Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Inkwell Awards: THE RESULTS

THE VOTES ARE IN!

Voting for the first annual Inkwell Awards officially ended on the 31st of May and the results are now posted on the official web-site.

Voting was fierce and an incredible 5,000 votes in total were cast across all the different categories, however clear winners have emerged. Without any further ado, here are the results:

FAVORITE INKER (RETRO)
TERRY AUSTIN (winner-tie)
JOE SINNOTT (winner-tie)
Tom Palmer (runner-up)
FAVORITE INKER (MODERN)
TIM TOWNSEND (winner)
Danny Miki (runner-up)
FAVORITE FINISHER/EMBELLISHER (RETRO)
TOM PALMER (winner)
Joe Sinnott (runner-up)
FAVORITE FINISHER/EMBELLISHER (MODERN)
KEVIN NOWLAN (winner)
Norm Rapmond (runner-up)
MOST-ADAPTABLE INKER
TIM TOWNSEND (winner)
Danny Miki (runner-up)
MOST PROLIFIC INKER
DANNY MIKI (winner)
Joe Sinnott (runner-up)
PROPS AWARD
DANNY MIKI (winner)
Mark Irwin (runner-up)
THE CALL OF DUTY AWARD
BOB ALMOND (winner)
Tim Townsend (runner-up)
MVP AWARD
DANNY MIKI (winner)
Tim Townsend (runner-up)
THE JOE SINNOTT AWARD
JOE SINNOTT (winner)
Al Williamson (runner-up)

The Inkwell Award Committee would like to formally extend congratulations to all the winners and runners up. Winners will be presented their awards in the coming months in person where possible at conventions across the country, or via mail. A full list of nominees and what percentage of the vote the winners and runners up received is posted on The Inkwell Web-Site.

The remainder of 2008 will see the Inkwell Awards reach new heights with new features for the web-site including exclusive interviews, articles, inking tutorials, examples of art in both pencil and ink form and much, much more. All of the committee members have given their full commitment for future, so keep watching the web-site leading up to the 2009 awards!

THE INKWELL AWARDS are an all new, exciting award set up to celebrate the often overlooked and under appreciated artistry of inking within the comic book industry. THE INKWELL AWARDS have been established and overseen by a number of professionals from all aspects of the comic book industry, including such artists as award founder Bob Almond (Black Panther, Annihilation: Conquest-Quasar, Warlock), Tim Townsend (Uncanny X-Men, The Amazing Spider-Man, Civil War), James Tournas (Full Moon Craze, Shylock, Epoch) along with Bill Nichols (Sketch magazine) and Daniel Best (Andru & Esposito: Partners For Life) and fully supported by Adam Hughes (Tomb Raider, Justice League, Wonder Woman, All Star Wonder Woman) along with senior DC Editor Mike Marts (Uncanny X-Men, X-Men, Wolverine, All Star Wonder Woman).
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Now for a personal note. Since this press release went out at least one rabid blogger has asked some misguided questions about the awards overall. Reading between the lines it appears that, as a committee, we're being accused of some form of impropriety, if not outright manipulation of votes and and overall results. Sorry, that's not the case here at all. Nowhere near it. How do I know? Easy - I was involved with these awards from the start and I didn't vote. Why? Because I knew that someone, somewhere, would make an accusation of some form of deception once the voting process was finished. Happens all the time.

In Australia we call it the 'tall poppy syndrome'. People love you on the way up, but once you get there, or you get a result that doesn't sit well with an individual then they'll attack it. Facts don't matter, it's the motives behind the attack that count, at least for the attacker. Be it a personal or professional grudge, be it a real or imagined slight, an insult somewhere along the line, it matters not. All that matters is that, after a period of over six months when we were asking for general input (and getting it) NOW is when people will emerge and point out what flaws they believe exist. And do you want to know something?

We're aware of flaws. All of them. And we've already taken steps to rectify them. All of them. So in this case the criticism, be it malicious or well intended, will be taken on board but from where I sit it's virtually redundant as any of the 'problems' that have been pointed out have already been addressed.

It was an open vote. We elected to have nominees in one category only - the Sinnott Award. Joe Sinnott won that one, frankly I expected that. Indeed there was a process put into place to award Joe with an honorary award if he didn't win, so that base was already well covered. Out of all of the nominees I expected Joe or Tom Palmer to get it. I was wrong and right - Joe won, but Al Williamson came in second. There's been comments about how Tim Townsend and Bob Almond could win awards - I wonder if those making the unfounded claims have stopped to think that perhaps they won because they're better than good? Or held in the highest esteem by their peers? I couldn't help but think that, if we'd have a favourite penciller section and Adam Hughes won that, would the same people attack because Adam is one of our advisers? Either way, the facts remain that all the votes, across the board (and nominees in all of the other categories) were decided by the people out there who visited the site and cast their vote. Shocking, isn't it? So when you read someone stating that our 'voting pool isn’t very well-educated about potential nominees' be aware that it's everyone and anyone who visited the site and cast a vote that they're attacking - not us as a committee. Certainly not me.

Why?

Again, because I didn't vote. I didn't want anyone accusing me of fixing the vote so I didn't even visit the site during the voting process. I wanted to vote, but I caught myself and didn't do it. In the eyes of the person who made the comment in the previous paragraph I guess I'm well educated, or at least better educated than around 5,000+ other fans and professionals who all voted.

Awards are hard to establish, probably one of, if not THE hardest of all things to set up. What scares off most people are the costs and the time commitment. I've spent a bit of money doing this award and have threatened to quit if anyone pays me. I've bid on, won and fully paid for, three of the Secret Invasion sketch covers that were auctioned off to raise funds for the awards. Bob Shaw will tell you that. He even offered me a discount on postage, I told him to shove that up his jumper and paid just like everyone else. Hey, I wanted those covers (one by Norm Breyfogle, one by Sal Velluto and Bob Almond and one drawn by Steve Rude) and I'm damn happy to have them (a Sal 'Bob Black Panther? I mean, 'cmon!!). I've now been involved with two awards in the past 18 months, the Inkwell Awards and another one which never got past the committee stage. I was involved on the ground floor of the latter as well (I won't mention names as I have no desire to embarrass anyone, nor do I have any desire to nix anything that might happen in the future) and happily set up a site and arranged hosting, along with a mailing list. Then a committee was mentioned, and it included some of the biggest names in the field of comic book writers and editors. Think big, now go LEGENDARY. It was named after a departed gent whom I admired, and still do admire and respect, greatly. The concept was sound, everything was in place, we had people on board who'd been involved with comic books since the 1960s and then...nothing. It just finished. The web-site expired after a year and I asked if anyone wanted me to keep it going. No reply. Silence. I have no idea what, if anything, will ever happen there, shame as it was a good idea to perpetually celebrate the life of a true pioneer. If anyone involved with that one is reading this, I'm still happy to help.

With that in mind when Bob Almond and Jimmy Tournas announced this award I offered my services. I felt that I had something to offer, if only physical things such as web-sites, hosting and what modest skills I have as a writer. Bob took me up on the offer and then both approached me with the view of being a committee member. I accepted with the general thought that it'd be a temporary appointment and that someone more famous, or better qualified would come along. Names were mentioned and I agreed with them all and offered to stand aside, do my thing from the sidelines and watch it all unfold. Each and every name was nixed and they kept me. I was, and still am, greatly honoured. I like the other committee members, and I respect them even more, both as people and as artists. When I came into this I had the knowledge of what could, and would, happen. That people often drop off along the way (in this case no-one dropped out), that funding is non-existent (we raised our own funds), that the whole process would evolve (it has) and that people would find any flaw to attack, but that they'll wait until the end of the process to raise their voices (which has also happened). It's what we do now, as a committee, that will define us for the future. The Inkwell Awards has my utmost support and commitment for the future, no doubt about that. We'll be here giving away awards in 2009 and beyond (providing that the Mayan calender is wrong and we're still here on January 1st, 2013) and we'll move onwards and upwards, we'll evolve and we'll still hand out awards.

What made me the happiest was seeing the emails from Tom Palmer and Danny Miki. Both were overwhelmed that they'd even been nominated, let alone won. Tom indicated, in no uncertain terms, how amazed he was to have won and how humbled he was to know that he was both nominated and won by votes from fans and professionals alike. Danny was the same. For me that's what counts - recognising those artists who've bettered the industry as a whole, not those all too few who find something wrong with everything in day to day life. Instead of attempting to pull something down then why not build something positive up? But then, as I've seen from my own experience, that requires more effort than being negative, such effort is generally unrewarded and more people read you when you attack something good.

1 comment:

P.J. Magalhães said...

Well written Daniel! Keep it up man!