<copy/pasted from Facebook> I’d like to apologize for the 6th (and intended to be final) JOE SINNOTT INKING CHALLENGE book which dually acts as a 10th anniversary album. It was delayed in 2017 for our anniversary in 2018 and it missed the June host show release. With only days remaining the completed sections put together by many gracious and supportive members and associates have barely been collected and developed beyond a proof. The buck stops with me and I apologize to not only anyone looking forward to seeing it but all the Challenge artist participants, the authors Cliff Meth and Tim Lasiuta, the various folks who fed Mike Pascale celebratory statements, Michael Netzer who painted a cover portrait of Joe Sinnott and Joe and Mark Sinnott themselves. We are making plans to try to get the book produced for 2019, preferably early on, through contacts. It will be something special so it’d be a shame if it were to languish in limbo indefinitely. I’ll report any updates here and please contact me if you can help or know someone that can!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: (New Bedford, MA/USA—December 14, 2018) The non-profit Inkwell Awards, the only organization devoted to promoting the art of comic book inking, announces its fourth annual Sinnott Inking Challenge Spotlight focusing on the pencil art of a legendary comics creator. This year features artist David Finch‘s take on DC’s iconic Batman. The artwork will be auctioned afterwards for fundraising.
“With the ongoing success of our original Joe Sinnott Challenge, we expanded the program to include the Spotlight Challenge in 2015, with even better results,” said Bob Almond, founder and director of The Inkwell Awards (AKA “The Inkwells”). “For this event, we showcase other contemporary, fan-favorite talents on a more limited scale with veteran published inkers who may or may not have participated in other challenges. Our last three pencillers included Jim Lee, Neal Adams and Erik Larsen.”
The original Joe Sinnott Challenge, which features pencils by the inking legend inked by various professionals, semi-professionals and amateur inkers, began in 2010 but is being postponed for next year due to scheduling reasons. “Our annual Inkwell Awards show has been moved up two months due to a venue change and Joe’s own schedule is full so we thought it best to take a break,” said Almond. “Plus it gives us more time to focus on the Spotlight.”
The Challenge Spotlight furthers the inking advocacy’s dual mission of promoting the artform and educating the public. Blue-lined art boards featuring a tightly pencilled David Finch Batman pinup will be sent to just 24 artists to finish and/or embellish in ink. Each inked page will be signed by Finch and the inker, and include a certificate of authenticity signed and numbered by Almond. All pages will then be auctioned off at a later date as a fundraiser. Fans will be able to see the difference in the pencilled and inked versions to better understand how much inkers contribute to the artform.
The list of participating inkers will be named later. “On behalf of the Inkwells,” said Almond, “our kindest thanks to DC, David and all involved for their cooperation, support of our program, and appreciation of ink artists.”
Much kind thanks to Inkwell venders Theresa and Kate from the Kubert Art Store for their annual donation of boards towards this program.
(New Bedford, MA – November 18, 2018) The Inkwell Awards is announcing that their annual live awards ceremony will be relocating to the Great Philadelphia Comic Con! at the The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA commencing April 12-14, 2019. Their awards ceremonies for the previous eight years, including 2018, were held at the June HeroesCon in Charlotte, NC.
According to Inkwell Awards founder and director Bob Almond, HeroesCon promoter Shelton Drum invited the non-profit organization to his long-running, family-friendly show in 2011. “We had been left hanging by a major convention,” Almond said, “and Shelton, who had endured similar problems, wanted to support a kindred spirit and show that this altruistic, annual event could be done and well-supported.”
Almond added, “Changing venues is both sorrowful and exciting. Our presence at Heroes’ industry-respected and community-loved show further boosted our credibility and exposure, which helped with fundraising in the long run. We can truly thank HeroesCon for where we are now. But the 16-hour drives and related travel expenses each season would leave our budget almost wiped out.”
When asked about the switch in locations, Almond explained, “When Great Philadelphia Con’s Creator Relations and Artist Alley Director Stan Konopka with promoter Christopher D. Wertz offered us their venue and funding support for all expenses, we were thrilled. A mere six-hour drive is a huge relief for us. Christopher’s convention has grown in a short time in reputation and attendance from both the celebrity/artist guests and the fans.”
After much patient waiting, as of November 7 the Inkwell Awards have finally received the 2018 Inkwell Awards live awards ceremony which celebrated our 10 year anniversary with recording from A/V volunteer Matthew Tyndall and volunteer panel coordinator Andrew Mansell from this past June at Heroes Con, our 8th and final event at that location. But that’s not the disappointing part. I wish I’d known/been told that Matt would be editing out several moments of the 90+ minute program down to 31+ minutes, only a third of the experience. Communication was lacking. Realistically, I can see the video person cutting out the post awards Q&A maybe, and certainly the door prizes, but it didn’t start with my intro to the festivities nor, more tragically, Guest of Honor Mike Royer and his presentation, but instead it starts with me introducing Presenter Dan Panosian which followed all that. I am not surprised when my announcements about seasonal Inkwell highlights are cut out including the silver inkwell internal awards, new ambassadors, fundraising results from certain programs, etc. but I wish it had included my annual public request, for 8 consecutive years now, to the Eisner Awards (our community’s version of the Academy Awards) to return the separate Inking category to their ballot categories. The video thankfully included the 10th anniversary debut of the “Above & Beyond Awards” to celebrate some remarkable mission-supporting achievements, whether they be internally or community-based, but it cut out Inkwell Ms. Inkwell spokesmodel Hailey Skaza-Gagne’s acceptance speech (the only recipient of the three announced to be present) and the original art portrait by Bill Sienkiewicz which was revealed after her words. It seemingly also cut out our Stacey Aragon Special Appreciation Award awarded to Russ Heath who passed soon after in August, truly regrettable. But the guts are here with all five ballot categories being read and the award recipients announced by Dan and the winners making their statements. Same about the Sinnott Hall of Fame lifetime achievement Awards presented by special Inkwell ambassador Pat Broderick to Bob McLeod and Joe Giella with Bob’s statement and Joe Sinnott’s comments regarding the winners. FOR ALL THIS I SINCERELY APOLOGIZE, especially after the 5 month LONG delay.
I will say this, whether we record it ourselves (like we’d intended to do in June and the June before that and have in the past at Heroes) at our new host show venue, or the show will have someone on the show staff recording, either way it will include the ENTIRE (or at least the majority of the) event, not just a third of it, and it will be posted SOON AFTER the show weekend takes place.
For a full summary of the awards results, photos, statements and generally ceremony info you can find that here.
(New Bedford, MA/USA—Oct. 5, 2018) After 10 years, the Inkwell Awards, a non-profit organization devoted to public education and promotion of the art of comic-book inking, has changed its nomination procedure for its annual awards. For the first time, ink artists (“inkers”) are now invited to submit their work for consideration.
Previously, all award nominees in the Inkwells’ five categories were chosen exclusively by a volunteer Nomination Committee (“NomCom”), composed of various industry professionals, journalists, reviewers and supporters. This year, inkers (or their agents/publishers) may submit two to three pages of interior art from American comic books cover-dated 2018 for each category. Those will be evaluated by the NomCom, who will choose a minimum of two names and may also submit up to four of their own, per category. The Inkwells’ core committee will tally all results and choose the top names in each category for the final public ballot. Nominees for The Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame lifetime achievement award will continue to be chosen internally. The Inkwells’ core committee will remain ineligible to nominate, vote, submit work or be nominated for any inking award.
“We’ve had a lot of feedback over our previous decade,” said founder and director Bob Almond. “There were various concerns regarding popularity, visibility, requirements, and other things. We listened, and after much deliberation within our core committee, we worked it out and decided it was time to implement the change. Now it’s up to the inkers to send in their work.”
Those interested will have till December 31, 2018, to submit their work. Full details and instructions, including rules, are available on the advocacy’s website. Unlike some others, The Inkwell Awards will not charge a submission fee. “We want every ink artist to have their shot,” Almond said.
Final nominees will be decided by spring of 2019 when voting will be open for the public. The winners will be announced at the Inkwells’ live awards ceremony in the summer.
The five categories of The Inkwell Awards are:
1) Favorite Inker: favorite ink artist over the pencil work of another artist.
2) Most-adaptable: showing exceptional ink style versatility over other pencil artists (minimum of two cited sources).
3) Props award: ink artist deserving of more attention for their work over other pencillers.
4) The S.P.A.M.I: for favorite Small Press And Mainstream-Independent, inking over another penciller (non-Marvel or DC work).
5) All-in-one award: for favorite artist known for inking his/ her own pencil work.
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. Entering its 11th year, the organization is overseen by a volunteer committee of industry professionals and assisted by various professional ambassadors, numerous contributors and supporters. They sponsor the Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship Fund for the Kubert School and host the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award.
BECAUSE YOU DEMANDED IT! After 10 years and much feedback, the one-of-a-kind, non-profit Inkwell Awards is changing its nominating procedure so everyone gets a fairer shot.
Now YOU, the ink artist (or your agent/publisher), can submit your work for nomination in any of our five categories. (Unlike some other awards, we will not charge a fee.) While our volunteer nomination committee (“NomCom”) can still submit their choices, they just can’t see all the wonderful work during the year from all publishers large and small. So it’s up to YOU! The specifics:
WHO WE ARE:
In case you still haven’t heard, The Inkwell Awards (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 and award the best ink artists and their work. Now entering our 11th year, the organization is overseen by a volunteer committee of industry professionals and assisted by various pro ambassadors, numerous contributors and supporters. We sponsor the Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship Fund for the Kubert School and host the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award.
WHAT TO SEND:
Up to THREE interior pages of professional comic-book ink work you’ve done from any USA-published comic book (per categories below) COVER-DATED 2018. Send links to your sample(s) (not general site links), or low-res image files. Do not send large 300ppi files–we’re not a printer!
(Make sure you read and understand the ADDITONAL RULES below before sending.)
Your NAME, preferred EMAIL ADDRESS, the TITLE/ISSUE #(s) and PUBLISHER.
The CATEGORY(-IES) to which it belongs. (You may submit the same or different work to different categories, EXCEPT “Favorite Inker” and “Props”–pick one or the other.) Categories are:
1) Favorite Inker: favorite ink artist over the pencils of another artist. (Can’t be nominated for “Props.”)
2) Most-adaptable: showing exceptional ink style versatility over other pencil artists. (Minimum TWO pages, up to three.)
3) Props award: ink artist deserving of more attention for their work over other pencillers.
4) The S.P.A.M.I: for favorite Small Press And Mainstream-Independent comic book ink work over another pencil artist (Non-Marvel or DC).
5)All-in-one award: for favorite artist inking his/her own pencils.
WHERE TO SEND: Email samples to email@example.com, with the Subject “2018 Inkwell Awards.” (Questions? Same email or ask us on Facebook or Twitter @inkwellawards.)
WHEN TO SEND: The deadline is DECEMBER 31st, 2018 (we’ll post reminders, but earlier is better).
Since this is our first try at this, we have to be strict. PLEASE help us help you by following the directions specifically. If not, your work cannot be considered. We are merely a few working professionals who volunteer when time allows so we don’t have the time/manpower to micro-manage.
-Inks can be with traditional or digital tools (e.g., brush, pen, marker, stylus, Apple Pen, Wacom, etc., but NOT pencils darkened/manipulated via Photoshop or other software).
-Our volunteer NomCom may also submit their choices. All entries will be considered equally and tallied.
–The core committee is not permitted to nominate, nor vote, for anyone (so save your bribes).
-All links sent must be to the specific pages being considered. Any general site links will be ignored.
-If work does not meet the criteria above or is not submitted in accordance with these rules, it will not be considered. Fraudulent entries will be voided and will result in your not being considered for any future awards (and any awards won will be forfeited and given to the runner-up.)
-The Inkwell Awards is not responsible for any power outages, server issues, software or hardware malfunctions, human error, acts of God, zombie apocalypses and any other stuff beyond our control.
Again, if you have questions or need more info, send an email to either firstname.lastname@example.org, or to me directly at the address below.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (New Bedford, MA/USA–9/27/2018): The 501(c)(3) non-profit advocacy group, the Inkwell Awards, elected artists Rags Morales and Dan Parsons as new Special 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 award-winning industry veterans. Rags Morales has worked for 29 years as an artist for Marvel, DC, Valiant, TSR and others. In addition to drawing popular characters such as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Captain America and The Avengers, he was an instructor at The Kubert School. Dan Parsons, who began his career in the 1990s, is an artist known for his work in comics (“Star Wars,” “Nightwing,” “Harpy”), film (“Game Of Thrones,” “Avatar: The Last Airbender”) and related fields (Ayn Rand’s “Anthem,” Edgar Rice Burroughs properties cover artist).
“Entering our second decade, it’s still an honor and thrill to have two veteran and fan-loved creators like Rags and Dan accept our invitation to lend further exposure and credibility,” said Inkwell Awards founder and director Bob Almond. “That helps us with improved funding and resources, with which we can aspire to accomplish more than ever. I believe the answer is receiving support throughout our community by creators with different skillsets in solidarity.”
Parsons added, “Since I am an overworked and underpaid artist these days, 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 offense to painters, writers, pencillers, colorists or letterers, but it has always been the inking that has inspired me. I am truly grateful that there is an institution like the Inkwells that shares my inspiration!”
Morales issued the following statement: “For years I was a penciller and for years that’s all I needed to be. We got top billing and the bulk of the workload. Inkers were good partners who just couldn’t be allowed to mess it up. Do your job, and everyone’s happy.
“Or so I thought.
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the greatest inkers this industry had to offer–Bob Almond among them–and every one of them had hidden strengths that aren’t readily apparent when seeing them gloss over other talents.
“As such, you come away swimming with the possibilities of who we’d love to see on “such and such” a title; sci-fi vs. superheroes vs. noir vs. archaic, etc.
“Inkers are the final word; and it’s my pleasure to be working with Bob as an ambassador for the Inkwell Awards, shedding light on an often misunderstood, and completely necessary, great and unique craft that is comic-book art.”
Since the organization was formed in 2008, the roster of Inkwell Ambassadors has included Adam Hughes, Mark Brooks, Sal Velluto, Cully Hamner, Eric Basuldua, Phil Jimenez, Jim Shooter, Brian Pulido, Jim Starlin and Laura Martin along with the late Joe Kubert and Rich Buckler. The more-involved Special Ambassadors include Joe Sinnott, J. David Spurlock, Mike McKone, Clifford Meth, Pat Broderick and Aldrin Aw, aka “Buzz.”
The Inkwell Awards is the only 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 beginning its 11th year, the Inkwells are overseen by a volunteer committee of industry professionals and assisted by various professional ambassadors and contributors. They sponsor the Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship Fund for the Kubert School and host the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award.
Sad way to start a day. My only memory to share regarding Russ Heath was fairly recent and, apparently now, during a serious decline in his health this year. Russ was living at home last January when we contacted his close friend Steven L. Wyatt (who unofficially acted as a handler for conventions) that he had won the Inkwell Awards’ Stacey Aragon Special Recognition Award. Russ was in a wheelchair but he wanted to attend Heroes Con to receive it and Steve hoped he could travel with him. Promoter Shelton Drum was ready to assist in any way for us to get him there. After some communication delays regarding travel plans I finally reached Steven in early April to sadly hear that Russ had to go to assisted living in Long Beach 140 miles away due to some mobility issues and would not be able to attend shows anymore. Communications were few and infrequent after that but we were able to ship the trophy to Steve and then waited for a follow-up. A pal of Steve’s, Pat McGreal, later contacted me saying that he lives near the home and Steve asked him if he could record on video Russ receiving the award. The recording was ultimately not used because Russ couldn’t think of anything to say and he was also dealing with hearing problems and confusion. So Pat captured a shot from the video to be used as a photo for the award ceremony slideshow by Inkwell contributor Ray Burke who was able to add it like 2 days from the event (shown below in comments). Much like Dick Giordano, Bernie Wrightson, Dick Ayers and Murphy Anderson before him, the Inkwell Awards were so relieved to be able to show appreciation for these masters’ works through a lifetime achievement award while they were still around to appreciate it. (Due to technical problems we weren’t able to add his name to our site yet so he wasn’t credited for our award on Wikipedia. That is being handled now.) Rest in peace, Russ!
The Inkwell Awards organization sends it’s sincere condolences to Russ’ family and loved ones.
(New Bedford, MA/USA—June 17, 2018) The Inkwell Awards released the list of winners of its 11th annual awards for excellence in the art form of comic-book inking. Nominees were again chosen by a separate and independent nomination committee. This year featured the greatest number of nominees, including female inkers in three of the five categories. Voting by professionals and fans took place in April via live ballot at the non-profit advocacy’s website. One winner was chosen in each of five categories based on American interior comic-book work cover-dated 2017.
Separately, the Inkwells selected internally the two recipients of the annual Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award and one recipient for the Stacey Aragon Special Recognition Award (SASRA). Winners were contacted and many of the invited guests were present to receive their trophies during North Carolina’s HeroesCon, the host show for the Inkwells. Winners are listed with their nominated credits and the percentage of votes received, where applicable.
FAVORITE INKER: Scott Hanna (29.4%) (Booster Gold/The Flintstones Special, DC Holiday Special, Justice League Of America, Legion of Super-Heroes/Bugs Bunny Special, Superman, Trinity [DC]; All-New Wolverine, Black Panther, Black Panther & The Crew, Great Lakes Avengers, Ultimates 2, X-men Blue [Marvel]). Other nominees: Bill Sienkiewicz, Jonathan Glapion, John Dell, Mick Gray, John Floyd, Dan Green, Seth Mann.
MOST-ADAPTABLE INKER:Scott Hanna (30.9%)
(See above credits.) Other nominees: Walden Wong, Mark Morales, Jonathan Glapion, Dexter Vines, Jay Leisten.
PROPS AWARD (inker deserving of more attention): Joe Prado (37.8%) (Justice League Of America: Rebirth, Green Lanterns, Superman [DC]).
Other nominees: Tony Kordos, Marc Deering, Michelle Delecki, Daniel Henriques, Jason Paz.
S.P.A.M.I. (Small Press and Mainstream Independent): Sal Buscema (25.1%)(ROM [IDW]). Other nominees: Mark Morales, Stefano Gaudiano, Irene Flores, Rodney Ramos, Ryan Winn, Robin Riggs.
ALL-IN-ONE (pencilling and inking together): Liam Sharp (18.46%)
(Justice League, Wonder Woman [DC]). Other nominees: Dan Panosian, David Marquez Stan Sakai, Joelle Jones, Terry Moore, Mitch Gerads, Mico Suayan.
THE STACEY ARAGON SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD (SASRA): Russ Heath Other nominees: John Byrne and Jim Sanders III.
THE JOE SINNOTT HALL OF FAME: Joe Giella and Bob McLeod
Other nominees: Dan Adkins, John Beatty, Mike Esposito, Mark Farmer, Al Gordon, Bob Layton, Pablo Marcos, Frank McLaughlin and Bernie Wrightson.
“I was thrilled to hear that two very fine inkers were selected for induction into the Inkwell Awards Hall of Fame for 2018,” said Joe Sinnott, the award’s namesake and first recipient. “Both Joe and Bob have previous ties to the Inkwells, Bob being the keynote speaker at their awards ceremony at HeroesCon in 2012, and Joe being the Guest of Honor at the 2017 ceremony. It is with great pride that we honor these two excellent ink artists into the Inkwell Awards family as 2018 recipients of the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award. Congratulations, fellas, on jobs, and careers, well done!”
(New Bedford, MA/USA—June 6, 2018) Voting results from the annual Inkwell Awards will be presented at the inking advocacy group’s live awards ceremony at Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC this month. The event, also celebrating the non-profit’s 10th anniversary, is scheduled for Friday June 15, 5:00 PM, at the Charlotte Convention Center, in room 209-210.
Bronze-age DC Comics ink artist and one of Jack Kirby’s top inkers, Mike Royer, is scheduled to appear as Guest of Honor. “We are very fortunate to have one of the best ink artists in the field attending our special day of recognition,” said Bob Almond, the Inkwells’ founder/director and MC of the ceremony. “Since the other top Kirby inker is our Hall of Fame award’s namesake, Joe Sinnott, we’re doubly excited.”
The Inkwells have five categories: Favorite Inker, Most-Adaptable Inker, the “Props” award for under-recognized professionals, the S.P.A.M.I. for Small Press And Mainstream-Independent work, and the “All-in-One” for the artist who inks his/her own pencil art. Voters-–fans and professionals alike–all cast their ballots at the group’s website in April to show their support and choose their favorites.
Announced with the publicly-chosen award-winners will be the internally-voted two recipients of the yearly Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award and one winner of the annual Stacey Aragon Special Recognition Award. To celebrate their decade anniversary, the Inkwells have created the “Above & Beyond” Award for members, volunteers and others who have served beyond the call of duty to promote the artform of comic book inking and it’s ink artists.
Almond added, “There’s so much turnover when you are working with unpaid members, so when those rare volunteers stay long-term and go the extra yard for the organization, we need to thank those special folks for their exceptional dedication.”
In addition to Royer, Almond will MC the event, while artist and longtime Inkwell contributor Dan Panosian will act as presenter. Recently-added Inkwell ambassador, artist Pat Broderick, will present the lifetime achievement awards. Also appearing will be veteran hostess Hailey Skaza-Gagne as spokesmodel Ms. Inkwell, who will be joined by 2011 Heroes Con Ms. Inkwell, Kathy Denise Taylor, in her first return to Heroes Con as a co-spokesmodel. She shared “I’m super excited to be able to come back and help again!”
Other related guests at the Heroes show itself include Inkwell ambassadors Buzz and Cully Hamner. 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 a door prize. After the event, every ticket holder will also 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.”
During the show, The Inkwells will be set up in Artists Alley at 1615-1616 as can be seen at the Heroes Con website. To help raise much-needed funds, they’ll be offering (for donations) a variety of Inkwell merchandise, including their recently-released Ms. Inkwell Gallery art book, signed by cover artist Bill Sienkiewicz, Joe Sinnott, Bob Almond, and spoksemodels Hailey Skaza-Gagne, Skylar Lauren Godwin and Kathy Denise Taylor. (Their latest Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge Book and 10th Anniversary Album will be available later in the year.)
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. We’re really looking forward to seeing everyone on Friday and during the con!”