Inkwell Awards Celebrate Underappreciated Art of Inking
Of all the artificial divisions of labor that modern assembly-line comics have spawned, inking is probably the least understood and most maligned, containing elements of both specialized artistic crafting and production talent. Most laypeople and casual comics readers still regard inking as merely the latter, a form of "tracing" requiring little more than a steady hand and an eye towards deadlines.
Long considered one of the "top three" storytelling skills, inking has been rendered (pun intended) such a relative afterthought that one major company no longer includes inkers in their Previews solicitations.
Long-time inking advocate Bob Almond is out to change all that. Bob writes the regular "Inkblots" column for SKETCH Magazine, where the idea germinated, and he’s now set up a website with categories, voting instructions and other information about the awards. It even has a pretty good definition of what inking is, for those who haven’t been exposed to the craft in all its complexity.
Voting is open to all, begins April 1 and runs through the end of May. Bob suggests that interested participants check the credit boxes of their favorite comics, as well as the somewhat cumbersome Comic Book DB, for eligible names, and "Maybe one year we will be able to put a complete inker database together." I can certainly suggest a few nominees for anyone coming up short!