10 Jun 2011

With an exciting turnout in voting from April 1-30, The Inkwell Awards are now able to release for their fourth year the ballot results from the six categories targeting the exceptional 2010 work of ink artists. Scott Hanna took the winning slot for Favorite Inker this year for his work on Marvel titles Hulk and Avengers: Prime, followed by Runner-up Wade Von Grawbadger, 2009’s winner in this category.

For the second consecutive year, Scott also won the Most-Adaptable Inker Award category for his various and eclectic ink works from both Marvel and DC (Avengers Academy, Incredible Hulk, Nova, Shadowland: Powerman, Batman & Robin, R.E.B.E.L.S.), followed in second place by Mark Morales, who won Favorite Inker last year.

In the Props Award category, for an ink artist deserving of more attention, there was a real multitude of nominees with eleven candidates this year, but Art Thibert took the top position by a clear margin for his work on Doc Savage, Captain Action, and Brightest Day, followed by runner-up Mariah Benes.

The S.P.A.M.I. Award (Small Press And Mainstream Independent) had the closest turnout this year as last year’s number two and number three positioned nominees, Cliff Rathburn and Todd McFarlane, were neck and neck with Cliff beating out Todd by only four votes for his work on Image Comics’ Guarding the Globe and Invincible.

The All-in-One Award category, for those artists who ink their own pencil work, was scooped by Francis Manapul for his work on DC’s Adventure Comics and The Flash, followed close behind by runner-up Jerry Ordway (who himself just edged out Chris Samnee by one vote).

For the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award, this years award recipients were Kevin Nowlan and Wally Wood, and both were 2010 nominees in this category (In fact, ‘Woody’, as he’s affectionately known, was the runner-up last year). Wally entered the comic book industry by the late ’40s with lettering, doing backgrounds, inking, and finally pencilling. He became a breakout star at EC Comics in the 1950s, doing horror, adventure, romance, and humor, but it was with the science fiction genre that he excelled. He also worked with Will Eisner on The Spirit and inked Jack Kirby on the Skymasters of the Space Force strip. Iin the silver-age he was especially prolific, working for numerous publishers, and at Marvel he is especially remembered for his contributions to the title Daredevil. And as a publisher he was a pioneer for his brilliant independent creations like Witzend, Sally Forth, and Heroes Inc. Presents Cannon. Wood worked into the bronze-age but he passed away in 1981, leaving behind hordes of fans and having inspired scores of artists. Inkwell ambassador J. David Spurlock, the representative for the Wood Estate, accepted the posthumous award and made a statement on behalf of the estate.

Our other Hall of Fame Award recipient, Kevin Nowlan had previously won the ‘Favorite Finisher/Embellisher (Modern)’ category in 2008 before the Inkwell ballot and nomination process was restructured the following year. As a self-taught illustrator, Kevin’s work received fandom recognition in the 1980s for his work at Marvel, DC, and other independent publishers. While he has excelled in pencilling, lettering, and in doing animation character designs, the majority of his work has been as an ink artist, and one of the few inkers that sees himself more as a ‘finisher’ for his embellishing skills. His approach has been mutually revered by both fans and his peers.

Joe Sinnott shared this statement in regards to this year’s results:

“I just want to say again what an honor it truly is to have my name associated with the Inkwells annual Hall of Fame Award. To have these fine inkers share in this great honor of this award is truly gratifying to me. The finished product that we all see on the comic book pages is the result of fine embellishment provided by these talented inkers.

As you know, all too often most pencilers do a magnificent job, however, the finished product in many cases is the result of a talented inker. I would like to congratulate my old friend the late Wally Wood, and the highly talented Kevin Nowlan on receiving this year’s award. Waiting in the wings there are many who are deserving of this honor. Best wishes and good luck to those nominated next year and in the years to come.
Joltin’ Joe Sinnott (class of 2008)”

The results were officially announced at the Inkwell Awards first live awards ceremony that took place at Heroes Con on Saturday June 4th. Inkwell founder and director Bob Almond acted as host, former-committee member Tim Townsend acted as Presenter, Inkwell contributor Dan Panosian acted as Keynote Speaker, and Inkwell ambassador Ethan Van Sciver acted as auctioneer for the live fundraising auction that followed the ceremony. Outgoing committee member Bob Shaw was awarded a silver inkwell trophy after three years on the team and artist Cully Hamner was made known as an incoming Inkwell ambassador. The spokesmodel Ms. Inkwell, played by model Kathy Taylor, and much of the organization was in attendance, as well as all of the award recipients except Francis Manapul who couldn’t make the event and Cliff Rathburn who couldn’t be reached.

For more info regarding the 2011 results such as winners’ acceptance speeches, nomination committee participants, and more, please keep checking the official Inkwell Awards website at https://inkwellawards.com

The Inkwell Awards is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote and educate about the art form of comic book inking and to annually recognize and award the best ink artists and their work. Now wrapping up their fourth year, the organization is overseen by a number of industry professionals such as founder & director Bob Almond, Jimmy Tournas, Bob Shaw, Nathan Massengill, and Daniel Best who make up the IA core committee, and Adam Hughes, Mike Marts, Ethan Van Sciver, Mark Brooks, Sal Velluto, Mike McKone, Trevor Von Eeden and J. David Spurlock who make up their IA ambassadors, and numerous contributors such as Mark McKenna, Dan Panosian, Louis Small, Jr. and Randy Green among others. They sponsor the Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship Fund for the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon & Graphic Art and host the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame.