INKBLOTS: Dave Simons and The 2009 Inkwell Awards

Dave Simons
Dave Simons

I wanted to start off by thanking you all who supported us and shouted from the rafters for folks to vote in our sophomore year. Another year is passed and we’re already preparing for year three to be even better. But before I post the results I wanted to touch on the tragedy that occurred during the month of June voting that ultimately led to a silver lining for us. On June 10 we lost one of our own when veteran artist and committee member Dave Simons passed away after a long battle with cancer. He suffered a relapse not long after Dave joining us last December and before long he knew it was terminal but he braved ahead, certain that he could beat the few months that they gave him and persevere for years more. He hid much of the pain & anguish by putting on a good face, posting on Facebook to his fans and showing a professional dedication to complete the many commission requests that he’d obtained through the efforts of committee member Bob Shaw who repped him. His last interview was part of our traditional Inkwell Awards Round Table with Charles Edward Sellner in May. He kept the tone light and silly, true to his nature, and that outlook was probably a form of rebellion against the cursed disease eating away at him.

Bob broke the news to me the day it happened after Dave’s sister informed both him and fellow committee member Daniel Best, perhaps Dave’s two closest friends. I then called Jimmy Tournas, the final brother on the team. I didn’t know Dave very well, probably just over a year, having spent some time with him at the last two New York Comic Cons plus correspondence from the internal Inkwell messages. But he certainly left an impression with us and the comic book community and to his fans. And this is why we’ve decided to not let his memory diminish.

We have contacted the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon & Graphic Art and they have accepted our offer to create The Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship for their students. In our continuous fundraising efforts we will be donating one thousand dollars annually to this cause and it’s all with the blessing of Dave’s sister Bette. The announcement was made by Bob Shaw at Dave’s Memorial in New York City July 19 to friends, colleagues, and loved ones and it was met with a resounding standing applause and even immediate financial offers. We are proud to carry on such an honor and hope to have the community’s continued support. I dedicate this column in Dave’s name and wish him eternal peace.Artist Nathan Massengill was invited to join the team and in July he accepted to fill the empty chair. The mission continues.

Voting for the second annual Inkwell Awards took place online and officially ended on the 30th June, 2009.  Ballots were rejected if there was a vote from same IP Number.



Wade Von Grawbadger
Wade Von Grawbadger

Wade Von Grawbadger

Inks over the pencil work of another artist from ’08 cover-dated comic book material

Thank you so much for this experience! I appreciate the chance to represent my craft in some way and am grateful to all the people who took the time to place a vote! I also must thank Stuart Immonen for providing such wonderful pencils! It’s truly a privilege to be given the opportunity to not mess them up!!! It’s an awesome feeling to have been nominated at all and to have been chosen from this field is a great honor!

— Wade Von Grawbadger

Winner (23% of all votes): Wade Von Grawbadger (Ultimate Spider-Man)
Other Nominees: Mark Morales (Thor, Secret Invasion), Runner-Up
Scott Williams (All Star Batman and Robin),  Dexter Vines (Wolverine), Danny Miki (Ultimatum, Thor)
Oclair Albert (Green Lantern), Scott Koblish (Legion of Three Worlds, Brave & the Bold)


Tim Townsend
Tim Townsend

Tim Townsend

Showing exceptional ink style versatility over other pencil artists in ’08 cover-dated comic book material

I am both thrilled and honored to accept these awards and would like to thank not only those who voted for me but those who took the time to participate across the board. Inking is an art form as valid and deserving of recognition as any other. All of you who participated in this have helped to further its cause. Inking is finally coming out of the shadows! Lastly, I’d like to dedicate these awards to Inkwell Committee member and friend, Dave Simons, who left us too soon.

— Tim Townsend

Winner (42% of all votes): Tim Townsend (Amazing Spider-Man)
Other Nominees: Danny Miki (Incredible Hercules, Ultimate annuals) runner-up
Jimmy Palmiotti (Countdown, Teen Titans), Bob Wiacek (Brave and the Bold)
Rodney Ramos (Green Arrow/Black Canary, Final Crisis: Requiem), Rick Magyar (Guardians of the Galaxy)


Matt Ryan

Matt Ryan

Inker deserving of more attention for their work over other pencilers from ’08 cover-dated comic book material

Winner (27% of All Votes): Matt Ryan (Ms. Marvel, Wonder Woman)
Other Nominees: Stefano Gaudiano (The Immortal Iron Fist, Daredevil), Steve Leialoha (Fables), Runners-Up
Andrew Pepoy (Jack of Fables), Jimmy Palmiotti (Countdown, Teen Titans)


Tim Townsend
Tim Townsend

Tim Townsend

Favorite Small Press And Mainstream-Independent ’08 cover-dated comic book ink work over another pencil artist (Non-Marvel or DC work)

Winner (37% of All Votes)Tim Townsend (Witchblade)
Runner Up: Tom Van Zandt (Unhappy Gran’ma)
Other Nominees:  Boo Cook (Elephantmen), Victor Deminicis (Witch Hunter), Don Ho (Lost Boys), Jim Amash (Archie Comics), Andy Owens (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)


Mike Mignola
Mike Mignola

Mike Mignola

Favourite artist known for almost-exclusively inking his/her own comic book pencil work and rarely the work of others in ’08

I am very flattered to receive this award that, up till a couple days ago, I didn’t even know existed. This mean a lot since I’m getting this for CHAPEL OF MOLOCH, the first comic I’ve actually drawn in a few years–I will take this as a very clear sign that I should get back to drawing comics as soon as possible. Thanks for the nudge.

— Mike Mignola

Winner (37% of All Votes): Mike Mignola (Hellboy: In the Chapel of Moloch)
Runner Up: Simone Bianchi (Astonishing X-Men)
Other Nominees:  Amanda Conner (Terra), Terry Moore (Echo), David Peterson (Mouse Guard: Winter 1152),  Sean Phillips (Criminal), Stan Sakai (Usagi Yojimbo), Ben Templesmith (Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse)


Terry Austin
Terry Austin
Dick Giordano

Terry Austin & Dick Giordano

A hall of fame designation for an inking career of outstanding accomplishment
(lifetime achievement, 15-years minimum)

I’m very happy and honored to receive the Joe Sinnott Award for two reasons:  first, I’ll be proud to display this award named for one of my great, good friends (it was Joe who I sprang to the telephone to call when I learned that I had won the other day and I think he was more tickled than I was), and secondly, sharing the award with my old friend and mentor Dick Giordano is especially meaningful to me, for if not for Dick’s gentle guidance when I learned the ropes from him as background inker on CONAN, THOR, DRACULA, SUPERMAN VS. THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and so many others, I sincerely doubt that anyone would judge my work worthy of this or any other award today. Thanks very much!”

–Terry Austin

As I get older, I find I more appreciate having my lifetime accomplishments recognized.  It is even more exciting when I am recognized by an award given by a body of my peers!

Thank you one and all!

— Dick Giordano

Other Nominees:  Tim Townsend (Runner-Up) Murphy Anderson, Tom Palmer, Joe Giella, Klaus Janson, Joe Rubinstein

About Author