After an astounding premier live awards ceremony at Heroes Con on June 4-6, the non-profit Inkwell Awards is gearing up for their fifth season of recognizing inking excellence in the comic book community and promoting the art form. One highlight is the recruitment of additional star talent to the roster of Inkwell Ambassadors, a role that adds exposure and credibility to the organization and it’s mission. Two of the three additions from their 2011 Inkwell tour stop at Pittsburgh Comicon are artists Phil Jimenez and Eric Basaldua.
Let’s hope our earth fares better in 2012 than the earth from Metamorphosis Odyssey anyway! But, as a matter of fact, over the summer I honestly had personal feelings that the Inkwell Awards as an ongoing operation was doomed to destruction….even after accomplishing so much in a successful fourth season! My work scheduled picked up starting in the spring and I was barely able to carry operations through to the Heroes Con awards ceremony in June. And I wasn’t sure when it would let up.
Due to personal and private matters some on the committee went on sabbaticals early in 2011 and I found myself alone to handle various functions. Should the spigot of inking gigs keep pouring into late 2011, I had my doubts about running things in any way, and in my opinion on one on the team had the availability and/or know-how to run things as interim director in my absence.
Bob Shaw had retired, taking his wife and contributor Kim with him. Nathan Massengill grew more and more out of communication until be totally disappeared in the fall. My fellow founders Danny Best and Jimmy Tournas were side-tracked over the summer with other matters in their lives. Our upgraded wordpress website was out of date and missing resources from the original site, with no one capable or available to handle it. And we’d been having some account issues with our primary fundraising source eBay and our budgetary funds were running out. Wouldn’t you panic?
Kudos to two unsung inker heroes (I apologize in advance for any lapses of correct memory details):
When I first started discussing the idea of the Inkwell Awards in late 2007 on the Yahoo mailing list group The Inkwell, I was calling it the Inkblot Awards. It made perfect sense to me as it was my concept and my column in Sketch Magazine#35 where I wrote an article on it was called ‘Inkblots’. No one voiced any criticism with it as I recall, until Canadian-based inker Serge Lapointe spoke up and asked “Why not the InkWELL Awards?” He said it sounded better. I hated it. Until some time passed and reason caught up with me and I realized that he was right, it was perfect (well, now more perfect that Inkblots anyway– Inkwell=classy, Inkblots=uh, messy?). My personal website was ‘The Bob Almond Inkwell’ so that was a nice reference to me as originator and, more noticeably, the online venue where the concept began to mold and transform was on, in fact, The Inkwell! So the name stuck from there. I would subsequently add the Yahoo group’s owner and moderator Jim Tournas and my Sketch editor Bill Nichols to the founding Inkwell core committee in January of 2008.
After a crazy busy summer it’s that time of year again to kick off the 2012 and 5th season of The Inkwell Awards, and more specifically with fundraising actions! New committee member Michael Kellar has taken on the duty of auctioneer and launched our fall auction line-up on our eBay page as of 8/29 with exciting items from Darryl Banks&Romeo Tanghal (see image), Andy Smith, Mark Brooks, Bob Layton, Eric Basuldua and David Mack like published original art, new canson art, prints, and sketchcover art on blank cover variants! These auctions will be posted on average overy other week so please bookmark this link above and check them out every chance you can for awesome deals!
As we slowly get our revamped site up to ‘speed’, I have some personal loose-ends to catch up on. And since I have my own blog ‘Bob’s Corner’, I might as well use it when I can, and not just as an intro to each new season (although that post will be forthcoming before long <g>). Earlier this year I checked out a copy of writer/photographer/marketer/& ‘Jedi’ Buddy Scalera’s new book CREATING COMICS FROM START TO FINISH (released last spring) and overall found the book to be well composed with chapters on various aspects of comic book production from editing, writing, penciling, inking, lettering and coloring, as well as a chapter on alternate jobs in the industry, interviews with Joe Quesada and Stan Lee, and several addendum chapters with notes and resources for reference. Among the notable creators involved with their related chapters are Mike Marts, Mark Waid, Darick Robertson, Chris Eliopoulos, Brian Haberlin, and for inking, Rodney Ramos. I was pleased to see a 12-page chapter on inking, allowing me to write a brief review on that section as that happens to be a matter ON TOPIC here at the Inkwell Awards site. Rodney has had over two decades in the biz as an ink artist and he’s got an impressive reputation so Buddy made a superb choice with him.