The non-profit Inkwell Awards, devoted to promoting the art of comic book inking, is offering the artwork for their seventh annual Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge, beginning in April. They have an additional “spin-off” Challenge program, The Sinnott Inking Challenge Spotlight, which focuses on the pencil art of legendary creator/artist/writer/publisher Neal Adams. That art will also be on the auction block in April.
“The original Sinnott Challenge has been such an ongoing success, we decided to expand the program last year, with even better results,” said Bob Almond, founder and director of The Inkwell Awards (AKA “The Inkwells”). “We added something new to showcase other contemporary, fan-favorite talents, only on a smaller scale with more established artists who may not have participated in the original program. Last year we proudly featured the amazing pencils of DC co-publisher Jim Lee and this year we’re thrilled to have the great Neal Adams.”
The original Inking Challenge program educates the public about inking by having industry legend and Inkwell Special Ambassador Joe Sinnott do a tight pencil of a character plus a “breakdown”, or rough sketch. This year, the characters are Marvel’s recent film success Dr. Strange and DC’s soon-to-be blockbuster-film-star Wonder Woman. Sinnott’s art is scanned and the file sent in blue-line form to various inkers around the globe to finish and/or embellish in ink. This year, as an additional Challenge wrinkle, both drawings were looser.
Ink artists contributing their skills this year include Neil Vokes, Rusty Gilligan, Alex Garcia, Michael Munshaw, Mark McKenna, J.L. Straw, Johnny B. Gerardy, Mark Stegbauer, Vaughn Noel, Ken Branch, J. David Spurlock, Keith Williams and dozens of others, including members of the Sinnott family. All submitted art may be viewed at The Inkwells’ ComicArtFans gallery. All pieces for this challenge are personally signed by Mr. Sinnott and include a certificate of authenticity.
The Challenge Spotlight program was launched last year by former committee member Erick Korpi with full authorization from Lee and DC Comics. This year’s spotlight on Neal Adams was handled by Inkwells supporter Joseph Goulart and finalized by Almond. Like Lee, Adams chose the specific page but for an extra challenge he chose a sequential sequence instead of a splash or pin-up. All pages will be signed by the inkers and Neal Adams. All will include a COA as well. Submitted pages at press time include those by Jose Marzan Jr., Branch, Kevin Conrad, Richard Bonk, Williams, Sal Velluto, Gerardy, Rodney Ramos, Gerry Acerno, Arne Starr, Mike Barreiro and several students from the Kubert School. Almond added, “Much kind thanks to Neal, Joe and all involved for their cooperation, support of our program, and appreciation of ink artists.”
Auctions for the Adams Challenge art will begin April 1 at the Inkwells’ eBay store and every other week thereafter with the Joe Sinnott Challenge art being offered and possible some late page additions included for the Adams event. The Sinnott art will eventually be collected into book form. Previous book collections in various editions, along with other merchandise, are available for donations to the organization through their Web Store.
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 ninth 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.