Inkwell Award Winners Announced, Process Changed From Last Year

The winners of the 2009 Inkwell Awards, formed to recognize the craft of comic book inking, have been announced.

Inkwell Awards logo

After some controversy last year, the awards made some changes this year. I applaud their willingness to adjust their process in response to feedback. Here is their description of the current awards:

After the 2008 Awards it was decided, by committee, that the Awards would be streamlined and no longer career retrospective in theme (except for the Hall of Fame). As such there are new categories for 2009 and they are as follows:

Favorite Inker: favorite inker over another’s pencil art from ’08 material — winner: Wade Von Grawbadger
Most Adaptable: showing exceptional ink style versatility over other pencil artists in ’08 — winner: Tim Townsend
Props Award: inker over others’ pencil art deserving of more attention from ’08 — winner: Matt Ryan
The SPAMI: favourite Small Press And Mainstream-Independent: ’08 cover-dated ink work over another pencil artist (Non-Marvel or DC work) — winner: Tim Townsend
All In One Award: Favourite artist known for almost-exclusively inking his/her own pencil work and rarely the work of others in ’08 — winner: Mike Mignola
The Joe Sinnott Award: Hall Of Fame designation for an inking career of outstanding accomplishment. Lifetime achievement (minimum 15 years) not limited to ’08 material. Winner: Terry Austin and Dick Giordano

Tim Townsend won the Small Press Award for inking Witchblade, which I guess falls under “Mainstream-Independent”, whatever that means.

That slate is a decrease from last year’s 10 awards, many of which relied on distinctions that may not have been clear to the general public. This year they also had a group of nominators select choices, which were then “validated” by the award organizing committee. The general public voted on the resulting slate during the month of June. Strangely, most of the nominators were not artists, but writers and critics. I know you don’t want them to be inkers, given the potential for conflict of interest, but I would think including a few more artists would be beneficial.

10 Responses to “Inkwell Award Winners Announced, Process Changed From Last Year”

  1. Daniel Best Says:

    The only ‘controversy’ of last year was you commenting on things that you knew nothing about and had no desire to ask about beforehand. In short, you slamming away like a bull fleeing the paddock.

    And yes, there’ll always be changes as we get POSITIVE feedback, not ill-informed attacks by people wanting to create ‘controversy’ for their own personal gain. But, again, don’t let your own take on things get in the way of how things are actually done by the committee. Again, you don’t ask, you merely assume, as usual.

  2. Johanna Says:

    Wow, what a flashback! One year ago, you were saying exactly the same things in the comment thread to the post linked above.

    For those who are new to all this, notice that Mr. Best is an Inkwell Award committee member who lists it under the category “Sites We Run, Own Or Maintain” on his website and tends to take any criticism of his project a tad personally.

  3. Alan Coil Says:

    {{rubbing hands together gleefully}}

    I just love to find people who are a little too self important. Usually makes for a good fight.

    Good Day, Mr. Best. Sleep well, did we?

    The ‘SPAMI’ category seems to be trying too hard to be hip.

    To my surprise, I had never heard of Mr. Townsend until he won this award. As he was nominated for the Hall of Fame, he must have been around for at least 15 years. Maybe I should at least take a look at Witchblade. Nah, I’ve seen all I need to see when I look at the covers. It’s not for me.

  4. Don MacPherson Says:

    I’m one of the afore-mentioned “nominators,” and I was honored to be ask to provide input for the Inkwells. I also commend Bob Almond and the others involved in these awards for considering feedback and adapting as a result.

    That being said, I completely disagree with Daniel Best.

    His statement that “there’ll always be changes as we get POSITIVE feedback” makes no sense. Positive feedback is praise for what one is doing; why change in response to praise?

    No, what he probably means is “constructive criticism.” And try as he might to call Johanna’s motives into question, it’s undeniable that what Johanna’s said in the past (and even now) about the Inkwells is constructuve criticism.

    Best’s comments clearly demonstrate that he’s reacting emotionally and irrationally instead of actually considering what’s being said.

  5. Johanna Says:

    Thank you, Don. I know I thought a lot more highly of the awards when I saw you were involved this year.

  6. Bob Shaw Says:

    Hey Alan,
    The SPAMI award’s name came together during a conversation with Bob Almond on the phone. We felt that the original name we had for the award (forgive my frazzled brain, but for the life of me I cannot remember:) was a bit long. While the name itself may seem to be our intent on being cutting edge or hip, I assure you, it was unintended:).

    To also clarify the mainstrem-independent classifiaction, it is meant for non-Marvel or DC artists, generally considered the “big 2″. This allowed for inkers that work on projects for Image, IDW, Archie, Dark Horse, etc. to be nominated by the nominating committee (with people like the fine Mr. MacPherson taking part). Some of the works flowing through those publishers are by the owners of the properties themselves and we felt it gave them an opportunity to win.
    Thank you all for taking the time to read this:).

    Bob Shaw

  7. Alan Coil Says:

    Yer welcome, Bob.

  8. Johanna Says:

    Thank you for explaining more about the thought process, Bob.

  9. Bob Shaw Says:

    You’re welcome:).

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