I annually discuss the recipients of the Silver Inkwell Awards (formerly the ‘Special Recognition Awards’ before an actual award was named that this year). Sometimes the silver inkwell trophy is given to nomination committee members who’ve served five years as a reward for that hard work. But there weren’t any of those this year. This year it went solely to core committee members who resigned in good standing…and we had three members with this status this season. This is regrettable but it’s life. And this is about celebrating the good they did for our organization.
It’s been almost exactly two years since I last ran an Unsung Heroes article (on Larry Dempsey) for my Inkblots column so I’m obviously overdue (former articles were on Michael Netzer & Bob McLeod and Serge LaPointe & PJ Magalhaes). This time I wanted to give special recognition to our retailer associates who we never want to take for granted. They have assisted us in two crucial programs, the COMPliments Program and Fundraising. Early on Bob Shaw helped establish our general fundraising system where we not only acquire donations from artists at conventions to auction off on eBay but to purchase at cost the blank cover variant comics that suddenly became the rage at Marvel soon after we started up. We received these from a number of retailers at the time but most-notably Larry Harrison of Harrison’s Comics & Pop Culture, Ernie Pelletier Jr. of Friendly Neighborhood Comics, Jay Pillarella of Rubber Chicken Comics, and Nate Machado from New England Comics.
“Legendary Artists Neal Adams and Joe Sinnott Make Comic Book History for the Inkwell Awards”
First Comics News
(December 5, 2014–New Bedford, Massachusetts): For the first time in 44 years, comic book legends Neal Adams and Joe Sinnott have collaborated on a special edition to be auctioned by the non-profit Inkwell Awards (aka “The Inkwells”). The auction will take place in March, 2015.
The two artists contributed their talents to a sketch cover of a Batman #0 comic book. The first and last time they collaborated was on two issues of Thor in 1970.
“We are thrilled beyond belief to have these two living legends work together again on our behalf,” said Bob Almond, Inkwell Awards founder and director. “We originally planned to auction the piece off in December of this year but decided we didn’t want to compete with holiday shopping. By waiting until March, everyone who wants a shot at this piece of history will have time to save for it.”
The piece came about when Inkwell volunteer Joe Goulart approached Adams at the 2014 Connecticut ComiCONN to contribute a donation sketch for the non-profit. Adams then made his own request: He would do so if Inkwell Special Ambassador Joe Sinnott inked it. Sinnott is also the namesake of the charity’s Hall of Fame Award and its annual Inking Challenge event and book collection. Sinnott’s son Mark was contacted and the deal was sealed. Two months later, Joe brought the inked version to the Rhode Island Comic Con for a historic photo with Neal.
The comic book has been professionally graded 9.4 and “slabbed” by the Comic Book Certification Service.
As I do every year, in my live ceremony speech at Heroes Con I present the Special Recognition Awards for members of the Inkwell team who are leaving the core committee after having served on good standing for at least a year and to those who have made an exceptional accomplishment. Below is an excerpt from my speech which rewards three outstanding team members for their service and contributions to our advocacy: (more…)
(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.
For some time now we have published two book projects annually: The Inkwell Awards Donation Drive and Results Book (which debuted as a sketchbook in 2009 by committee member Bob Shaw and was further developed and enhanced in 2010 by committee member Jim Tournas) and the Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge book (which debuted in January 2010 as conceived by me and produced by Jim). You can see every edition’s covers in our website Store and all regular editions are still available. The initial printing expenses of these books were usually sponsored by an advertiser whether it be Harrison’s Comics & Pop Culture, Blaq Books or Rhode Island Comic Con. But sometimes there were additional costs to us like when and advertiser couldn’t be found, errors were made and the book had to be printed again. Or when the initial run, sometimes minimal, ran out and we had to print up more. Jimmy looked into different routes of funding for the program over the years but nothing materialized. Sure, we’re “non-profit” but, c’mon! We’re still a business;-)
Exerpted from my speech from the 2013 Inkwell Awards live awards ceremony at Heroes Con, June 8, 2013:
We have two Special Recognition awards to announce this year. It is very challenging to get volunteers every year for our separate and independent Nomination Committee so we added an incentive. For those members who return to serve for five years we offer one of our special silver inkwell trophies. This year the first recipient of this is the former associate director of the Joe Schuster Awards, Robert Haines. Robert is not here today but I will make sure that he get’s his deserved award.
While seemingly off-topic, it’s actually not, as many ink artists were effected. I want to help circulate more attention for my friend Enrica Jang of Red Stylo Media who has formed We Win Con, a non-profit organization set up to help the artists who took a financial hit due to the cancellation of the Boston Con this weekend due to the recent threat of the Boston Marathon Bomber. Below is their statement:
We Win Con is helping independent artists and fans who lost money and opportunities from the postponement of the Boston Comic Convention to be able to recoup a little of what they spent.
Artists who are out cash, travel and most importantly SALES this weekend can be featured in an online convention at wewincon.org. We’re also helping raise funds for charity in the process.
To help artists recover some costs so they can get through ’til BCC is back, visit http://wewincon.org/
•Bringing fans to the artists since artists couldn’t get to the fans.
•Gas Card Drive to reimburse artists that drove to Boston and had to turn back.
•Charitable giving for the organizations who were set to receive donations from the show.
Artists will get a FREE featured post, complete with links to their own online stores. Those without stores, Red Stylo Media is donating online space in their store to help promote sales. Any interested artist can email email@example.com
@wewincon on twitter
Progress and failure. It’s the stuff of all things, The Inkwell Awards not excluded.
I was thinking the other day about what once was and where we’re at today. There’s been mostly development and improvement, but there’s been lessons along the way.
Artist Larry Dempsey is not a name the general public may remember. But for many ink artists in our community and those fledgling artists who sought out info about the art form of inking, Larry’s Inking Survey site was around for a few years long before the Inkwell Awards existed in 2008.