23 Sep 2011

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  Our upgraded wordpress website was out of date and missing resources from the original site, with no one capable or available to handle it.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?

Well, the work let up by September…a good news/bad news scenario.  Incoming committee members Stacey Aragon and Michael Kellar got right on the horse.  Michael took over our eBay account auctions, the account problems lifted and contributor Erick Korpi assisted us with original art consult in place of Bob Shaw.  Funds began to be raised.  Bob Shaw volunteered for NYCC to man our booth and collect donations, as would JimmyT.  And I started delegating more duties about to the team, in order to deter another armageddon in case my assignment load should pick up again.  We relaunched the Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge in September, inviting more superstar ink artists to lend pen and brush over the slick pencil lines of the “‘joltin’ one”, with Jimmy and contributor Tom Schloendorn assisting me.  Tom also assisted me in recruiting more artists to donate their rendition of our spokesmodel character to the upcoming Ms. Inkwell book (to be produced by me and Jimmy).  Bob Shaw’s also at the helm as a volunteer to collect donations for the 2012 Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship Fund for the Kubert School (with Michael Netzer agreeing to design a logo for said charity!).  We started selecting choices for our new Nomination Committee.  And lastly, Sarah L. Covert joined the crew as a contributor to not only take over for Stacey as the new Social Networks gal, but she’s assisting and tutoring us on how to update and maneuver on the revamped website.  In fact, several sections are already complete or in the works like the Inkwell History and membership pages, The Inker Database, The long-awaited Ms. Inkwell section, and coming soon: a video section along with coverage and the narrative from the Heroes Con awards ceremony, the return of the Inking Samples section, Friends page, new Hall of Fame entries, and finally, an Inkwell Store to purchase our merchandise like tees, donation books, prints, and even remainder items from our auctions!

2nd annual Sinnott Inking Challenge: blueline Captain America file by Joe

2nd annual Sinnott Inking Challenge: blueline Thor file by Joe

House ad on the back cover of the 2011 Inkwell Donation Book for the Sinnott Inking Challenge Gallery Book

Our COMPliments Program has continued thanks to our generous retailers at Rubber Chicken, New England Comics and Harrison’s Comics and Toys, in May Angela Fernot was chosen as the 2nd Simons Scholarship inductee, The Kubert Store now donates boards for our annual Inking Challenge, Danny Best is working on the Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge Gallery Book, and we’ve added two new ambassadors to our team of all-stars from the April Pittsburgh Comicon which I’ll be announcing soon!  Down the road: our site returning to the status of a complete, one-stop inking resource, new Ms. Inkwells, the ’12 convention tour, ballot nominations, voting, and the 2nd live awards ceremony at Heroes Con next summer.

Michael Netzer to design the Dave Simons Scholarship logo

(L-R) Melissa Dloughy Bender (Ms. Inkwell Pittsburgh 2012?), Bob Almond, Alana Stanley: Ms. Inkwell PCC 2011

Mike McKone Ms. Inkwell cover art for an upcoming 2012 donation book

Angela Fernot receives the Dave Simons Scholarship from the legendary Joe Kubert

Call it the phoenix effect, or what doesn’t stop you makes you stronger.  But with the challenges met, lessons were learned, and precautions made.   We’ll be more prepared for future curveballs as a stronger organization, and I’m more excited than ever for the 5th season. So take that armageddon!



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