The Inkwell Awards has released the names of the winners of its ninth annual awards for excellence in the art form of comic book inking. As before, nominees were chosen by a separate and independent nomination committee. Voting via live ballot at the non-profit advocacy’s website ran from April 15-30. One winner was chosen in each of five categories based on American-based interior comic-book work cover-dated 2015.
Separately, the Inkwells selected internally the two recipients of the annual Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award and the Special Recognition Award (SRA) category. Winners were contacted and some invited guests were present to receive their trophies at North Carolina’s Heroes Con, the host show for the Inkwells, for the sixth live ceremony on Friday, June 17. Winners and nominees are listed below, along with the percentage of vote received, where applicable.
FAVORITE INKER: Joe Prado (24.5%)
(Batman ’66 The Lost Episode; Cyborg [DC Comics]). Other nominees: Wade von Grawbadger (23.7), Scott Hanna (22%), Danny Miki (20.4%) and Karl Kesel (9.4%).
MOST-ADAPTABLE INKER: Walden Wong (26.8%)
(Earth 2: World’s End; Justice League Dark [DC]; Wolverines; A-Force [Marvel]).Other nominees: Norm Rapmund (20.2%), Scott Hanna (18.3%), Jonathan Glapion (14.4%), Wade von Grawbadger (12.8%) and Jay Leisten (7.5%).
PROPS (inker deserving of more attention): Wade Von Grawbadger (22.6%)
(All-New Captain America; Spider-Man [Marvel]; Justice League of America; Legends of the Dark Knight [DC]; Astro City [Vertigo/DC]).
Other nominees: Eber Ferreira (20.5%), Danny Miki (13.5%), Juan Vlasco (10.8%), Mark Irwin (9.8%), Jonathan Glapion (9.4%), Stefano Gaudiano (8.4%) and Sean Parsons (5.1%).
S.P.A.M.I. (Small Press and Mainstream Independent): Stefano Gaudiano (37%)
(The Walking Dead, Manifest Destiny [Image]). Other nominees: Jordi Tarragona (17.6%), Cliff Rathburn (16.6%), Ryan Winn (16.6%) and Rich Koslowski (12.2%).
ALL-IN-ONE (pencilling and inking together): Jason Fabok (37%)
(Justice League[DC]). Other nominees: Fiona Staples (17.7%), Erik Larsen (13.7%), Franchesco Francavilla (9.6%), Terry Moore (8.2%), Paul Gulacy (8.0%) and Ben Dewey (5.8%).
THE SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD: Vince Colletta. Other nominees: Allen Milgrom, Jack Abel (tie for runner-up), Violet Barclay (aka Valerie Smith), Gary Martin and Dave Simons.
THE JOE SINNOTT HALL OF FAME: Frank Giacoia and Josef Rubenstein. Other nominees: Bob McLeod and Jerry Ordway (tie for runner-up), Dan Adkins, John Beatty and Ernie Chan (aka Chua).
Joe Sinnott, the award’s namesake and first recipient, made a statement in April regarding 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 Jose 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.
In cooperation with Special Inkwell Ambassador and award-winning author J. David Spurlock, the ceremony kicked off with a special appearance by industry legend Jim Steranko who discussed the artform of comic-book inking, his related experiences in the medium, and its artists, including Joe Sinnott and Frank Giacoia. Inkwell Awards founder and director Bob Almond acted as both ceremony host and presenter, joined by hostess “Ms. Inkwell,” as portrayed by Holly Black. Artist Breno Tamura accepted Joe Prado’s award as a pre-recorded video of Prado’s acceptance speech was played. Guest speaker, artist-writer Mike Grell, spoke for Rubinstein. Writer Todd Dezago spoke for Giacoia, and statements from their respective families, including for Vince Colletta, were read. Silver Inkwell trophies were presented to three nomination committee members who served five years: Michele Witchipoo, Bob Bretall and Johnny B. Gerardy. All acceptance statements from the winners can be found in the “Results” section of the Inkwell Awards’ website in the near future.
The Inkwell Awards is the only existing, 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. The organization is overseen by a 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.