29 Jan 2021

(FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: New Bedford, MA/USA—January 19, 2021) The non-profit Inkwell Awards, devoted to promoting the art of comic book inking, has released the list of 24 artists participating in its fifth annual Sinnott Inking Challenge Spotlight. This year’s Challenge features artist Ivan Reis’ take on DC’s iconic super-team The Justice League from the cover art to DC’s Man of Steel (2018) as originally inked by Ivan’s partner Joe Prado. The artwork will be auctioned afterward for fundraising.

The artists (in alphabetical order) are:
Gerry Acerno
Greg Adams
Oclair Albert
Brian Atkins
Kevin Conrad
John Dell
Michelle Delecki
Adriano Di Benedetto
Julio Ferreira
Anthony Fowler Jr.
Scott Hanna
Christopher Ivy
Criss Madd
Jose Marzan Jr.
Mark McKenna
Andrew Pepoy
Jack Purcell
Rodney Ramos
Ryusei Sawada (Kubert School 2020 Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship recipient)
Mark Stegbauer
Jonas Trindade
LeBeau Underwood
Keith Williams
Walden Wong

According to founder/director Bob Almond, the Spotlight Challenge, which grew out of its more inclusive, original Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge, showcases other contemporary, fan-favorite talents on a more limited scale with veteran published inkers who may or may not have participated in other challenges. The previous four pencilers were Jim Lee, Neal Adams, Erik Larsen, and David Finch.

“We are thrilled to have such a positive response from such a great group,” Almond said. “We realize schedules are tight and ever-changing, especially in this age of Covid, so we are truly grateful to those able to step up for this one.” He added that the list may change somewhat if schedules change but they hope to have 24 participants in total. “If there’s one thing we’ve learned during our decade-plus operation, it’s flexibility in the face of the unexpected.”

The Challenge Spotlight furthers the inking advocacy’s dual mission of promoting the artform and educating the public. Blue-lined art files featuring a tightly penciled Ivan Reis Justice League pinup are sent to the artists to finish in ink. Each inked page will be signed by Reis and the inker, and include a certificate of authenticity signed and numbered by Almond. All pages will be auctioned off as a major fundraiser in two waves, the first half on SATURDAY JANUARY 23 for a week, and the final wave 2 weeks later on SATURDAY FEBRUARY 6 for a week at this eBay link for those weeks eBay.com/sch/theinkwellawards. Fans will be able to see the difference in the penciled 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 DC, Ivan, Erick Korpi, and especially Joe Prado for setting things up with Ivan, myself, and Erick, the participating inkers, and all involved for their cooperation, support of our program, and appreciation of ink artists.”

31 Dec 2020

(New Bedford, MA/USA–12/31/2020): The Inkwell Awards, a 501(c)(3) non-profit advocacy group, elected artists Mark Sinnott and Joe Prado as new Special Ambassadors to help further the group’s mission of public promotion, education and recognition of the art form of inking and ink artists in the US comic book industry.

MARK SINNOTT is the son of legendary Marvel Comics artist and inker Joe Sinnott. He is his late father’s historian, librarian, and former liaison. Mark’s dad, Jack Kirby and John Buscema were Mark’s earliest comic book influences. His first work, a drawing of Beetle Bailey in 1970, at the age of 9, was published in the comic fanzine The Collector #20. Over the years, Mark has inked some backgrounds for Joe, and has inked panels of the Spider-Man Sunday syndicated comic strip as a fill-in. Mark has also illustrated several drawings for two literary anthologies by his son, Dorian J. Sinnott: Into The Uncanny and Watercolors. Most recently, his inks have graced the pages of Totally Galactic Comics – Jetta Raye Adventures. Mark has been an Inkwell Awards Senior Contributor since 2008 and was awarded an Above & Beyond Award in 2018 for his service as a liaison. A lifetime Saugerties, NY resident, Mark lives with his wife Belinda, their 2 sons, Dorian and Trevor, and their dog Basil.

Inkwell Awards founder and director Bob Almond said, “While Joe Sinnott had his fans of his prodigious output of ubiquitous work, few knew about Mark’s life and career. Mark Sinnott has been his dad’s keeper, a permanent fixture for anyone who would see Joe at a convention appearance or communicate with him to request a commission or art sale. When Joe passed away in June of 2020, I spoke to Mark and he expressed interest in carrying on his father’s legacy by continuing his association with the Inkwells and their mission, something his dad sincerely and proudly supported.”

Mark commented:

“The Inkwell Awards is a great organization, one that is dedicated to recognize the best inkers and to promote and educate regarding the art form of comic-book inking.  There are numerous inkers that have certainly improved and enhanced the work of so many pencillers. I was fortunate enough to see my dad work first hand for so many years, embellishing countless pages of pencils over many different artists. It was a thrill for me as a young child to see this, and still be in awe as an adult many years later. It never grew old, watching my dad work. Through the years, I was so fortunate to be able to ink some backgrounds for my dad, and in Joe’s later years, helping by inking some panels on the Sunday Spidey strip. The big thrill for me was to be able to ink my dad’s pencil work in some of the Inkwell Awards Inking Challenges. I know that Joe was very proud to see members of his family participate in this endeavor. He also looked forward to receiving the completed pages that arrived from various inkers. It was quite interesting for Joe to see the different interpretations of his pencil work. It was something that he truly enjoyed seeing in his later years. Thank you all for participating in these challenges and helping to put a smile on my father’s face.”

JOE PRADO began his career back in the early 1990s working as a professional comic-book artist and illustrator in the Brazilian market. During that time he produced hundreds of fantasy, horror, superhero and science fiction illustrations and comics for myriad publishers, books and magazines. He’s also known as the co-creator of the comic book mini-series UFO Team with writer Marcelo Cassaro. In 2004 he started producing comics for the US market.

Among his credits are Action Comics, Superman, Green Lantern, Birds Of Prey, Rann/Thanagar War, Teen Titans, The Warlord, Red Sonja, The Phantom, and many others. In 2009 he began his long-standing partnership with artist Ivan Reis on DC’s Blackest Night, which led them to Brightest Day and then their world-renowned run on Aquaman. All three series were with writer/TV and film producer Geoff Johns. After that, Joe inked hundreds of books such as Justice League, Multiversity, Cyborg, Justice League America, The Terrifics, et al. For the past two years, Joe has inked Ivan Reis on the Superman relaunch, written by Brian Michael Bendis.

Besides being an artist and inker, Joe has been Co-Owner/Talent Manager of Chiaroscuro Studios, representing dozens of comic-book artists, since 2002.

Joe is the proud recipient of two Inkwell Awards. In 2016,  he won for “Favorite Inker” and in 2018 for “Props – Talent deserving of more attention.”

From his home in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Joe said:

“First off, I can’t express how honored I feel being considered for something like this. And having the possibility to spread the consciousness about the inker’s role on comics is something priceless to me. I’ve always been a fan and a collector, besides being a professional, and that remains til this day; reading comics since I was a kid back in the ’70s made me fall in love with the medium. Especially inking!

“When my grandfather introduced me to Hal Foster’s Prince Valiant, Alex Raymond’s Flash Gordon and Milton Cannif’s Terry & The Pirates, it changed how I perceived the medium and I was hooked for life. I decided that I was going to work in comics and would study the hell out of them! So while it may sound corny, I’d like to thank my grandpa, Armando Fossa, wherever you are now, for all the inspiration and countless hours of chats about comics; that was what lead me here. And of course, my wife, Tatiana, for always putting up with my madness, and not dumping me all these years. Love you!”

Bob Almond added, “Much like the prominent Filipino School of ink artists starting in comics’ so-called “Bronze Age,” the Brazilian contingent has been quite active in the USA since artists Mike Deodato, Jr. and his studio hit it big at Marvel and DC in the ’90s. So, having Joe proudly represent that pool of contemporary and popular inking talent is a fortunate coup for us. Joe also brings his contagious passion and enthusiasm to the team and anyone who listens to him; he is compelled to try to help us in every way.”

Since the Inkwell organization was formed in 2008, the roster of Ambassadors has included (in chronological order) Adam Hughes, Mark Brooks, Sal Velluto, Trevor Von Eeden, Cully Hamner, Eric Basuldua, Phil Jimenez, Jim Shooter and Brian Pulido, along with the late Joe Kubert and Rich Buckler. The more-involved Special Ambassadors include (besides the late Joe Sinnott) Mike McKone,  J. David Spurlock, Clifford Meth, Jim Starlin, Laura Martin, Aldrin Aw, aka “Buzz”, Dan Parsons and Rags Morales.

###

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.

04 Nov 2020

The non-profit Inkwell Awards, devoted to promoting the art of comic book inking, has released the list of 24 artists participating in its fifth annual Sinnott Inking Challenge Spotlight. This year’s Challenge features artist Ivan Reis’ take on DC’s iconic super-team The Justice League from the cover art to DC’s Man of Steel (2018) as originally inked by Ivan’s partner Joe Prado. The artwork will be auctioned afterwards for fundraising.

The artists (in alphabetical order) are:

Gerry Acerno

Greg Adams

Brian Atkins

Keith Champagne

Kevin Conrad

John Dell

Michelle Delecki

Anthony Fowler Jr.

Scott Hanna

Christopher Ivy

Jay Leisten

Criss Madd

Jose Marzen Jr.

Mark McKenna

Jason Moore

Andrew Pepoy

Jack Purcell

Rodney Ramos

Ryusei Sawada (Kubert School 2020 Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship recipient)

Mike Sellers

Mark Stegbauer

LeBeau Underwood

Keith Williams

Walden Wong

Pencils: Ivan Reis

Inks: Kevin Conrad

Inks: Scott Hanna

Inks: Mark McKenna

Inks: LeBeau Underwood

07 May 2020

Logo design: Michael Netzer

Ryusei Sawadi

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(New Bedford, MA/USA—May 6, 2020) The Kubert School had their annual scholarship awards event earlier in May via a virtual scholarship ceremony through Google Meet, due to the Covid-19 global pandemic. The Inkwell Awards’ 11th Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship Award of $1000 was presented to second-year student Ryusei Sawada. The school posted an announcement of all award recipients on its website.

 

Sawada is an aspiring artist originally from Tokyo, Japan, whose ultimate goal is to work for publishers like Marvel, DC, and Image as an inker/artist. He entered the Kubert School right out of high school.

Normally, according to The Inkwell Awards’ founder/director Bob Almond, the non-profit would send a representative to the Dover, NJ institution to attend the live ceremony and personally congratulate the winning student. But due to shelter-in-place orders, they were unable to, and school director Carol Thomas informed him that the school had already set up remote learning, which will remain in place until the end of the year.

“There were some timing issues but the virtual ceremony was a great idea,” said Almond. “This way the lucky winner was able to get even more public recognition. Kudos to school director Mike Chen and the Kubert School staff for getting it done despite many challenges. We hope to be there next year to shake the hand of the winner.”

The Inkwells created the scholarship award on behalf of their ink artist friend and committee member, Dave Simons, shortly after his passing in 2009, with the approval of his sister, Bette Simons. Bette shared the following statement:

“We are all navigating uncharted waters in this current environment. With unity, strength and faith we will manage to get through this and be stronger. Even considering all that is happening in the world right now, we must still manage to maintain some sense of normalcy which is why, for the 11th year, I am honored to recognize the recipient of The Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship

for 2020.

For those of you that do not know Dave or perhaps even his accomplishments, I can tell you that he devoted his entire life to being the best artist he could be and only wanted to get better. He was always critical of his work, looking for the most seemingly insignificant detail that would have made it even just a little bit better.

He was a mentor to many and was mentored by many of the best in the business. He thrived on interacting with others, sharing ideas and inspiration. He had great successes and crushing failures but with the failures, he never lost sight of the fact that he was doing what he loved most.

It will be 11 years next month since Dave passed and I miss him every day. I have no words to express my gratitude to all of the people that continually support this scholarship program. It takes relentless effort and dedication to be able to make this presentation in Dave’s memory every year. For that, I am eternally thankful.

Congratulations to this year’s recipient Ryusei Sawadi. I wish you much success and happiness.”

Dave Simons (1954-2009) was an American artist known for his work on the characters Conan, Ghost Rider, Red Sonja, Howard the Duck and Spider-Man for Marvel Comics, and “Forgotten Realms” for DC Comics. He was also a storyboard artist for the award-winning animated TV show, “Courage the Cowardly Dog,” while simultaneously handling the art for DC’s comic book spin-off. To date, Inkwells has raised $11,000 in his name to students in need.

04 May 2020

 

Newsarama reported today that comic book veteran ink artist Juan Vlasco died on April 24 after a complication following surgery. Based in Mexico, full name- Juan Francisco Velasco Hernandez- had worked in mainstream American comics for over 20 years at such publishers as Wildstorm, DC and Marvel. He was nominated for the Inkwell Awards “Props Award” (ink artist deserving of more attention for their work over other pencilers ) in 2011 for Contest of Champions; Superior Iron Man; Legendary Star-Lord; Amazing Spider-man; Nova [Marvel] and in 2016 for X-Men and Deadpool. The Inkwells family sends its condolences to Juan’s many loved ones and fans.

06 Mar 2020

Newsarama reported yesterday that DC, Marvel, Charlton Comics ink artist Frank McLaughlin had died March 4 of undisclosed causes. He was 84. The Inkwell Awards give our condolences to his family, friends and many fans.

Photo from Frank’s Facebook page, his final profile photo, taken by unknown.

Judomaster was created by Joe Gill & Frank McLaughlin. Cover of Special War Series #4 (Nov, 1965). Art by Frank McLaughlin.

22 Feb 2020

(FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: New Bedford, MA/USA—February 21 2020) The Inkwell Awards, the only non-profit organization devoted to public education and promotion of the art of comic book inking, is asking fans and professionals to choose their industry favorites. The official public ballot will be available on the Inkwells’ homepage from February 23 through 29.

Voting is open to all 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 ballot covers all printed American comic books cover-dated 2019.

“This is the second ballot with our revamped nomination procedure where inkers could submit their work in addition to those chosen by our internal nomination committee,” said Bob Almond, founder and director of The Inkwell Awards. “It made a huge difference and we’re thrilled to see many inkers submit their own work and several get nominated.”

He also added, “For years, too many inkers are passed over and go unnoticed by most awards events. Ours caters specifically to ink artists, allowing them to be recognized and appreciated for their best work. We encourage any and all who appreciate great artwork to participate and share on social media; the more voters, the better.”

The winners, along with the internally-chosen lifetime achievement accolades, the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame award and the Stacey Aragon Special Recognition Award (SASRA), will be announced at the live awards ceremony during The Great Philadelphia Comic Con! in Oaks, PA the weekend of April 3-5.

16 Jan 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: (New Bedford, MA/USA—January 13, 2020) The Inkwell Awards, a non-profit advocacy for comic-book inking and ink artists, is retiring its original “Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge” after eight years.


Created by founder and director Bob Almond, the Challenge involved Sinnott, the organization’s first special ambassador, drawing or loosely sketching two characters for which he was known (or not have ever rendered) and then professional and amateur artists inking and/or embellishing them. The program was designed to educate fans, the public and other professionals regarding the process, contribution and inherent value of inking, a major part of the Inkwells’ mission. All of the blueline inked pages, signed by Sinnott and the inkers, were later donated by the contributors and auctioned on eBay, providing valuable fundraising for the organization.
Sinnott issued the following statement (signed with his Marvel nickname, “Joltin’ Joe Sinnott,”):

“As you all know, this past year, with the cancellation of the ‘Spider-Man’ syndicated strip, I decided to retire from comic-related work. This also included my participation in the Inkwell Awards’ annual Inking Challenge. It was a great privilege to play a part in all of these challenges, and I always enjoyed seeing everyone’s take on embellishing my pencilled drawings. I look forward to the release of the upcoming collection of the Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge in book form, and was glad to be a part of this for so many years. Now it is finally time for me to sit back, relax, and enjoy a well-deserved retirement. I look forward to seeing many great things from the Inkwell Awards. I thank you all for supporting them and being a part of this great organization.”

The Inkwells have also collected each year’s pencils-to inks comparisons in book form and a final, sixth one will be available in the coming weeks. Almond said, “We are immensely proud of this series of books as launched by Jim Tournas, Enrica Jang and Renee Woodruff. We truly thank Joe and son Mark for their stellar cooperation and accomplishments over the years. He more than deserves his happy retirement and we all agree that we want Joe to be nothing but happy and healthy after an extraordinary career of almost 70 years.”
The Challenge spin-off program, The Sinnott Inking Challenge Spotlight, which focuses on a different veteran or contemporary all-star artist, is still active and recently completed its fourth event.

21 Jun 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: (New Bedford, MA/USA—June 21, 2019) The Inkwell Awards, a non-profit organization devoted to promoting the art of comic book inking, will auction the artwork for their fourth annual Sinnott Inking Challenge Spotlight, which focuses on DC’s Batman pencil art of award-winning creator David Finch. The fundraiser event debuts on June 23. 

The Sinnott Inking Challenge Spotlight, which grew out of the Inkwell’s original Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge, showcases various contemporary, fan-favorite talents on a limited scale with veteran published inkers who may or may not have participated in other challenges. The previous three pencillers were Jim Lee, Neal Adams and Erik Larsen.

This year’s 24 participating ink artists (in alphabetical order) are:

Gerry Acerno, Ken Branch, Brett Breeding, AJ Cassetta, Keith Champagne, Kevin Conrad, Marc Deering, John Dell, Guy Dorian Sr., John Floyd, Scott Hanna, Tony Kordos, Jay Leisten, Criss Madd, Jose Marzan Jr., Mark McKenna, Andrew Pepoy, Rodney Ramos, Bill Sienkiewicz, Andy Smith, Mark Stegbauer, LeBeau Underwood, Keith Williams and Walden Wong.

“We are excited to see the amazing work from such a skilled and talented group,” said founder/director Bob Almond. “We realize schedules are tight and ever-changing so we are grateful to those able to step up for this one. I want to credit committee vet Erick Korpi for not only initiating this year’s program but for recruiting A.J. Cassetta, the Kubert School student recipient of the 10th annual Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship Award, to the line-up!”

The Challenge Spotlight furthers the inking advocacy’s dual mission of promoting the artform and educating the public. Blue-lined art boards featuring a tightly pencilled David Finch Batman pinup were sent to the artists to finish and/or embellish in ink. Each inked page is signed by Finch and the inker, and includes a certificate of authenticity signed and numbered 1 to 24 by Almond. All pages will be auctioned off on eBay as a fundraiser. Fans will be able to see the difference in the pencilled and inked versions through a gif to better understand how much inkers contribute to the artform.

“On behalf of the Inkwells,” said Almond, “our sincerest thanks to DC, David, the inkers, and all involved for their cooperation, support of our program, and appreciation of ink artists.”