time but most-notably Larry Harrison of Harrison’s Comics & Pop Culture, Ernie Pelletier Jr. of Friendly Neighborhood Comics, Jay Pillarella of Rubber Chicken Comics, and Nate Machado from New England Comics.















Continue reading




As was reported back in November and December, The non-profit Inkwell Awards have obtained a historic and unique CBCS-graded collectible by legendary artists Neal Adams & Joe Sinnott for fundraising to the inking advocacy. This slabbed Batman sketch art (graded 9.4) was previously described in detail at the blog of author and Inkwell special ambassador Clifford Meth and it was reserved until the spring due to the then-upcoming holidays and winter off-period. This auction will now debut March 13 along with donations from other community artist supporters to inaugurate an event that the charity organization has dubbed The Sinnott Spring Celebration from March through May.

Every week to two weeks, in addition to other donations, there will be a unique donation item from or relating to Inkwell Awards Hall of Fame namesake, special ambassador and iconic ink artist Joe Sinnott. Other such items include a Wolverine ink sketch on a blank variant cover comic, original inked Deathlok art over a pencil sketch and donation from the creator of the character Rich Buckler, and a painting of Joe by artist Joe Orsak that will be used for the 4th Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge book that collects most of the pages donated from last year that will debut at Heroes Con June 20. In April the 5th Sinnott Inking Challenge event (used to educate about inking) auctions will run with inked original art pages for sale for fundraising by the likes of participants John Dell, Andy Smith, Mark McKenna, Neil Vokes, Keith Champagne, Jack Purcell, Keith Williams, Mark Pennington, Gerry Acerno, Jeff Austin, and many more surprises from over twenty-five artists including even family participation from Joe Sinnott’s son Mark and daughter-in-law Belinda! So please bookmark our eBay store and check in weekly for some real milestones!


Fred Fredericks: 1929-2015

Fred Fredericks (Harold “Fred” Fredericks Jr.) was a artist/cartoonist/inker known for his work on the King Features properties The Phantom and Mandrake the Magician. In the late 1980s-early 1990s he inked many titles for Marvel Comics including Nth Man: The Ultimate Ninja, Punisher War Journal, Daredevil, Quasar, G.I. Joe and Defenders of the Earth. He passed away Sunday March 8 after a long illness. The Inkwell Awards express their condolences to Fred’s family and loved ones for their loss.


Norman Lee: 1968-2015


Artist/Inker Norman Lee was announced as having disappeared March 5th while vacationing on the Cayman Islands with his wife of five years Jan. They were snorkeling when she lost sight of Norman and presumed he’d returned to shore. When he wasn’t found the authorities were called in, resulting in a search & rescue, and later a search & recovery, which was called off by Cayman police on Saturday the 7th. has coverage on this tragedy.

The comic book community has expressed their grief with tributes on his Facebook page. Jan Lee made the following statement on her Facebook wall on Monday:

To all of our amazing friends and family:

Thank you for the outpouring of love and support our family has received since the news of Norman’s disappearance. The overwhelming amount of love, care and encouragement we’ve gotten from all corners of the world is a testament to Norman’s loving personality and incomparable character. Your beautiful words are meaningful and inspiring.

Many of you we have never met, but it is clear that your love for Norman is as strong and powerful as ours is. Norman was an amazing husband, mentor, friend, son, brother and man. He was a second father to my children. He was the love of my life and despite the unfathomable heartache I am feeling today I would not change one moment I shared with Norman. Our five years of marriage was love in its purest form and I feel incredibly lucky to have shared it with the most wonderful human being I will ever know.

Our world has lost a powerful and far reaching force for positivity and kindness. Please help me and my family keep Norman alive by continuing to promote his messages of happiness, positivity, kindness and love for your fellow man. His love for others and his passion for life does not end here. He is now in all of us and all of you. Thank you for your support and love.

A huge comic book fan, Norman went to the Umass:Dartmouth art college for Illustration, graduating in 1990 with fellow friend and alumnus (Inkwell  founder) Bob Almond.  Norman had his big break on Marvel Comics’ Wolverine ’96 Annual. That led to a prolific and accomplished career with Marvel, DC and other publishers working on Spider-Man, Avengers, X-Men, Wonder Woman, Starman, He-Man and other characters for almost twenty years. He leaves behind two step-children Nora & Patrick and his spouse. He was 47.

Bob and the Inkwells share their sincerest condolences to Norman’s family and loved ones for their loss.


The 5th Annual Sinnott Inking Challenge Launches!


2015wolverine_SinnottChallBlue72Here’s the edited invitation with info on the 2015 Challenge below as it was emailed out to many artists on January 8. For those artists interested they can contact us with the info below but only for a limited time.

The Inkwell Awards proudly invites you to the fifth annual Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge!
Our Hall of Fame Award is named after Joe. With his approval and support, we have taken a couple of his pencil fundraising donations, originally rendered on blank variant cover comics, enlarged and converted them to bluelines for inking. Interested?
We’ve chosen ink artists and embellishers who are 1) part of our organization, 2) Inkwell award recipients, and/or 3) notable for their career inkwork, whether veterans of the past or present. However, any inker can request to take part.  We may ask for your credentials and have the right to refusal in the project or in the subsequent book.

Simple! First, for fundraising and educational purposes, we invite to ink one or both of these pieces–your choice, our honor. We’ll take the final images and post them on our online gallery alongside Joe Sinnott’s initial pencil art in order to educate the public as to what ink artists like you actually do and how much you contribute to the artform.

Secondly, these pieces will be auctioned to raise funds for our vital operational needs and philanthropic programs like the Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship Fund (for selected students of the Kubert School) and our COMPliments Program which allows HoF inkers who are no longer on publishers’ comp lists to receive collections of their work through us and not have to purchase them.
Finally, if and when we publish a print collection of the pieces like we’ve done in the past, your art, bio and info may be included (space-willing and not guaranteed) and, if so, we’ll gladly ship you a comp copy at our expense.
Last year’s successful program brought in over $2,800 from our eBay auctions and this year we anticipate an even better outcome. You can check out previous samples of donations from our first four years at our Comic Art Fans gallery: (See top left labelled links.) Continue reading

BOB’S BLOG: INKBLOTS UPDATE- Neal Adams & Joe Sinnott Unique Auction Collectible!

“Legendary Artists Neal Adams and Joe Sinnott Make Comic Book History for the Inkwell Awards”
First Comics News
(December 5, 2014–New Bedford, Massachusetts): For the first time in 44 years, comic book legends Neal Adams and Joe Sinnott have collaborated on a special edition to be auctioned by the non-profit Inkwell Awards (aka “The Inkwells”). The auction will take place in March, 2015.

The two artists contributed their talents to a sketch cover of a Batman #0 comic book. The first and last time they collaborated was on two issues of Thor in 1970.

“We are thrilled beyond belief to have these two living legends work together again on our behalf,” said Bob Almond, Inkwell Awards founder and director. “We originally planned to auction the piece off in December of this year but decided we didn’t want to compete with holiday shopping. By waiting until March, everyone who wants a shot at this piece of history will have time to save for it.”

The piece came about when Inkwell volunteer Joe Goulart approached Adams at the 2014 Connecticut ComiCONN to contribute a donation sketch for the non-profit. Adams then made his own request: He would do so if Inkwell Special Ambassador Joe Sinnott inked it. Sinnott is also the namesake of the charity’s Hall of Fame Award and its annual Inking Challenge event and book collection. Sinnott’s son Mark was contacted and the deal was sealed. Two months later, Joe brought the inked version to the Rhode Island Comic Con for a historic photo with Neal.

The comic book has been professionally graded 9.4 and “slabbed” by the Comic Book Certification Service.

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