(New Bedford, MA/USA–March 13, 2023) The Inkwell Awards, a non-profit devoted to promoting the art of comic book inking, has announced the winners of their lifetime achievement awards, The Joe Sinnott Hall Of Fame and The Stacey Aragon Special Recognition Award (SASRA). Each is chosen internally by the Inkwell Awards’ committee. The first is limited to two individuals and the second up to four, both for a minimum career span of 25 years inking American comic books.
The two winners of Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award are Frank Frazetta and Syd Shores. Frazetta also won a SASRA in 2021.
Winners of the SASRA, in alphabetical order, are Danny Bulanadi, Reed Crandall and Dave Simons. This is the first time that all the Inkwell lifetime achievement winners are posthumous.
Joe Sinnott’s son, Mark, shared the following statement:
“This year’s recipients of the Inkwell’s Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award are two giants in the industry. We are pleased to welcome Frank Frazetta and Syd Shores to this elite group.
“Frank Frazetta (1928-2010) is most notably known for his wonderful paintings of sci-fi and fantasy, but also for his comic book work starting in the mid 1940s, doing pencils and inks for Prize, Standard, Dell and EC Comics among others. For nine years he also ghosted Al Capp’s Li’l Abner. He would later do black and white stories as well as cover paintings for Warren Publishing.
Frank Frazetta and Joe Sinnott at Joe’s Myrtle Beach residence, 1993
“Syd Shores (1913-1973) was best known for his work on the Captain America comic books both in the Golden Age (1940s) and Silver Age (1960s) of comics, both times inking the work of legendary penciller Jack Kirby. Syd would also pencil and ink numerous superhero, horror and western stories for Marvel Comics during the ’60s and early ’70s.
Joe & Mark Sinnott w/ Nancy Karlebach (Syd Shores daughter) New York Comic Con, 2011
I know that my dad, Joe, would be thrilled to have these 2 fabulous artists join the list of members in the
Inkwell Awards Hall of Fame.”
Syd Shores‘ daughter, Nancy Shores Karlebach, said:
“It is on behalf of my father, Syd Shores, an incredible inker (and penciller, as well) that I accept the Inkwell Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award, given posthumously. This year will be 50 years since my father died, and my family and I are thrilled that his work is being recognized in such a wonderful way. It is actually the first formal award that he has ever received for his work in comic books! As the prime Captain America artist of the forties and then the character’s prime inker in the sixties, along with so many other titles too numerous to mention, I think he would have been humbled to have his expertise recognized in such fashion.
“He and Joe Sinnott were friendly, though they only saw each other occasionally at comic book conventions, when they would go out for lunch together with their wives and/or delivering assignments to the Marvel offices. I, too, had the privilege of meeting Joe on two occasions, and it was gratifying to learn of his admiration for my dad both as an artist and person. I know the feeling and respect was mutual.
“Thank you so much for this honor to my father’s legacy. My older sister who passed away just a year ago would have been enormously proud and appreciative, as well, and our family will treasure the Inkwell Award and all it stands for in the comic book world. It is truly meaningful and we are extremely touched.”
The Inkwells created The Dave Simons Scholarship award on behalf of their ink artist friend and committee member shortly after his passing in 2009, with the approval of his sister, Bette Simons. On winning the SASRA, Ms. Simons said:
“First, let me say thank you to the committee for allowing me the honor of accepting this amazing award on Dave’s behalf. My brother was an extremely unique individual who was driven by his passion to perfect his talent. Describing him as creative is an understatement. His mind worked in ways that boggled mine. I remember him sitting at the drawing board for hours on end. Piles of crumpled paper overflowed the trash basket. Until, he finally created something that met his level of perfection. Our dad used to tell him, ‘Go outside and get some air.’ But he was perfectly content doing what he loved to do. It did not involve
“Although Dave was more than content being at the drawing board, he described one of the best experiences of his life as being in the Coast Guard for four years. He was Stationed at Governor’s Island on the Tamaroa in the early 1970’s. Beyond his extraordinary talent, Dave was just a genuinely nice guy. Ask him anything and he wouldn’t give a second thought about helping. He was sincere and immensely humble. I don’t know much about the comic art world, but I DO know that it is a better world because Dave was in it. He is greatly missed by all those who loved him, knew him, befriended him and worked with him.”
Frazetta‘s son, Frank Frazetta Jr., shared a combined photo statement earlier on February 9, and his granddaughter, Sara Frazetta, part of The Frazetta Girls group, will share a video statement and reminiscence. Danny Bulanadi‘s widow, Marissa Bulanadi, shared a video statement. All statements and videos will later be posted on the Inkwell Awards’ website Awards section.
At press time, no member of the Crandall family or estate could be reached for comment or acceptance of the award. Bob Almond, The Inkwells’ founder and director, requested anyone from either or with information to contact him via the site or on social media.
The Inkwell Awards is the only official 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to promote and educate regarding the art form of comic-book inking, as well as annually recognize the best ink artists and their work. Established in 2008, the Inkwells are overseen by a volunteer committee of industry professionals and assisted by various professional ambassadors and contributors. They sponsor the Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship Fund for the Kubert School and host the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award.