Dave Simons

(New Bedford, MA – May 28, 2024) June 9, 2024, marks the 15th anniversary of the passing of artist Dave Simons from cancer while he was active as an Inkwell Awards committee member. Inkwell founder & director expressed “While active he donated to both us and the Hero Initiative who had financially assisted him when he was sick. After he passed fellow committee members and friends, art rep & promoter Bob Shaw, and author Daniel Best, suggested that we do something, a tribute in his honor, something to remember him by. I agreed to create a scholarship in his name to support students at the Kubert School, something he would have supported and that his sister Bette officially did, known as the Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship Fund. Since then that cause has found the support of the community and has raised $15,000 in scholarship funds to date. This has all been acknowledged before but one piece of his life and career wasn’t accounted for and that was Dave’s original art, both published and unpublished works, his personal sketches, and some personal items he owned. Bob Shaw represented Dave (and myself) at the time as his art agent but it was Dave’s sister Bette who had the physical materials and didn’t know what to do with them. She shares her thoughts on this period of time in her life below from late 2023. I’ll see you on the other side….

My brother was an artist. Period. It was his life and his passion. I remember as a kid he had comic books everywhere. Then he’d get books for reference material. Books to educate him, entertain him, and inspire him.

He found a way to take what was in his brain and have it come out on paper by picking up a pencil. He made it look so easy.

He spent his life doing what he loved.  He struggled when he got sick but still managed to sit at the drawing board and try to finish whatever project he started.

I have had lots of Dave’s art in boxes since he passed in 2009. I would open the boxes, look at everything inside, then pack it back again. It all has sentimental value to me. I didn’t know what to do with it, what worth it had, or how to even start getting it into the hands of someone experienced that would not take advantage of my lack of knowledge.

My intention was always to donate proceeds to Inkwell, somehow. It took years before I got in touch with Bob Shaw. He graciously offered to have me send it all to him and he would see what he could do.  He found it to be a huge task and was just unable to schedule the amount of time it would take to assess everything. I understood. I requested that he send it all back and I’d try something else.

So, a couple more years went by and I contacted Bob Almond. He always knew my intentions and understood that I just wanted Dave’s art in the hands of those who appreciated Dave and his extraordinary talent.

Earlier this year, I asked if he would be willing to take all of it as a donation to Inkwell and auction it off. He agreed without hesitation.
So here we are.  I’m hoping that the auction is successful for Inkwell and that the benefit outweighs man hours put into it.”

“It’s me again, on the other side” continued Bob. “After receiving the package from Bette I completely understood how Bob Shaw felt. I knew there was no way I’d be able to find the time or have the resources to assess the materials properly. But I asked our Inkwell curator Mike Prast if he could. I’d known Mike and his mom Linda from the late 1980s in the greater New Bedford, Massachusetts area, and after his mom passed and I left my restaurant job to ink at Marvel Comics and follow my dream we lost touch. Little did I know that he had eventually moved to Connecticut and that while attending my second Terrificon at the Mohegan Sun casino in CT we would be reunited at the convention. He would soon become a member who assisted us at that venue annually and who eventually joined my team as a voluntary contributor with the title of curator. That was his fancy title for holding onto the many donations that the Inkwell Awards receive, scanning items as needed for our eBay auctions, and packing and shipping them when they’d sell. So it was only natural to ask Mike to bring home the Dave Simons belongings and over time assess them and scan them. Now with our 10th live awards ceremony at the new host show the Hershey Comic Con on the horizon and drawing attention to our organization, I wanted to announce this project for the anniversary year. Some highlights from the inventory include Marvels Howard the Duck original art such as a page Dave inked over Gene Colan with Santa Claus for the third magazine Christmas issue, and a signed and personalized pencil drawing Gene did and autographed for Dave. Also, complete stories Dave penciled and inked of Ash from Army of Darkness for Dynamite Entertainment. Red Sonja ink sketches on a couple of blank cover variants (AND MUCH MORE!). It will take longer than 2024 to try to offer everything on the block but after all the hurdles and delays we can honor and remember Dave at least for what he cherished most, his art and contributions to the sequential art medium. We will tentatively start off with auctioning the 2 Howard the Duck original art offerings and his DC 3-ring binder Superman Animated Style Guide on June 1st on our eBay store page. Announcements will be posted on the Inkwell website and their Facebook group page at that time and for future related listings going forward. These funds will go towards our 2025 scholarship and beyond.”

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.

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