02 Jul 2021

Inkwell Awards Announces Artists For Joe Sinnott Tribute Inking Challenge

(New Bedford, MA/USA—July 2, 2021) The non-profit Inkwell Awards, devoted to promoting the art of comic book inking, has released the list of artists participating in its first Joe Sinnott Tribute Challenge Spotlight. The event features artist Ron Frenz’s exclusive pencil art of Marvel’s Thor, which was scanned and sent to a variety of ink artists to embellish. The artwork will be then auctioned for fundraising.

According to founder/director Bob Almond, the event was launched to commemorate the life and career of legendary ink artist Joe Sinnott around the anniversary of his passing last year, along with the annual inking event that bore his name since 2010.

“Our previous Sinnott Inking Challenges were major events for us and our supporters,” Almond said. “Joe would give us a tightly and/or loosely pencilled drawing of a popular character. Then ink artists of various experience levels would complete the scanned art in black and white, each bringing his or her own style to the piece. Fans are then able to see the difference in the pencilled and inked versions to better understand how much inkers contribute to the artform.”

The Tribute furthers the inking advocacy’s dual mission of promoting the artform and educating the public. Each inked page will be signed by Frenz and the inker. All pages, plus a certificate of authenticity signed by Almond, will then be auctioned off as a fundraiser in biweekly waves beginning Monday, July 5.

Sinnott’s son and estate agent, Mark Sinnott, said, “Bob Almond and I had decided that we would put an end to the Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge with the passing of my dad last June, but this was too good a tribute to refuse. This was all made possible by our good friend Joe Goulart, who had reached out to Joe’s long-time collaborator Ron Frenz, to take on this task…I agreed that yes, this would indeed be a great honor and tribute for my dad. I know that Joe would be so pleased and proud of everybody’s effort in making this happen. All the different interpretations that were done with Thor, the additions of some wonderful backgrounds, it was all truly such a great display of love and a fantastic tribute to Joe which I know he would have loved to have seen. He always enjoyed seeing the pieces that were turned in for all the previous Challenges. This tribute “4 Joe”, was something very special.”

“On behalf of the Inkwells,” added Almond, “our sincerest thanks to Mark, Joe, Ron, the over four dozen participating inkers, and all involved for their cooperation, support of our program, and appreciation of ink artists.”

The participating artists that gave tribute to Joe are:
Gerry Acerno
Kent Archer
Jeff Austin
Charles Barnett III
Mike Barreiro
Noah Barrett
Sean Begley
Joe Bennett
Steven Berry
Ken Branch
Eliot Brown
Richard Clark
Kevin Conrad
Adelso Corona
Marc Deering
John Dell
Guy Dorian Sr.
Ed Eargle
William Egli
John Floyd
David Fox
Ramona Fradon
Rusty Gilligan
Jeff Graham
Don Ho
Michael W. Kellar
Scott Koblish
Enrique Lopez
J. E. Lozano
Criss Madd
Pablo Marcos
Jose Marzan Jr.
Mark McKenna
Nick Nix
Joe Orsak
Dan Parsons
Mike Pascale
Mark Pennington
Joe Prado
ince Rodriguez
Alex Saviuk
Tom Schloendorn
Belinda Sinnott
Mark Sinnott
Andy Smith
Cam Smith
J. David Spurlock
Mark Stegbauer
J.L. Straw
Jason Sylvestre
Jim Tournas
Jonas Trindade
LeBeau Underwood
Larry Welch
Keith Williams

14 May 2021

Howdy Inkwellers! This is my first blog entry since June 29, 2017 and the last time I focused on a membership rollcall and previously titled “The Old Order Changeth” (sorry, I’m an unapologetic, lifelong Avengers fan) was August 31, 2013! So why am I taking a moment to blog an article after all this time in lieu of an insane schedule as we wrap up yet another season? Because our core committee roster, the braintrust of this non-profit, recently witnessed a roster change after the longest and glorious run of a consistent committee line-up. It used to be that, like all volunteers, people put in their time until they don’t have the time or they burn out. Comic book creators especially don’t stay long due to nutty work schedules and obligations. Some of those creators include Tim Townsend, Dave Simons and Nathan Massengill (who actually put in over two years!). Usually there are folks who come and go with rotating, overlapping rosters. Back in the day the passion got fierce as some personalities conflicted and I was the guy that played diplomat to attempt to keep the peace and not always succeeding. So while there were some individuals that had long stays like Daniel Best (3 years), Mike Kellar (4) and Jim Tournas (5 1/2), overall teams never stayed constant for long.

Besides myself, in 2013 two members were promoted to core committee status, Mike Pascale and Erick Korpi. Like Mike Kellar before him, Mike Pascale in short order became an assistant director after Kellar resigned (“The Mighty Mikes”). The current Mike has been on the core team now for over eight years! In that time he has been essential in streamlining operations, handling and upgrading most press releases, announcements and documents with me, often making me sound much better than I am (trust me, he’s good!), redesigning graphics used, been our most-prolific chronicler for bios and Sinnott Hall of Fame articles, acted as a back-up auctioneer in a pinch and even establishing the submissions program to our ballot voting system three years ago among his many accomplishments while holding this position.

Erick Korpi was on the team almost two years when he resigned for personal reasons but he returned just over two years later and has been on the team 3 years and 5 months since 2017. Again for personal reasons, this time related to business and health, Erick had to take an indefinite hiatus as of October of 2020. He is the only core committee volunteer to put in two terms and I have no doubt once he can straighten out some hurdles in his life that he’ll be back again for term #3. At one awards ceremony I even asked multimedia contributor Ray Burke to tease about this and present a mock “Inkwell Masochist Award” being offered to Erick during his slideshow. And even since he left he has continued to be invaluable as a consultant regarding original art value, lifetime achievement nominations and especially developments for our Inking Challenges. Among his many contributions, Erick has been the mastermind behind our most profitable Inking Challenge Spotlight events, successfully recruiting superstars like Jim Lee, David Finch and Ivan Reis and overseeing the programs with me, raising tens of thousands in fundraising, second only to our senior spokesmodel Hailey Skaza-Gagne.

And lastly, we have our second Aussie (after Dan Best) Rhys Evans who we recruited with an ad on social media to reach out for committee volunteers. Out of the three members who joined, Rhys was the only long-term “survivor”, having been on the team as our key auctioneer for just over five years. While the duties of an auctioneer was eventually split among 3-5 contributors from originally being just one person overseen by me due to the intense and time-consuming schedule that burned out members like Bob Shaw, Nathan Massengill and especially Mike Kellar, Rhys has gone many months with on average bi-weekly auction waves. Only recently in December of 2020 did he ask for a leave or sabbatical until the following summer due to family needs in the face of pandemic challenges.

These are the big three that held things together with me the longest with incredibly strong contributions to the organization with minimal issues. So while 2021 brings in new players to fill in the needs of our operations, I hope to see Erick and Rhys return to me and Mike Pascale while retaining our new members such as:

Ray Burke, who had been a senior contributor for nine years nine months until coming aboard December of 2020. A longtime Inkwell veteran, he brings with him the ability to run auctions and still carry on his duties as tech-guru, a chronicler and the awards ceremony multimedia contributor.

Joe Prado, who had been recruited as a senior ambassador, also in December 2020, to oversee the popular Brazillian School of comic book artists. Following the success of Mike Deodato Jr. in the 1990s, the region has developed generations of fast and reliable, mainstream talent that has been influential to a degree not seen since the older Filipino School of artists that developed in the 1970s for publishers Marvel, DC, Warren, etc. that is still active going on five decades. In this capacity, Joe assists with overseeing fundraising from donations and Inking Challenges. But he is the first Inkwell member to be active as both a special ambassador and, as of April 2021, a core committee member, a groundbreaking feat! While most professional artists only stay short-term, Joe is showing how things are done taking on two crucial, simultaneous positions while also maintaining his work schedule as a high-demand artist.

These are exciting times for us. I can only imagine the contributions to come from these two “lifers” and if our away team returns then there’s nothing this dream team can’t accomplish, along with the rest of our extended family of invaluable contributors, ambassadors, volunteers, associates and supporters. Let’s face it, I’m not the easiest guy to work with and yet all of the above talents have something in common: Bob stamina. And whenever I look good it’s only because they are GREAT. Our second decade shows us the best is yet to come. Forward & Upward!

05 May 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

2021 INKWELL AWARDS VOTING RESULTS: the Extended Edition (AKA The Book Race Version)

(New Bedford, MA/USA—May 5, 2021) The Inkwell Awards has announced the winners of its 14th annual awards for excellence in the comic-book inking art form. Results are normally first made public at its live awards ceremony during its host show, The Great Philadelphia Comic Con, but at present, due to uncertainties with the Covid-19 pandemic, the show status is unknown and the ceremony is cancelled.

Nominees were chosen by a separate and independent nomination committee on their own as well as from artist submissions. Voting by professionals and fans took place for one week in March on the official ballot at the non-profit advocacy’s website. After 1587 ballots were tallied, one winner was chosen in each of five categories based on printed American interior comic-book work cover-dated 2020.

Inkwell Awards director Bob Almond shared “I made it a tradition for most of the years where we posted the results to make sidebar-like comments, something I picked up from the former Comic Buyer’s Guide (CBG) Fan Awards. Often these appeared in our Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge books. But this year was the exception. Like a horse race I would remark about how one nominee was in the lead in a given category only to be passed by so and so but the third and final nom overtook them both by the finish line, etc. But this year 4 out of 5 categories had the same leaders from day one until when the ballot box closed. So every category seemingly had one artist who was almost universally supported in the community more than anyone else. Only the All-in-One had the upset where Sharp and Santucci had the lead each at one point early on but for the latter half of the week Samnee took a certain lead.”

Bob continued “Lastly, this is the first ballot in many years where prolific award winners Scott Hanna and Walden Wong, 9 awards each, didn’t only not win on the ballot, but they weren’t even nominated. I’ve joked with both artists about retiring a category to them and suddenly an unprecedented shake-up like this changes everything. Although restrictions made a couple of years back in the Favorite Inker and Props categories make it less likely for multiple award sweeps.”

As begun last year, the Inkwells’ internal committee chose to not limit lifetime achievement awards within a given year. They selected four inductees for the annual Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame and three recipients for the Stacey Aragon Special Recognition Award (SASRA). There were no internal Silver Inkwell Awards recipients this year but there were two internal Above & Beyond Awards given to Bob Bretall and Johnny B. Gerardy for 10 years of Nomination Committee service.

Ballot nominees are listed below with their credits and the percentage of votes received by the winners, along with the other nominees in alphabetical order.

FAVORITE INKER (Favorite ink artist over the pencil work of another artist; cannot also be nominated for the “Props” award): Ruy Jose (41%) (Immortal Hulk [Marvel]).
Other nominees: Jonathan Glapion, Klaus Janson, Joe Prado.

Nominees Klaus Janson had previously taken this award in 2013 and Joe Prado in 2016. Joe only made runner-up this year as the force that is Marvel’s Immortal Hulk and it’s creators, in this case first-time ballot candidate Ruy Jose, overtook even Joe’s exceptional work over Ivan Reis on DC’s Superman.

MOST-ADAPTABLE (Artist showing exceptional ink style versatility over other pencillers): Norm Rapmund (42%) (Batman Beyond, Detective Comics, The Flash, Flash Forward, Dark Nights Death Metal: The Multiverse Who Laughs (one-shot), Wonder Woman [DC]).

Other nominees: Marc Deering, Daniel Henriques, Matt Santorelli, LeBeau Underwood.

Norm has only won one Inkwell ballot category in the past, Favorite Inker in 2014. So this is his first victory in this category. Marc Deering was a nominee in 2015 and a runner-up in both 2019 and 2020. But Daniel Henriques was the runner-up this year.

PROPS (Inker deserving of more attention): Eber Ferreira (41%) (Speed Metal (one-shot), Freedom Fighters, Justice League [DC]).

Other nominees: Adriano Di Benedetto, Daniel Henriques, Le Beau Underwood.

This is Eber’s third triumph in Props, the other times being in 2013 and 2020. First-timer Adriano made runner-up, probably due to the runaway success of Immortal Hulk.  Both Henriques and Underwood have appeared in this category before with Henriques achieving the runner-up position in 2019.

S.P.A.M.I. (Small Press And Mainstream Independent): Adelso Corona (69%) Snake Eyes [IDW]; Bloodshot [Valiant]).
Other nominees: Le Beau Underwood.

Adelso is a first-time Inkwell ballot winner. Underwood was nominated in this category in 2019 and 2020.

ALL-IN-ONE (Favorite artist known for inking his/her own pencils): Chris Samnee (40%) (FirePower [Image]).
Other nominees: Marco Santucci, Liam Sharp.

This category has had a unique artist win every year except for the lone repeat success of Liam Sharp in 2018 and 2020. Samnee is another first-time winner but Sharp may be shooting for the even years

Adelso Corona

Chris Samnee

Norm Rapmund

Eber Ferreira

Ruy Jose

In alphabetical order, the lifetime achievement awards were as follows:

THE STACEY ARAGON SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD (SASRA): Alfredo Alcala, Frank Frazetta and Wendy Pini.

This is the first time the SASRA was awarded to 3 recipients. Alcala and Frazetta are posthumous awards for exceptional careers in ink. Wendy Pini, the only woman artist to  take home an Inkwell award this year is very much alive, exceptional and also as active as ever along with her husband Richard on their property Elfquest.

Alfredo Alcala

Wendy Pini

Frank Frazetta

THE JOE SINNOTT HALL OF FAME: Sal Buscema, Mike Esposito, Pablo Marcos and Mike Royer.

Bernie Wrightson was the first artist to win both the SASRA and posthumously the Sinnott HoF awards but Sal Buscema is the second. He had previously won the S.P.A.M.I. Award in 2013 and 2018. Mike Esposito passed away in 2010 after a long and prolific career but Marcos and Royer have been very active illustrating in ink at 79 and 84 years of age, respectively.

Mark Sinnott, Joe’s son/agent, said, “It is an honor for me to keep with the tradition that my dad, Joltin’ Joe Sinnott started over 10 years ago. On behalf of the Inkwell Awards, I would like to welcome its four newest members to its hallowed halls: Sal Buscema, Mike Esposito, Pablo Marcos and Mike Royer. It is great to have you all as members of the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame class of 2021. Welcome to the Inkwell family! You have all brought a great deal of talent and class to the comic book world, and we thank you for that. Keep slingin’ ink, and never let your inkwell run dry!”

Mike Royer

Sal Buscema

Pablo Marcos

Mike Esposito

The Inkwell Awards is the only official 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to promote and educate regarding the art form of comic-book inking, as well as annually recognize the best ink artists and their work. Established in 2008, 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.Full acceptance statements from Sinnott and the winners will be found in the “Award Recipients” section of the Inkwell Awards’ website in the near future.

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14 Apr 2021

From 2011 until 2018, the 501(c)(3) non-profit Inkwell Awards hosted the Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge, where Inkwell special ambassador Joe rendered two drawings a year to be inked. The purpose was to show fans and the public the importance of the inker’s role, and the art was auctioned as a major fundraiser event.

Through scans of the finished pieces and an animated GIF showing the variety of inking approaches compared to the pencils, viewers could see for themselves the vital role an ink artist plays in the art form.

Both professionals and amateur artists participated. (Six of the eight Challenges were collected into book form.) In January of 2020, Mr. Sinnott retired from the event after retiring almost a year earlier from his work on the Spider-Man comic strip (with Stan Lee & Alex Saviuk), well-earned after a nearly 70-year career. Sadly, Joe died of natural causes on June 25, 2020.

Because this occurred during the global pandemic, there was a simple and limited funeral and no memorial. Fans, friends and loved ones of Joe that had been involved in the Inkwell Challenge program had hoped for one more round but then Joe was gone. So when former Inkwell member Joe Goulart presented founder/director Bob Almond with an art gift, they discussed a way to bring some closure for those participants who didn’t get to say goodbye.

Joe G. asked Ron Frenz if he would draw a tribute to Joe as a celebratory and “farewell” piece for the Inkwells. Since Joe Sinnott had inked Ron on many covers and had a good run on Marvel’s Thor, Ron and Joe G. generously donated the heartfelt Thor piece attached.

Joe’s son, Mark Sinnott (recently “taking up the torch” as an Inkwell special ambassador himself), enthusiastically approved of the project. Mark and Bob decided to invite both professional ink artists who were friends, colleagues, disciples and admirers and also “bring the band” back together with most of the former contributors to the previous Inking Challenges to have a last chance to honor the legendary master artist and exceptional human being. This was born the Joe Sinnott TRIBUTE Inking Challenge!

The plan is to have the boards completed and ready to be auctioned to the public by the one-year anniversary of Joe’s passing this June; it plans to be a loving tribute to our “patron saint of inkers,” Joe Sinnott.

If you are an interested, established pro comic book artist and want to participate you can contact Bob Almond to inquire at dmralmond@gmail.com but we are not officially accepting requests because almost 80 invitations went out a few days ago. But we’d be happy to put you on a standby list in case several invitees don’t reply back or decline to participate.

12 Mar 2021

(FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: New Bedford, MA/USA—March 12) The Inkwell Awards, the only non-profit organization devoted to public education and promotion of the art of comic book inking, is asking fans and professionals to choose their industry favorites. The official public ballot will be available on the Inkwells’ homepage one week from March 13 through 20.

Voting is open in five categories: “Favorite Inker,” “Most Adaptable,” “Props” (inkers deserving more attention), “The S.P.A.M.I.” (Small Press And Mainstream/Independent for non-Marvel/DC work) and “All-In-One” for artists who ink their own pencils. The awards cover all printed American comic books cover-dated 2020.

“Our nomination procedure continues to include inkers who submitted their work in addition to those chosen by our internal nomination committee,” said Bob Almond, founder, and director of The Inkwell Awards. “Due to the pandemic, nominations were obviously lower due to less titles released and people out of work, but we are pleased with the turnout we received and the work by the NomCom.”

He added, “As usual, too many ink artists are passed over and go unnoticed by most awards events. Ours caters specifically to inkers so they can be recognized and appreciated for their best work. We encourage all who appreciate quality artwork to participate and share on social media; the more voters, the better.”

Award winners, along with the internally-chosen lifetime achievement accolades, the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame award and the Stacey Aragon Special Recognition Award (SASRA), will be announced either online or at a live awards ceremony during The Great Philadelphia Comic Con! in Oaks, PA, depending on when and if the show takes place in 2021. Updates will be available on the respective websites.

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29 Jan 2021

(FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: New Bedford, MA/USA—January 19, 2021) The non-profit Inkwell Awards, devoted to promoting the art of comic book inking, has released the list of 24 artists participating in its fifth annual Sinnott Inking Challenge Spotlight. This year’s Challenge features artist Ivan Reis’ take on DC’s iconic super-team The Justice League from the cover art to DC’s Man of Steel (2018) as originally inked by Ivan’s partner Joe Prado. The artwork will be auctioned afterward for fundraising.

The artists (in alphabetical order) are:
Gerry Acerno
Greg Adams
Oclair Albert
Brian Atkins
Kevin Conrad
John Dell
Michelle Delecki
Adriano Di Benedetto
Julio Ferreira
Anthony Fowler Jr.
Scott Hanna
Christopher Ivy
Criss Madd
Jose Marzan Jr.
Mark McKenna
Andrew Pepoy
Jack Purcell
Rodney Ramos
Ryusei Sawada (Kubert School 2020 Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship recipient)
Mark Stegbauer
Jonas Trindade
LeBeau Underwood
Keith Williams
Walden Wong

According to founder/director Bob Almond, the Spotlight Challenge, which grew out of its more inclusive, original Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge, showcases other contemporary, fan-favorite talents on a more limited scale with veteran published inkers who may or may not have participated in other challenges. The previous four pencilers were Jim Lee, Neal Adams, Erik Larsen, and David Finch.

“We are thrilled to have such a positive response from such a great group,” Almond said. “We realize schedules are tight and ever-changing, especially in this age of Covid, so we are truly grateful to those able to step up for this one.” He added that the list may change somewhat if schedules change but they hope to have 24 participants in total. “If there’s one thing we’ve learned during our decade-plus operation, it’s flexibility in the face of the unexpected.”

The Challenge Spotlight furthers the inking advocacy’s dual mission of promoting the artform and educating the public. Blue-lined art files featuring a tightly penciled Ivan Reis Justice League pinup are sent to the artists to finish in ink. Each inked page will be signed by Reis and the inker, and include a certificate of authenticity signed and numbered by Almond. All pages will be auctioned off as a major fundraiser in two waves, the first half on SATURDAY JANUARY 23 for a week, and the final wave 2 weeks later on SATURDAY FEBRUARY 6 for a week at this eBay link for those weeks eBay.com/sch/theinkwellawards. Fans will be able to see the difference in the penciled and inked versions to better understand how much inkers contribute to the art form.

“On behalf of the Inkwells,” said Almond, “our sincerest thanks to DC, Ivan, Erick Korpi, and especially Joe Prado for setting things up with Ivan, myself, and Erick, the participating inkers, and all involved for their cooperation, support of our program, and appreciation of ink artists.”

31 Dec 2020

(New Bedford, MA/USA–12/31/2020): The Inkwell Awards, a 501(c)(3) non-profit advocacy group, elected artists Mark Sinnott and Joe Prado 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.

MARK SINNOTT is the son of legendary Marvel Comics artist and inker Joe Sinnott. He is his late father’s historian, librarian, and former liaison. Mark’s dad, Jack Kirby and John Buscema were Mark’s earliest comic book influences. His first work, a drawing of Beetle Bailey in 1970, at the age of 9, was published in the comic fanzine The Collector #20. Over the years, Mark has inked some backgrounds for Joe, and has inked panels of the Spider-Man Sunday syndicated comic strip as a fill-in. Mark has also illustrated several drawings for two literary anthologies by his son, Dorian J. Sinnott: Into The Uncanny and Watercolors. Most recently, his inks have graced the pages of Totally Galactic Comics – Jetta Raye Adventures. Mark has been an Inkwell Awards Senior Contributor since 2008 and was awarded an Above & Beyond Award in 2018 for his service as a liaison. A lifetime Saugerties, NY resident, Mark lives with his wife Belinda, their 2 sons, Dorian and Trevor, and their dog Basil.

Inkwell Awards founder and director Bob Almond said, “While Joe Sinnott had his fans of his prodigious output of ubiquitous work, few knew about Mark’s life and career. Mark Sinnott has been his dad’s keeper, a permanent fixture for anyone who would see Joe at a convention appearance or communicate with him to request a commission or art sale. When Joe passed away in June of 2020, I spoke to Mark and he expressed interest in carrying on his father’s legacy by continuing his association with the Inkwells and their mission, something his dad sincerely and proudly supported.”

Mark commented:

“The Inkwell Awards is a great organization, one that is dedicated to recognize the best inkers and to promote and educate regarding the art form of comic-book inking.  There are numerous inkers that have certainly improved and enhanced the work of so many pencillers. I was fortunate enough to see my dad work first hand for so many years, embellishing countless pages of pencils over many different artists. It was a thrill for me as a young child to see this, and still be in awe as an adult many years later. It never grew old, watching my dad work. Through the years, I was so fortunate to be able to ink some backgrounds for my dad, and in Joe’s later years, helping by inking some panels on the Sunday Spidey strip. The big thrill for me was to be able to ink my dad’s pencil work in some of the Inkwell Awards Inking Challenges. I know that Joe was very proud to see members of his family participate in this endeavor. He also looked forward to receiving the completed pages that arrived from various inkers. It was quite interesting for Joe to see the different interpretations of his pencil work. It was something that he truly enjoyed seeing in his later years. Thank you all for participating in these challenges and helping to put a smile on my father’s face.”

JOE PRADO began his career back in the early 1990s working as a professional comic-book artist and illustrator in the Brazilian market. During that time he produced hundreds of fantasy, horror, superhero and science fiction illustrations and comics for myriad publishers, books and magazines. He’s also known as the co-creator of the comic book mini-series UFO Team with writer Marcelo Cassaro. In 2004 he started producing comics for the US market.

Among his credits are Action Comics, Superman, Green Lantern, Birds Of Prey, Rann/Thanagar War, Teen Titans, The Warlord, Red Sonja, The Phantom, and many others. In 2009 he began his long-standing partnership with artist Ivan Reis on DC’s Blackest Night, which led them to Brightest Day and then their world-renowned run on Aquaman. All three series were with writer/TV and film producer Geoff Johns. After that, Joe inked hundreds of books such as Justice League, Multiversity, Cyborg, Justice League America, The Terrifics, et al. For the past two years, Joe has inked Ivan Reis on the Superman relaunch, written by Brian Michael Bendis.

Besides being an artist and inker, Joe has been Co-Owner/Talent Manager of Chiaroscuro Studios, representing dozens of comic-book artists, since 2002.

Joe is the proud recipient of two Inkwell Awards. In 2016,  he won for “Favorite Inker” and in 2018 for “Props – Talent deserving of more attention.”

From his home in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Joe said:

“First off, I can’t express how honored I feel being considered for something like this. And having the possibility to spread the consciousness about the inker’s role on comics is something priceless to me. I’ve always been a fan and a collector, besides being a professional, and that remains til this day; reading comics since I was a kid back in the ’70s made me fall in love with the medium. Especially inking!

“When my grandfather introduced me to Hal Foster’s Prince Valiant, Alex Raymond’s Flash Gordon and Milton Cannif’s Terry & The Pirates, it changed how I perceived the medium and I was hooked for life. I decided that I was going to work in comics and would study the hell out of them! So while it may sound corny, I’d like to thank my grandpa, Armando Fossa, wherever you are now, for all the inspiration and countless hours of chats about comics; that was what lead me here. And of course, my wife, Tatiana, for always putting up with my madness, and not dumping me all these years. Love you!”

Bob Almond added, “Much like the prominent Filipino School of ink artists starting in comics’ so-called “Bronze Age,” the Brazilian contingent has been quite active in the USA since artists Mike Deodato, Jr. and his studio hit it big at Marvel and DC in the ’90s. So, having Joe proudly represent that pool of contemporary and popular inking talent is a fortunate coup for us. Joe also brings his contagious passion and enthusiasm to the team and anyone who listens to him; he is compelled to try to help us in every way.”

Since the Inkwell organization was formed in 2008, the roster of Ambassadors has included (in chronological order) Adam Hughes, Mark Brooks, Sal Velluto, Trevor Von Eeden, Cully Hamner, Eric Basuldua, Phil Jimenez, Jim Shooter and Brian Pulido, along with the late Joe Kubert and Rich Buckler. The more-involved Special Ambassadors include (besides the late Joe Sinnott) Mike McKone,  J. David Spurlock, Clifford Meth, Jim Starlin, Laura Martin, Aldrin Aw, aka “Buzz”, Dan Parsons and Rags Morales.

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17 Nov 2020

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! Important details:

WHAT TO SEND:

1. TWO to THREE (max) interior pages of published & printed comic-book ink work you’ve done from any USA-published comic book (per categories below) COVER-DATED 2020 (sorry, no webcomics unless also printed.). Send either links to your specific samples (not general site links), or low-res image files. (Do not send large files–we’re not a printer!) DO NOT SEND PHYSICAL COPIES–they are not eligible. 

2. NAMES of the inker and penciller, preferred EMAIL ADDRESS, the TITLE/ISSUE #(s) and PUBLISHER

3. The CATEGORY(-IES) for each sample. 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 per penciller, up to three.)

    3.    Props award: ink artist deserving of more attention for their work over other pencillers. (Can’t be past winner or nom. for “Favorite Inker.”)

    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).

    4.    All-in-one award: for favorite artist inking his/her own pencils.

(Make sure you read and understand the BIG RULES below before sending.)

WHERE TO SENDEmail samples to inkwellawards@yahoo.com, with the Subject “2020 Inkwell Awards.” (Questions? Same email or ask us on Facebook or Twitter @inkwellawards.)

WHEN TO SEND: The deadline is DECEMBER 31st, 2020 (we’ll post reminders, but earlier is better).

PLEASE help us help you by following the directions and rules 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. 

THE BIG RULES (Please read):

-Inks can be with traditional or digital tools (e.g., brush, pen, marker, stylus, Apple Pen, Wacom, etc., but NOT just pencils darkened/manipulated via Photoshop/software–must be drawn by HAND). 

-Work must have been printed in the USA with a 2020 cover date. No Web-only comics.

-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 (“JohnDoe.com,” DeviantArt portfolios, etc.) will be ignored. No physical copies.

-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 inkwellawards@yahoo.com, or to me directly at the address below.

Thank you and good luck!

Sincerely,

Bob Almond (and The Inkwell Awards Committee)  

The Inkwell Awards

inkwellawards@yahoo.com

Site: inkwellawards.com

Facebook.com/groups/TheInkwellAwards

Twitter: @inkwellawards

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. Founded in 2008, 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.

04 Nov 2020

The non-profit Inkwell Awards, devoted to promoting the art of comic book inking, has released the list of 24 artists participating in its fifth annual Sinnott Inking Challenge Spotlight. This year’s Challenge features artist Ivan Reis’ take on DC’s iconic super-team The Justice League from the cover art to DC’s Man of Steel (2018) as originally inked by Ivan’s partner Joe Prado. The artwork will be auctioned afterwards for fundraising.

The artists (in alphabetical order) are:

Gerry Acerno

Greg Adams

Brian Atkins

Keith Champagne

Kevin Conrad

John Dell

Michelle Delecki

Anthony Fowler Jr.

Scott Hanna

Christopher Ivy

Jay Leisten

Criss Madd

Jose Marzen Jr.

Mark McKenna

Jason Moore

Andrew Pepoy

Jack Purcell

Rodney Ramos

Ryusei Sawada (Kubert School 2020 Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship recipient)

Mike Sellers

Mark Stegbauer

LeBeau Underwood

Keith Williams

Walden Wong

Pencils: Ivan Reis

Inks: Kevin Conrad

Inks: Scott Hanna

Inks: Mark McKenna

Inks: LeBeau Underwood

10 Aug 2020

 

(New Bedford, MA/USA—August 10, 2020) The 2020 delayed AWARD RECIPIENT RESULTS were post on First Comics News August 6 and on our website we posted the 2020 Results in the Awards section on August 8 which additionally supplied the nominees percentages and all the winners’ statements, including on video. This article here is an additional run down but akin to the ones we printed by me for the annual Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge Books, with info bits for the record added in.

 

Favorite InkerFavorite ink artist over the pencil work of another artist.

(Cannot also be nominated for the “Props” award.)

A) Mark Morales: Amazing Spider-man, Avengers (Marvel)

B) Joe Prado: Superman (DC)

C) Norm Rapmund: Batgirl, Batman, Batman Beyond, Flash Forward, Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Death of Superman, Wonder Woman (DC)

D) Walden Wong: genLOCK, Justice League (DC), Crazy, Incredible Hulk: Last Call, Marvel’s Hero Project Season 1: Mighty Rebekah, X-23 (Marvel)

And the winner, with 43% of the votes, is WALDEN WONG! An eight-time Inkwell winner now, this is Walden’s second win for Favorite Inker!

 

Most-adaptable:  

Artist showing exceptional ink style versatility over other pencil artists.

A) Marc DeeringJoker: Year of the Villain (DC); Black Panther, Immortal Hulk, Red Goblin/Red Death, Star Wars: Doctor Aphra, Venom Unleashed (Marvel)

B) Jonathan Glapion: Aquaman, Batman: Last Knight on Earth, Joker: Year of the Villain, Terrifics (DC); Spawn (Image)

C) Scott Hanna: Justice League Odyssey, Suicide Squad (DC); Avengers, Dr. Strange (Marvel)

D) Jay Leisten: Absolute Carnage, Daredevil, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-man, Return of Wolverine, Symbiote Spider-man (Marvel)

E) Norm Rapmund: Batgirl, Batman, Batman Beyond, Flash Forward, Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Death of Superman, Wonder Woman (DC)

F) J.L. Straw: Aliens: Rescue, Halo: Lone Wolf (Dark Horse)

G) Walden Wong: genLOCK, Justice League (DC); Crazy, Incredible Hulk: Last Call, Marvel’s Hero Project Season 1: Mighty Rebekah, Star Wars: Age Of Republic Heroes–Obi-Wan Kenobi; X-23 (Marvel)

With 41% of the votes, our nine-time winner is again, WALDEN WONG! This is his record-setting sixth Most-Adaptable Award trophy since 2014.

 

Props awardInk artist deserving of more attention for their work over other pencil artists. (Those nominated for, or past winners of, “Favorite Inker” are ineligible.) 

A) Eber Ferreira: Freedom Fighters, Detective Comics, Supergirl (DC)
B) Stefano Guadiano: Walking Dead (Image); DCeased (DC)

C) Jonathan Glapion: Aquaman, Batman: Last Knight on Earth, Joker: Year of the Villain, Terrifics (DC); Spawn (Image)

D) Le Beau Underwood: Absolute Carnage: Captain Marvel, Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur (Marvel); Noble (Lion Forge)

The winner, with 32% of the votes, is EBER FERREIRA!  This is Eber’s 4th Inkwell Award nomination overall in this category and his second win in this category.

 

The S.P.A.M.IFavorite Small Press And Mainstream/Independent ink work over another pencil artist (non-Marvel//DC work).

David Cabeza: Superb (Lion Forge)

B) Adelso Corona: Bloodshot (Valiant)

C) Anthony Fowler: Firefly (Boom Studios)

D) Stefano Guadiano: Walking Dead (Image)

E) Le Beau Underwood: Noble (Lion Forge)

With 22% of the votes, our winner is STEFANO GAUDIANO in what turned out to be the closest race! He had previously taken this category in 2016 and last year but has been a nominee and often the runner-up every single year since 2013.

 

All-in-one awardFavorite artist known for inking his/her own pencil work.

A) Brad Krause: Grave World (Radiance Media)

B) Sean Gordon Murphy: Batman: Curse of the White Night (DC)

C) Stan Sakai: Usagi Yojimbo (IDW)

D) Liam Sharp: Green Lantern (DC)

The winner, with 34% of the votes, is: LIAM SHARP! This is Liam’s second Inkwell nomination AND win in this category, the first time being in 2018! He’s also the first winner to win twice for this category in 10 years.


THE STACEY ARAGON SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD (SASRA): Allen Bellman, Sal Buscema and Norman Lee

Other nominees: Jack Abel, Gene Day, Bill Everett, Frank Frazetta, Graham Ingles, Dennis Janke, Michael Kaluta, Pablo Marcos, June Tarpe Mills, Bob Oksner, George Papp, Wendy Pini, Stan Sakai, Bill Sienkiewicz, Dave Simons, Jim Starlin, Art Thibert, Charles Vess, Al Vey and Bob Wiacek

THE JOE SINNOTT HALL OF FAME: Bob Layton, John Romita Sr, and Bernie Wrightson

Other nominees: Brett Breeding, Johnny Craig, Mike Esposito, George Klein, Steve Leialoha, Pablo Marcos, Terry Moore, Mike Royer, Chic Stone and Bob Wiacek

 

The first Hall of Fame recipient had been nominated for this award four times, the last three years in a row, but this year, the fifth nomination was the one for “Babyface” Bob Layton!

Comics writer/artist/editor Bob Layton on Friday, October 10, 2014 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, Day 2 of the 2014 New York Comic Con. Photo by Luigi Novi.

 

The next Hall of Fame award goes to Jazzy Johnny, John Romita Sr.! At 90, John is now retired.

John Romita, Sr., American comic book artist best known for his work on Marvel Comics’ The Amazing Spider-Man. Taken at the 2006 San Diego Comic-Con International. Photo by Pinguino.

 

The third and only posthumous recipient is the “Master of the Macabre” himself, Bernie Wrightson, who was our first recipient after the debut of the Special Recognition Award in 2015 at Heroes Con while receiving treatment and surgery from his brain cancer that would tragically take him two years later. Bernie was previously nominated four times for the Sinnott Hall of Fame but the fifth times the charm. He is the first winner of the SASRA to also win the Sinnott Award.

Joe Sinnott, the award’s namesake and first 2008 winner, made the following statement about this year’s inductees late last year:

“It is with great pleasure that we have elected 3 very worthy and deserving artists to the growing list of members inducted into the Inkwell Awards Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame:

Bernie Wrightson, Bob Layton and John Romita.

I have never had the pleasure to work with Bernie Wrightson, but have admired his tremendous work for years. His work on Swamp Thing was a pleasure to see, but I feel that his Frankenstein art is some of the best work ever published. Bernie lived for many years in my hometown of Saugerties, and it was always a pleasure to see him. We always had great talks when we would get together. We all miss him very much. 

When Bob Layton was an up an coming artist, he would come to visit me at my home from time to time. We certainly had some great visits then, and still enjoy getting together at conventions. Bob’s work on Iron Man has certainly made a major impact on comics in recent years, and on the big screen as well. I did ink a cover with Bob many years ago. (Power Man #63). I am so proud of Bob and what he’s accomplished. 

What can I say of John Romita that hasn’t already been said. John is a legend in his own right. I have worked with him on countless projects throughout the years such as the Fantastic Four, Captain America and even a Star Wars Droids story. You can add in numerous covers as well. We don’t see each other as much as we once did, but it is always a great pleasure to spend time with John at the few shows that we do attend.

It is an honor to have these three outstanding gentlemen enshrined in our Hall of Fame. They have all brought a tremendous talent and plenty of hard work, dedication and class to the comic industry. Their pencil work alone is an asset to the industry, but their inked work makes it all the better. Great job!

Your friend,

Joe

(Joe Sinnott, December 29, 2019)

This would be Joe’s final Hall of Fame winners statement since he recently passed away June 25 at the age of 93.

Hall of Fame tributes will be added to the website by August or September.