In a sharply worded challenge issued at the June Heroes Con, Inkwell award Founder Bob Almond used the annual Inkwell Awards presentation to call on the Eisner Awards to acknowledge the contribution of inkers to the sequential art form.
Almond, reading from a prepared statement at the introduction of the fifth annual Inkwell Awards, called for the reinstatement of the Best Inker category to the Eisners. While not an original “Eisner” category Almond says the best inker award was instituted in 1991 and continued until 1993 before being discontinued. The Best Inker category was reinstituted in 1997 but has not been awarded since.
Long time Marvel and DC Inker Bob McLeod was the Keynote speaker at the 5th annual Inkwell Awards and used his Charlotte podium to speak about the contribution of the inker to the art form, McLeod again emphasized ,” Inking is not tracing, inking is an art,” explaining what an inker does to a penciled page.
McLeod also talked about his evolution as an artist starting out originally as a “big foot” artist and while both penciler and inker throughout his decades of work told the audience he began inking with the encouragement of well-known Gold and Silver Age artist Mike Espositio. McLeod pointed out that Esposito gave him his first inking opportunity by allowing him to ink some George Tuska Iron Man pages.
During the question and answer period following the awards, several of the panelists who included Bob McLeod, Scott Hanna, Bob Almond, Dan Panosian, Dexter Vines and Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award winner Mark McKenna, the issue of inking over blue line pencils came up, McKenna summed up the feeling of some fellow inkers stating simply, “We don’t like it!”
Reacting to a question about the increased emphasis on digital coloring by some companies, one artist acknowledged coloring can overwhelm inks,, but also added a good colorist can enhance (a page) without over doing it.
For more on the Inkwell Awards, please see this article at www.FirstComicsNews.com