Special Ambassador: JOE SINNOTT (Artist: 2008-present)
From Bob Almond’s speech at the 2012 Inkwell Awards live Ceremony at Heroes Con June 23, 2012:
“I want to first take a moment to give special recognition to……First and foremost, Joe Sinnott. He’s been our hall of fame namesake and its’ first recipient since 2008 but he’s been to many our unofficial front line ambassador by default. We want to honor him with what he deserves for all he’s done to bring us attention, credibility and esteem and be the nicest guy in the world while doing so. I’d like to retroactively, proudly and officially offer him the title of Special Ambassador! We’ve all been trying to get Joe here for some time but no such luck to date, maybe next time. This unique silver inkwell trophy will promptly be shipped to his studio in New York”
For more info on Joe you can check out his bio page in the Hall of Fame section named after him.
Special Ambassador:Mike McKone (Artist: 7/10 – Present)
Mike McKone has lent his distinctive pencils to several titles by Marvel and DC Comics, beginning with work on Justice League America and Justice League International for DC and Punisher War Zone for Marvel. His dynamic renderings for Marvel’s Exiles brought him widespread attention. He enjoyed an intermittent but spectacular run on The Amazing Spider-Man, and went on to gigs such as Teen Titans (Volume 3) and The Fantastic Four. He currently pencils Avengers Academy for Marvel.
Special Ambassador: J. David Spurlock (Publisher/Editor/Author/Artist/Advocate: 3/11 – Present)
J. David Spurlock is an award-winning author, illustrator, advocate for artists’ rights, and associate to star talents Frazetta, Neal Adams, Steranko, Basil Gogos, Wally Wood and more! His recent guest speaker appearances include the Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine re-launch; the San Diego Comic-Con Frank Frazetta tribute panel; Rutgers School of Law; and Dragon Con with Stan Lee for both TV and a live audeance of 4600. Acclaimed works by Spurlock include Famous Monster Movie Art of Basil Gogos, Wally’s World: Life & Death of Wally Wood, RGK: Art of Roy G. Krenkel, The Space Cowboy, Frazetta, and Paintings of St.John. Spurlock has just written How to Draw Chiller Monsters, for Random House and is working on the Superheroes! documentary series for PBS.
Special Ambassador: Clifford Meth (Writer/Advocate: 8/14 – Present)
Clifford Meth is a writer, editor and comics’ historian. A founder of Aardwolf Publishing, Meth’s work has also been published by Marvel Entertainment, IDW, the L.A. Times Entertainment Newswire, and dozens of leading publications from Billboard to Video Review. He is widely known for his advocacy for comics’ professionals, regarding which John Romita Sr. writes, “I don’t know how much money the Cockrums’ received [from Marvel] but having a friend like Clifford Meth is worth more than $1 million.” Cliff commented “Regardless of their perceived status as the weaker sex, inkers are clearly half of the marriage required to produce a proper page of comic art. It’s only fair dinkum that they receive their due recognition.”
Rich Buckler (Artist: 2015-May 2017**)
Rich Buckler is an American painter and comic book artist, penciler, inker, writer and editor and has illustrated comics for Marvel’s Fantastic Four, Avengers and Black Panther (in Jungle Action) in the mid-1970s and numerous titles for D.C. Comics including Superman Versus Shazam (72 page tabloid), World’s Finest, Justice League, The Flash, Secret Society Of Super-Villains and many more. A native of Detroit, Michigan and just barely out of his teens, Rich moved to New York City at the recommendation of comics legend Jack Kirby. Jack told him: “Rich, if you are ever in New York go see Stan Lee and tell him I said to give you a job!”. >Rich is the creator of Deathlok, the first cyborg in comics which debuted in Astonishing Tales #25 (1974). Deathlok quickly became the premier cyborg in comic books. Dozens of characters in film, tv, and comic books have been modeled after this post apocalyptic hero. Rich is also co-creator with Roy Thomas of D.C.’s All-Star Squadron and he has collaborated with Roy many times thoughout his career. Notable work by this team includes collaborations with Roy Thomas on Saga Of Sub-Mariner, Saga Of The Original Human Torch, and Captain America The Medusa Effect. Throughout his 40+ year career he has drawn virtually every major character at Marvel and DC, and he has illustrated hundreds of comic book covers and stories. Other notable works include an auspicious artistic run on the title Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man with writer Peter David, where they produced the memorable “Death of Jean DeWolff” storyline. Rich also has the distinction of being one of only three comics artists featured on both the Marvel and the D.C. Comics U.S. postage stamps. He is the author of the trade book “How To Draw Dynamic Comic Books” (Vanguard Productions). Also a critically acclaimed surrealist painter, his works on canvas have been exhibited in a solo exhibition in Paris in 2002, as well as at many of the finest New York art galleries. 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!” Follow him on Facebook.
**UPDATE: Rich passed away on May 19, 2017 at the age of 68 while still serving as ambassador for about 18-19 months. You can read about it here.
Jim Starlin (Artist/Writer: 8/14 – Present)
Born James P Starlin, October 9th, 1949, in Detroit Michigan. Educated in a parochial (Catholic) grade school and public high school. Served in the U.S. Navy, 1968-71, as a photographers mate. Started at Marvel Comics in 1972, and has been working on and off in comics ever since.
Works include Amazing Spiderman, Batman, ‘Breed, Captain Marvel, Cosmic Odyssey, Daredevil/Black Widow: Abatoir, Doctor Strange, Dreadstar, Gilgamesh II, Hardcore Station, The Infinity Abyss, The Infinity Crusade, The Infinity Gauntlet, The Infinity War, Ironman, Master of Kung Fu, Silver Surfer, Thanos Quest, The End of the Marvel Universe, Warlock and the Infinity Watch, Warlock , Wyrd: The Reluctant Warrior , Marvel The End, Thanos, Mystery in Space, Death of the New Gods, Kid Kosmos: Kidnapped, Rann/Thanagar Holy War, Strange Adventures, Stormwatch, Thanos: The Infinity Revelation and The Savage Hulk. Currently working on Thanos: The Infinity Relativity for Marvel Comics. And, oh yeah, he created Thanos the Mad Titan.
Laura Martin (Color artist: 8/14 – Present)
Eisner, Harvey, and Eagle Award-winning Laura Martin has been coloring comics since she joined Wildstorm Studios in 1995. She is best known for her runs on “Planetary” and “The Authority” (Wildstorm), “Ruse” (CrossGen), “Thor” and “Astonishing X-Men” (Marvel), “JLA” and “Superman” (DC), “The Rocketeer” (IDW), “Armor Hunters” (Valiant) and “Serenity: Leaves on the Wind” (Dark Horse), among many others. She’s currently working on several of the above titles, along with Walter Simonson’s “Ragnarok” (IDW) and the 2014 crossover event “Axis” from Marvel. In her minimal spare time, Laura enjoys hiking, hand-coloring with markers, and hanging out with her husband Randy and their clowder of cats. Laura commented “While I’m coloring, I study inks very close up and for long periods of time, so I have a deep respect for this art form. I’ve even tried it myself from time to time…and that’s why I’m still a colorist.”
Jim Shooter (Writer, Editor: 1/12- present)
Jim Shooter did his first professional comics work at the age of thirteen, selling a Legion of Super-Heroes story to DC Comics and going on to write Superboy, The Legion of Super-Heroes, Superman and other titles.
In 1978, he accepted the position of Editor in Chief of Marvel Comics under the condition that he would be allowed to improve things for Marvel’s creators. he introduced royalties and a spectrum of other incentives, rights and benefits, attracting a Who’s Who of talent.
Later, he founded VALIANT, DEFIANT and Broadway Comics and was the principal creator of their characters and universes.
Today, he is the Editor in Chief of Illustrated Media, a custom comics company and is presently writing the revival of the Gold Key superheroes for Dark Horse Comics. Solar: Man of the Atom, Magnus: Robot Fighter, Turok: Son of Stone and Mighty Samson are available now.
Brian Pulido (Artist,Writer, Editor, Publisher: 10/12-present)
Brian Pulido is a filmmaker, comic book creator, writer and publisher. As president of Chaos! Comics, he created iconic characters such as Lady Death and Evil Ernie. Lady Death, which Pulido writes, remains one of the most popular female comic book characters.
Pulido has published and / or written hundreds of comics including A Nightmare on Elm St., Chucky, Friday The 13th, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween, Megadeth and Insane Clown Posse, WWE (Mankind, Undertaker, The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin).
As a filmmaker, Pulido wrote and directed The Graves, starring Tony Todd (Candy Man), which sold to After Dark Films, Lionsgate and SyFy among others.
He directed music videos for bands such as Calabrese, whose video “Voices of The Dead” has exceeded 1.45 million views on YouTube and has also directed corporate communication for American Express and Genentech. Pulido produced Stitched, written and directed by Garth Ennis (Preacher). He produced Lady Death: The animated feature, released by ADV films. For Turner Broadcasting, he wrote stories for Lara Croft: Re-imagined.
Pulido received the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund´s Defender of Liberty award for his fundraising efforts. He is on the Board of Directors for Hero Initiative, a non-profit that raises funds for comic book veterans in need.
Pulido is prepping his next slate of film projects including Zombies vs. Cheerleaders, adapted from the cult hit comic book.
He is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of The Arts Motion Picture & Television Program and is the owner of CoffinComicsShop.com, dedicated to creating authentically rare, hand-crafted comic book limited editions.
Adam Hughes (Artist: 2/08-present)
Adam Hughes is renowned for his sumptuous “good girl” pin-up style illustrations of various iconic female characters, and his prolific output of lush cover illustrations. Self-taught, Hughes has lent his painstaking style to many titles, beginning with The Maze Agency and on to his big break on DC’s Justice League America. He produced interior art for Ghost, Gen13, Legionnaires, Penthouse Comix, 52, Superman/ Gen13, to name a few. He enjoyed lengthy stints as cover artist on Wonder Woman, Catwoman, and Tomb Raider. Along the way, He has also worked for Marvel, Dark Horse, Lucasfilm, Warner Brothers, Playboy, Mutant Enemy, and Sideshow. He co-founded Gaijin Studios in 1991 to further hone his craft, and remained with them for 12 years. He is currently the cover artist on Batgirl and the Fables spin-off, Fairest. -H.C.
Ethan Van Sciver (Artist/ Writer:1/10 – Present)
Ethan Van Sciver is a penciller and inker known for his meticulous attention to detail in his fine linework. Ethan wrote and drew his own book at 19, Cyberfrog, and went on to work for Marvel, notably on exceptional fill-ins on Grant Morrison’s New X-Men. At DC, his first major work was on Impulse, and Ethan became known for his collaborations with writer Geoff Johns, beginning with The Flash: Iron Heights. Johns and Van Sciver orchestrated the full-on revival of Hal Jordan as the main officer of the Green Lantern Corps, spinning an epic story across several books and revitalizing the Green Lantern mythos. Their most recent teaming, on The Flash: Rebirth, ushered in the return of Barry Allen, the Silver Age Flash. Van Sciver has also lent his talents to Superman/ Batman, JLA, Batman/ Catwoman, and Weapon X, among others. Ethan is currently writing DC’s Firestorm.
Joe Kubert (Artist, Cartoonist, Letterer, Colorist, Author, Editor, Legend: 9/11- 8/12**)
Joe Kubert has worked in comics since the beginning of the business. In his seventy-plus years of working in the medium he has produced countless stories for countless characters, including DC Comics’ Hawkman, Tarzan, Enemy Ace, Sgt Rock, Batman and the Flash as well as his own characters: the heroic caveman, Tor, and Abraham Stone. His list of accomplishments is lengthy. A quick rundown: penciler, inker, letterer, colorist, one of the creators of 3-D comic books, newspaper strip cartoonist, school founder and teacher, correspondence course developer, author, artist and editor. He is an award recipient for the Alley Award, National Cartoonists Society, The Eisner and The Harvey. Joe Kubert lives and works in New Jersey.
Joe commented “I’m glad to participate in what I feel is a worthy cause.” -B.A.
**UPDATE: Joe passed away on August 12, 2012 at the age of 85 while still serving as ambassador for almost a full year. Bob speaks of Joe here.
Eric Basaldua (Artist: 9/11- present)
Eric Basaldua (AKA Ebas) developed a fan-following from his early work at Top Cow Productions for Marc Silvestri. Adroit at both penciling and inking, his work has appeared for publishers as diverse as Marvel, Zenescope, Dynamite and DC, and he is well known as a cover artist for properties as Red Sonja, Vampirella, Witchblade, Tomb Raider, The Darkness, Magdalena, Grimm Fairy Tales, and many more. Eric’s good girl and erotic art has grown in demand among the art collecting community. -B.A.
Phil Jimenez (Artist: 9/11- present)
Artist Phil Jimenez is known for his work as a writer and penciler, often inking his own pencil work, and has a reputation for utilizing meticulous detail in his art. First hired at DC in 1991, his career has propelled him to notable runs on series such as Wonder Woman, The Invisibles, Team Titans, Tempest, and event projects like War of the Gods, 52 and Infinite Crisis. For Marvel he produced fan-favorite art for Amazing Spider-Man, Astonishing X-Men and New X-Men among others. In addition to his comic book work Phil also teaches life drawing at the School of Visual Arts on New York City. -B.A.
Trevor Von Eeden (Artist: 7/10 – Present)
In 1977, at 17, I became DC Comics first black artist–and one of the youngest they’d ever hired. I co-created (designed and drew) BLACK LIGHTNING, their first original black super-hero–the first to have his own book. I’ve been known for my work on various BATMAN titles, GREEN ARROW, BLACK CANARY, and a 1984 mini-series called THRILLER–which enjoys a cult following to this day. At Marvel, I am remembered by fans for my run on Powerman and Iron Fist.
The conclusion to my first graphic novel, “The Original Johnson” (the story of Jack Johnson, the first black Heavyweight Champion of The World–and told for the first time in color) was released in February, 2011. (Vol. I was released on Dec. 23rd, 2009, and sold out immediately.) My latest project is a 4 issue series that I’m both inking and drawing, called “Stalker”– for a new independent publisher, Gateway Comics. It stars a new super-heroine about whom I haven’t been this excited since THRILLER, in ’85–and I intend for the Art to show just that.
Cully Hamner (Artist: 6/11- present)
Cully Hamner is a versatile and uber-talented comics illustrator. He co-founded Gaijin Studios, and also helped launch 12 Gauge Comics, for which he was the Creative Consultant. He is known for his work on Green Lantern: Mosaic (his comics debut), Down (with Warren Ellis), Black Lightning: Year One, and his relaunching of The Blue Beetle and The Question. His other book with Ellis, Red, was made into a major motion picture, and he and Ellis revisited the title in Red: Eyes Only. Hamner was chosen for a significant role in redesigning DC’s stable of characters for the company’s “52” relaunch of its entire line. His work can be seen recently on The Shade with writer James Robinson. Hamner is also a prolific cover artist, and has also done comics work for Marvel, Penthouse Comix, and Les Humanoids.
Mark Brooks (Artist: 6/10 – Present)
Mark Brooks is recognized in the field for his fluid style and gorgeous cover illustrations and “good girl” art. His work has appeared in Marvel Age, New X-Men, Cable and Deadpool, Ultimate X-Men, The Amazing Spider-Man, and Avengers: The Initiative. Mark has provided covers for X-Men, Fantastic Four, Avengers and Anya Corazon: Arana: The Heart of the Spider, among others. He has also worked on figure designs for Sideshow Collectibles. He has recently worked on Dark Reign: Young Avengers.
Mike Marts (Editor: 2/08 – Present)
Mike Marts started out at Marvel as an assistant editor to Nel Yomtov for their Avengers titles in the early ’90s. Later in the decade, he was hired by Acclaim Comics and ultimately became the editor of their entire line of comics. After Acclaim ceased publishing, Mike was rehired at Marvel as an editor, at one point editing Christopher Priest’s Black Panther with Bob Almond and his art partner Sal Velluto for over a year. His successful time at Marvel culminated in his being awarded the coveted position of editor of the X-men line of titles. Mike subsequently shifted to DC in 2006, overseeing the Legion books and All-Star comics, and has since become the head editor of the highly-acclaimed Batman line of titles. In 2014 he would return to Marvel as Executive Editor.
When forming the Inkwell Awards in early 2008, founding members Bob Almond and Tim Townsend simultaneously wanted to bring in Mike as an ambassador and he didn’t hesitate to join and aid the organization. Mike and Adam Hughes were the first two Inkwell ambassadors and their names have benefited the non-profit organization’s mission ever since.
Sal Velluto (Artist: 7/10 – Present)
Known for his tight, precise, and anatomically powerful style, Sal Velluto broke into comics in the late 1980s, pencilling Power Pack and Moon Knight for Marvel before lending his dynamic renditions to such indie titles as X-O Manowar, Green Hornet, Armor, and Lazarus Ledd for Star Comics, based in his native Italy. Sal also branched out into commercial art and design, creating designs for trading cards to video games. After making an impact at DC with Justice League Task Force, he co-created Firebrand with writer Brian Augustyn, which led to his revamp of Acclaim Comics’ popular Bloodshot and his most fruitful partnership, with inker Bob Almond.
Returning to Marvel, Sal worked on one of his favorite characters, The Silver Surfer, followed by a lengthy and popular stint on the Black Panther, where he re-teamed with Bob Almond, and the two produced some of the most beautiful work ever on the Panther. Shifting back to DC, Sal toiled on various JSA and JLA titles, again often partnered with Almond. His most recent work has ranged from the acclaimed Captain Gravity and the Power of the Vril; monthly illustrations for The Friend magazine; and internationally published work on the classic comic strip hero The Phantom.