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.