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The Inkwell Awards opens its submissions for 2022

Inkwell Awards

The Inkwell Awards is requesting professional submissions for its annual recognition event. Submissions are open for ink-work samples of two to four interior pages (no covers or pinups) of any US-published and printed comic-book. Webcomics are permitted as long as they have also been printed. Inks may be either traditional or digital (as long as done by hand and not by software). Artists much choose one or more of the following categories for each submission:

  1. Favorite Inker:favorite ink artist over the pencils of another artist. (Cannot be nominated for the “Props” category.)
  2. Most-adaptable:showing exceptional ink style versatility over other pencil artists (Minimum two pages per penciller, up to six.)
  3. Props award:ink artist deserving of more attention for their work over other pencillers.
  4. The S.P.A.M.I:for favorite Small Press And Mainstream-Independent comic book ink work over another pencil artist or themselves (Non-Marvel or DC).
  5. All-in-one award:for favorite artist inking his/her own pencils.

Submissions must be from comics cover-dated 2022 and sent to inkwellawards@yahoo.com to be received no later than January 15, 2023.

The Inkwell Awards requires all submissions to meet certain rules and guidelines, which can be found on their website and Facebook page, or by emailing them at the above address, which may also be used for questions. 

Dan DiDio Added as an Inkwell Awards Special Ambassador

Dan DiDio

The Inkwell Awards, a 501(c)(3) non-profit advocacy group, elected writer/editor/publisher Dan DiDio as a new Special Ambassador 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.

Dan DiDio began writing for TV and print in the early 1980s, joining DC Comics as vice-president-editorial in 2002, where he oversaw the new 52 maxi-series in 2006. While at DC, he also wrote several titles including Superboy, Metal Men, The Outsiders, OMAC, The Phantom Stranger, Sideway, and others. DiDio became co-publisher of DC with Jim Lee in 2010 and worked there until 2020. This year, he became publisher of Frank Miller’s new comic-book company, FMP (Frank Miller Presents). DiDio has worked with many experienced ink artists such as Brent Anderson, Keith Giffen, Miller, Jerry Ordway, Joe Prado and others.

The Inkwell Ambassador’s main role is to celebrate the work of the organization and support its mission all the while enhancing it’s exposure and credibility. Prior ambassadors include (in chronological order) Adam Hughes, Mark Brooks, Sal Velluto, Cully Hamner, Eric Basaldua, Phil Jimenez, Jim Shooter and Brian Pulido, along with the late Joe Kubert and Rich Buckler. The more-involved Special Ambassadors include the late Joe Sinnott, J. David Spurlock, Mike McKone, Clifford Meth, Aldrin Aw, aka “Buzz”, Dan Parsons, Rags Morales, Jim Starlin, Laura Martin, Mark Sinnott and Joe Prado. The role is not made up exclusively of ink artists but of different creative talents to show community solidarity in support of the quality-driven art of inking.

Inkwell Awards Announces the Mike Deodato Jr. Event #ink-magic

The non-profit Inkwell Awards, devoted to promoting the art of comic book inking, has released the list of artists participating in its sixth annual Sinnott Inking Challenge Spotlight. This year’s Challenge features artist Mike Deodato Jr.‘s take on DC ComicsWonder Woman, who’s celebrating her 80th Anniversary. 

Deodato chose the character and penciled an exclusive image for the Inkwells’ event. Early in his career, it was the artist’s 1987 run on the Wonder Woman (volume 2) series with writer William Messner-Loebs that propelled his name into stardom. The artwork will be auctioned for fundraising.

According to the Inkwells’ founder/director Bob Almond, the Spotlight Challenge grew out of the original Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge but showcases contemporary, “fan-favorite” talents on a more limited scale with various veteran published inkers. In chronological order, previous pencillers were Jim Lee, Neal Adams, Erik Larsen, David Finch and Ivan Reis. Reis will be the first Spotlight featured artist to later ink another featured artist (Deodato), both residing in Brazil.

The artists (in alphabetical order) are:

  • Gerry Acerno
  • Oclair Albert
  • Kenneth Branch
  • Brett Breeding
  • Kevin Conrad
  • Marc Deering
  • Elisabetta D’Amico
  • Michelle Delecki
  • Adriano Di Benedetto
  • Mark Farmer
  • Eber Ferreira
  • Christopher Ivy
  • Klaus Janson
  • Tony Kordos
  • Jose Marzan Jr.
  • Mark McKenna
  • Mark Pennington
  • Andrew Pepoy
  • Joe Prado
  • Rodney Ramos
  • Ivan Reis
  • Jonas Trindade
  • LeBeau Underwood
  • Dexter Vines
  • Keith Williams

The Challenge Spotlight furthers the inking advocacy’s dual mission of promoting the artform and educating the public. Blue-lined art files featuring a pencilled Mike Deodato Jr. pinup are sent to the artists to finish in ink. Each inked page will be signed by Deodato and the inker, and include a certificate of authenticity signed and numbered by Almond. All pages will be auctioned off as part of a major fundraiser in two to three waves, the first on Saturday afternoon, July 9 for a week, with subsequent waves in two weeks’ intervals, at the Inkwells’ eBay page.

George Pérez, Dave Stevens Among Inkwell Awards’ 2022 Lifetime Achievement

Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award

The Inkwell Awards, a non-profit devoted to promoting the art of comic book inking, has announced the winners of their lifetime achievement awards, The Joe Sinnott Hall Of Fame and The Stacey Aragon Special Recognition Award (SASRA). 

Winners of the SASRA, in alphabetical order, are Gene Day, George Pérez, John Severin, and Dave Stevens.

Gene Day’s widow, Gale Erslavas, shared the following statement:

Gene was always practicing his inking style because he said an inker could make or break the comic book process. A good inker could make a mediocre penciller great and a bad one could ruin the pencils. I know I’m biased because I thought Gene was a great inker, but I believed his pencils were even better…I am very pleased to receive this lifetime achievement award, one that recognizes Gene’s work in the artform of inking. I can only wonder had Gene not died how much more he would have accomplished. I truly believe he would have reached the stars and beyond. Thank you so much!

In December, 2021, George Pérez publicly announced that he was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and would be living out his final months connecting with and/or visiting community friends and fans while time allows. George could not be reached for comment but Jess Harrold, author of The Marvel Art of George Pérez, made the following statement: 

This award is far from the first George has received, and it won‘t be the last, but I have no doubt it will mean a great deal to him…George knows the value of a good inker. He is effusive in his praise of those who, early in his career, made him a better artist, and those who, as time went on, were able to match him for sheer enthusiasm, hard work and painstaking detail. As an inker of other pencillers, George brings all of that to the table, with an innate recognition of comic books as a unique medium of collaboration. He will elevate your artwork to the best it can be – and you know he absolutely will not skip a single line. And when Pérez inks Pérez? Hold onto your hats…George Pérez is a true Titan.

John Severin’s daughters, Michelina Severin Van Gemert and Ruth Severin Larenas, made the following announcement not just for John but also for his sister, 2019 SASRA recipient Marie Severin, because the Inkwells did not have contact info for the estate at the time:

On behalf of the family of John Severin and Marie Severin we are very proud and honored to accept this Inkwell Awards SASRA lifetime achievement award for them. They were both pioneers in the comic book industry and we wish to thank everyone involved in bestowing this well-deserved award…Our Dad’s career spanned 60-plus years. He was referred to as an ‘artist’s artist’ known for his historical knowledge and accuracy, especially in western and military genres.

Our Aunt Marie was a pioneer, being one of the first female creators in the comic-book industry; a mentor and encouragement to future women comic-book artists. Her career spanned 50-plus years…Her talent became obvious, and she began to do pencilling and inking for Marvel Comics, with a knack for caricature…She also was a colorist, artist and inker for EC Comics, DC, Atlas and Dark Horse. 

Both John and Marie Severin (Dad and Aunt Marie), despite their enormous successes in the industry, were modest and charmingly unpretentious people, who would have been both grateful and humbled by this award. Our family appreciates the Inkwells for this and we extend our warm thanks.

Dave Stevens’ sister and trustee of The Rocketeer Trust, Jennifer Stevens-Bawcum, made the following statement on behalf of her brother:

I would like to thank the Inkwell Awards’ nomination committee for this posthumous award to Dave. Thank you for keeping his memory alive and acknowledging the phenomenal talent that he possessed. His talent was apparent even in his teenage years without any professional training…Flawless is an understatement as I still am taken aback when I look at his work. I know that he touched many lives and inspired many to enter into the art field or continue in it when doubts crept in. He left an indelible mark on the world and we are the richer for it. Thank you again!

This year there are two new recipients of the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award: Brett Breeding and Bob Wiacek.

Brett Breeding said:

Thank you to everyone who voted for me for this year‘s Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award. I am humbled and honored to receive it…I was given the opportunity to work for Joe as his background assistant, and though it only lasted a short time, it provided me the chance to meet and visit Joe…one of the biggest thrills of my early days in comics… I think of him frequently and carry a small part of him with me every time I sit at my drawing board and start dipping ink. Having an award that carries his name will be a daily reminder of this giant of a man. I could not be more honored.

Bob Wiacek said:

Having known Joe Sinnott since 1968, I never thought I’d be receiving an award in his name, and for that I thank you. Though there are others who deserve this award more than I, like Reed Crandall, Bob Powell, George Roussos, and Bernie Sachs, who perfected the art of inking in their own way. If not for them and many others in this business, I would not have the job I love. I must also take this opportunity to thank Dick Giordano for giving me the chance to work with him and, more importantly, for opening my eyes as to what inking is all about. Thank you, Dick, and I will never forget you.

On behalf of the Joe Sinnott Estate, son Mark Sinnott said:

We are delighted and honored to welcome the two newest recipients of the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame award…Both have contributed so much inking talent to the comics industry throughout their illustrious careers. They both have certainly improved upon and enhanced the work of many pencillers…They both bring a world of talent and class, and are two of the nicest guys in the comics industry. I am proud to call them my friends. Joltin’ Joe would also be so proud of them, knowing that they have been selected as the newest members of this elite group. As always, keep slinging ink and never let your inkwell run dry. Congratulations on a fantastic career, Brett and Bob, and a job well done.

Full acceptance statements and information on both awards are at the Inkwell Awards‘ website.

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. 

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