The Inkwell Awards released the list of winners of its 11th annual awards for excellence in the art form of comic-book inking. Nominees were chosen by a separate and independent nomination committee. This year the process was enhanced by inviting professional ink artists to submit their top work for consideration in each category. Nominators could also submit their own nominees and include inkers from both sources. For the first time, the same candidate could no longer be nominated for both the Favorite Inker and the Props categories. Voting by professionals and fans took place in February for two weeks on the official ballot at the non-profit advocacy’s website. One winner was chosen in each of five categories based on American interior comic-book work cover-dated 2018.
In addition, the Inkwells’ internal committee selected the two inductees of the annual Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame and two recipients for the Stacey Aragon Special Recognition Award (SASRA). Some of the winners were present (along with special guests) to receive their trophies on April 12 at The Great Philadelphia Comic Con! in Oaks, PA, the new host show for the Inkwells.
Winners are listed below with nominated credits and the percentage of votes received, where applicable. In four of the five categories, winners won with approximately twice as much as the next leading candidate, the largest margins in the awards’ history.
FAVORITE INKER: Walden Wong (48%)
(Astonishing X-Men, Captain America Annual, Incredible Hulk, Marvel Two-In-One, Venom [Marvel])
Other nominees: Jay Leisten, Mark Morales, Joe Prado, Trevor Scott, Dexter Vines.
MOST-ADAPTABLE INKER: Walden Wong (50%)
(Same above credits.) Other nominees: Marc Deering, Jay Leisten, Norm Rapmund, Cam Smith.
PROPS (inker deserving of more attention): Elisabetta D’Amico (30%)
(G.I. Joe [IDW]; Avengers, Fantastic Four, Spider-Men II [Marvel])
Other nominees: Eber Ferreira, Ruy Jose, Daniel Henriques, Jordi Tarragona, Le Beau Underwood
S.P.A.M.I. (Small Press and Mainstream Independent): Stefano Gaudiano (37%) (Walking Dead [Image])
Other nominees: Andrew Pepoy, Brian Albert Thies, Le Beau Underwood, Ryan Winn
ALL-IN-ONE (pencilling and inking together): Lee Weeks (31%)
(Batman, Batman Annual [DC])
Other nominees: Joelle Jones, Mike Perkins, Andrew Pepoy, Liam Sharp
THE STACEY ARAGON SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD (SASRA): Jack Davis and Marie Severin
Other nominees: Pat Broderick, John Buscema, Sal Buscema, Frank Chiaramonte, Johnny Craig, Mike Esposito, Michael Golden, Don Heck, Rick Ketchum, Peter Krause, Erik Larsen, Norman Lee, Steve Lieber, Todd McFarlane, Frank McLaughlin, Dave Simons.
Full acceptance statements from the winners will be found in the “Award Recipients” section of the Inkwell Awards’ website in the near future.
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.