23 Jun 2016

UPDATE, JULY 12: While we waited for the ceremony video to be uploaded and prepared, I posted the full, original transcript on June 23 below. Tech-God Rhys Evans was able to set up the video above today and upon viewing you’ll see that I clearly had to improvise and cut out most of my prepared speech to make time for all of our guest speakers and award recipients who made statements. Now we have the best of both worlds. (Video taken by James McGee) Bob


Welcome to the Inkwell Awards 9th annual, and 6th live, awards ceremony! To all the new attendees, a sincere thanks for your support for the recognition of and promotion for the art form of comic book inking, and for returning attendees and members, much gratitude for your ongoing solidarity. This year we have a special treat and privilege to share with you. We are tossing the script and usual structure of the ceremony for a more than worthy reason as we will be starting off with a milestone, special appearance and presentation by Jim Steranko. But before I officially present him, I want to make a request and a note: please refrain from using any flashbulb photography while Jim is on stage. And second, Jim will be discussing a variety of things related to inking and among those things will be mentioning of a couple of notable ink artists who happen to be the latest lifetime achievement award recipients. They will be further mentioned later when I present all of the 2016 award winners. So now that we have that all covered, I am truly honored at this time to call to the podium, illustrator, publisher, author, musician, escape artist and Eisner Hall of Fame comics creator, Jim Steranko!”

<Jim speaks>  

Before proceeding I want to give a Heroes’ thank you to Shelton Drum who reached out and welcomed us six years ago for this convention to be our host show. I also want to pass the love on to Andrew Mansell, Rico Renzi, Trey Alexander, Karla Marsh and the entire Heroes Con staff. Unlike some, Shelton and company are not dismissive of ink artists. They are true supporters, friends and fans of inkers and it’s thanks to them that we get our own day to be heard and recognized.

All you need to know is that our organization is officially a 501(c)3 non-profit and we are the only advocacy representing the artform of comic-book inking in the multi-verse! Our craft is often misunderstood and the artists often fall under the radar in the scheme of things so our mission is to promote it and recognize its best artists. We found this especially to be true about 15 years ago when inkers where becoming less recognized so we felt that we had to step up and not go gently into that good night. And so far so good.

This was another good year of accomplishments and achievements. We kicked off the season by adding the legendary Rich Buckler as the 19th member of our ambassador roster. Few of our ambassadors are full-time inkers, and that’s because we prefer not to preach to the choir. We know INKERS support inkers and hold respect and recognition for the inking artform. But if we can show solidarity from an assortment of all-star, respected talent from our community, that makes a greater statement. When they speak, it gives us more credibility and exposure. (On a sidenote, please pass on well wishes to ambassador Sal Velluto who is recovering from prostate cancer. The Inkwells are donating 50% of our summer tour show cash donations to assist him with debts.) We sponsored our 7th Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship Fund of $1000 to the Kubert School in honor of the notable ink artist, Inkwell friend and former committee member, Dave Simons, who passed away in 2009. This year’s student recipient was Matthew Neumann. Together with Ms. Inkwell, it was also my first ever visit to the school so I was able to cross that off my bucket list. Dave’s sister Bette gave the following statement:

“Congratulations to the 7th Annual Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship recipient, Matthew Neumann!  

How quickly time passes.   It’s hard for me to realize that it’s been 7 years since we lost such a talented and devoted artist and I lost my best friend and only brother. It’s amazing that so many people still come together and work so hard, year after year, to keep his memory alive. I can’t express in words how grateful I am.  I’m sure Dave would wonder what all of the fuss was about.  He was humble that way. I don’t think he ever truly understood what an impact he had on so many people.  He inspired those around him without realizing it.

I hope that Matthew finds inspiration to be creative and successful.  Congratulations and best of luck!

With sincere appreciation and respect,

Bette Simons Rock”

This season, we held our 6th Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge, our key educational program for what inkers do. We have the legendary inker-among-inkers, Joe Sinnott, pencil one completely detailed image of a character and one loose sketch of a different character with few if any details. The work is reproduced in blueline on bristol board and inkers go to town, trying to capture and enhance his tight drawing, and/or finishing and embellishing his loose drawing, almost redrawing it in ink. These pages, with both artists’ signatures, are donated for fundraising and auctioned off in our eBay store.

We also launched our first Challenge spin-off program, the Sinnott Inking Challenge Spotlight, with the premiere event featuring pencil art by Jim Lee and a limited number of established inkers, all fully supported by Jim, Eddy Choi and DC Comics. Much thanks for the initial effort in launching the program goes to former committee members Erick Korpi and Joseph Goulart. The event was a clear success as we were able to raise almost $6,000! That is double last year’s original Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge. And just as rewarding was reading the following validating comment on Facebook in April in the midst of the educational event: “Very cool. I’ve always understood how penciling, coloring and even lettering styles can differ from person to person. Never could quite wrap my head around inking though. This shows the same pencilling inked by different inkers. I think I finally get it.” As for this year’s original Sinnott event, we had a record-setting 35 artists and over 60 pages, and we raised just over another two grand, totaling $8,000 in all from the 2016 Challenge programs! Afterwards, the art is collected in our annual Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge Book, a printed primer for what inkers do. Our 5th and newest edition collecting last year’s art is now on sale for $15 donations at our artists alley table.

One aspect of the Inkwell Awards’ mission is to stand up for ink artists. Last year I emailed the head editor of a mainstream comic book publisher’s reprint collection department. I politely asked if we could assist them with research to help properly identify any uncredited inkers who worked on the reprinted cover art of collections and interiors of specialty art/event books using material where only the pencillers were credited. Publishers have their policies, of course, and we respect that their editors must follow them. I pleaded for the sake of credit-where-it’s-due and for the morale of their talent, both past and present. It had nothing to do with money or special treatment; it was simply about being acknowledged as ink artists have traditionally been in the past.

Months later to my pleasant surprise the editor responded, thanking us for the offer, and said he’d keep us in mind when the need arises. Following that, his assistant asked me for assistance in identifying the artists for some images. I immediately formed the Inkwells’ Credits Council, made up of comic book artists and original comic book art collectors. Let’s hope we get more opportunities to give some of that credit due.

On another but familiar note, since 2011, I have publicly stated that we do not agree with the Eisner Awards’ decision in the 1990s to remove their category of “Best Inker.” Their reason? It was “too difficult” to decipher where the penciling ended and the inking began. Since then, they’ve combined the category into the Best Artist/Penciller/Inker or Best Penciller/Inker Team.

This is disrespectful and insulting to both ink artists and readers. To the former, it says we’re not worthy of our own category. To the latter, it says you’ve suddenly grown too confused to know the difference between pencils and inks and too lazy to learn. I again make this offer to their powers that be: the Inkwell Awards would be more than happy to proactively discuss the issue and assist them in reinstating the solo inking category. And since we now have the Credits Council, we’re even MORE able to help.

After last year’s significant turnover of volunteers we initiated a recruitment drive following the awards ceremony and added a couple major players to the team. It has thankfully been a calmer, drama-free year. In fact, no members retired to receive Silver Inkwell Awards. But we do have three dedicated volunteers to thank for their commendable five years of service on the separate and independent nomination committee. Without this annual, rotating team, we wouldn’t even have nominees to vote from. So we will be shipping these three Silver Inkwells to the following nominators: Michele Witchipoo, Bob Bretall, and Johnny B. Gerardy!

Last year we had TWO presenters, the team of Mike McKone and Mark McKenna! This year we have just more of me so please hold back your excitement and applause as I make it through the Results we’ve all been waiting for.

***Here are the first five categories and nominees from the 2016 Inkwell Awards ballot.

The first category is Favorite Inker, which is for the favorite ink artist over the pencil work of another artist from 2015 cover-dated interior American comic book material. 

And the nominees are:

1 SCOTT HANNA: Angela: Asgard’s Assassin; Fantastic Four; New Avengers; Web Warriors, Amazing Spider-man: Renew Your Vows [Marvel]; Green Lantern; Cyborg; Superman: Lois and Clark; Earth 2; New Suicide Squad; Sinestro [DC]

2 KARL KESEL: Fantastic Four [Marvel]

3 DANNY MIKI: Batman; Wonder Woman [DC]

4 JOE PRADO: Batman ’66 The Lost Episode; Cyborg [DC]

5 WADE VON GRAWBADGER: Star Wars; All-New Captain America; Spider-Man [Marvel] 

Justice League of America; Legends of the Dark Knight [DC]; Astro City [Image]


And the winner with 24.5% of the votes is: Joe Prado!


<Joe was not able to make it here today but his friend Breno Tamura is here to accept his award. We also have a video acceptance statement from Joe on video> IN CASE THE VIDEO DOESN’T WORK:

“First off, it’s an honor for me to have been nominated for such a prestigious award such as the Inkwell Awards. All of the hard work behind the scenes of this organization is outstanding such as helping professionals in need and spreading the word about what the Art of Inking is.

Now winning such an award is extremely humbling and it makes me really happy that many fans and fellow professionals reached out to me to express their support.

At heart I’m still a fanboy, and admire so many of my peers and longtime artists and inkers that inspired me. People like Terry Austin, José Luis Garcia-Lopez, Joe Sinnott , George Pérez, Romeo Tanghal, Alfredo Alcala, Tony DeZuniga, Sal Buscema, Tom Palmer, Bob Layton, Scott Williams, Danny Miki, Mark Farmer and so, SO MANY OTHERS.

Well, there’s nothing else I could add here – just keep working, learning and admiring this Form of Art, which deserves all the recognition and praise.

Thank you so much to the fans and professionals – YOU are a crucial part of my inspiration.

Keep Inking!”

 Joe Prado


The second category is the Most-adaptable Inker Award, showing exceptional ink style versatility over other pencil artists in 2015 cover-dated interior American comic book material. 

And the nominees are:

1 JONATHAN GLAPION: Wonder Woman; Batman-Superman; Multiversity: Thunderworld; Earth 2: World’s End; Green Arrow; Robin Rises; Sinestro [DC]

2 SCOTT HANNA: Angela: Asgard’s Assassin; New Avengers; Amazing Spider-man: Renew Your Vows [Marvel];  Green Lantern; Superman: Lois and Clark #1 [DC]

3 JAY LEISTEN: Future Imperfect; Superior Iron Man; Spider-woman; Uncanny Inhumans [Marvel]; Justice League United [DC]

4 NORM RAPMUND: Superman-Wonder Woman; Flash; Flash Annual; Convergence: Superman [DC]

5 WADE VON GRAWBADGER: All-New Captain America [Marvel]; Justice League of America; Legends of the Dark Knight [DC]; Astro City [Image]

6 WALDEN WONG: Earth 2: World’s End; Justice League Dark [DC]; Wolverines; A-Force [Marvel]


And the winner with 26.8% of the votes and his third consecutive win in this category is: Walden Wong!

<Walden comes up and speaks>

The third category is the Props Award for the ink artist deserving of more attention for their work over other pencillers from 2015 cover-dated interior American comic book material. 

The nominees are:

1 EBER FERREIRA: Martian Manhunter [DC]

2 STEFANO GAUDIANO: Walking Dead, Manifest Destiny [Image]

3 JONATHAN GLAPION: Wonder Woman; Batman-Superman [DC]

4 MARK IRWIN: Green Lantern; Wonder Woman; The Multiversity: Ultra Comics; Superman & Wonder Woman; [DC]; X-Men [Marvel]

5 DANNY MIKI: Batman [DC]

6 SEAN PARSONS: Aquaman; Convergence: Speed Force [DC]

7 JUAN VLASCO: Contest of Champions; Superior Iron Man; Legendary Star-Lord; Amazing Spider-man; Nova [Marvel]

8 WADE VON GRAWBADGER: All-New Captain America; Spider-Man [Marvel]; Justice League of America; Legends of the Dark Knight [DC]; Astro City [Vertigo/DC


This year’s winner, with 22.6% of the votes, is the same as last year’s…still apparently deserving of more attention: Wade von Grawbadger!

 I’m afraid Wade had a death in the family on Wednesday and had to understandably cancel his appearance here. I don’t have anything to read but I will accept his trophy and send it to him. On behalf of the Inkwell Awards I send Wade and his family our thoughts, prayers and love during this difficult time.

The fourth category is The S.P.A.M.I Award for favorite Small Press And Mainstream-Independent 2015 cover-dated interior American comic book ink work over another pencil artist (Non-Marvel or DC work). 

Nominees are:

1 STEFANO GAUDIANO: Walking Dead, Manifest Destiny [Image]

2 RICH KOSLOWSKI: Archie vs. Predator; Archie Vs. Sharknado [Archie]

3 CLIFF RATHBURN: Invincible [Image]

4 JORDI TARRAGONA: X-O Manowar [Valiant]

5 RYAN WINN: X-O Manowar; Q2: Return of Quantum & Woody; Divinity; Ninjak; Book of the Death: Fall of Ninjak; Unity [Valiant]


After three nominations as runner-up in this category to date, the winner, with 37% of the votes is: Stefano Gaudiano!

<Stefano comes up and speaks>

Our fifth category is the All-in-One Award for favorite artist known for inking his/her own pencil work in 2015 cover-dated interior American comic book material. 

The nominees are:

1 BEN DEWEY: The Autumnlands: Tooth & Claw [Image]

2 JASON FABOK: Justice League [DC]

3 FRANCESCO FRANCAVILLA: Afterlife With Archie [Archie]

4 PAUL GULACY: The Rook [Dark Horse]

5 ERIK LARSEN: Savage Dragon [Image]

6 TERRY MOORE: Rachel Rising [Abstract Studio]

7 FIONA STAPLES:  Archie [Archie]; Saga [Image]


And the winner with 37% of the votes is: Jason Fabok!

<Unfortunately, Jason was not able to make it here today so I will accept his trophy on his behalf and be sure to ship it to him.>


And now, back to me!

Thanks immensely, guys! Another round of applause for the artists!

Now, our final two prestigious awards, to three recipients, a couple of which were hinted at earlier by Jim. These are chosen internally by members of the organization past and present, and by past Sinnott Hall of Fame Award recipients. The first one is the SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD, added last year. This honor is for an inking career in American comic books of outstanding accomplishment: 25-years minimum, one chosen per year. The difference between this award and that of the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame can be determined by one or more discerning factors related to the artist and his/her career:

*a limited career output inking themselves or a few others, but consisting of impressionable/influential work

*name recognition may not be as prevalent due to semi/full retirement or having passed away

*not necessarily known for innovations or awards but considered a ‘workhorse’ with considerable output and industry respect

*various hurdles may have limited popular exposure due to gender, ethnicity or other challenges


This designation is for the ‘underdog’, the Elder, or possibly a gone and/or forgotten great.

Nominees this year included Jack Abel, Violet Barclay/aka Valerie Smith, Vince Colletta, Gary Martin, Allen Milgrom and Dave Simons.

The runner-up spot was a tie between Allen Milgrom and Jack Abel.

The winner with the majority of the votes is: Vince Colletta!

Regrettably, Vinnie is no longer with us. But to speak on his behalf please welcome award-winning author-historian, artist rights advocate and agent to the stars, J. David Spurlock.   <David speaks about Vinnie>

Thank you, David!

Vinnie’s son Frankie made the following statement for the family: What a nice compliment to Vinnie’s talent and dedication to handling any and all inking assignments that needed to be done. Production art isn’t something understood by everyone. Most inkers back then had a self-imposed limit on how many pages they would work on each month. My father didn’t have that luxury for two reasons. Three, really. One, he was lightning fast and could always be counted on to make the deadline. Two, Vince Colletta never turned down a friend in need whether it was Big John or the old-timers at DC. Almost every Friday he’d hear the same five words. “We need it by Monday.” So on top of whatever story or stories he was inking at the time, there would inevitably always be another stack of pages that needed to be inked without delay. And third, as our good friend and former DC Comptroller Arthur Guttowitz answered when asked why Vinnie was always so much in demand, “Because he was fast and he was accurate.” Thank you to everyone responsible for bestowing this SRA award upon him.” Franklin Colletta, April 28, 2016

And now we present the 2015 THE JOE SINNOTT HALL OF FAME AWARD for an inking career in American comic books of outstanding accomplishment (lifetime achievement, 25-years minimum, with two winners chosen annually). The roster of former Hall of Fame Award recipients include Joe Sinnott, Terry Austin, Dick Giordano, Klaus Janson, Al Williamson, Wally Wood, Kevin Nowlan, Mark McKenna, Scott Williams, Dick Ayers, Murphy Anderson, Joe Simon, Tom Palmer, Joe Kubert and Steve Ditko.

The artists nominated for this year’s prestigious honor were Dan Adkins, John Beatty, Ernie Chan (aka Chua), Frank Giacoia, Bob McLeod, Jerry Ordway and Josef Rubinstein. After tallying the votes, the runners-up were Bob McLeod and Jerry Ordway, who tied.

The two winners were: Frank Giacoia and Josef Rubinstein!

*To present our first recipient is our guest speaker J. David Spurlock.

*<David speaks about Frank>

*Thanks, David!


Frank’s nephew, Mike Giacoia, couldn’t be here to accept the award so here to read Mike’s statement and accept the trophy is family friend and writer Todd Dezago!

“Frank Giacoia was my father’s cousin. I’d see him at weddings and funerals and family functions as I grew up. He was funny and always had a big smile on his face. I read comics as a kid, and drew some too. When I started to really pay attention to credits on the splash pages, that’s when the light went on. I quizzed my Dad about Frank relentlessly. When did he start? How much had he done? Needless to say, it was a long conversation. I would later find out my Dad had even done backgrounds for Frank in his newspaper strip days. How could I have missed this?

As luck would have it, we had another family function coming up quickly. Of course, I found Frank immediately and pretty much monopolized his time. His reaction was pure Frank-he laughed. He told me to call him Uncle Frank, that it would be easier.

We would continue to talk at various family gatherings, and we spoke a lot on the phone. We went to a NY convention together with Joe Sinnott (who remains a friend to this day) and Mike Esposito. It was here that he introduced me to the King-Jack Kirby.

I always liked Frank’s work. To my young eyes, he always made the page “look better”. As I got older, I began to appreciate how really, really good he was. I love wandering the artist alleys at conventions where contemporaries of his pull me aside and share wonderful stories about jobs conquered and jokes told. I’m lucky to still have friends in the industry today. Their appreciation and love of Frank’s work speaks volumes about his real impact in the industry.

I wish we had spent more time together. I wish he wasn’t taken from us so early. Time has done nothing except cement Frank’s legacy as a giant in the industry.

Frank may be gone but Frank Giacoia’s talent will live forever.   Congratulations Uncle Frank!”

Mike Giacoia June 2016

Thank you, Todd!

To present our second and final recipient I want to welcome Mike Grell.

Mike is the creator of THE WARLORD, STARSLAYER, SABLE, MAGGIE THE CAT, SHAMAN’S TEARS; writer/artist on GREEN ARROW: THE LONGBOW HUNTERS and the guy who revealed IRON MAN’S secret identity.

<Mike speaks about Joe and reads Joe’s acceptance speech>

“I love being an inker.

A rabbi,minister and an inker walk into a bar. The bartender asks, “Is this a joke?”

In the 100-plus years of the life of comic books and the hundreds and hundreds of people who have had jobs inking, to be singled out is of course a great honor and a little startling.

My life has had a lot of (super) heroes in it.

A lot of people think that an inker (if they think about them at all) is the guy or gal who paints on the colors in comic books; but that’s the colorist. An inker is the artist that is handed [pencil] drawings by another artist and then has the opportunity to either screw them up or do justice by them using ink with brush, pen, fingers and anything else that makes a reproducible mark.

Pencillers and inkers are like composers and musicians. The composer/penciller is confronted with a blank piece of paper and creates something from nothing. He then hands his creation off to the musician/inker to make art out of it, or, like a doctor, at the very least “do no harm.” Now I, as the interpreter, could use a guitar or a piccolo, changing the feel of the work considerably. Once I settle on the guitar, do I choose pop, classical or flamenco style? Therefore, lots of chances to get it right and wrong.

My family emigrated from Israel when I was 5 years old. My older, American cousin had a stack of DC comics that must have mesmerized me. Though I could not speak the language, I could still follow the adventures by just looking at the pictures. Like most little kids, I started to draw my own comics with crayons on lined paper. When I was 11, I began classes at The Art Students League of NY with the great Hal Foster’s son, Arthur. My father paid for the classes while still being worried that I would actually want to do art for a living. “You better hope your brothers and sister are successful, so they can support you,” he’d say. Well, with the vagaries of the freelance life it came close, but not yet.

We all know the hardest part about working in comics is acquiring the work; the work is the easy part.

When I was 13, I met a wonderful man, Inkwell Hall-of-Fame member Dick Giordano, who hired me to be his errand boy/gofer at the newly-formed Continuity Associates studios. I’d work there summers and after school, once I started attending The High School of Art and Design. (By the way, one of my teachers I butted heads with there was the great Bernie Krigstein).

I had read in an interview with a very fine penciller who thought he should have been an inker to learn the business first, so that’s what I I decided I would do. I threw myself into studying it. Dick was incredibly generous with his time. Even while meeting a deadline, he would give me short lessons and tips on inking and drawing in general.

All this time, I was simultaneously getting a hunger to be a painter, this being fostered by two superior artists/teachers, Max Ginsburg and Irwin Greenberg. At Dick’s studio, I was also blessed in having access to wonderful comic art in progress and rare, hard-to-find art in files I could study. I owe them big-time—heroes, all.

At 17, I went looking for work instead of college and got three jobs my first day, as long as Dick promised to “watch me.” A new guy a few years older than I, Mike Nasser [Netzer], had drawn samples for a DC series and was generous enough to let me ink his actual pages. He landed his first job, which turned out to be my first job, appropriately titled Tales of the Great Disaster. I owe him, too.

I was anxious to ink all the wonderful artists at Marvel Comics. When I was 19, Jim Starlin gave me entree to them by asking me to finish the layouts on his Avengers Annual/Marvel Two-In-One books. That’s another one.

And now it’s 41 years (!?) since that first gig.

Being an inker has been up and down but mostly great.

A friend of mine, another good inker, thinks I am too much of a collaborator with my pencillers, but I disagree. It’s a relay race and I want the art to get over the finish line with my help, not go in a direction it was never intended to. It’s not my art I want to see in the printed comic, but our art. Doing it the same way with the same tools all the time is really boring.

I’ve worked with artists better than I will ever be. I read Curt Swan’s Superman as a little boy and got to ink Curt Swan’s Superman; how great is that! Buscema’s Conan, Romita’s Spider-Man, Infantio’s Flash, Kirby, Kubert (and sons), Colan, etc., etc. Holy crap, I was blessed. Certainly blessed when I was asked to ink The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe for over 20 years; the best job an inker ever had! The late Mark Gruenwald (great guy) hired me for that series and I got to work with heroes, idols, friends and people who never let anyone else ink them. I am one of only six people who ever got to ink Joe Kubert (another idol, naturally). Others included Bolland, John Severin, Gibbons, Ditko and many other standout artists. Because of The Handbook, I have the Guinness World’s Record of having inked more pencillers and characters than anyone else, ever.

My mentor, Dick, honored me by asking me to ink him several times.

I am honored and humbled to be inducted into the Joe Sinnott Inkwell Hall of Fame, joining heroes, idols and friends, many of which I have learned from and continue to steal liberally from to this day.

I am also very pleased to be inducted this year along with Frank Giacoia, who was a friend and in my opinion, the most versatile inker ever. Long deserved and overdue. I still steal from Frank, too, all the time.

I am also pleased to have paid forward the lessons I had learned from Wally Wood and Bob McLeod when I was their assistant, to my assistants, many of whom then went on to careers in comics with a little help from me: Kyle Baker, Jose Marzan, Tom Christopher and others.

Bill Sienkiewicz once said to me that inkers are really unnecessary but if you have to have one, I was the best. Well, I took whatever pride I could out of the statement.

Bill is partially right: Eisner, Kubert, Simonson and Wood need(ed) no one to ink them but while you may like Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel’s singing separately, together there is a synergy when the right team happens that is greater than its parts. Who can deny Kirby and Sinnott’s, Colan and Palmer’s, Buscema and DeZuniga’s transcendent greatness?

I’ve been pessimistic about inking for a while now, being afraid it was going the way of the VHS tape. So many companies try to just reproduce from the pencils these days to save on costs. The handwritten letter was nearly extinct when e-mail roared in with a vengeance and now there are billions of emails a day. Maybe in the digital age, inking will come back again, maybe the same, maybe better or maybe just different.

They’ve been predicting the death of live theater for a long time, yet Broadway had its best year ever in 2015. So, while comic book sales may not be what they used to be, I think there will always be comic books (in one form or another) and people who want to team-up to make stories that you can’t find anywhere else; and chances are, they will probably need someone who can add a little brush stroke to it.”

–Joe Rubinstein

Thanks a lot, Mike! I will accept Joe’s trophy award and ship it to him after I get back home.

Joe Sinnott, the award’s namesake and first recipient, made the following statement about this year’s inductees:

“I was quite pleased to hear that the Inkwell Awards has selected two very deserving inkers into the Hall of Fame class of 2016: Frank Giacoia and Josef Rubinstein.

Frank was a fabulous inker and a good friend of mine, who left us much too soon. It was always a pleasure meeting up with Frank at shows and spending time with him. Frank’s smooth, thick line graced the pages of virtually every Marvel title. I really enjoyed Frank’s inking over Jack Kirby on Captain America. Like myself, we pretty much inked the Marvel Universe.

Joe is an outstanding inker and portrait artist as well. I absolutely am honored by the great job he did in capturing my likeness for the cover of the 2nd annual Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge. I once pencilled a piece that Joe inked for The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Index collection. At that time Joe was doing all these Marvel Universe books and he told me that he had actually worked on more Marvel characters than I had. Joe also did some great background inks on the Superman Vs. Spider-Man Treasury Edition that I inked over John Buscema.

It is wonderful that Frank and Joe are the recipients of the 2016 Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award. These two superb artists make the already great list of Hall of Famers even more elite.

Thank you to the Inkwell’s committee for electing them, and thanks to everyone for their continued support of the Inkwell Awards.”

Joe Sinnott, April, 2016

Can we have another round of applause for all of our winners! And thanks again to all of our guest speakers!

We will now move on to the annual Q & A with our winners and any interested speakers. Following that we’ll call ticket numbers for our door prizes.

Thanks immensely for your support of another outstanding ceremony and we look forward to seeing you all for next year’s event!

Much thanks for Graphics and Copy Assistant Mike Pascale for his proofreading of my speech that was ultimately scrapped, leaving me to improvise and use what little I could.