31 Aug 2013

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(Sorry about the sub-title, but I’ve always been a die-hard Avengers fan:-))

Almost every season here at the Inkwell Awards there’s a change of some sort from our team associates, some major and others more minor in their nature.  The latest season that ended in June and the new, sixth one that began this summer, however, was a bigger shake up than usual.  So I figured I should summarize our status for those keeping a roster checklist.

From the COMMITTEE we added two new members early in the year (in bold).  For nine months Joe Goulart had been a convention volunteer who made notable strides with aiding our fundraising efforts through donation collecting.  In January we decided to promote him to the committee level which we don’t normally do in the case of volunteers but he’d been a close friend and neighbor for some time now so I personally vouched for him.  His title has been administrative assistant as he helps me with the administrative sides of things like legal and accounting (or more like translates for clueless me the developments in those areas) and sometimes assisting with contacting parties and helping me with mass mailings.  But he continues to act as a Convention Coordinator in regards to fundraising, something he excels at.

Another promoted member who was a Contributor for four months acting as a Graphic Designer was artist Mike Pascale.  In February he was elevated to core committee level, retaining his graphic designer position as Copy & Graphics Assistant, helping with revamping our business cards and cobbling together ads for example, but more importantly he has found his niche in the organization for journalism and chronicling.  After the departure of founding committee member and resident writer Danny Best in late 2011, Danny’d been somewhat limited as Senior Contributor with making literary contributions at my beck n’ call.  So with Mike on board, we discovered that he excelled at taking my ‘PR announcements’ and proofreading and editing them into something professional and attractive.  And he was superb with researching and creating career tributes for our recent Sinnott Hall of Famers Dick Ayers and Murphy Anderson.  Mike felt honored to perform that chronicling obligation, following in the footsteps of Danny, Henry Covert and J. David Spurlock.

Erick Korpi had been a Contributor for two and a half years as Convention & Model Assistant and Art Advisor when in July he was promoted to the core committee for Fundraising: The Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship Fund to the Kubert School as well as Ms. Inkwell Model Liaison: New England.  For quite some time I had been wanting to have an independent member handle fundraising for that program because it was found to be difficult allocating scholarship funds for it from the main budget and not enough donors were donating strictly for that fund for us to reach the $1000 goal.  And I didn’t want to keep relying on the Bette Simons, Bob Shaws and Danny Bests of the world bailing us out.  But I knew that Erick has the experience and resources for this kind of job and commitment and he took to the position proudly and within no time acquired Neal Adams original art from Neal himself to the fund!  The Ms. Inkwell Model Liaison Coordinator regional status is actually one that Erick held for a brief time in late 2010 and early 2011, but it didn’t work out so well at that time.  While Senior Contributor Louis Small Jr. has been the primary Ms. Inkwell Model Liaison since January 2010, since many of our conventions take place in the New England area because many of us members, like myself, reside here, it only made sense to have a local yokel connect us with local options, all still approved by myself and Louis.  Flash-forward to this summer’s Boston Comic Con and Erick successfully recruited model Jessi Durland and gained his title back.  And Erick does still occasionally assist me and auctioneer Mike Kellar from time to time with art advisory. (I would be remiss in not mentioning with that segue that in order to relieve some of my work load, Assistant Director MikeK now also handles the auction merchandise, scanning, packing and shipping that I used to do….basically he now runs the whole auction enchilada!)

Erick was also brought in because I knew we were losing our final founding member on the committee (besides myself, of course) in Jim Tournas in July after 5 years and 6 seasons.  Jim handled different duties over his time with us (establishing the original website, the annual ballot, fundraising, etc.) but his legacy will probably be the Inkwell book program where he acted as editor and producer (alongside myself). As mentioned in my earlier blog article “Changes in the Inkwell Book Program”, Bob Shaw created our first Donation Drive sketchbook in 2009, but Jim requested to continue the annual book with Bob and my consent and he propelled it to new heights for three years and left in his wake five Donation volumes and two Sinnott Inking Challenge books, and that doesn’t count blank variants and special editions!  As mentioned in our other article, Enrica Jang will now carry the torch he passes on, but, like Danny, Jim will remain on as a Senior Contributor.

And it doesn’t stop there as Sarah L. Covert departed the committee as well one month ago.  Sarah, known affectionately as our ‘Techno-Queen’, joined our committee in November 2011 after two months as a contributor and she is fondly remembered for saving the updated yet incomplete Word Press website we inherited after a former committee member who upgraded it left before the work was finished.  Working closely with me, she developed it to the high standards and levels I was imagining and proceeded to do so for two years.  On top of that she also acted in the capacity of Social Networks Coordinator.  Her website work is now confidently handled by new contributor Noel Rosenthal and Senior Contributor Tom Schloendorn, who helps with circulating announcements, now also handles our social network pages. Sarah’s husband Henry Covert departed with Sarah. He had handled various duties briefly over his ten months as Contributor such as chronicling bios, updating the Inker Database and Wikipedia cross-referencing.

Besides the underlined new Contributors mentioned above who took over prior duties from former committee members, we have also added several new CONTRIBUTORS since the end of 2012 to date.  In October of last year we added Chris Ehnot as another Graphic Designer and he’s been instrumental with helping us update the award ceremony presentation cards, logos and brochure among other things.  In December we added our new legal counsel Tena Kerns following the departure of Senior Contributor Ernie Pelletier the month before.  And in January we added our first accountant Mike Andre. (Joe Goulart works with both them and myself for his administrative duties.)  In March I added inker Johnny B. Gerardy to handle our website’s Inker Resources section, long since left vacant after the departure of Stacey Aragon in June of ’12.  Another vacuum left behind post-Stacey was our Nomination Committee Liaison position, which I filled with artist Dave Beaty in April (and also made him another team Graphic Designer since Mike Pascale was becoming more busy with other matters).  Comic book industry-recognized attorney Michael Lovitz was brought in to handle all trademark filing for us in July.  And in August, longtime volunteer Alyn Bergstrom was promoted to Convention & Model Assistant, previously had by Erick before committeedom.

So that’s The Inkwell Awards 2013!  Of course we also have Ambassadors and Volunteers but there’s not been any new changes in those arenas of late.  Also, I’m not going to add promotional links for the multitude of new members above because those can all be found on both the Committee and Contributor pages in the About section, and the photos of the committee can be found there as well.  I really don’t have pics of many of the new Contributors but if they send me their heads shots I’ll be more than happy to add them to this feature.)   No invisible ink here!  Got Ink?  Go Team Inkwell!!!

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