INKBLOTS: The Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge Continues!

Joe Sinnott. The name immediately evokes to mind many things: legendary inker, community-respected veteran artist, gentleman, fan-favorite and art partner of Jack Kirby. For the non-profit organization the Inkwell Awards, Joe is their Hall of Fame namesake and recipient, a living representation of what the art form of inking is really about with a decades-spanning career of work to prove it.

“I said these words last year,” says Bob Almond, Inkwell Awards founder and director, “and I really can’t top that description of Joe and his value to and contributions within the comic book community.” Last year’s Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge was a huge success for the non-profit Inkwell Awards organization, bringing in many veteran and contemporary artists to help our mission to educate the public about the art form of inking with before and after examples of pencils to inks, ultimately showcasing what ink artists bring to the table. This year The Inkwells will continue our Sinnott Inking Challenge and utilize eBay to raise more funds for operational expenses.

For those not familiar with the program, the idea was inspired by Steve Morger, promoter of the Big Wow Comicfest (formerly the Super-Con) where he had an annual Inker Panel at his San Jose, California-based show and each ink artist would ink a copy of a pencil drawing which went to charity. This resulted in a popular forum among the fans as legendary artists were involved such asAdam Hughes, Ernie Chan, Allison Sohn, Mark Shultz, Michael Golden, Tim Vigil, Alex Ross, Joe Jusko, Alex Nino, Pablo Marcos, Stuart Sayger, and more.

“Being that Joe Sinnott, namesake and recipient of our Hall of Fame Award, had previously donated two uninked pencils pieces of Namor and Dr. Doom for our auctions,” continues Bob, “I decided, with his enthusiastic consent of course, to welcome artists to take a crack at inking the ‘Joltin’ One’ himself over blueline images of the pencil work. This brought in the likes of Klaus Janson, Mike Allred, Ernie Chan, Bob McLeod, Jack Purcell, Dan Parsons, and many others. This year we’re using donated pencil images of Captain America and Thor, two characters to have recent blockbuster success on the big screen. Many return participants from last year include Terry Austin, Keith Williams, Mark McKenna, Kent Archer, Bob Wiacek, Josef Rubenstein, Marc Deering, Tom Schloendorn, Jose Marzan, Jr., and others as well as new contributors like Neil Vokes, Mike Pascale, Rick Hoberg, Scott Koblish, Mark Stegbauer, John Floyd, Trevor Von Eeden, Ken Branch, Michael W. Kellar, Gerry Acerno, Michael L. Peters, and other surprises! It’s tough to list everyone because while these generous creators are pumped to ink Joe’s lavish linework, they have to find time within their scheduled paying gigs to do so, so some artists are still tentative. But it’s fascinating to see their approaches, with some staying somewhat faithful to the original lines while others really running with it and create something different but special. So you decide, who will meet the challenge?”

Joe Sinnott himself comments “I must say that after embellishing the likes of Kirby, Buscema, Romita, Steranko, Colan, Kane, Perez, Byrne, Frenz and so many other greats for the past 50 plus years, I’m on cloud 9 that my pencils are being rendered by the elite of the inkers profession.
What a list of the greats, and to have them work on my pencils makes me proud to have been selected by Bob for this great assignment. I can’t say it enough, they’re all great and I appreciate their contributions to The Inkwell Awards.”All of this art from last year up to the recent pieces are posted at the inking advocacy’s ComicArtFans gallery at The first wave of inked blueline pieces from the latest Sinnott Challenge will be up on the eBay auction block on Saturday December 17 at where they run auctions every other week. Following this, another wave will go up following the holidays starting January 7th.
Also available will be a gallery book collection with all of the donations from the first year, along with an introduction and cover by Joe and a forward by long-time friend Terry Austin. It will be 106 over-sized pages and be available soon with a donation of $10 and a limited edition signed by Joe for $25. Please check the Inkwell Awards web-site for info on it’s release and availability.

The Inkwell Awards is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote and educate about the art form of comic book inking and to annually recognize and award the best ink artists and their work. Now entering their fifth year, the organization is overseen by a number of industry professionals such as founder & director Bob Almond,Jimmy Tournas, Michael W. Kellar, Stacey Aragon and Sarah L. Covert who make up the IA core committee and Adam Hughes, Mike Marts, Ethan Van Sciver, Mark Brooks, Sal Velluto, Mike McKone, Trevor Von Eeden, J. David Spurlock, Cully Hamner, Phil Jimenez, Eric Basaldua and Joe Kubert who make up their IA ambassadors, and numerous contributors such as Mark McKenna, Dan Panosian, Louis Small, Jr. and Randy Green among others. They sponsor the Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship Fund for the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon & Graphic Art and host the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame.

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