So sorry to hear about the passing of Gerry at Newsarama who was a member of the Inkwell Yahoo Group in the 2000s, now regrettably canceled, that was involved with my formation of the Inkwell Awards. He was a member of the proud legacy of Filipino ink artists that made their mark first in the Bronze-age at Marvel & DC. On behalf of the Inkwell Awards may he rest in peace and sincere condolences to his wife, loved ones and fans.
Bob and the Inkwells were recently invited to the 4th Syracuse New York Comic Con, a new venue for us, taking place on Saturday December 7. FREE ADMISSION! We don’t normally attend one-day shows but the promoter Jason Randall is pulling all stops to accommodate and promote myself and the non-profit. The attending team will consist of Bob, Senior Contributor Mike J. Prast will once again act as show assistant and we’ll be debuting new Ms. Inkwell spokesmodel Becka Sargent. You can find out more info at their website. Our 2020 public appearances schedule will be posted in December. (*Becka is not replacing anyone. Hailey and Kathy are still active but will be appearing, much like Beck, part-time as they attempt to juggle their Inkwell duties around their jobs at home.)
Four months have passed since the live awards ceremony took place in April at our new host show at The Great Philadelphia Comic Con! but we recently received the material and multimedia senior contributor Ray Burke broke up the long, full version (above) into smaller videos for our youtube account if that’s easier for some who don’t have time to slog through this, especially since we had non-stop disaster and glitches galore for our first appearance at the venue as mentioned in this video. We’ve already planned to handle the recording ourselves next time so that coverage will be almost immediate after the end of the show weekend in 2020. That’s the plan anyway!
After much patient waiting, as of November 7 the Inkwell Awards have finally received the 2018 Inkwell Awards live awards ceremony which celebrated our 10 year anniversary with recording from A/V volunteer Matthew Tyndall and volunteer panel coordinator Andrew Mansell from this past June at Heroes Con, our 8th and final event at that location. But that’s not the disappointing part. I wish I’d known/been told that Matt would be editing out several moments of the 90+ minute program down to 31+ minutes, only a third of the experience. Communication was lacking. Realistically, I can see the video person cutting out the post awards Q&A maybe, and certainly the door prizes, but it didn’t start with my intro to the festivities nor, more tragically, Guest of Honor Mike Royer and his presentation, but instead it starts with me introducing Presenter Dan Panosian which followed all that. I am not surprised when my announcements about seasonal Inkwell highlights are cut out including the silver inkwell internal awards, new ambassadors, fundraising results from certain programs, etc. but I wish it had included my annual public request, for 8 consecutive years now, to the Eisner Awards (our community’s version of the Academy Awards) to return the separate Inking category to their ballot categories. The video thankfully included the 10th anniversary debut of the “Above & Beyond Awards” to celebrate some remarkable mission-supporting achievements, whether they be internally or community-based, but it cut out Inkwell Ms. Inkwell spokesmodel Hailey Skaza-Gagne’s acceptance speech (the only recipient of the three announced to be present) and the original art portrait by Bill Sienkiewicz which was revealed after her words. It seemingly also cut out our Stacey Aragon Special Appreciation Award awarded to Russ Heath who passed soon after in August, truly regrettable. But the guts are here with all five ballot categories being read and the award recipients announced by Dan and the winners making their statements. Same about the Sinnott Hall of Fame lifetime achievement Awards presented by special Inkwell ambassador Pat Broderick to Bob McLeod and Joe Giella with Bob’s statement and Joe Sinnott’s comments regarding the winners. FOR ALL THIS I SINCERELY APOLOGIZE, especially after the 5 month LONG delay.
I will say this, whether we record it ourselves (like we’d intended to do in June and the June before that and have in the past at Heroes) at our new host show venue, or the show will have someone on the show staff recording, either way it will include the ENTIRE (or at least the majority of the) event, not just a third of it, and it will be posted SOON AFTER the show weekend takes place.
For a full summary of the awards results, photos, statements and generally ceremony info you can find that here.
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.”
THE BALLOT BOX IS NOW CLOSED! THANK YOU FOR TAKING PART IN VOTING FOR YOUR FAVORITE INK ARTISTS IN THE COMIC BOOK INDUSTRY! ALL WINNERS WILL BE CONTACTED ASAP AND PUBLICLY ANNOUNCED AT OUR AWARDS CEREMONY AT HOST SHOW HEROES CON ON FRIDAY JUNE 15 AND IN PRESS ANNOUNCEMENTS THE DAYS TO FOLLOW THAT.
Right at the end of he year I was taken for a pleasant surprise when special supporter Spencer Beck called and invited Inkwell spokesmodel Hailey Skaza-Gagne and myself to two, new shows as guests. A couple of weeks back it was for the New Jersey Comic Expo in Edison, NJ on November 18-19 and the latest is that we’re attending the first Ace Comic Con on Long Island, NY on December 8-10. That’s a record 9 shows for the year (and 20 consecutive appearances for Hailey since she started her journey as Ms. Inkwell. The exposure and demand has clearly increased and I truly anticipate our tour for 2018 on our 10th anniversary.
(New Bedford, MA/USA—June 6, 2017) Results from the 10th annual Inkwell Awards will be presented at the inking advocacy group’s 7th live awards ceremony at Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC. The awards ceremony is scheduled for Friday June 16, 5:00 PM at the Charlotte Convention Center, in room 209-210.
Golden/Silver Age ink artist and famed DC Comics mainstay Joe Giella is scheduled to appear as Guest of Honor. Golden Age and Timely (Marvel) pioneer and penciller/inker Allen Bellman will act as Guest Speaker for one of two Special Recognition Award recipients.
“We are very fortunate to have two living legends from the dawn of the American comic book industry to attend our celebration of inking in the sequential arts”, said Bob Almond, the Inkwell Awards’ founder/director and MC of the ceremony. “Together they’ve inked many seminal works that have influenced generations of professionals and readers alike.”
The Inkwells have five categories: Favorite Inker, the “Props” award for under-recognized professionals, the S.P.A.M.I. for Small Press And Mainstream-Independent work, Most-Adaptable Inker, and the “All-in-One” for the artist who inks his/her own pencil art. Thousands of voters cast their ballots at the group’s website in April to log their support and choose their favorites.
In addition to Giella and Bellman, other speakers/attendees include host and presenter Almond, hostess Hailey Skaza-Gagne as spokesmodel Ms. Inkwell, Inkwell Assistant Director/co-presenter and artist Mike Pascale, and other volunteer staff members. Announced with the publicly-chosen award-winners will be the internally-voted two recipients of the yearly Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award and two recipients of the third annual Special Recognition Award.
Almond added, “We’re thrilled to have more award-recipient creators appearing live than ever before, so fans will get to see and hear more of their favorites.”
Other related guests at the Heroes show itself include Inkwell ambassadors Laura Martin, Mike McKone, Cully Hamner and J. David Spurlock. There may also be surprise appearances at the ceremony by member-creators, the award recipients or other supporters. As an added bonus, the first 25 non-member attendees will receive a raffle ticket for an automatic door prize. After the event, every ticket holder will win a prize as explained at the ceremony.
“We’ve had record attendance for the last couple years,” said Almond, “and plan to repeat that achievement, especially with our impressive lineup and prizes.”
The Inkwells will be set up in Artists Alley at an as of yet unspecified location to be announced soon at the Heroes Con website, offering (for donations) their recently-released Ms. Inkwell Gallery art book, signed by cover artist Bill Sienkiewicz as well as Joe Sinnott, Bob Almond and Hailey Skaza-Gagne, along with plenty of other Inkwell merchandise to help raise much-needed funds. (The organization will delay the next Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge book until 2018 to celebrate their tenth anniversary.)
Almond concluded, “We can’t show enough gratitude to promoter Shelton Drum and the Heroes Con staff for annually supporting the community and giving fans an opportunity to learn more about and appreciate this often overlooked industry craft and its artists. Looking forward to seeing everyone on Friday and during the con!”
The Inkwell Awards (www.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 the best ink artists and their work. Now approaching it’s tenth year, the organization is overseen by a committee of industry professionals and assisted by various professional ambassadors and numerous contributors. They sponsor the Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship Fund for the Kubert School and host the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award.
Bernie Wrightson, one of the industry’s most respected and celebrated fantasy, horror, comic-book artists/creators/painters/inkers, has passed away at age 68 after a long illness. One of the four members of “The Studio” (along with Jeffrey Jones, Michael Kaluta and Barry Windsor Smith), Wrightson was one of the select few from the “Frazetta School” of inking whose mastery equalled the original influence, and who in turn influenced new generations to come.
Beginning his professional career at DC Comics in 1968, Wrightson worked for many publishers but is best known for his work on and co-creation of the Swamp Thing for DC, his seminal b/w work for Warren Publishing, and his Franklin Booth-inspired, pen-illustrated adaptation of Mary Shelley’s FRANKENSTEIN published by Marvel. For the last 20 years, Wrightson became equally well-respected as a creator designer/concept artist for Hollywood films. He was the first recipient of The Inkwell Awards’ Special Recognition Award (SRA) in 2015.
“Bernie was one of the best examples of new talent coming into the field. I think he carried the EC tradition on.”
—Joe Orlando (Former EC artist and DC editor on SWAMP THING”)
“…He had the best inkline in the business. His work has an amazing grace to it.”
—Len Wein (Writer and co-creator of Swamp Thing)
“There’s never been, to my knowledge, a brush man that could hold a candle to what Bernie’s laid down…”
—Michael W. Kaluta (Artist and Studio-mate)
“Bernie was so well-rounded. He can draw anything…Bernie really was the standard in horror…[he] transcends comic books.”
—Kelley Jones (Artist heavily influenced by Wrightson)
We at the Inkwell Awards offer our sincerest condolences to Bernie’s family and friends.