Following the recent announcement of Wizard Entertainment’s support for The Inkwell Awards and sponsorship of their awards presentation at October’s New England Comic Con (wizardworld.com), the non-profit charity has announced two new concepts for the 2010 year to reinforce their mission and exposure. The first is the creation of their spokesperson, Ms. Inkwell. Ms Inkwell was initially conceptualized by Bob Almond at last year’s Pittsburgh Comicon. “While IA contributor Tom Schloendorn and I were selling raffle tickets,” says Bob Almond, “I joked about how if we had a female mascot wearing an inkwell bottle outfit and stopper on her head we could sell more tickets. And that idea percolated but I still needed a design for my idea. All I knew was that I didn’t want anything campy like what I originally joked about. We certainly didn’t want any silly super-heroine costumes or her riding a giant brush or pen quill, or even a scantily-dressed ‘booth babe’ as we were concerned how we would be perceived and we wanted to be taken seriously.”
After searching for the right artist, former IA committee member Tim Townsend recommended Randy Green (Witchblade, Cable) who subsequently agreed to take on the challenge. Randy promptly embraced the idea and designed the character from Bob’s basic concept, image references and notes. “From those prelims and discussions between us and committee member and ink artist Nathan Massengill,” says Bob, “we came up with the final image.” Randy’s pencil art was subsequently inked and colored by Nathan, and he and his assistant Gina Kirlew designed her sexy logo. Ms. Inkwell’s secret identity is India Wells, a savvy business woman who runs India Wells, Inc. and is also a celebutante with a taste for contemporary as well as old-Hollywood high fashion. “She will be on our new brochure and the ‘narrator’ in our upcoming 2010 Inkwell Awards Donation book (an annual collection of donated art from the comic book art community), debuting at The Boston Comic Con (bostoncomiccon.com) April 10-11,” continues Bob, “and she will appear on future promotional material as well as exclusive prints, t-shirts and other merchandise. While at the Pittsburgh show I spoke with artist Louis Small, Jr. who is well known for utilizing models with his work. Louis accepted the Inkwell Awards contributor position of model liaison and immediately connected me with Chrissy Cutler.”
Chrissy Cutler, aka Ms Inkwell, will make live appearances at upcoming shows like the Wizardworld Big Apple and New England Cons besides Pittsburgh Con, and tentatively Heroes Con.
Other ambitious accomplishments include the internet’s first exclusive Inker Database posted at the official website last month as a comprehensive resource for the comic book community (inkwellawards.com). The Inker Database is an ongoing project that is attempting to list every professional artist who has worked in the inking field. Researchers and fans are invited to assist in the fledgling effort. “The database has been a long-term goal of the Inkwell Awards organization since the group’s formation, and I couldn’t have done it without the help of committee member Danny Best and the assistance of ink artist Jeremy Freeman”, said Bob.
Upcoming plans this spring include the announcements of the 2010 Nomination Committee in April and the first recipient of the Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship Fund at the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art (kubertsworld.com) in May. Also resuming in late March will be the Inkwell Awards ongoing eBay fundraising auctions which consist of numerous art donations from among the comic book creator community from the likes of Bill Tucci, Mike Mignola, Joe Sinnott, Kevin West, Mark McKenna, Aaron Sowd, Norm Breyfogle, and many, many more! (ebay.com)
About Inkwell Awards:
The Inkwell Awards (inkwellawards.com) is a non-profit charity organization entering it’s third year whose mission is to inform fans about the craft of inking and recognize ink artists for their quality work and contribution to the comic book industry and sequential art process. They host the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award and the Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship for the legendary Joe Kubert School of Cartoon & Graphic Art. Daniel Best, Jim Tournas, Bob Shaw and Nathan Massengill comprise the awards committee. Editor Mike Marts and artists Adam Hughes and Ethan Van Sciver act as Ambassadors for the Inkwell Awards.