The Inkwell Awards, a non-profit organization devoted to the art of inking, will be displaying the long-awaited results of its fourth annual Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge in a series of fund-raising online auctions beginning Saturday, April 5.
Bob Almond, founder and director of The Inkwell Awards (AKA “The Inkwells”), said, “Joe Sinnott is our Hall of Fame namesake and recipient, Special Ambassador, a living legend, and the embodiment of what the art form of inking is really about, with over a half-century career of work to prove it. This inking challenge has become an essential platform for us to both teach and promote the ink arts, while raising much-needed funds for operations.”
To best display exactly what inkers bring to the form, Sinnott pencilled a drawing of the Black Panther, Marvel’s—and the industry’s—first black superhero, as well as a “breakdown”, or rough sketch, of the popular Incredible Hulk. This art was scanned and then sent in blue-line form to various inkers around the USA and elsewhere. The ink artists were invited to “take their shot” at inking “Joltin’ Joe”, whether staying more or less faithful to the original lines or reinterpreting and creating something different but equally special. This is especially true of the Hulk breakdown, which requires the ink artist to complete the drawing and then finish the art in ink, adding more diversity and upping the challenge. Most of the pieces also sport a classic, hand-lettered logo to enhance aesthetics.
The original art is being auctioned off at The Inkwells’ eBay store and will later be collected into book form. All pieces for this challenge are personally signed by the great Mr. Sinnott himself and include a certificate of authenticity, increasing the desirability and collectibility of the art.
The list of ink artists contributing is equally impressive: Scott Hanna, Bob Wiacek, Keith Williams, Neil Vokes, Scott Koblish, Mark Pennington, Mark McKenna, Jack Purcell, Gerry Acerno, Josef Rubenstein, Charles Barnett III, Almond himself, and many other professionals all lent their skills and have pieces in the auctions. (Many other top names have competed in previous challenges. The list changes each year.)
“Begun in 2011,” added Almond, “based on a similar challenge given by Steve Morger at his Big Wow Comicfest in San Jose, California, we’ve had Joe draw many great Marvel characters since: Namor The Sub-Mariner, Dr. Doom, Thor, Captain America, the Thing and Silver Surfer. Now with the Black Panther and the Hulk, the inkers had a chance to flex their skills with jungle action or urban destruction, respectively. Some even created mock comic-book covers. The diversity is stunning and really shows what good inking can add, even to great pencils.”
Joe Sinnott commented, “…after embellishing the likes of Kirby, Buscema, Romita, Steranko, Colan, Kane, Perez, Byrne, Frenz and so many other greats for the past 50 plus years, I’m on cloud nine that my pencils are being rendered by the elite of the [inking] profession. To have [these artists] work on my pencils makes me proud to have been selected by Bob for this great assignment. I can’t say it enough, they’re all great and I appreciate their contributions to The Inkwell Awards.”
All the art, from last year up to the current pieces, can be seen at The Inkwell’s ComicArtFans gallery at http://tinyurl.com/inkwellawards-CAF. The first wave of inked blue-line pieces from the latest Sinnott Challenge will be on the eBay auction block beginning Saturday, April 5 at http://tinyurl.com/baapz4d. The following week, on April 12, the inking advocacy group will set up a second wave auction.
The Inkwell Awards web site also offers Sinnott Inking Challenge book collections of previous art donations with regular and signed and limited editions available for monetary donations to the organization—all with front and back covers from top professionals. Art from last year’s third challenge will be collected for the Heroes Con in June. Fans and pros are encouraged to check the Inkwell Awards’ Web Store for prices and availability on these editions and other merchandise.
The Inkwell Awards is an official 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to educate and promote the art form of comic-book inking, as well as annually recognize and award the best ink artists and their work. Now in its seventh year, the organization is overseen by a committee of industry professionals and assisted by various professional ambassadors and numerous contributors. They sponsor the Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship Fund for the Kubert School and host the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award.