For the first time since 2009, the Inkwell Awards public ballot will incorporate a change in a category. The Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award will now be handled internally by the separate HoF Nomination Committee (HoFNC) all the way through instead of having the public make the final two choices from the tallied nominees.
The following paragraph was from my invitation ballot to the HoFNC sent to Active Core Committee Members (mandatory), Former Core Committee Members, Ambassadors, Contributors, and Former HoF Award Recipients (voluntary):
In the past we have had our associates fill out a few nominee names on a ballot for the HoF Award category, tally those nominees, and place the highest voted duplicates to appear on the public ballot for them to vote two creators in. I have had discussions between myself, the core committee, J. David Spurlock and Mark & Joe Sinnott and we came to the conclusion that something needed to change in how we were running this special designation. Regrettably, too often voting of this sort becomes a popularity contest, not a statement of the outstanding accomplishment the category calls for, especially in the case of Hall of Fame. Many voters are not familiar with the veteran artists and their career milestones and will vote for names that they may still see active in the credits of contemporary comics. Sadly, this means that innovators who’ve been out of the spotlight, usually due to retirement or simply not producing work on mainstream projects, may get slighted in favor of younger and prolific, yet undeniably uber-talented, artists. I tried for years to vote for the likes of Joe Simon, the oldest living inker around (at that time) only to see him pass away without receiving the recognition he was due for his accomplishments at the dawn of the American comic book age. On the other hand, it was a huge reward for the committee for Dick Giordano to win and accept the attention he was due only months before he himself passed away. Nothing against post-humous awards and their importance for their family estates, such as in the cases of Wally Wood and Al Williamson. But nothing beats being able to bring your gratitude and love to a master artist while they are still alive to fully appreciate it.
The HoFNC was allowed up to six votes but could submit simply one or two names. For extra emphasis on the items I stressed above, we introduced the Special Recognition Nominee (SRN) status, allowing the HoFNC members the option to lobby especially for someone and give a reason why. This could be one of the six votes offered. After the first wave tally eleven names made the list which will show up on the ballot April 15-April 30 simply as an FYI for who the HoFNC will be voting on with the two final recipients announced at the live Inkwell Awards awards ceremony at Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC on June 8. The two nominees each member votes on will consist of either the eleven artist and/or the SRNs.
It’s still unclear what the results will be but we will find out soon. And the HoFNC members will be announced soon as well once the final ballots are received by next week.