FEBRUARY IS “INKWELL MONTH” AT AARDWOLF—Publisher Donates 10% of Sales to Advocacy Group

BOOKS FROM COCKRUM, COLAN & OTHER COMICS ICONS BENEFIT INKER AWARDS, SCHOLARSHIPS

(New Bedford, MA/USA—January 1, 2018) “February sales from Aardwolf Publishing will directly benefit the advocacy group, the Inkwell Awards” announced Jim Reeber, president of Aardwolf Publishing. The specialty publishing house said it was proud of the work that the Inkwell Awards does and happy to help the non-profit group as it begins its 10th anniversary of advocacy.

“Tithing makes sense to those who comics are practically religion to,” quipped author Clifford Meth, a co-founder of Aardwolf and a Special Ambassador to the Inkwell Awards. “We only recently entered an epoch where comics creators began receiving due recognition and fair compensation for their work. Bob Almond and the Inkwell Awards are a vital part of that paradigm shift; they are solid advocates who are making a difference and I’m proud to be affiliated with their mission and accomplishments.”

Bob added “The Inkwells are extremely fortunate and grateful to have the altruistic financial support of Aardwolf Publishing behind us in February. Cliff and Jim are the real deal and have been fighting the good fight as advocates in our community since I discovered them when I contributed to The Uncanny Dave Cockrum: A Tribute book in 2004 long before I formed my own non-profit. I was honored when Cliff accepted the position of Inkwell special ambassador in 2014 and I am again honored and thrilled by this generous gesture.”

Aardwolf Publishing has published art and stories from some of the industry’s iconic creators including Neal Adams, Jim Steranko, Joe Kubert, Will Eisner, Neil Gaiman, Harlan Ellison, Gene Colan, Marie Severin, Gray Morrow and Dave Cockrum, with new collections slated from Joe Sinnott, Don Perlin and the late Rich Buckler.

Visit Aardwolf Publishing at www.aardwolfpublishing.com and the Inkwell Awards at http://www.inkwellawards.com/

 

Inkwell Awards Announces Joe Sinnott Challenge and Erik Larsen Spotlight Contributions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

(New Bedford, MA/USA—February 22, 2018) The non-profit Inkwell Awards, devoted to promoting the art of comic book inking, is having their eighth annual Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge, beginning in April. They also have their third annual Sinnott Inking Challenge Spotlight, which focuses on the pencil art of a legendary creator/artist/writer/publisher. This year it’s Image Comics’ co-founder Erik Larsen. Artwork from both will be auctioned afterwards for fundraising.

“Due to the ongoing success of the original Sinnott Challenge, we expanded the program to include the Spotlight Challenge two years ago, with even better results,” said Bob Almond, founder and director of The Inkwell Awards (AKA “The Inkwells”). “We chose to showcase other contemporary, fan-favorite talents on a smaller scale with published and established inkers who may not have participated in the original challenge. We proudly featured the amazing pencils of DC co-publisher Jim Lee for 2016 and last year we were thrilled to have the great Neal Adams.”

The original Inking Challenge educates the public about inking by having industry legend and Inkwell Special Ambassador Joe Sinnott do a tight pencil of a character plus a “breakdown,” or rough sketch of another. This year, the characters are from Marvel’s “Thor: Ragnarok” hit film with Loki and Hela. Sinnott’s art was scanned and the file sent in blue-line form to various inkers around the globe to finish and/or embellish in ink.

Ink artists contributing their skills this year include Ken Branch, Anthony Fowler, Jason Moore, Joe Orsak, Terry Pavlet, J.L. Straw, Scott Rosema, Tom Schloendorn, Mark Stegbauer, Neil Vokes, Keith Williams and dozens of others, plus members of the Sinnott family. Submitted art may be viewed at The Inkwells’ ComicArtFans gallery. All pieces will be personally signed by Sinnott and include a certificate of authenticity.

Coordinated by Almond, this year’s Challenge Spotlight on Erik Larsen is different. Unlike previous years which featured a published art page, Larsen is the first to create a cover-quality drawing, featuring his “Savage Dragon” creation and cast members, exclusively for this Inkwell event. All pages will be signed by Larsen and the inkers, and include a COA. Completed pages at press time include those by Keith Champagne, Richard Clark, John Dell, Geof Isherwood, Mark McKenna, Rudy Nebres, Andy Owens, Joe Prado, Rodney Ramos, Scott Rosema, Alex Saviuk, Mike Sellers, Andy Smith, Le Beau Underwood, Neil Vokes, Keith Williams and several students from the Kubert School.

Almond added, “Much kind thanks to Erik, Joe and Mark Sinnott, and all involved for their cooperation, support of our program, and appreciation of ink artists.”

Auctions for the Larsen Challenge original art will commence in February (date to be announced) on eBay and every other week thereafter, followed by the Joe Sinnott Challenge art and other late additions. The Sinnott art will eventually be collected into a book (the sixth such edition). Tentative plans are to also release a Larsen “Savage Dragon” book. Previous editions, along with other merchandise, are available for donations to the organization through their web store.

The Inkwell Awards is an official 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to educate the public and promote the art form of comic-book inking, as well as annually recognize the best ink artists and their work. Now celebrating its 10th anniversary, 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.

 

 

INKWELL AWARDS CELEBRATES MILESTONE 10th SEASON WITH BUZZ/ALDRIN AW AND PAT BRODERICK AS AMBASSADORS

Inkwell Awards spokesmodel Hailey Skaza-Gagne with Pat Broderick (2017 Boston Comic Con)

(New Bedford, MA/USA–January 12, 2018): The 501(c)(3) non-profit advocacy group, the Inkwell Awards, began its 10th season anniversary by electing artists Aldrin Aw (aka Buzz) and Pat Broderick as new creator ambassadors to help further the group’s mission of public promotion, education and recognition of the art form of inking and ink artists in the US comic book industry.

Both ambassador artists are veterans of Marvel, DC and other publishers, illustrating covers and interiors of many popular characters. Broderick began his career in the 1970s, Buzz in the 1990s.

“It’s always thrilling to have two veteran and fan-favorite creators like Buzz and Pat accept our invitation to add further credibility and exposure,” said Inkwell Awards founder and director Bob Almond. “I grew up enjoying Pat’s work. It’s been wonderful the last few years seeing him and his wife Pat return to convention touring, working on commissions and being back on comic assignments. He has been nothing but respectful of our mission and supportive of our non-profit. Buzz, meanwhile, has been a top professional and prolific Inkwell donor over the years. I was pleasantly stunned last year when, unsolicited, he offered to join us as a Special Ambassador to assist with fundraising and maximize those efforts. Buzz’s massive show exposure, his recognition, contacts and influence make him a worthy and extraordinary asset to us. With improved funding and resources, we can aspire to accomplish more than ever before.”

Inkwell Awards spokesmodel Hailey Skaza-Gagne with Aldrin Aw/Buzz (2017 Terrificon)

Since the organization was formed in 2008, the roster of Inkwell Ambassadors has included Adam Hughes, Mike Marts, Ethan Van Sciver, Mark Brooks, Trevor Von Eeden, Sal Velluto, Cully Hamner, Eric Basuldua, Phil Jimenez, Jim Shooter, Brian Pulido, Jim Starlin, Laura Martin along with the late Joe Kubert and Rich Buckler. The more-involved Special Ambassadors include Joe Sinnott, J. David Spurlock, Mike McKone and Clifford Meth. Inkwell seasons commence in late summer and end with their awards ceremony at the annual host show of HeroesCon in June.

The Inkwell Awards is the only existing official 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to publicly educate and promote the art form of comic-book inking, as well as annually recognize the best ink artists and their work. Now celebrating its 10-year anniversary, the organization is overseen by a committee of industry professionals and assisted by various professional ambassadors and contributors from within the community. They sponsor the Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship Fund for the Kubert School and host the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award.

Jim Sanders III: 1963 – 2017

Today family members and close friends reported on his Facebook wall that Marvel Comics’ ink artist Jim Sanders III had passed away yesterday, Monday the 20th of November. It was not reported what he died of but Jim had been sick for quite some time. The Inkwell Awards first became aware of Jim’s misfortunes when Josef Rubinstein brought it to Inkwell director Bob Almond’s attention in 2013. Hero Initiative had assisted Jim earlier but they do not normally assist return requests for help due to budget limitations. Jim and Bob had correspondence thereafter and the Inkwells circulated a message to the comic book community showing need, and subsequently, with the essential help of Inkwell special ambassador Clifford Meth, the non-profit was able to run two weeks of fundraising auctions to assist him with living conditions and expenses thanks to auctioneer Michael Kellar. Longtime Inkwell member Danny Best also assisted with this situation on his blog. Regrettably, requests for news/social media support fell short and the non-profit advocacy was only able to raise $455 not counting private donations. He again contacted Bob in 2016 after divorcing his wife, their last correspondence, and he said “thank you-I am overwhelmed by the support from those who gave it-very difficult time for me emotionally-disappointed by some but overall very greatful for those who helped and came thru-especially you knowing things have been rough for you these last months.” He was living in a nursing home but was soon actively taking on private commissions.

Born in Jacksonville, FL James Sanders would enter the comic book industry as a professional artist in the 1980s and would work for several publishers, primarily as an inker, over the years and into the 1990s such as Marvel/Marvel UK/Malibu/Epic, DC Comics, AC Comics, Valiant Comics, Image Comics and First Comics. “The Colonel”, as he was affectionately called by his friends, listed the following as his career summary on his Facebook account (edited): “freelance artist-formerly for Marvel and DC comics-primarily an inker, but has done coloring and character design- has worked with pencillers Ron Lim, Bryan Hitch, Todd McFarlane, and Erik Larsen- I am now open for commissions, both pencil and/or inks of comic book and fantasy characters-no nudity or porn plz”.

The Inkwell Awards offers our sincerest condolences to Jim’s family and loved ones for their loss.

Two New additions to the 2017 Inkwell Awards Convention Tour!

Right at the end of he year I was taken for a pleasant surprise when special supporter Spencer Beck called and invited Inkwell spokesmodel Hailey Skaza-Gagne and myself to two, new shows as guests. A couple of weeks back it was for the New Jersey Comic Expo in Edison, NJ on November 18-19 and the latest is that we’re attending the first Ace Comic Con on Long Island, NY on December 8-10. That’s a record 9 shows for the year (and 20 consecutive appearances for Hailey since she started her journey as Ms. Inkwell.  The exposure and demand has clearly increased and I truly anticipate our tour for 2018 on our 10th anniversary.

 

HEROESCON 2017 :: INKWELL AWARDS feat. JOE GIELLA (At Last- the live awards ceremony VIDEO!)

On August 2 Heroes Con released their video coverage of our 7th live awards ceremony from last June! Listen to Guest of Honor Joe Giella! See living legends interact and be recognized! Behold Ms. Inkwell in action! Witness heartfelt tributes to Rich Buckler, Bernie Wrightson and Stacey Aragon! Observe me drone on, sweat and stumble over words!

Much thanks to Andrew Mansell, Matt Tyndall and Rico Renzi for this!

(copy from youtube) Published on Aug 2, 2017

Celebrate 7 years of recognizing and awarding comicdom’s finest inkers at Heroes Con with the Inkwells

Recorded at their live, annual awards ceremony on Friday the 16th at HeroesCon.

GUEST OF HONOR JOE GIELLA!

And guest speaker: Timely/Atlas/Marvel legend ALLEN BELLMAN! Artist MIKE PASCALE as co-presenter! Surprise creator guests! See the live results of who was chosen on last April’s ballot as your favorite 2016 comic book ink artists! Who will enter the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame?

BOB’S BLOG: INKBLOTS- “In Memoriam: 2016-2017”

Anyone who has received or bought our annually, published books knows that I have always included a chronological list of the dearly departed from our community that had past away in the ending Inkwell season (June-June) on the book’s credits pages.  This started with the Inkwell Awards Donation & Results books and then continued with the Sinnott Inking Challenge books.  However, as has been announced, we skipped this year with producing the next Inking Challenge collection, which would’ve been our 6th edition. For that reason, I will post here that list. I never know if these lists are complete as I record what I see and read on social media and that’s not the most-thorough way to handle this.  So please feel free to add any I missed in the comments section.  All subsequent deaths will be mentioned in the 2018 book. The Inkwell Awards offer their sincere condolences to the family and loved ones of the recently departed and may they all rest in peace. ~B

  • Alan Mitchell
  • Jack Davis
  • Gaspar Saladino
  • Bob Weinberg
  • Gary Reed
  • Steve Dillon
  • Cory Adams
  • Miguel Ferrer
  • John Watkiss
  • Dan Spiegle
  • John Calnan
  • Jay Lynch
  • Skip Williamson
  • Dave Hunt
  • Bernie Wrightson
  • Oliver Nome
  • Edmund Bagwell
  • Rich Buckler
  • Stacey Aragon
  • Albert Deschesne
  • Mike Chary
  • James Galton
  • Tommy Castillo

Ms. Inkwell Moderates Inking Panel at Garden State Comic Fest!

The next stop on the Inkwell show tour is Garden State Comic Fest (GSCF) taking place on Saturday-Sunday July 8-9 ion Morristown, NJ.  The reason that is significant and worthy of an announcement is that Inkwell Awards founder and director, inker Bob Almond will be joining the panel alongside friends and peers

Hailey at Rhode Island Comic Con, 2015

Scott Hanna, Christopher Ivy, Bob Wiacek and Mark McKenna.  For the first time Hailey Skaza-Gagne who acts as the non-profit’s spokesmodel Ms. Inkwell will moderate the panel Saturday from 12:30-1:30. Bob Last moderated an inking panel in the 200s at the Pittsburgh Comicon. He was last an inking panel panelist at the 2011 Heroes Con. Scott Hanna is the record-breaking, seven-time Inkwell award recipient and Mark McKenna was a 2012 Sinnott Hall of Fame award recipient.

 

Legends Joe Giella and Allen Bellman Headline The 2017 Inkwell Awards Ceremony at Heroes Con

Joe Giella photo by Luigi Novi
Allen Bellman photo by Watchtower Geeks

(New Bedford, MA/USA—June 6, 2017) Results from the 10th annual Inkwell Awards will be presented at the inking advocacy group’s 7th live awards ceremony at Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC. The awards ceremony is scheduled for Friday June 16, 5:00 PM at the Charlotte Convention Center, in room 209-210.

Golden/Silver Age ink artist and famed DC Comics mainstay Joe Giella is scheduled to appear as Guest of Honor. Golden Age and Timely (Marvel) pioneer and penciller/inker Allen Bellman will act as Guest Speaker for one of two Special Recognition Award recipients.

“We are very fortunate to have two living legends from the dawn of the American comic book industry to attend our celebration of inking in the sequential arts”, said Bob Almond, the Inkwell Awards’ founder/director and MC of the ceremony. “Together they’ve inked many seminal works that have influenced generations of professionals and readers alike.”

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 cast their ballots at the group’s website in April to log their support and choose their favorites.

Mike Pascale

In addition to Giella and Bellman, other speakers/attendees include host and presenter Almond, hostess Hailey Skaza-Gagne as spokesmodel Ms. Inkwell, Inkwell Assistant Director/co-presenter and artist Mike Pascale, and other volunteer staff members. Announced with the publicly-chosen award-winners will be the internally-voted two recipients of the yearly Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award and two recipients of the third annual Special Recognition Award.

Almond added, “We’re thrilled to have more award-recipient creators appearing live than ever before, so fans will get to see and hear more of their favorites.”

Other related guests at the Heroes show itself include Inkwell ambassadors Laura Martin, Mike McKone, Cully Hamner and J. David Spurlock. There may also be surprise appearances at the ceremony by member-creators, the award recipients or other supporters. 

As an added bonus, the first 25 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.

“We’ve had record attendance for the last couple years,” said Almond, “and plan to repeat that achievement, especially with our impressive lineup and prizes.”

The Inkwells will be set up in Artists Alley at an as of yet unspecified location to be announced soon at the Heroes Con website, offering (for donations) their recently-released Ms. Inkwell Gallery art book, signed by cover artist Bill Sienkiewicz as well as Joe Sinnott, Bob Almond and Hailey Skaza-Gagne, along with plenty of other Inkwell merchandise to help raise much-needed funds. (The organization will delay the next Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge book until 2018 to celebrate their tenth anniversary.)

Hailey Skaza-Gagne as Ms. Inkwell (photo: Bob Almond)

Almond concluded, “We can’t show enough gratitude to promoter Shelton Drum and the Heroes Con staff for annually supporting the community and giving fans an opportunity to learn more about and appreciate this often overlooked industry craft and its artists. Looking forward to seeing everyone on Friday and during the con!”
The Inkwell Awards (www.inkwellawards.com) is an official 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to educate the public and promote the art form of comic-book inking, as well as annually recognize the best ink artists and their work. Now approaching it’s tenth 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.

2016 trophies

 

 

 

 

 

Stacey Aragon: 1978 – 2017

Yesterday Stacey Aragon’s husband David Hansen posted on his Facebook page that his wife of several years had passed after a long battle with cancer. She was only 39. She was being treated for her illness for ten years, not telling me about it until much later after she joined us in July of 2009. She served as a contributor for social networking and fundraising until October of 2011 when she was promoted to the core committee, our first woman added to our committee roster. She only had a brief stint there from November 2011 to June 2012 because her cancer and treatments got more serious and she would need to move cross-country for viable health care in another state. But she remained as a senior contributor from November of 2013 until she passed, even sharing an auction notice on Facebook for us ten days before the end. She handled several duties over that time like updating our site’s Inker Resources section and Database, Fundraising, Nomination Committee Coordinator and a Volunteer Network. From this list she wasn’t able to significantly get the last two projects off the ground because her condition kept deteriorating. One of the projects she was experienced about and wanted to create was a multi-tier membership system so that we could collect annual dues with an incentive system.  That was not to be. She would wrap up her final days sharing all of our announcements and even attending some conventions in her area with Dave because it got her away from all the angst of reality and she was able to use it as therapy, even collecting donations from artists to ship to us.  She so enjoyed helping and giving to others that it made her feel better. This, her husband, and her connection to friends/family/loved ones via the internet were her lifelines and what I believe kept her fighting for as long as she did. She would often say that the Inkwells were her family. She was as close to family as anyone in my organization until recently with my present spokesmodel Hailey. As her availability lessened I never removed her from our team credits and in her last couple of years I listed as her position on our brochures, website and books as “heart & soul”. That’s where she touched me and so many who knew her.  I will be dedicating the Heroes Con live awards ceremony to her and give a brief tribute to honor her. I owe her at least that much for her gifts and making my non-profit better than it was when she joined it.  Rest in peace and thank you, Stacey.   Your friend, Bob Almond

The Inkwells send their condolences to David Hansen and her loved ones who are mourning her loss. I posted the following on my own Facebook page yesterday while sharing David’s announcement:

It happened at 3:01 this morning that after a decade of being sick and battling to survive, this world lost one of the most beautiful and selfless souls I had ever met. Stacey Aragon was a special, one of a kind spirit who had no bounds to her generosity, compassion, kindness, sweetness, strength and courage. I never had the honor to meet her in person but through nothing but some phone calls and numerous messages I knew all I needed to know over the years. That we were blessed to know her and to know her was to love her. She deserved better. Rest in peace, my friend. Thank you for all you did for my organization which you treated as your family, and may your husband and loved ones find peace, joy and love from your memory. We’ll most-assuredly miss you.

When she joined the committee I asked her for a bio and photo for the website committee page. She sent me several images of her when younger but this is the one she wanted to use and we did. Others are below: After her Ms. Inkwell: (top-bottom) pre-school/wedding/her with her cat Bermuda/and the rest pics from the 2000s.
A rare look at Stacey as a custom designed Ms. Inkwell which she volunteered to do while going to a show to represent us and collect donations. Her collar and tie may look weird but she explained that her treatments made her skin very sensitive to certain materials. I regrettably don’t recall the show she was going to or the year.