April 25, 2016

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Support the Art of Inking and Vote in the Inkwell Awards


It's once again time to vote in the Inkwell Awards, which are given out each year to promote and support the art of inking. Run by Bob Almond and a host of volunteers, the Inkwell Awards keep the idea of inking in the public eye, both by hosting the award, appearing at conventions (with a spokesmodel, Ms. Inkwell), and posting about inking and inkers throughout the year on their site and via social media.

One of the things I really like about the Inkwell Awards is that it's open to anyone. From their FAQ listing:
Anyone can vote.  You can be a professional in the industry (creator, distributor, retailer, editor, publisher, etc.) or simply a fan.  You are only allowed one vote as the ballot rejects duplicated IP addresses. The ballot is set up to require a vote in every category. If you need reference for ink artists because you are not familiar with a nominee you can refer to our inker database for assistance. If there are any ink artists on the Inkwell Core Committee or the NomCom they are not eligible for nomination. Hall of Fame winners can only receive one trophy ever. 
Each year, they use a committee to place people into their Hall of Fame. That part is done by a committee, to ensure it's not a popularity contest. This year's finalists are:

            Dan Adkins
            John Beatty
            Ernie (Chua) Chan
            Frank Giacoia
            Bob McLeod
            Jerry Ordway
            Josef Rubinstein

I'm probably a bit biased, but if I were in one of the chairs, I'd be going for Ordway, whose ink lines make anyone look amazing.

The ballot itself is small, with only a few awards given. My only issue is that there is definitely a bias towards Marvel/DC work. Certainly, that's where we do see a lot of pencil/ink combos, but that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of inkers working at Image, to say nothing of those doing ink work on webcomics or self-published projects. I'd like to see the categories open up a bit more in the future, and I'm sure, with time and support, that Mr. Almond and the rest of those who work at the Inkwell Awards would, too.

Why does inking matter? Well, that's a planned post for me that I'd like to do, but here's a sample of how much difference an inker makes. These are from this year's "Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge" in which inkers from all over do their work over breakdowns by Sinnott, of the greats of the Bronze Age of Comics.

Inks by Ian Chase Nichols

Inks by Mark McKenna

Look at the differences, based on the same image! It's a very stark contrast. The Inkwell folks posted a bunch of these over this past year, and I've loved seeing how varied they were.

If you agree that inking is important, then head over to the Inkwell Awards and vote now. Voting ends April 30th, so you need to act fast. As an aside, the first page lists the HoF noms, then has the link to the actual ballot at the bottom. And definitely check out the Inkwell Awards site and all of its rich information relating to the art of inking!