18 Feb 2024

Paul Neary passed away four days ago at the age of 74 after a long illness, but unfortunately this has been my first chance to break away to post this regrettable development. I’ve never met Paul, worked with him or interacted with him but I followed much of his output at Marvel & DC in the 1980-1990s printed in the States as opposed to his work across the pond. His oft-art partner Alan Davis had this to say about Paul:

“Extremely sad news about Paul Neary. A mentor, colleague and friend.
Paul Neary, born in Bournemouth, England 18 December 1949, passed away on 10 February 2024 after a long illness.
In a career of more than fifty years Paul earned international respect and recognition in numerous roles within the Comic book industry. Paul could write, pencil, ink, colour, letter and edit. Skills he learned from studying the medium with an academic zeal.
Comics were an enthusiastic hobby for Paul when he moved to Leeds University to study for a degree in Metallurgy but in his first summer break Paul travelled to New York, bluffed his way into Jim Warren’s office, and secured his first professional work on Eerie magazine. Most notably the Hunter series.
When Warren publishing was liquidated Paul found work in the UK with Hammer Comics movie adaptations, the Doctor Who magazine and ghosting Syd Jordan on the Lance McLane newspaper strip. The short diverse projects suited Paul’s eclectic and experimental nature but it wasn’t enough for full time employment. Paul accepted an art/editorial role at Marvel UK where he met his partner (now wife) of over forty years, Bernie Jaye. On becoming Editor in Chief Paul wanted to do more than repackage reprints of US comics so set out to originate home-grown strips. Most notably reinventing Captain Britain.
Office politics ended Paul’s time at Marvel UK so he moved on to Marvel US where he pencilled a successful three year run on Captain America, a short run on Ka-Zar and a Nick Fury mini-series. Paul was a perfectionist so struggled with the treadmill deadlines of monthly titles and the limitations of house styles. Paul had a passion for Sci-fi based comics like Mystery in Space and the more eclectic art published in European magazines and albums. This was evident in Paul’s own creations Madman, Tales from the Rim and Wildweed.
Paul transitioned from pencilling to inking on Batman and the Outsiders, Detective and Excalibur then was invited to return to Marvel UK as Art Director where he helmed the creation and evolution of such titles as Dark Angel, Motor Mouth, Dark Guard, Deaths Head, Knights of Pendragon and The Clandestine. While the list of titles is impressive, Paul’s greatest achievement was the environment he established to help new creators learn and develop skills that would propel them onto success in the US Comic market after Marvel UK fell victim to industry decline.
Paul resumed inking and finishing on such titles as the Authority, Ultimates and JLA where his outstanding work was acknowledged and awarded. Then sadly, illness struck.
Those lucky enough to have known Paul will remember him as an intensely private man who had no interest in fame or public acclaim. Paul loved the creative process and fostering that creativity in others. Always professional, enthusiastic and polite but just below the surface Paul’s anarchic sense of humour was poised to mock the mighty and expose the injustices of life. The greatest injustice being he went too soon.
Condolences, thoughts and prayers to Bernie.”

Bleeding Cool ran an article collecting tributes on social media from around the comic book community. The Inkwell Family sends condolences to his widow Bernie and all those he held dear from family, loved ones, friends & associates and the fans.

21 Nov 2023

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Artist Submissions Open For The 2023 Inkwell Awards

(New Bedford, MA/USA—November 21, 2023) The non-profit Inkwell Awards is requesting professional submissions for its annual recognition event. Submissions are open for ink-work samples of two to four interior pages (no covers or pinups) of any US-published and printed comic-book. Webcomics are permitted as long as they have also been printed. Inks may be either traditional or digital (as long as done by hand and not by software). Artists much choose one or more of the following categories for each submission:

1. Favorite Inker: favorite ink artist over the pencils of another artist. (Cannot be nominated for the “Props” category.)

2. Most-Adaptable: showing exceptional ink style versatility over other pencil artists (Minimum two pages per penciller, up to six.)

3. Props award: ink artist deserving of more attention for their work over other pencillers.

4. The S.P.A.M.I: for favorite Small Press And Mainstream-Independent comic book ink work over another pencil artist or themselves (Non-Marvel or DC).

5. All-in-One award: for favorite artist inking his/her own pencils.

Submissions must be from comics cover-dated 2023 and sent to inkwellawards@yahoo.com to be received no later than January 20, 2024.

“As the only non-profit organization devoted to public education and promotion of the art of comic book inking, we want the process to be open and fair,” said Bob Almond, founder, and director of the only The Inkwell Awards. “While our volunteer nomination committee (the ‘NomCom’) can still submit their choices, they just can’t see all the wonderful work during the year from all publishers large and small. Submissions help both voters and artists to hopefully make the process easier and fairer. It’s up to the artists to be recognized for their talent, skill and hard work.”

The Inkwell Awards requires all submissions to meet certain rules and guidelines, which can be found on their website, or by emailing them at the above address, which may also be used for questions.

Ray Burke: Submissions, assistant director

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.

27 Oct 2023

Inkwell Awards Announces Sinnott Inking Challenge Spotlight on WALT SIMONSON Event

Pic: Luigi Novi, 6/13/2009

(New Bedford, MA/USA—October 27, 2023) The non-profit Inkwell Awards, devoted to promoting the art of comic book inking, has released the list of artists participating in its seventh annual Sinnott Inking Challenge Spotlight. This year’s Challenge features legendary creator Walter Simonson‘s take on Marvel Comics’ Ben Grimm, the Thing from the Fantastic Four. Walter had a much-lauded run on the series as writer and artist from 1989-1991 issues 334 until 354. The pencil image was originally intended as a donation on an FF blank sketch cover variant over the summer until Inkwell Awards director Bob Almond approached Walter about the annual event.

Walter’s remarkable and influential career spans six decades as an artist and writer for every major publisher and several independent ones on series/characters such as Thor, Fantastic Four, Detective Comics (Manhunter), Metal Men, Orion, Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars and X-Factor among others. It was on Walt’s first of two runs on Thor that he was inked by Joe Sinnott, from which this Inkwell event was named. He’s also known for creating Beta Ray Bill and his creator-owned properties Star Slammers and Ragnarok. These works earned him a multitude of awards from the Eisners, Shazam, Inkpot, Harveys and even the “All-in-One Award” from the Inkwells in 2022. He serves on the Hero Initiative Disbursement Committee and is married to the just as legendary writer and editor Louise Simonson, both of whom had cameo appearances in the 2011 MCU film Thor: The Dark World.
According to Bob, the Spotlight Challenge grew out of the original Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge but showcases legendary and contemporary, “fan-favorite” talents on a more limited scale with various veteran published inkers. In chronological order, previous Spotlight pencillers were Jim Lee, Neal Adams, Erik Larsen, David Finch, Ivan Reis and Mike Deodato Jr.
The limited to 30 artists (in alphabetical order) are:
Ken Branch
Brett Breeding
Sergio Cariello
Keith Champagne
Kevin Conrad

Inks: Andy Smith

Marc Deering
Michelle Delecki
Adriano Di Benedetto
Guy Dorian Sr.
Anthony Fowler Jr.
Eber Ferreira
Scott Hanna
Don Ho
Christopher Ivy
Jose Marzan Jr.
Mark McKenna
Allen Milgrom
Dan Parsons
Andrew Pepoy
Norm Rapmund
Craig Rousseau
Oclair Alberto Silvério
Andy Smith
Bob Smith
Jonas Trindade
LeBeau Underwood
Dexter Vines
Keith Williams
Walden Wong

 

Changes in the roster often take place with artists needing to drop out due to work schedule conflicts and others subsequently pulled in from a waiting list so the final line-up may differ by auction time.

Inks: Elisabetta D’Amico

“Every year we are thrilled with the response from the artist community,” Almond said. “We realize schedules are crazy and amorphous, so we are very grateful to those who can step up.”

The Challenge Spotlight furthers the inking advocacy’s dual mission of promoting the artform and educating the public. Blue-lined art files featuring a pencilled Walter Simonson pinup are sent to the artists to finish in ink. Each inked page will be signed by Simonson and the inker, and include a certificate of authenticity signed and numbered by Almond. All pages will be previewed at the Inkwell Awards Facebook group page and subsequently auctioned off as part of a major fundraiser in two to three waves, with subsequent waves in two weeks‘ intervals, at the Inkwells’ eBay page starting after the holidays in mid-late January with a specific date to be announced as we get closer. As displayed in the animated gif of samples, fans will be able to see the difference in the pencilled 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 Erick Korpi and Tom Schloendorn on the team behind the scenes, the participating inkers, and all involved for their cooperation, support of our program, and appreciation of ink artists.”

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. This year they celebrated their 15th anniversary.

24 Apr 2023

(New Bedford, MA/USA—April 24, 2023) The Inkwell Awards is now open for fans and professionals to choose their industry favorites. The official public ballot will be available on the Inkwells’ homepage for two weeks, from Wednesday April 26 through May 10.

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 2022.

“This year we continue with the new addition to our ballot,” said Bob Almond, founder, and director of The Inkwell Awards, the only non-profit organization devoted to public education and promotion of the art of comic book inking. “In answer to myriad requests, last year we were able to link sample images submitted by the nominated artists on the ballot. This will help both voters and artists to hopefully make the process easier and fairer. The Inkwell core committee team and our webmaster Steven Freivogel spent much time and effort in discussion and preparation to make this work and we’re confident it will help everyone.”

He added, “Our nomination procedure continues to include inkers who submitted their work in addition to those chosen by our internal nomination committee. 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.”

The internally-chosen lifetime achievement accolades, the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame award and the Stacey Aragon Special Recognition Award (SASRA), were announced March 9, separately from the ballot categories like we did last time. Without a host-show awards ceremony this year, there are currently no restrictions on how and when winners are announced.

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. This year they celebrate their 15th anniversary.
09 Feb 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (New Bedford, MA/USA–February 09, 2023) The Inkwell Awards, a 501(c)(3) non-profit devoted to promoting the art of comic book inking, has announced that Frank Frazetta has posthumously won The Joe Sinnott Hall Of Fame Award for his career ink art. Awarded since 2008, The Sinnott Hall Of Fame, named after inking legend […]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (New Bedford, MA/USA–February 09, 2023) The Inkwell Awards, a 501(c)(3) non-profit devoted to promoting the art of comic book inking, has announced that Frank Frazetta has posthumously won The Joe Sinnott Hall Of Fame Award for his career ink art.

Awarded since 2008, The Sinnott Hall Of Fame, named after inking legend Joe Sinnott, is a lifetime achievement award for a minimum 25-year inking career of outstanding accomplishment in American comic books. Two winners are chosen annually by the Inkwells’ internal committee. The second winner, along with the winners of the Inkwell’s other lifetime achievement award, the Stacey Aragon Special Recognition Award (SASRA), will be announced separately at a later date.

(L to R: Frank Frazetta III and Frank Frazetta, Jr., at the Frazetta Art Museum with Inkwell Awards Sinnott with 2023 Inkwell Awards Sinnott Hall Of Fame trophy and 2021 SASRA trophy.)

Frazetta’s son, Frank Frazetta Jr., shared the following statement:

“My father’s work has touched millions worldwide and his oil paintings sell for millions. It is essential to note that his love of art, and his career, started with comics. His life’s work and how it continues to touch and stimulate new generations is a great testament to the power of the comics art form to inspire. We thank Bob Almond, the Inkwell Committee, Special Ambassador J. David Spurlock and everyone with The Inkwell Awards for recognizing Frank Frazetta’s historic contributions to the art of inking with their most prestigious award, The Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame honor; especially since today (Feb. 9) would have been Frank’s 95th  birthday. We invite everyone to visit us at The Frazetta Art Museum in East Stroudsburg, PA, to study the World’s largest collection of Frazetta art.”

Frazetta previously won the SASRA in 2021 and becomes only the second artist (with Bernie Wrightson) to win both the Inkwells’ Lifetime Achievement Awards.

01 Jun 2022

(FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: New Bedford, MA/USA—June 1, 2022) The 2022 AWARD RECIPIENT RESULTS were circulated today and now we present the expanded “Racehorse” version like the ones I have posted in our annual Sinnott Inking Challenge Books and were inspired by the past Comic Buyer’s Guide/CBG Fan Awards results. This one supplies all of the nominees’ votes, percentages and all the winners’ statements (at press time). There were 2, 597 ballots placed.

Favorite Inker: Favorite ink artist over the pencil work of another artist. (NOTE: Cannot be nominated for the PROPS award.)*
 
1. Keith Champagne: 125: (5%): Batman/Superman [DC]
2. Eber Ferreira: 1,150 (44%): Batman and the Red Hood, Batman: Urban Legends, Future State: Robin Eternal, Justice League [DC]
3. Eric Gapstur: 71 (3%): Action Comics, Superman [DC]; Family Tree [Image]
4. Jonathan Glapion: 177 (7%): Dark Knights: Death Metal, Detective Comics [DC]; King Spawn [Image]
5. Wade von Grawbadger: 492 (runner-up, 19%): Aquaman: Becoming, Batman: Black & White, Hawkman, Legion of Super-Heroes [DC]
6. Sandra Hope: 299 (12%): Batman: The Detective [DC]
7. Mark Morales: 148 (6%): Avengers, High Republic, Marvel Reborn [Marvel]
8. Cam Smith: 79 (3%): Batman: Urban Legends [DC]; Avengers Forever, Extreme Carnage: Omega [Marvel]
9. Dexter Vines: 56 (2%): Crime Syndicate [DC]
And the winner, with 44% of the votes, is EBER FERREIRA! A previous ballot award recipient, this is Eber’s first win in this category and he had the greatest vote count lead & percentage on the ballot. Wade was runner-up consistently throughout the voting period and won this category in 2009. Every nominee listed has previously been Favorite Inker nominees or winners (Morales) except for new candidates Eric Gapster and Cam Smith.

Most-adaptable Award: Artist showing exceptional ink style versatility over other pencil artists.  (NOTE: Every nominee must have at least two sources cited.)

1. Wade von Grawbadger: 461 (runner-up, 18%): Aquaman, Batman Black & White, Hawkman, Legion of Super-Heroes [DC]
2. Scott Hanna: 244 (9%): Generations Shattered [DC]; Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers, Heroes Reborn: Marvel Double Action, Sinister War, Venom [Marvel]
3. Daniel Henriques: 383 (15%): Catwoman, Batman: The Detective, Detective Comics, Future State: Justice League, Justice League [DC]; King Spawn [Marvel]
4. Danny Miki: 435 (17%): Batman, Batman/Superman, Generations Shattered, Superman [DC]
5. Norm Rapmund: 516 (19%): Batman Beyond, Dark Knights Death Metal: The Multiverse Who Laughs, Detective Comics, Infinite Frontier, Superman [DC]
6. Cam Smith:180 (7%): Batman: Urban Legends [DC]; Avengers Forever, Extreme Carnage [Marvel]
7. LeBeau Underwood: 378 (15%): Truth & Justice [DC]; Darkhawk, The Union [Marvel]

 With 19% of the votes, NORM RAPMUND wins for the second consecutive year! This race was the closest one for all involved and there was also an upset as Wade had the lead in the first week and Daniel Henriques was runner up until week two when Norm surged ahead of those two with Wade taking second place instead of Daniel. Scott Hanna (2010-2012, 2018) & Danny Miki (2008) have won this category previously. Daniel Henriques was runner up last year and Cam Smith RU in 2019.

NORM:I’m incredibly humbled to be recognized as the Inkwell Awards’ Most-Adaptable Inker this year. To have fans and peers still appreciate & enjoy the work I’ve been doing means more than I can fully express. I’ve worked with some fantastic pencillers this year, but I’d like to especially give a shout out to Paul Pelletier, Dan Jurgens, Scot Eaton and Roger Cruz. Without them, this award wouldn’t be possible. I’d also like to thank the Inkwell Awards team for continuing to shine a light on the many talented inking artists in the comics industry.”

 Props Award: Ink artist deserving of more attention for their work over other pencil artists. (NOTE: The same inker cannot be nominated for this award and Favorite Inker; only one or the other. Winners in last 5 years are not eligible.) 

1. Gigi Baldassini: 173 (7%): DCeased: Dead Planet [DC]
2. Belardino Brabo: 264 (10%): Immortal Hulk [Marvel]
3. Adriano Di Benedetto: 522 (runner-up, 20%): Daredevil [Marvel]; Wonder Woman: Evolution [DC]
4. Daniel Henriques: 271 (10%): Catwoman, Batman: The Detective, Detective Comics, Future State: Justice League, Justice League [DC]; King Spawn [Image]
5. Ruy Jose: 369 (14%): Immortal Hulk [Marvel]
6. Tim Townsend: 627 (24%): Non-Stop Spider-Man [Marvel]
7. LeBeau Underwood: 371 (14%): Truth & Justice [DC]; Darkhawk, The Union [Marvel]

TIM TOWNSEND wins this category for the first time with 24%!  Tim has not won any categories since 2009 when he took both the Most-Adaptable Award and the S.P.A.M.I. Award. Adriano Di Benedetto was closely trailing the first week but Tim gained more votes than him the second week and pulled ahead. Adriano was runner-up last year and others  listed in this category have been nominated before except for Baldassini and Brabo who were new to the Inkwell ballot.

TIM:I would like extend a heartfelt thanks to the Inkwell Awards core and nomination committees as well as all of those who voted for me. It’s extremely comforting and reassuring to know that my work is still appreciated. Thank you as well to my fellow professionals for the deep well of talent from which I draw endless inspiration.

The S.P.A.M.IFavorite Small Press And Mainstream/Independent ink work over another pencil artist (non-Marvel or DC work; inkers who inked their own pencils are now acceptable in this category).

1. David Cabeza: 486 (19%): The Orville: Digressions [Dark Horse]
2. Adelso Corona: 732 (28%): Gunslinger Spawn, The Me You Love in the Dark [Image]
3. Kevin Eastman & Studio: 614 (runner-up, 24%): TMNT: The Last Ronin [IDW]
4. Ron Garney: 302 (12%): BRZRKR [Boom]
5. Terry Moore: 463 (18%): Serial [Abstract Studio]

With 28% of the votes, our winner is ADELSO CORONA for his second consecutive win in this category! He was a nominee in 2020 and he was in the lead through much of the race but Kevin Eastman & company surged ahead in the final few days but not enough to overtake Adelso. Only David Cabeza has been nominated in this category previously in 2020 while Eastman, Garney and Moore were all new candidates here. (Moore has been nominated 4 times in the All-in-One but not this year.)

ADELSO:To be recognized by the Inkwell Awards a second time in a row is an incredibly humbling experience. I don’t have the words to properly express what this means to me as an inker, as an artist, as a person. To be mentioned amongst so many great artists with incredible accomplishments is something I could not have imagined but to actually win an award for contributing to an art form that I hold so close to my heart is surreal. Thank you to the all the fans, supporters, collaborators and fellow artists who were nominated and are such a huge part of this industry as we know it, much respect. To the Inkwell Awards, thank you for making this kid from Queens’ dreams become a reality.

 All-in-One Award: Favorite artist known for inking his/her own pencil work.

1. David Cabeza: 353 (15%): The Orville: Digressions [Dark Horse]
2. Joëlle Jones: 556 (21%): Future State: Wonder Woman, Infinite Frontier [DC] 

3. Marco Santucci: 683 (runner-up, 26%): Green Lantern [DC]
4. Walter Simonson:1005 (39%): X-Men Legends [Marvel]

For the second largest vote count and percentage on the ballot, WALT SIMONSON wins the All-in-One Award with 39% of the votesWalt was previously nominated in 2017 for his series “Ragnorok“. Only David Cabeza was new to this category as Joëlle Jones was runner-up in 2019 and nominated the 2 years prior to this. Marco Santucci was nominated last year.

WALT: “ I would like to express my appreciation to the Inkwell Awards, the nomination committee and to the committee that manages them. I am deeply grateful and humbled to receive the All-in-One Inkwell for 2022. And in no small part, I’m pretty surprised too.  Thank you to all those voters who chose to honor me in this manner. I would also like to offer my congratulations to all the nominees in the various categories for the Inkwell Awards this year.

The Inkwell Awards expresses CONGRATULATIONS to all award recipients!

31 May 2022

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

2022 INKWELL AWARDS VOTING RESULTS

 

(FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: New Bedford, MA/USA—June 1, 2022) The Inkwell Awards has announced the winners of its 15th annual awards for excellence in the comic-book inking art form.

Nominees were chosen by a separate and independent nomination committee based on their own research as well as from artist submissions. Voting by professionals and fans took place for two weeks in May on the official ballot, which for the first time included said artist submissions, at the non-profit advocacy’s website. After thousands of ballots were tallied, one winner was chosen in each of five categories for 2021 cover-dated interior American published comic-book material.

 

The winners are listed below in bold with their credits and the percentage of votes received, 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): Eber Ferreira (44%): Batman and the Red Hood, Batman: Urban Legends, Future State: Robin Eternal, Justice League [DC]
Other nominees: Keith Champagne, Eric Gapstur, Jonathan Glapion, Wade von Grawbadger, Sandra Hope, Mark Morales, Cam Smith, Dexter Vines

MOST-ADAPTABLE (Artist showing exceptional ink style versatility over other pencilers): Norm Rapmund (19%): Dark Knights Death Metal: The Multiverse Who Laughs, Superman, Detective Comics, Infinite Frontier, Batman Beyond [DC]
Other nominees: Scott Hanna, Daniel Henriques, Danny Miki, Cam Smith, LeBeau Underwood

PROPS AWARD (Inker deserving of more attention. The same inker cannot be nominated for this award and Favorite Inker; nor past Favorite Inker recipients): Tim Townsend (24%): Non-stop Spider-man [Marvel]
Other nominees: Gigi Baldassini, Belardino Brabo, Adriano Di Benedetto, Daniel Henriques, Ruy José, Le Beau Underwood

The S.P.A.M.I. AWARD (Small Press And Mainstream Independent, non-Marvel or DC work): Adelso Corona (28%): Gunslinger Spawn, The Me You Love in the Dark [Image]
Other nominees: David Cabeza, Kevin Eastman & Studio, Ron Garney, Terry Moore

ALL-IN-ONE AWARD (Favorite artist known for inking his/her own pencils): Walter Simonson (39%): X-Men Legends [Marvel]
Other nominees: David Cabeza, Joëlle Jones, Marco Santucci

 

Full acceptance statements from the award recipients as and much more can be found in the EXPANDED 2022 Winners Results article and they will be found in the “Award Recipients” section of the Inkwell Awards’ website in the near future.

 

There was one internal Above & Beyond Award given to Michele Witchipoo for 10 years of Nomination Committee service. This year the internally-chosen lifetime achievement accolades, the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame award and the Stacey Aragon Special Recognition Award (SASRA), were announced earlier on February 26th, separately from the ballot categories.

 

Due to pandemic issues, the Inkwells have been reporting annual results online (as it originally did from 2008-2010) and will continue to do so until another convention offers to be a new host show for the live ceremony.

30 Apr 2022

(New Bedford, MA/USA—April 30, 2022) The Inkwell Awards is now open for fans and professionals to choose their industry favorites. The official public ballot will be available on the Inkwells’ homepage for two weeks, from May 2 through May 16.

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 2021.

“This year there’s a new addition to our ballot,” said Bob Almond, founder, and director of The Inkwell Awards, the only non-profit organization devoted to public education and promotion of the art of comic book inking. “In answer to myriad requests, there will now be sample images submitted by the nominated artists. This will help both voters and artists to hopefully make the process easier and fairer.   The Inkwell core committee team and our webmaster Steven Freivogel spent much time and effort in discussion and preparation  to make this work and we’re confident it will help everyone.”

He added, “Our nomination procedure continues to include inkers who submitted their work in addition to those chosen by our internal nomination committee. 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.”

The internally-chosen lifetime achievement accolades, the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame award and the Stacey Aragon Special Recognition Award (SASRA), were announced February 26th, separately from the ballot categories. Without a host-show awards ceremony this year, there are currently no restrictions on how and when winners are announced.

29 Apr 2022

The Inkwell Awards Family sends its sincere condolences to the Adams family and loved ones of artist/writer/publisher/advocate/icon Neal Adams during this painful loss.


Mark Sinnott, Neal Adams, Jim Tournas & Inkwell special ambassador Joe Sinnott (2015 Rhode Island Comic Con, photo: Bob Almond)

Neal & Joe Sinnott (2014 Rhode Island Comic Con, photo: Bob Almond)

Senior spokesmodel Hailey Skaza-Gagne with Neal (2017 FanExpo Boston Con, photo: Bob Almond)

Neal Adams accepts his Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award at the 9th Inkwell Awards awards ceremony (2019 Great Philadelphia Comic Con, photo: Jace Schloendorn)

(2019 Great Philadelphia Comic Con, photo: Jace Schloendorn)
26 Feb 2022


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (New Bedford, MA/USA–February 26, 2022) The Inkwell Awards, a non-profit devoted to promoting the art of comic book inking, has announced the winners of their lifetime achievement awards, The Joe Sinnott Hall Of Fame and The Stacey Aragon Special Recognition Award (SASRA). Again due to the Covid pandemic, results are made online rather than at the show’s host convention. Founder and director Bob Almond said, “Starting this season, we decided to split up the committee-chosen lifetime awards, chosen in December, from the publicly-voted ballot awards, which take much more time to tally.”

Winners of the SASRA, in alphabetical order, are Gene Day, George Pérez, John Severin and Dave Stevens.

Photo: The Gene Day Estate



Gene Day
‘s widow, Gale Erslavas, shared the following statement:

“When I was 13, I had a friend a little older than me who had a boyfriend. One day I was hanging out at her house when she said she was going to see him and some of his friends and asked if I wanted to come too. We arrived at his place and my friend introduced me to him and his friends. One of them was Gene. I took one look at him and said to myself that one day I was going to marry him. And on September 20, 1975, at the age of 21, I, Gale Jack, married Gene Day and found my soulmate. Unfortunately, Gene died three days after our seventh wedding anniversary at the age of 31 from a congenital heart defect that had never been detected.

“Thinking back, when we were still dating, Gene was constantly what I called doodling. He would get quite annoyed with me for calling it doodling and would clarify that he was ‘honing his craft.’ He always had some kind of writing implement in his hand, a pen, a pencil, a piece of chalk, a hunk of coal and even the smallest scrap of paper; he was drawing, inking, sketching. He said that he had always wanted to be a comic-book artist and he was constantly practicing. He was a workaholic and thought eating and sleeping was a waste of time and talked about how much more he could get done if he didn’t have to eat and sleep.

“I can’t remember exactly how he got involved with Marvel but at some point Gene received some penciled pages that they wanted him to ink, probably to test his inking style. When he got the package and opened it, he paused for a few minutes and then said “Oh…wow” in an astonished voice. He had told me years ago that he had a dream in which he was inking a pencil drawing of the Silver Surfer. He held up one of the pages that was sent to him and it was with the Silver Surfer.

“Gene was always practicing his inking style because he said an inker could make or break the comic book process. A good inker could make a mediocre penciller great and a bad one could ruin the pencils. I know I’m biased because I thought Gene was a great inker, but I believed his pencils were even better. Ultimately, he achieved his dream job but, unfortunately, his time at Marvel was not to be a long one. I am very pleased to receive this lifetime achievement award, one that recognizes Gene’s work in the artform of inking. I can only wonder had Gene not died how much more he would have accomplished. I truly believe he would have reached the stars and beyond. Thank you so much!”

Photo: Luigi Novi


In December of 2021, George Pérez publicly announced that he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer and would be living out his final months connecting with and/or visiting community friends and fans while time allows him to. George could not be reached for a statement but Jess Harrold, author of The Marvel Art of George Pérez made the following statement:

“Very little has been left unsaid about George Pérez. Which is the first problem you face when you are asked to write an art book about him. Thankfully, George’s artwork speaks for itself –and then some. A measly thousand words? Any comic devotee knows a Pérez piece paints far more than that. Then, you talk to the great man himself – and he regales you with such eloquence, such devotion to his craft and warmth for his collaborators, such staggering, mind-boggling, pinpoint powers of recollection, and such genuine humility and gratitude for the career he has enjoyed, that you just let George tell the story, and try to keep up. That’s before you even get to all the writers and artists and editors who have worked with him or been inspired by him, all eager to share their memories, their tributes, their love for him. Turns out, writing about George Pérez is easy. Stopping writing about George Pérez, that’s the hard part.

“These last few months, it seems that everybody is writing about George –and rightly so. The outpouring of praise, well-wishes and heartfelt thank-you’s prompted by his health announcement has been staggering; and long may it continue. He deserves every accolade. This award is far from the first George has received, and it won’t be the last, but I have no doubt it will mean a great deal to him.

“George knows the value of a good inker. He is effusive in his praise of those who, early in his career, made him a better artist, and those who, as time went on, were able to match him for sheer enthusiasm, hard work and painstaking detail. As an inker of other pencillers, George brings all of that to the table, with an innate recognition of comic books as a unique medium of collaboration. He will elevate your artwork to the best it can be – and you know he absolutely will not skip a single line. And when Pérez inks Pérez? Hold onto your hats. Just take a look at his magnum opus, JLA/Avengers–not least the cover to #3 that almost broke him. For that one, single image, George deserves all the comic book awards going – hell, give him an Oscar and a Nobel Peace Prize to boot.

 

“Such is his heroic contribution to the industry, so prodigious are his powers, that he would be a worthy Avenger or Justice Leaguer. He is Fantastic…Incredible…a Wonder. He has captured the Infinite, twice over…and united the champions of multiple earths. George Pérez is a true Titan.”

Photo: The Severin Estate



John Severin
‘s daughters, Michelina Severin Van Gemert and Ruth Severin Larenas, made the following announcement not just for John but also for his sister, 2019 SASRA recipient Marie Severin, because the Inkwells did not have contact info for the Severin Estate at the time:

“On behalf of the family of John Severin and Marie Severin we are very proud and honored to accept this Inkwell Awards SASRA lifetime achievement award for them. They were both pioneers in the comic book industry and we wish to thank everyone involved in bestowing this well-deserved award. John E. And Marguerite Severin had only two children: John P. Severin and Marie A. Severin, both born with amazing artistic talent. Dad and Aunt Marie were unique in their work and in themselves. They were good, honest, loyal, and hysterically funny human beings. We will miss them always.

John Severin: “Our Dad’s career spanned 60-plus years. He was referred to as an ‘artist’s artist’ known for his historical knowledge and accuracy, especially in western and military genres. As writer Mark Evanier recalled, ‘Jack Kirby used to say that when he had to research some historical costume or weapon for a story, it was just as good to use a John Severin drawing as it was to find a photo of the real thing. They don’t make ’em like that anymore.’ And to quote Stan Lee, ‘The minute you looked at his artwork you knew you were looking at a John Severin illustration, it could be no one else.’

“ Our father’s exceptional, diverse talent spanned from monster comics such as Warren Publishing’s Creepy to satirical humor such as MAD and Cracked magazines, to western, military and Native American comic titles, to superheroes, and even baseball cards and military prints for The Military Historian Society, of which he was a member. Severin began his career in the 1930s, drawing cartoons for NYC’s The Hobo News while attending The High School of Music and Art with Harvey Kurtzman, Al Jaffe, Al Feldstein, and Will Elder. From there he began working for EC Comics becoming the sole artist and later co-editor of Two-fisted Tales. His career brought him to Atlas Comics, a precursor to Marvel Comics. Severin then became co-contributor of MAD magazine along with Harvey Kurtzman, Jack Davis, Will Elder, and Wallace Wood (the original “usual gang of idiots”).

“Subsequently, he found himself at Marvel Comics where he penciled and inked for many titles such as The Hulk, Conan the Barbarian, Sgt. Fury And His Howling Commandos, the renowned Semper Fi series, Kull The Conquerer, and was co-creator of the American Eagle series. Severin also co-created Marvel’s Rawhide Kid, and 50 years later found himself drawing the ground-breaking new character Slap Leather, an effeminate version of the the Rawhide Kid. At the same time as working for Marvel he became the lead artist and cover artist for Cracked magazine, a position he held for over 40 years. Severin also penciled and inked many titles for Dark Horse Comics, including the series Witchfinder.

“Our dad was a good, caring and faithful father and husband, successfully juggling his family life and his long hours with his pencil and ink. He was someone we could always count on no matter what. He was a great soul…and friend to man and beast. John Severin died at the age of 90 at his home, surrounded by our family, with a partially-drawn story on his drawing board for Dark Horse’s George Armstrong Custer: The Middle Years.”

Marie Severin: “Our Aunt Marie was a pioneer, being one of the first female creators in the comic-book industry; a mentor and encouragement to future women comic-book artists. Her career spanned 50-plus years. She began her career as a colorist for her brother’s work, John Severin, at EC Comics. Her talent became obvious, and she began to do penciling and inking for Marvel Comics, with a knack for caricature.

“She went on to work as the ground-breaking female head-colorist and was known endearingly to Stan Lee as “Mirthful Marie”, due to her humor and demeanor. The breadth of her work included being the co-creator of Spider Woman for Marvel, for whom she designed the original costume, and drew and/or inked stories of the Sub-Mariner, the Hulk, and the covers and interiors of series that included Iron Man, The Cat, Daredevil, Conan the Barbarian, Kull the Conqueror (the latter two collaborating for a period with her brother, John).

“Having a flair for children’s comics, she worked with the Marvel Books imprint on children’s coloring books and stickers; and she drew and inked Fraggle Rock, Muppet Babies and The Smurfs series for Marvel’s Star Comics. Marie also co-created the character Doctor Bong, antagonist to the Howard the Duck character. She was assigned by Stan Lee to be the feature artist of Doctor Strange in Strange Tales. She also was a colorist, artist and inker for DC Comics, EC, Atlas and Dark Horse.

“Among the many awards she received, Marie Severin’s work was included in the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art exhibition of women comic-book artists. She was listed as one of 12 women cartoonists by the organization ‘Comics Alliance,’ deserving of a lifetime achievement recognition. This led into her receiving Comic Con International’s Icon Award in 2017. Marie was inducted into the Harvey Awards Hall of Fame and the much-coveted Will Eisner Comics Hall of Fame with her brother, John Severin. She was one of the first two women artists to be inducted into this Hall of Fame, alongside Dale Messick, creator of Brenda Starr.

“Aunt Marie was a fun and loving aunt to us. She was one to never forget our birthdays, and always gave us a much-anticipated laugh. She was a joy in our lives. Marie Severin passed away at The Huntington Hospital in Long Island, NY at the age of 89. She and her brother, John Severin, were extraordinarily proliferate artists whose entire profiles of work and awards cannot possibly be listed here.”

“Both John and Marie Severin (Dad and Aunt Marie), despite their enormous successes in the industry, were modest and charmingly unpretentious people, who would have been both grateful and humbled by this award. Our family appreciates the Inkwells for this and we extend our warm thanks.”

From Jennifer Stevens-Bawcum/The Rocketeer Trust

Jennifer Stevens-Bawcum


Dave Stevens’ sister and trustee of The Rocketeer Trust, Jennifer Stevens-Bawcum, made the following statement on behalf of her brother:

“I would like to thank the Inkwell Awards’ nomination committee for this posthumous award to Dave. Thank you for keeping his memory alive and acknowledging the phenomenal talent that he possessed. His talent was apparent even in his teenage years without any professional training. Seeing his art in person, even in his early years, is something to behold. Flawless is an understatement as I still am taken aback when I look at his work. I know that he touched many lives and inspired many to enter into the art field or continue in it when doubts crept in. He left an indelible mark on the world and we are the richer for it. Thank you again!”

Former SASRA recipients and info on this award can be found here.

This year there are two new recipients of the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award: Brett Breeding and Bob Wiacek. Each generously provided a statement:

Joe Sinnott & Brett Breeding

Brett Breeding:

“Thank you to everyone who voted for me for this year’s Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award. I am humbled and honored to receive it. I’ve always thought this type of an award was a double-edged sword. Although being recognized for your body of work is a nice thing, being entered into a Hall of Fame of any kind usually suggests your career is behind you. Just so there’s no confusion here, I’m not going anywhere just yet! I expect to be producing more work for many years to come, but now I will have this award bearing Joe Sinnott’s name watching over me while I do so. How great is that?

“As a young fan, Joe Sinnott was a favorite artist whose work consistently captivated my attention. His inking style had a huge impact on my wanting to become a comic book artist and was a major influence early in my career. In the very early days of my venture into comics, I was given the opportunity to work for Joe as his background assistant, and though it only lasted a short time, it provided me the chance to meet and visit Joe in his home, one of the biggest thrills of my early days in comics. He was not only an incredibly talented artist, but a genuinely, magnificent human being.

“It has been one of the many honors of my career in comics to know Joe and, even more incredibly, to call him my friend. I greatly miss visiting Joe and all the time spent listening to his stories of his life, in and outside of comics. I think of him frequently and carry a small part of him with me every time I sit at my drawing board and start dipping ink. Having an award that carries his name will be a daily reminder of this giant of a man. I could not be more honored.”

Bob Wiacek & Joe Sinnott @ Albany Con

Bob Wiacek:

“Having known Joe Sinnott since 1968, I never thought I’d be receiving an award in his name, and for that I thank you. Though there are others who deserve this award more than I, like Reed Crandall, Bob Powell, George Roussos, and Bernie Sachs, who perfected the art of inking in their own way. If not for them and many others in this business, I would not have the job I love. I must also take this opportunity to thank Dick Giordano for giving me the chance to work with him and, more importantly, for opening my eyes as to what inking is all about. Thank you, Dick, and I will never forget you.”

Mark Sinnott & Bob Wiacek @ Albany Con

On behalf of the Joe Sinnott Estate, son Mark Sinnott expressed his reaction upon hearing the results:

“We are delighted and honored to welcome the two newest members into the Inkwell Awards Hall of Fame class of 2022 and recipients of the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame award. Joining this elite group are Brett Breeding and Bob Wiacek. Both have contributed so much inking talent to the comics industry throughout their illustrious careers. They both have certainly improved upon and enhanced the work of many pencillers.

“Many years ago when they were both up and coming artists, they would visit my dad, Joe, from time to time at his home in Saugerties, NY. Both of these fine gentlemen would continue to visit my dad, even in his later years. Joe was always so grateful for that. He always had a great time spending the day with them. Whenever he got a chance, Joe would always ‘check out’ the work of all the artists that would visit him at his studio. He liked to see what they had accomplished over time.

“As many of you know, Man-Thing is my favorite character. My dad, in knowing that, would always say to me each month when the complimentary books would arrive from Marvel: Mark, let me see Bob’s Man-Thing comic. And Brett as you know, had the pleasure of inking Ron Frenz’s Mighty Thor just before Joe took over again with issue 400. Dad always enjoyed seeing both of their finished products.

“In keeping with the tradition that my dad started many years ago, it is a pleasure to welcome Brett and Bob as the newest members of the Inkwell Awards Hall of Fame. They both bring a world of talent and class, and are two of the nicest guys in the comics industry. I am proud to call them my friends. Joltin’ Joe would also be so proud of them, knowing that they have been selected as the newest members of this elite group. As always, keep slinging ink and never let your inkwell run dry. Congratulations on a fantastic career, Brett and Bob, and a job well done.”

Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame runners-up in alphabetical order: Sy Barry, John Beatty, Chic Stone, Reed Crandall

Former recipients can be found here.

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.