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!

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.

23 Jan 2015

Hello–

BECAUSE YOU DEMANDED IT! After 10 years and much feedback, the one-of-a-kind, non-profit Inkwell Awards is changing its nominating procedure so everyone gets a fairer shot. 

Now YOU, the ink artist (or your agent/publisher), can submit your work for nomination in any of our five categories. (Unlike some other awards, we will not charge a fee.) 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! The specifics:

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. Now entering our 11th year, 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.

WHAT TO SEND:

  1. Up to THREE interior pages of professional comic-book ink work you’ve done from any USA-published comic book (per categories below) COVER-DATED 2018. Send links to your sample(s) (not general site links), or low-res image files. Do not send large 300ppi files–we’re not a printer!
  2. (Make sure you read and understand the ADDITONAL RULES below before sending.)
  3. Your NAME, preferred EMAIL ADDRESS, the TITLE/ISSUE #(s) and PUBLISHER.
  4. The CATEGORY(-IES) to which it belongs. (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, up to three.)

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 (Non-Marvel or DC).

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

WHERE TO SENDEmail samples to inkwellawards@yahoo.com, with the Subject “2018 Inkwell Awards.” (Questions? Same email or ask us on Facebook or Twitter @inkwellawards.)

WHEN TO SENDThe deadline is DECEMBER 31st, 2018 (we’ll post reminders, but earlier is better).

Since this is our first try at this, we have to be strict. PLEASE help us help you by following the directions 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. 

ADDITIONAL RULES: 

-Inks can be with traditional or digital tools (e.g., brush, pen, marker, stylus, Apple Pen, Wacom, etc., but NOT pencils darkened/manipulated via Photoshop or other software).
-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 will be ignored.

-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)

dmralmond@gmail.com

inkwellawards.com

@inkwellawards

28 Nov 2014

Inkwell Awards Changing Host Show Location from Heroes Con to East Coast Comicon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (New Bedford, MA – July 3, 2018) The Inkwell Awards is announcing that their annual live awards ceremony will be relocating to the East Coast Comicon at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, NJ, commencing May 17-19, 2019. Their awards ceremonies for the previous eight years, including 2018, were held at the June HeroesCon in Charlotte, NC.

According to Inkwell Awards founder and director Bob Almond, HeroesCon promoter Shelton Drum invited the non-profit organization to his long-running, family-friendly show in 2011. “We had been left hanging by a major convention,” Almond said, “and Shelton, who had endured similar problems, wanted to support a kindred spirit and show that this altruistic, annual event could be done and well-supported.”

Almond added, “Changing venues is both sorrowful and exciting. Our presence at Heroes’ industry-respected and community-loved show further boosted our credibility and exposure, which helped with fundraising in the long run. We can truly thank HeroesCon for where we are now. But the 16-hour drives and related travel expenses each season would leave our budget almost wiped out.”

When asked about the switch in locations, Almond explained, “When East Coast Comicon promoter Cliff Galbraith offered us his venue and funding support for the expenses, we were thrilled. A mere four-hour drive is a huge relief for us. Cliff’s event began in 2011 and has grown in reputation and attendance since, from both the celebrity/artist guests and the fans.”

In a statement, Heroes promoter Drum said:

”It’s been eight years since Bob Almond made Heroes Con the home of The Inkwells. We have been privileged to be host to Bob and his team as they honored the true unsung heroes of comics, the Inkers. The annual Inkwell  Awards ceremony– the anchor of our opening day programming– has spotlighted and awarded many of the greatest inkers in comic’s history: Mike Royer, Rudy Nebres, Klaus Janson, Bob McLeod, Jerry Ordway and Joe Rubinstein, just to name a few.

“And now Bob is heading to East Coast Comicon and taking the Inkwells with him. They will be missed, but it is wonderful knowing Bob Almond will still be at it making the world a more appreciative place for our black-thumbed brethren. Godspeed, Bob.”

Almond concluded, “Shelton graciously took us in at a low-point for me. Now, as we celebrate The Inkwells’ 10th anniversary, it’s like progressing from one chapter of growth to a new one as we boldly embark on our second decade with Cliff.”