Voting for the 8th annual Inkwell Awards was conducted via online balloting for two weeks from May 1st through May 15th, 2015. Subsequent ballots from the same IP address were omitted from the tallies. Thank you for the over 1565 votes you placed. The Inkwell Awards Committee would like to formally extend congratulations to all the winners and runners up.
Favorite ink artist over the pencil work of another artist from 2014 cover-dated, interior, American comic book material
WINNER: VICTOR OLAZABA (Amazing Spider-Man, Bloodshot & H.A.R.D. Corps, Eternal Warrior, Superior Spider-Man, Uncanny X-Men) 27%
- Richard Friend- RUNNER-UP (Forever Evil)
- Jonathan Glapion (Batgirl, Birds of Prey, Robin Rises: Omega)
- Wade Von Grawbadger (All-New X-Men, Captain America, Guardians of the Galaxy)
- Danny Miki (Batman)
Ink artist showing exceptional ink style versatility over other pencil artists in 2014 interior, cover-dated, American comic book material
WINNER: Walden Wong (Amazing Spider-Man, Amazing X-Men, Catwoman, Daredevil: Dark Nights, Green Lantern Corps, Justice League Dark, Multiversity: Society of Super-Heroes) 68%
“Thank you. Last year, I accepted this same award and I don’t believe I deserve it. After I accepted it last year, I took the award to my booth in artist alley, set it on the table and the first person that walked up to my booth and congratulated me was Norman Lee. Which was also the first time I’ve met Norman in person, who was sitting only two booths next to me. We’ve spoken online many times and talked about inking projects. But it was my first time meeting Norman in person. For those of you who don’t know Norman, he’s also an Inker like myself. Norman went on vacation scuba diving and was later found missing. Now, Norman Lee and I shared a lot of inking credits throughout our careers and we do the same kind of work… Inking. I’ve been thinking a lot about Norman ever since I heard the news that he was missing… especially now since I’m back at Heroes Con for the second time located in the same booth number, which was only two booths away from where Norman sat, whom I’d met for the first time. I find myself looking two booths over and I don’t see him there anymore. I’ve already gotten this award last year, I don’t think I deserve it. I want to dedicate this award to Norman Lee. Norman deserves it. Thank you.”
- Marc Deering (Amazing X-Men, Batman/Superman, Birds of Prey, Green Lantern: New Guardians- Future’s End, G.I. Joe, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Green Lantern Corp, Justice League of America, Supergirl, Superman: Lois Lane, Uncanny X-Men, Wolverine & the X-Men, World’s Finest Annual)
- Jonathan Glapion (Batgirl, Birds of Prey, Earth 2: World’s End, Green Arrow, Robin Rises: Omega, Superman)
- Scott Hanna- RUNNER-UP (Earth 2, Fantastic Four, Future’s End, Infinity Man & the Forever People, Iron Man, Justice League, New Suicide Squad)
- Jay Leisten (Batwoman, Forever Evil: Argus, Mighty Avengers, Secret Origins, Uncanny Avengers)
- Dexter Vines (Amazing X-Men, Batwoman, Justice League United, The New 52: Future’s End, Q2: The Return of Quantum & Woody, Uncanny Avengers)
Ink artist deserving of more attention for their work over other pencillers from 2014 cover-dated interior American comic book material.
WINNER: Wade Von Grawbadger (All-New X-Men, Captain America, Guardians of the Galaxy) 68%
“It is an immense honor simply to be mentioned in the same sentence as my peers, to win is humbling. I thank all of those who voted for me and I will strive to continue to grow as an artist and better represent my craft.”
- Jay Leisten (Batwoman, Forever Evil: Argus, Mighty Avengers, Secret Origins, Uncanny Avengers)
Favorite Small Press And Mainstream-Independent 2014 interior, cover-dated, American comic book ink work over another pencil artist (Non-Marvel or DC work)
“It sounds ridiculous when I think of it, but comic book inking has been a major part of my life since I was a kid…only I didn’t know it. In fact, I didn’t fully understand this until one day in my late teens. My friend and mentor Jose Villarubia and I were looking through an old Batman comic and I was raving about Neal Adams amazing line work on a particular Batman face. Jose said, “Danny, that’s Dick Giordano.” At this faithful moment a realization began to take hold that it was actually the inking! The inking was that special aspect of comic book art that drew me to the medium more than anything else. I had been buying comics all the while for the inking and didn’t really know it!
I felt like an idiot back then but in light of how things have turned out its kind of funny now. I would always be hunting around for comics drawn by people like John Buscema, but would only put the cash down if the inker was right! If the name in the Inker/ Embellisher slot was Tom Palmer, Rudy Nebres, Sal Buscema or best of all left blank (John Buscema inking himself) the book would mysteriously make its way into my collection. I also began to detect other mysterious connections in my growing piles of comics. The only John Byrne or Marshall Rogers I owned had to be inked by Terry Austin. If Gil Kane or Gene Colan was inked by Klaus Janson or Tom Palmer you would find ‘em in my long boxes.
Now that I am overworked and underpaid comic book artist, I don’t get down to the comic book store as much as I used to. But when I do venture down it’s the inking I am going there for. No offence to painters, writers, pencillers, colorists or letterers. If I see a new book inked by Scott Williams , Joe Weems, Batt, Danny Miki, Jonathan Glapion or Richard Friend it will probably make its way into my long boxes. A collection of comics new and old now divided and organized in alphabetical order by ‘Inker.’
In closing I would like to above all thank Jan Duursema for discovering me way back in those days when I was obsessed with Al Williamsons inking. And of course Al Williamson himself! The man who was the first Star Wars comic book artist without whom I would not be here. Thanks to Randy Stradley at Dark Horse for giving me all that Star Wars work over the years. And thanks to my girlfriend Robin for her constant support and getting out the vote for this years Inkwell Award.”
- Jim Amash (Archie Marries Betty, Life with Archie)
- Stefano Gaudiano- RUNNER-UP (Walking Dead)
- Cliff Rathburn (Invincible, Super Dinosaur)
- karl Story (Serenity: Leaves on the Wind)
- Ryan Sellers (Hero Cats)
- Dexter Vines (Q2: The Return of Quantum & Woody)
Favorite artist known for inking his/ her own pencil work in 2014 interior, cover-dated, American comic book material
WINNER: Fiona Staples (Saga) 60%
- Chris Samnee (Daredevil)
THE SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD
Known mostly for his unsurpassed horror work for Warren, DC and others, he’s also worked on countless films in his 45-plus-year career. Bernie is of course the co-creator of DC’s Swamp Thing, as well as the artist extraordinaire of the famous adaptation of Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, a masterpiece in our field.
- Jack Davis- RUNNER-UP
- Tony Dezuniga
- Russ Heath
- Al Milgrom
- Bernie Wrightson
THE JOE SINNOTT HALL OF FAME AWARD
A hall of fame designation for an inking career in American comic books of outstanding accomplishment (lifetime achievement, 25-years minimum- two winners chosen annually)
AWARD RECIPIENT: Joe Kubert
Orion Zangara, Joe’s grandson, for the Kubert Estate:
“Joe Kubert was a comic book artist, art teacher, and founder of The Kubert School which is the only accredited school devoted entirely to cartooning. Started in 1976, The Kubert School (www.kubertschool.edu) enrolls students from around the world in a three year full-time residential program. Well-known graduates include Amanda Conner, Tom Mandrake, Rags Morales, Timothy Truman, Lee Weeks, Jan Duursema, Garry Brown, Nick Napolitano, Steve Bissette, Rick Veitch among many others including two of his sons, Adam and Andy Kubert.
Joe Kubert’s extraordinary career spans the history of the comic book in America. He began drawing comics in 1938, just as Superman made his debut in Action Comics #1. He was a legend among comic-book artists whose work stretched from the Golden Age of the superhero to the gritty realism of the graphic novel. He is best known for his work on the DC Comics characters Sgt. Rock and Hawkman in addition to Enemy Ace, Tarzan, Flash, Batman, Superman, Punisher as well as the prehistoric Tor which was one of the first comics presented in 3D. Joe’s other work includes the mid-1960’s newspaper comic strip “Tales of the Green Beret,” with writer Robin Moore and many graphic novels including “Jew Gangster”, “Yossel”, “Dong Xoai”, “Fax from Sarajevo” and others. He was also the recipient of exhibitions in museums and galleries throughout the world, and he was the subject of a biography, “Man of Rock,” by Bill Schelly, published in 2008.
Joe Kubert saw his work as an artist as his mechanism for living, not a job. He kept drawing, “not because I have to, but because I want to,” he said. He always said he was “the luckiest guy in the world.””
AWARD RECIPIENT: Steve Ditko
Craig Yoe, Creative Director of Yoe Books:
“Steve Ditko, in my mind, is the greatest mainstream comic book combined storyteller, penciller and inker of all time! Ditko doesn’t like to be photographed, but he has drawn a couple of coy self-portraits. There’s a striking one of him slaving away from the interior of a ginormous India ink bottle–I liked it so much that I put it on the cover of “The Creativity of Ditko”, one of five books I’ve produced collecting the work of the Master. Ditko strongly believes that Black is black, white is white. One thing I do know: when Ditko dips his pen into black ink and creatively applies it to white paper we find ourselves miraculously transported to colorful, Amazing Fantasies!”
Joe Sinnott, the award’s namesake and first recipient, made the following statement about this year’s recipients:
“It is with great pleasure that we are inducting 2 great artists – legends in the industry into the Inkwell Awards Hall Of Fame. This years Joe Sinnott Hall Of Fame Award recipients are Joe Kubert and Steve Ditko. I have never had the pleasure to meet either of these gentlemen, but certainly would have loved to have sat down and talked with them. I’m quite sure we would have had some very interesting stories to share.
I would have really enjoyed inking Joe Kubert’s Sgt. Rock. As many of you know, some of my favorite work was doing all those War stories for Atlas Comics back in the 1950s, so this would have been a lot of fun. I inked several issues of ROM Spaceknight for Marvel Comics in the 1980s. These stories were quite different from what I was doing, but fun to do. I certainly enjoyed them. There were a lot of space scenes that I enjoyed doing, adding all the stars and planets etc. My final issue of inking ROM was #73.
That happened to be the only time that I ever got to work with Steve Ditko on anything. That’s amazing in itself. After all those years, one would think that there would have been a story or 2 that we would have worked on together, but that was it. It was a pleasure to have worked on that 1 ROM issue. Congratulations to these 2 fine gentlemen on their induction into our Hall Of Fame. Thank you to all the committee members that voted them in, and I look forward to more great inkers being added to our elite group next year.”
Joe Sinnott (May , 2015)
- John Beatty
- Mark Farmer
- Frank Giacoia- RUNNER-UP (tie)
- Bob Layton
- Pablo Marcos
- Bob McLeod
- Jerry Ordway
- Josef Rubinstein- RUNNER-UP (tie)
Full transcript of award ceremony minus acceptance speeches can be downloaded from dropbox HERE