Inkwell Awards Announces Sinnott Inking Challenge Spotlight on WALT SIMONSON Event

(New Bedford, MA/USA—October 17, 2023) The non-profit Inkwell Awards, devoted to promoting the art of comic book inking, has released the list of artists participating in its seventh annual Sinnott Inking Challenge Spotlight. This year’s Challenge features legendary creator Walter Simonson‘s take on Marvel Comics’ Ben Grimm, the Thing from the Fantastic Four. Walter had a much-lauded run on the series as writer and artist from 1989-1991 issues 334 until 354. The pencil image was originally intended as a donation on an FF blank sketch cover variant over the summer until Inkwell Awards director Bob Almond approached Walter about the annual event.
Pic: Luigi Novi
Walter’s remarkable and influential career spans six decades as an artist and writer for every major publisher and several independent ones on series/characters such as Thor, Fantastic Four, Detective Comics (Manhunter), Metal Men, Orion, Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars and X-Factor among others. It was on Walt’s first of two runs on Thor that he was inked by Joe Sinnott, from which this Inkwell event was named. He’s also known for creating Beta Ray Bill and his creator-owned properties Star Slammers and Ragnarok. These works earned him a multitude of awards from the Eisners, Shazam, Inkpot, Harveys and even the “All-in-One Award” from the Inkwells in 2022. He serves on the Hero Initiative Disbursement Committee and is married to the just as legendary writer and editor Louise Simonson, both of whom had cameo appearances in the 2011 MCU film Thor: The Dark World.
According to Bob, the Spotlight Challenge grew out of the original Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge but showcases legendary and contemporary, “fan-favorite” talents on a more limited scale with various veteran published inkers. In chronological order, previous Spotlight pencillers were Jim Lee, Neal Adams, Erik Larsen, David Finch, Ivan Reis and Mike Deodato Jr.The artists (in alphabetical order) are:
Brett Breeding

Sergio Cariello
Keith Champagne
Kevin Conrad
Elisabetta D’Amico
Marc Deering
Michelle Delecki
Adriano Di Benedetto
Guy Dorian Sr.
Eber Ferreira
Scott Hanna
Don Ho
Christopher Ivy
Jose Marzan Jr.
Mark McKenna
Andrew Pepoy
Norm Rapmund
Craig Rousseau
Oclair Alberto Silvério
Andy Smith
Bob Smith
LeBeau Underwood
Dexter Vines
Keith Williams

Walden Wong

Inks: Andy Smith and Elisabetta D’Amico
Changes in the roster often take place with artists needing to drop out due to work schedule conflicts and others subsequently pulled in from a waiting list so the final line-up may differ by auction time.“Every year we are thrilled with the response from the artist community,” Almond said. “We realize schedules are crazy and amorphous, so we are very grateful to those who can step up.”

The Challenge Spotlight furthers the inking advocacy’s dual mission of promoting the artform and educating the public. Blue-lined art files featuring a pencilled Walter Simonson pinup are sent to the artists to finish in ink. Each inked page will be signed by Simonson and the inker, and include a certificate of authenticity signed and numbered by Almond. All pages will be previewed at the Inkwell Awards Facebook group page and subsequently auctioned off as part of a major fundraiser in two to three waves, with subsequent waves in two weeks‘ intervals, at the Inkwells’ eBay page starting after the holidays in mid-late January with a specific date to be announced as we get closer. As displayed in the animated gif of samples, fans will be able to see the difference in the pencilled and inked versions to better understand how much inkers contribute to the art form.

“On behalf of the Inkwells,” said Almond, “our sincerest thanks to Erick Korpi and Tom Schloendorn on the team behind the scenes, the participating inkers, and all involved for their cooperation, support of our program, and appreciation of ink artists.”

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. This year they celebrated their 15th anniversary.

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