While inking a short 4-issue run on Marvel’s Heroes for Hire recently I added a familiar logo to a store sign in the background. This was in the Spider-Island: HFH one-shot (Oct. ’11), page 12, panel one, with pencil art by Kyle Hotz, inks by myself (and background ink assistance by Enrique (Zeke) Savory, Jr.).
Let’s hope our earth fares better in 2012 than the earth from Metamorphosis Odyssey anyway! But, as a matter of fact, over the summer I honestly had personal feelings that the Inkwell Awards as an ongoing operation was doomed to destruction….even after accomplishing so much in a successful fourth season! My work scheduled picked up starting in the spring and I was barely able to carry operations through to the Heroes Con awards ceremony in June. And I wasn’t sure when it would let up.
Due to personal and private matters some on the committee went on sabbaticals early in 2011 and I found myself alone to handle various functions. Should the spigot of inking gigs keep pouring into late 2011, I had my doubts about running things in any way, and in my opinion on one on the team had the availability and/or know-how to run things as interim director in my absence.
Bob Shaw had retired, taking his wife and contributor Kim with him. Nathan Massengill grew more and more out of communication until be totally disappeared in the fall. My fellow founders Danny Best and Jimmy Tournas were side-tracked over the summer with other matters in their lives. Our upgraded wordpress website was out of date and missing resources from the original site, with no one capable or available to handle it. And we’d been having some account issues with our primary fundraising source eBay and our budgetary funds were running out. Wouldn’t you panic?
Kudos to two unsung inker heroes (I apologize in advance for any lapses of correct memory details):
When I first started discussing the idea of the Inkwell Awards in late 2007 on the Yahoo mailing list group The Inkwell, I was calling it the Inkblot Awards. It made perfect sense to me as it was my concept and my column in Sketch Magazine#35 where I wrote an article on it was called ‘Inkblots’. No one voiced any criticism with it as I recall, until Canadian-based inker Serge Lapointe spoke up and asked “Why not the InkWELL Awards?” He said it sounded better. I hated it. Until some time passed and reason caught up with me and I realized that he was right, it was perfect (well, now more perfect that Inkblots anyway– Inkwell=classy, Inkblots=uh, messy?). My personal website was ‘The Bob Almond Inkwell’ so that was a nice reference to me as originator and, more noticeably, the online venue where the concept began to mold and transform was on, in fact, The Inkwell! So the name stuck from there. I would subsequently add the Yahoo group’s owner and moderator Jim Tournas and my Sketch editor Bill Nichols to the founding Inkwell core committee in January of 2008.
As we slowly get our revamped site up to ‘speed’, I have some personal loose-ends to catch up on. And since I have my own blog ‘Bob’s Corner’, I might as well use it when I can, and not just as an intro to each new season (although that post will be forthcoming before long <g>). Earlier this year I checked out a copy of writer/photographer/marketer/& ‘Jedi’ Buddy Scalera’s new book CREATING COMICS FROM START TO FINISH (released last spring) and overall found the book to be well composed with chapters on various aspects of comic book production from editing, writing, penciling, inking, lettering and coloring, as well as a chapter on alternate jobs in the industry, interviews with Joe Quesada and Stan Lee, and several addendum chapters with notes and resources for reference. Among the notable creators involved with their related chapters are Mike Marts, Mark Waid, Darick Robertson, Chris Eliopoulos, Brian Haberlin, and for inking, Rodney Ramos. I was pleased to see a 12-page chapter on inking, allowing me to write a brief review on that section as that happens to be a matter ON TOPIC here at the Inkwell Awards site. Rodney has had over two decades in the biz as an ink artist and he’s got an impressive reputation so Buddy made a superb choice with him.
Here we are at year four and I’m excited about a few things that I wanted to share. One very good sign that we may actually be getting better at what we do and that the public is beginning to accept us is that for the first time, upon revealing the award results for last year, we didn’t receive or find the very vocal criticism from traditional sources such as a popular blogger or a fellow inker in our community (who actually complimented us in a public forum). We found that very rewarding in light of the fact that we had a few challenges in 2010. For one thing, we had a sponsor who didn’t live up to all of their promises. We extended our voting system from June all the way to October to accommodate their show which would host our first live awards presentation. And while we certainly received some exposure from this sponsor, the awards event was not to be and put me in the unenviable position of apologizing to all of the award recipients who’d agreed to attend the show and now were told that they wouldn’t be brought in after all in the eleventh hour. But I won’t dwell on that because this nightmare led to Shelton Drum, promoter of the legendary Heroes Con, to offer us the space and partial funding we’d need to make this dream a reality….and it all takes place back in the month of June, the normal month of our voting! The new, annual Nomination Committee was formed, the ballots are out, and operations are up to speed with the truncated time table.
We’re back for 2010, BIGGER and BETTER than ever, baby!! Typical hyperbole? In many cases, the answer would be yes but not so this time here at Inkwell headquarters, dear friends. The most significant development to date was made in arecent announcement that Wizard Entertainment will be supporting our mission through promotion, space at their shows, and in sponsoring our first live awards presentation at the premiere of their New England Comic Con in Boston on October 1-3, 2010 . We’d hesitated until now from doing anything more than online result announcements in the past because we were wide-eyed rookies at the awards game, our fan base was still developing, and we had a limited budget (and still do!).