Legendary “Bronze-Age” comic-book artist Rich Buckler (Fantastic Four, Black Panther, Thor, creator of Deathlok, et al.) has agreed to support the artform of inking by joining the ranks of professional ambassadors for the Inkwell Awards inking advocacy.
In a statement, Buckler said:
“Let’s hear it for the ink artists of the comics! And they are artists. And you know, I have so many favorites! I will even go so far as to say that a capable and skillful inker is, for pencil artists, a veritable treasure. I have written a lot about inkers and the craft of inking comics. Many pencillers do not appreciate them enough. That’s what I think.
“As a comics industry insider, I have endeavored in my writings on various blogs and websites to increase comics fandom's awareness of the valuable contributions of these craftspeople who devote their careers to drawing in ink. I sincerely hope I have shed some light on just what these artists contribute to the pencil art and what it is that they actual do.
“I love to collaborate. I always have. And over the years I have had the pleasure to team up with many of the very best! For that I am grateful. Yes, I do also ink my own comic art. But comics, when it comes to the covers and interior art and the sheer magic of the medium, are for the most part a collaborative art.
“So let’s hear it for the comic book inkers!”
Ambassadors have been recruited since the formation of the organization in 2008, starting with artist Adam Hughes and editor Mike Marts. The most recent recruits were author Clifford Meth, writer-artist Jim Starlin and color artist Laura Martin. Members are drawn from various community skills and professions in a display of support and solidarity for the promotion of the art form of comic-book inking.
Season 8 began last summer with a “Help Wanted” announcement to replace departed volunteers from the previous season. “We were able to reorganize and fill some vacant roles and train them on the job over the fall,” said Inkwell Awards director Bob Almond. “We can always use more capable, dedicated people to help build and strengthen our organization, especially with matters related to fundraising. But there were also some advancements in the ranks from those members who’ve been paying their dues.”
Among those is the promotion of artist-writer Mike Pascale to assistant director. Pascale, a committee member since 2013, fills a position left by outgoing assistant director Michael W. Kellar. Besides administrative matters, Pascale handles copy and graphics, proofreading, and assists with fundraising. Joining the committee as contributors are two new members recruited from last fall's membership drive: Rhys G. Evans, who handles website maintenance and has been acting as auctioneer (along with Pascale), and inker John T. Dixon, a disabled veteran who’s taken on the duties of Inker Resources & Database updates, advertising, and Nomination Committee Assistant.
In addition, Holly Black, who portrays the company spokesmodel Ms. Inkwell, is now a senior contributor after attending and fundraising at shows in that role for nearly a year. Daniel Best, a founding committee member, also returns to the organization as a senior contributor after a several month absence.
The Inkwell Awards (www.inkwellawards.com) is an official 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to educate the public and promote the art form of comic-book inking, as well as annually recognize and award the best ink artists and their work. Now in its 8th year, the Inkwells are overseen by a committee of industry professionals and assisted by various professional ambassadors and numerous contributors. The organization sponsors the Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship Fund for the Kubert School and hosts the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award.