Alex Simmons Receives Coveted CCI 2017 INKPOT AWARD
Bronx Author/International Spokesman for Imagination Alex Simmons Presented Inkpot Award at San Diego Comic Con
Simmons creator of Blackjack, writer of Archie, Scooby-Doo, Tarzan, Sherlock Holmes, is Co-founder of Kids Comic Con, in its 11th year at BCC
The Bronx’s own Alex Simmons was shocked on Thursday when, just before he hosted a scheduled panel, he was presented Comic-Con International’s coveted Inkpot Award at the San Diego Comic Con.
“The Comic-Con International’s Inkpot Award is given to individuals for their contributions to the worlds of comics, science fiction/fantasy, film, television, animation, and fandom services,” according to comic-con.org. The list of prior recipients serves as a literal Who’s Who of comics industry masters and legends.
“Their intro to my panel came with a major surprise for me,” Simmons posted to social media on Friday. “So now I’m pleased and chest-puffed proud to have received the CCI Inkpot award.” Simmons’ decades-long career in comics has certainly made him a perfect candidate.
He has written Archie, Scooby-Doo, created Orpheus for DC’s Batman, and is the creator of Blackjack, the African-American soldier of fortune traveling the globe battling evil and the racism of the 1930’s. The graphic novel with artist Tim Fielder, “There Came a Dark Hunter” earned them a Glyph Comics Award in 2016 from the East Coast Black Age of Comics convention in Philadelphia, PA when EBACC named Blackjack their Best Male Character.
Tim Fielder praised his Glyph co-winner. “Simmons is at this point one of comics’ elder statesmen,” he wrote. “When you go to Moscow that is a prerequisite. He is a complex storyteller with a love of pulp action and cultural expansion.”
After seeing that comic cons were skewering more toward adult audiences, Simmons co-founded the Kids Comic Con, which has enjoyed an 11-year annual residence at Bronx Community College and has also travelled around the US and to other countries.
Another travelling event Simmons helped into existence is his “The Color of Comics” exhibit which spotlights the contributions of people and characters of color to the rich Comics tapestry.
Beyond writing and creating, Simmons also educates, helping to establish the two-continent Harlem-to-Haarlem creative class. In the course, Simmons simultaneously teaches kids in Harlem, NYC, and Haarlem, Holland, bringing kids from both locations together as they learn how to unleash their imaginations, creating characters, stories, and comics expressing their world view. He has done similar work to encourage creativity and imagination in Africa and multiple other locations.
“Giving kids license to imagine and believe in themselves and value their ideas is among the most important work I’ve ever done,” Simmons said.
All of these contributions lead to Simmons’ biggest adventure to date, when, earlier this year, amid intense political heat, he was invited to Russia for the Moscow Comic Con as America’s sole representative.
He did not take the moment lightly, and spoke about putting people over politics and spotlighting the commonalities all of us have, especially our need for stories to nourish our concepts of the world, each other, and ourselves.
The Inkpot Award serves as a cherished marker on Simmons’ ongoing mission to create tales and discuss, and teach that we have more power in ourselves to change the world than we are lead to believe.
“It is all about telling our stories to each other until we all see we are one,” he said.
Inkpot Award presented to him this week at the San Diego Comic Con.
First Comics News would like to congradulate our own Alex Simmons on his Inkpot Award.
Other 2017 award recipients include…
- Andrew Aydin (for March)
- Jon Bogdanove
- Alan Burnett
- Kevin Feige
- Robin Hobb
- Rep. John Lewis (for March)
- Jeff Loeb
- Jonathan Maberry
- Glenn McCoy
- Keith Pollard
- Nate Powell (for March)
- Brian Selznick
- R. Sikoryak
- Gail Simone
- RL Stine
- Ron Wilson