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The Kubert School had their annual scholarship awards event earlier in May via a virtual scholarship ceremony through Google Meet, due to the Covid-19 global pandemic. The Inkwell Awards’ 11th Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship Award of $1000 was presented to second-year student Ryusei Sawada. The school posted an announcement of all award recipients on its website

Sawada is an aspiring artist originally from Tokyo, Japan, whose ultimate goal is to work for  publishers like Marvel, DC, and Image as an inker/artist. He entered the Kubert School right out of high school.

Normally, according to The Inkwell Awards’ founder/director Bob Almond, the non-profit would send a representative to the Dover, NJ institution to attend the live ceremony and personally congratulate the winning student. But due to shelter-in-place orders, they were unable to, and school director Carol Thomas informed him that the school had already set up remote learning, which will remain in place until the end of the year. 

“There were some timing issues but the virtual ceremony was a great idea,” said Almond. “This way the lucky winner was able to get even more public recognition. Kudos to school director Mike Chen and the Kubert School staff for getting it done despite many challenges. We hope to be there next year to shake the hand of the winner.”

The Inkwells created the scholarship award on behalf of their ink artist friend and committee member, Dave Simons, shortly after his passing in 2009, with the approval of his sister, Bette Simons. 

Dave Simons (1954-2009) was an American artist known for his work on the characters Conan, Ghost Rider, Red Sonja, Howard the Duck and Spider-Man for Marvel Comics, and “Forgotten Realms” for DC Comics. He was also a storyboard artist for the award-winning animated TV show, “Courage the Cowardly Dog,” while simultaneously handling the art for DC’s comic book spin-off. To date, Inkwells has raised $11,000 in his name to students in need.

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.

 The Inkwell Awards is the only existing official 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to educate and promote the art form of comic-book inking, as well as annually recognize and award the best ink artists and their work. Now approaching its 10-year anniversary, the organization is overseen by a 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.

Web site: inkwellawards.com.

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