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The Joe Sinnott Tribute Challenge Spotlight Announces Participating Artists

The non-profit Inkwell Awards, devoted to promoting the art of comic book inking, has released the list of artists participating in its Joe Sinnott Tribute Challenge Spotlight. The event features artist Ron Frenz‘s exclusive pencil art of Marvel‘s Thor, which was scanned and sent to a variety of ink artists to embellish. The artwork will be then auctioned for fundraising.

The event was launched to commemorate the life and career of legendary ink artist Joe Sinnott around the anniversary of his passing last year, along with the annual inking event that bore his name since 2010. 

The Tribute furthers the inking advocacy’s dual mission of promoting the artform and educating the public. Each inked page will be signed by Frenz and the inker. All pages, plus a certificate of authenticity signed by Almond, will then be auctioned off as a fundraiser in biweekly waves beginning Monday, July 5. 

Information about the upcoming fundraising auctions can be found on the Inkwell’s website and  Facebook group page.

The Inkwell Awards has announced the winners of its 14th annual awards for excellence

Inkwell Awards

The Inkwell Awards has announced the winners of its 14th annual awards for excellence in the comic-book inking art form. Results are normally first made public at its live awards ceremony during its host show, The Great Philadelphia Comic Con, but at present, due to uncertainties with the Covid-19 pandemic, the show status is unknown and the ceremony is canceled.

Nominees were chosen by a separate and independent nomination committee on their own as well as from artist submissions. Voting by professionals and fans took place for one week in March on the official ballot at the non-profit advocacy’s website. After 1587 ballots were tallied, one winner was chosen in each of five categories based on printed American interior comic-book work cover-dated 2020.

As begun last year, the Inkwells’ internal committee chose to not limit lifetime achievement awards within a given year. They selected four inductees for the annual Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame and three recipients for the Stacey Aragon Special Recognition Award (SASRA). There were no internal Silver Inkwell Awards recipients this year but there were two internal Above & Beyond Awards given to Bob Bretall and Johnny B. Gerardy for 10 years of Nomination Committee service.

Ballot nominees are listed below with their credits and the percentage of votes received by the winners, along with the other nominees in alphabetical order.

  • FAVORITE INKER (Favorite ink artist over the pencil work of another artist; cannot also be nominated for the “Props” award): Ruy Jose (41%) (Immortal Hulk [Marvel]).
    Other nominees: Jonathan Glapion, Klaus Janson, Joe Prado.
  • MOST-ADAPTABLE (Artist showing exceptional ink style versatility over other pencillers): Norm Rapmund (42%) (Batman Beyond, Detective Comics, The Flash, Flash Forward, Dark Nights Death Metal: The Multiverse Who Laughs (one-shot), Wonder Woman [DC]).
    Other nominees: Marc Deering, Daniel Henriques, Matt Santorelli, LeBeau Underwood.
  • PROPS (Inker deserving of more attention): Eber Ferreira (41%) (Speed Metal (one-shot), Freedom Fighters, Justice League [DC]).
    Other nominees: Adriano Di Benedetto, Daniel Henriques, Le Beau Underwood.
  • S.P.A.M.I. (Small Press And Mainstream Independent): Adelso Corona (69%) Snake Eyes [IDW]; Bloodshot [Valiant]).Other nominees: Le Beau Underwood.
  • ALL-IN-ONE (Favorite artist known for inking his/her own pencils): Chris Samnee (40%) (FirePower [Image]).
    Other nominees: Marco Santucci, Liam Sharp.

In alphabetical order, the lifetime achievement awards were as follows:

THE STACEY ARAGON SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD (SASRA): Alfredo Alcala, Frank Frazetta, and Wendy Pini.

THE JOE SINNOTT HALL OF FAME: Sal Buscema, Mike Esposito, Pablo Marcos, and Mike Royer.

Mark Sinnott, Joe’s son/agent, said, “It is an honor for me to keep with the tradition that my dad, Joltin’ Joe Sinnott started over 10 years ago. On behalf of the Inkwell Awards, I would like to welcome its four newest members to its hallowed halls: Sal Buscema, Mike Esposito, Pablo Marcos and Mike Royer. It is great to have you all as members of the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame class of 2021. Welcome to the Inkwell family! You have all brought a great deal of talent and class to the comic book world, and we thank you for that. Keep slingin’ ink, and never let your inkwell run dry!”

Full acceptance statements from Sinnott and the winners will be found in the “Award Recipients” section of the Inkwell Awards’ website in the near future.

Inkwell Awards Adds New Special Ambassadors: Mark Sinnott and Joe Prado

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. Also an artist, the younger Sinnott has been published in several alternative press titles and at times filled in for his father, inking various panels on the Spider-Man Sunday syndicated comic strip. Sinnott has been an Inkwell Awards Senior Contributor since 2008 and was awarded an Above & Beyond Award in 2018 for his service as a liaison.

Joe Prado began his career back in the early 1990s as a 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. In 2004 he started producing comics for the US market.

His credits include Action Comics, Justice League and other major titles from DC as well as other publishers. In 2009, he began his current partnership with artist Ivan Reis and collaborations with writer/TV and film producer Geoff Johns on several high-profile comics. For the past two years, Joe has inked Ivan Reis on the Superman relaunch. Prado has also been Co-Owner/Talent Manager of Chiaroscuro Studios, representing dozens of comic-book artists, since 2002. He has received two Inkwell Awards, “Favorite Inker” in 2016 and “Props – Talent deserving of more attention” in 2018.

Since the Inkwell organization was formed in 2008, the roster of Ambassadors has included (in chronological order) Adam Hughes, Mark Brooks, Sal Velluto, 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) J. David Spurlock, Mike McKone, Clifford Meth, Aldrin Aw, aka “Buzz”, Dan Parsons, Rags Morales, Jim Starlin and Laura Martin. (Ambassadors are not always ink artists and are chosen from all creative landscapes in order to show industry solidarity.)

Additional details of each Ambassador along with their complete quotes can be found at the non-profit’s website.

The Inkwell Awards Announces Artists For the Ivan Reis Spotlight Challenge

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
  • 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 Won

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.

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 then be auctioned off at a later date as a fundraiser. Fans will be able to see the difference in the penciled and inked versions to better understand how much inkers contribute to the artform.

The Inkwell Awards Announces it 12th Annual Award Winners

The Inkwell Awards has released the list of winners of its 12th annual awards for excellence in the art form of comic-book inking. Normally results are first made public at its live awards ceremony during its host show, The Great Philadelphia Comic Con, but the 2020 event, originally scheduled to take place on April 3-5, was rescheduled for September 4-6 and recently canceled, all due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nominees were submitted by a separate and independent nomination committee both on their own and from artist submissions. Voting by professionals and fans took place in February for one week from the 23rd-29th on the official ballot at the non-profit advocacy’s website. One winner was chosen in each of five categories based on American interior comic-book work printed in and cover-dated 2019.

In addition, the Inkwells’ internal committee this season decided to not limit lifetime achievement awards chosen within a given year. They selected three inductees of the annual Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame and three recipients for the Stacey Aragon Special Recognition Award (SASRA). There were no internal Silver Inkwell Awards recipients this year nor any internal and community-based Above & Beyond Awards. Ballot nominees are listed below with their credits and the percentage of votes received by the winners, along with the other nominees in alphabetical order.

FAVORITE INKER (Favorite ink artist over the pencil work of another artist; cannot also be nominated for the “Props” award):
Walden Wong (43%) (genLOCK, Justice League [DC], Crazy, Incredible Hulk: Last Call, Marvel’s Hero Project Season 1: Mighty Rebekah, X-23 [Marvel])
Other nominees: Mark Morales, Joe Prado, Norm Rapmund.

MOST-ADAPTABLE (Artist showing exceptional ink style versatility over other pencillers):
Walden Wong (41%) (genLOCK, Justice League [DC], Crazy, Incredible Hulk: Last Call, Marvel’s Hero Project Season 1: Mighty Rebekah, Star Wars: Age Of Republic Heroes–Obi-Wan Kenobi, X-23 [Marvel])
Other nominees: Marc Deering, Jonathan Glapion, Scott Hanna, Jay Leisten, Norm Rapmund, J.L. Straw.

PROPS AWARD (Ink artist deserving of more attention):
Eber Ferreira (32%) (Freedom Fighters, Detective Comics, Supergirl [DC])
Other nominees: Jonathan Glapion, Stefano Guadiano, Le Beau Underwood.

S.P.A.M.I. (Favorite Small Press And Mainstream/Independent  (non-Marvel//DC) inking over another penciller):
Stefano Gaudiano (22%) (Walking Dead [Image])
Other nominees: David Cabeza, Adelso Corona, Anthony Fowler, Le Beau Underwood.

ALL-IN-ONE (Favorite artist known for inking his/her own pencil work):
Liam Sharp (34%) (Green Lantern [DC])
Other nominees: Brad Krause, Sean Gordon Murphy, Stan Sakai.

THE STACEY ARAGON SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD (SASRA)

Allen Bellman, Sal Buscema, and Norman Lee

Other nominees: Jack Abel, Gene Day, Bill Everett, Frank Frazetta, Graham Ingles, Dennis Janke, Michael Kaluta, Pablo Marcos, June Tarpe Mills, Bob Oksner, George Papp, Wendy Pini, Stan Sakai, Bill Sienkiewicz, Dave Simons, Jim Starlin, Art Thibert, Charles Vess, Al Vey, and Bob Wiacek.


THE JOE SINNOTT HALL OF FAME: 

Bob Layton, John Romita Sr., and Bernie Wrightson

Other nominees: Brett Breeding, Johnny Craig, Mike Esposito, George Klein, Steve Leialoha, Pablo Marcos, Terry Moore, Mike Royer, Chic Stone, and Bob Wiacek.

Full acceptance statements from the winners will be found in the “Award Recipients” section of the Inkwell Awards’ website.


The Inkwell Awards is the only official 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to promote and educate regarding the art form of comic-book inking, as well as annually recognize the best ink artists and their work. Established in 2008, the Inkwells are overseen by a volunteer committee of industry professionals and assisted by various professional ambassadors and contributors. They sponsor the Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship Fund for the Kubert School and host the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award.

The Inkwell Awards announces the Dave Simons Scholarship Award Winner

Dave Simons Scholarship

The Kubert School had its annual scholarship awards event earlier in May via a virtual scholarship ceremony through Google Meet, due to the Covid-19 global pandemic. The Inkwell Awards11th Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship Award of $1000 was presented to second-year student Ryusei Sawada.

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. 

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. 

The Inkwell Awards Offer a Challenge Spotlight on David Finch

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 pencilers 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
  • Walden Wong

Founder/director Bob Almond said:

We are excited to see the amazing work from such a skilled and talented group. 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.

David Finch Spotlight Challenge Inkwell Awards Artists Announced

The non-profit Inkwell Awards, devoted to promoting the art of comic book inking, has released the list of 24 artists participating in its fourth annual Sinnott Inking Challenge Spotlight. This year’s Challenge features artist David Finch‘s take on DC’s iconic Batman. The artwork will be auctioned afterwards for fundraising.

The artists (in alphabetical order) are:

Gerry Acerno
Brett Breeding
John Beatty
Keith Champagne
Kevin Conrad
Marc Deering
John Dell
John Floyd
Scott Hanna
Scott Koblish
Tony Kordos
Jay Leisten
Criss Madd
Mark McKenna
Andrew Pepoy
Joe Prado
Rodney Ramos
Victor Olazaba Serna
Bill Sienkiewicz
Andy Smith
Mark Stegbauer
LeBeau Underwood
Keith Williams
Walden Wong

According to founder/director Bob Almond, the Spotlight Challenge, which grew out of its 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 three pencillers were Jim Lee, Neal Adams and Erik Larsen.

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 pencilled David Finch Batman pinup are sent to the artists to finish and/or embellish in ink. Each inked page will be signed by Finch and the inker, and include a certificate of authenticity signed and numbered by Almond. All pages will then be auctioned off at a later date as a fundraiser. Fans will be able to see the difference in the pencilled and inked versions to better understand how much inkers contribute to the artform.

Inkwell Awards Announces David Finch Spotlight Challenge

Inkwell Awards

The non-profit Inkwell Awards, the only organization devoted to promoting the art of comic book inking, announces its fourth annual Sinnott Inking Challenge Spotlight focusing on the pencil art of a legendary comics creator. This year features artist David Finch‘s take on DC‘s iconic Batman. The artwork will be auctioned afterwards for fundraising. Previous pencillers used have included Jim Lee, Neal Adams, and Erik Larsen.

The original Joe Sinnott Challenge, which features pencils by the inking legend inked by various professionals, semi-professionals and amateur inkers, began in 2010 but is being postponed for next year due to scheduling reasons.

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 will be sent to just 24 artists to finish and/or embellish in ink. 

Each inked page will be signed by Finch and the inker, and include a certificate of authenticity signed and numbered by Almond. All pages will then be auctioned off at a later date as a fundraiser. Fans will be able to see the difference in the penciled and inked versions to better understand how much inkers contribute to the artform.

The list of participating inkers will be named later.

David Finch Batman

Inkwell Awards Changing Host Show Location from HeroesCon to the Great Philadelphia Comic Con!

The Inkwell Awards is announcing that their annual live awards ceremony will be relocating to the Great Philadelphia Comic Con! at the The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA, during April 12-14, 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, it was HeroesCon promoter Shelton Drum who initially invited the non-profit organization to his long-running, family-friendly show in 2011. “We had been left hanging in the wind by a major convention, 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.”

Regarding the location switch, Almond explained, “When Great Philadelphia Con!’s Creator Relations and Artist Alley Director Stan Konopka with promoter Christopher D. Wertz offered us their venue and funding support for all expenses, we were thrilled. A mere six-hour drive is a huge relief for us. Christopher’s convention has grown in a short time in reputation and attendance from both the celebrity/artist guests and the fans.”

Wertz gave the following statement:

“We at The Great Philadelphia Comic Con! would like to graciously thank the Inkwell Awards and Bob for honoring our show by choosing us to host the Inkwell Award Ceremony and its nominees at our April 2019 event and beyond. Stan has been working with Bob closely in order to create one of the best Awards Ceremonies in the business. We look forward to working together to make an amazing and enduring event that can grow with our show year over year.”

In a statement, Heroes promoter Drum said:

”It’s been eight years since Bob Almond made HeroesCon 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.

“And now Bob is heading to Great Philadelphia Comic Con! 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 Christopher and Stan.”

The Inkwell Awards is the only official 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to promote and educate regarding the art form of comic-book inking, as well as annually recognize the best ink artists and their work. Established in 2008, the Inkwells are overseen by a volunteer committee of industry professionals and assisted by various professional ambassadors and contributors. They sponsor the Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship Fund for the Kubert School and host the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award.

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