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Norman Lee: 1968-2015


Artist/Inker Norman Lee was announced as having disappeared March 5th while vacationing on the Cayman Islands with his wife of five years Jan. They were snorkeling when she lost sight of Norman and presumed he’d returned to shore. When he wasn’t found the authorities were called in, resulting in a search & rescue, and later a search & recovery, which was called off by Cayman police on Saturday the 7th. has coverage on this tragedy.

The comic book community has expressed their grief with tributes on his Facebook page. Jan Lee made the following statement on her Facebook wall on Monday:

To all of our amazing friends and family:

Thank you for the outpouring of love and support our family has received since the news of Norman’s disappearance. The overwhelming amount of love, care and encouragement we’ve gotten from all corners of the world is a testament to Norman’s loving personality and incomparable character. Your beautiful words are meaningful and inspiring.

Many of you we have never met, but it is clear that your love for Norman is as strong and powerful as ours is. Norman was an amazing husband, mentor, friend, son, brother and man. He was a second father to my children. He was the love of my life and despite the unfathomable heartache I am feeling today I would not change one moment I shared with Norman. Our five years of marriage was love in its purest form and I feel incredibly lucky to have shared it with the most wonderful human being I will ever know.

Our world has lost a powerful and far reaching force for positivity and kindness. Please help me and my family keep Norman alive by continuing to promote his messages of happiness, positivity, kindness and love for your fellow man. His love for others and his passion for life does not end here. He is now in all of us and all of you. Thank you for your support and love.

A huge comic book fan, Norman went to the Umass:Dartmouth art college for Illustration, graduating in 1990 with fellow friend and alumnus (Inkwell  founder) Bob Almond.  Norman had his big break on Marvel Comics’ Wolverine ’96 Annual. That led to a prolific and accomplished career with Marvel, DC and other publishers working on Spider-Man, Avengers, X-Men, Wonder Woman, Starman, He-Man and other characters for almost twenty years. He leaves behind two step-children Nora & Patrick and his spouse. He was 47.

Bob and the Inkwells share their sincerest condolences to Norman’s family and loved ones for their loss.


The 5th Annual Sinnott Inking Challenge Launches!


2015wolverine_SinnottChallBlue72Here’s the edited invitation with info on the 2015 Challenge below as it was emailed out to many artists on January 8. For those artists interested they can contact us with the info below but only for a limited time.

The Inkwell Awards proudly invites you to the fifth annual Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge!
Our Hall of Fame Award is named after Joe. With his approval and support, we have taken a couple of his pencil fundraising donations, originally rendered on blank variant cover comics, enlarged and converted them to bluelines for inking. Interested?
We’ve chosen ink artists and embellishers who are 1) part of our organization, 2) Inkwell award recipients, and/or 3) notable for their career inkwork, whether veterans of the past or present. However, any inker can request to take part.  We may ask for your credentials and have the right to refusal in the project or in the subsequent book.

Simple! First, for fundraising and educational purposes, we invite to ink one or both of these pieces–your choice, our honor. We’ll take the final images and post them on our online gallery alongside Joe Sinnott’s initial pencil art in order to educate the public as to what ink artists like you actually do and how much you contribute to the artform.

Secondly, these pieces will be auctioned to raise funds for our vital operational needs and philanthropic programs like the Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship Fund (for selected students of the Kubert School) and our COMPliments Program which allows HoF inkers who are no longer on publishers’ comp lists to receive collections of their work through us and not have to purchase them.
Finally, if and when we publish a print collection of the pieces like we’ve done in the past, your art, bio and info may be included (space-willing and not guaranteed) and, if so, we’ll gladly ship you a comp copy at our expense.
Last year’s successful program brought in over $2,800 from our eBay auctions and this year we anticipate an even better outcome. You can check out previous samples of donations from our first four years at our Comic Art Fans gallery: (See top left labelled links.) Continue reading

BOB’S BLOG: INKBLOTS UPDATE- Neal Adams & Joe Sinnott Unique Auction Collectible!

“Legendary Artists Neal Adams and Joe Sinnott Make Comic Book History for the Inkwell Awards”
First Comics News
(December 5, 2014–New Bedford, Massachusetts): For the first time in 44 years, comic book legends Neal Adams and Joe Sinnott have collaborated on a special edition to be auctioned by the non-profit Inkwell Awards (aka “The Inkwells”). The auction will take place in March, 2015.

The two artists contributed their talents to a sketch cover of a Batman #0 comic book. The first and last time they collaborated was on two issues of Thor in 1970.

“We are thrilled beyond belief to have these two living legends work together again on our behalf,” said Bob Almond, Inkwell Awards founder and director. “We originally planned to auction the piece off in December of this year but decided we didn’t want to compete with holiday shopping. By waiting until March, everyone who wants a shot at this piece of history will have time to save for it.”

The piece came about when Inkwell volunteer Joe Goulart approached Adams at the 2014 Connecticut ComiCONN to contribute a donation sketch for the non-profit. Adams then made his own request: He would do so if Inkwell Special Ambassador Joe Sinnott inked it. Sinnott is also the namesake of the charity’s Hall of Fame Award and its annual Inking Challenge event and book collection. Sinnott’s son Mark was contacted and the deal was sealed. Two months later, Joe brought the inked version to the Rhode Island Comic Con for a historic photo with Neal.

The comic book has been professionally graded 9.4 and “slabbed” by the Comic Book Certification Service.

Inkwell Store Holiday sale! Black (ink) Friday!

Everyone has a Black Friday sale going on and the Inkwell Awards are no exception! Starting on November 28, Black (ink) Friday, our holiday sale will begin at our website’s Store page and run until January 30.  All merchandise*, signed or not, (books, prints, t-shirts, DVDs) will be HALF OFF the listed prices while supplies last! You can email me at to check that an item is in stock and verify the s&h fee and then, if using Paypal, pay us at that account address or mail a check or MO after getting our shipping address.

*EXCEPTIONS: Does not include the signed & numbered Sienkiewicz Ms. Inkwell 13X19 prints nor the 3rd Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge book (signed or unsigned). Those are full donation price. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

BOB’S BLOG: INKBLOTS- Neal Adams & Joe Sinnott Unique Auction Collectible!




Scan of a photocopy by Mark Sinnott of Neal's loose sketch prior to Joe's embellishment in ink.

Scan of a photocopy by Mark Sinnott of Neal’s loose sketch prior to Joe’s embellishment in ink



Neal with Joe holding the collector’s item at the Rhode Island Comic Con on 11/1/14

Please check out this preview of an exciting and historic donation collaboration between NEAL ADAMS & JOE SINNOTT on a BATMAN blank cover sketch variant for the non-profit INKWELL AWARDS!  They have not been paired up for almost 45 years (and NEVER on Batman) and this epic event is now being authenticated, graded & slabbed by CBCS- Comic Book Certification Service thanks to Inkwell former member and supporter Joe Goulart. This unique collector’s item will run on the Inkwell Awards eBay store on either the week of November 22 or December 6 at this link above so please bookmark it and we will keep you posted!


(New Bedford, MA/USA–August 26, 2014): The non-profit advocacy group, the Inkwell Awards, began its eighth season this summer by electing Jim Starlin, Clifford Meth and Laura Martin as its three new creator ambassadors to represent the group’s mission of promoting, educating and recognizing the art form of inking and inker artists in the comic book industry.

Jim Starlin

Jim Starlin

Jim Starlin is an iconic, fan-favorite creator whose career has earned a resurgence due to characters he created (Thanos, Drax the Destroyer, Gamora) appearing in Marvel Studios’ recent worldwide blockbuster, Guardians of the Galaxy, with more on the way. Starlin began at Marvel Comics in 1972 and has been working on and off in comics at various publishing houses ever since, as both a writer and artist. He has created and worked on a plethora of major and minor titles and characters, many of which have become synonomous with his name in the minds of many fans, often due as much to his unique pencilling and inking styles as his writing. Continue reading

BOB’S BLOG: INKBLOTS: The 2014 Special Recognition Awards




Silver Inkwells

As I do every year, in my live ceremony speech at Heroes Con I present the Special Recognition Awards for members of the Inkwell team who are leaving the core committee after having served on good standing for at least a year and to those who have made an exceptional accomplishment. Below is an excerpt from my speech which rewards three outstanding team members for their service and contributions to our advocacy: Continue reading


The live awards ceremony where the 2014 Inkwell Awards award recipients were first publicly announced took place June 21 at Heroes Con. The results were posted online June 24 at First Comics News.  Now this annual and updated information has been added to the website along with the winners’ acceptance speeches and all of the ballot nominees.  The video recording of the event will be subsequently added sometime this summer.


Bill Sienkiewicz is Guest of Honor at the 2014 Inkwell Awards Heroes Con Awards Ceremony

Inkwells at Heroes Con

Bill Sienkiewicz

Bill Sienkiewicz

Voting for the 7th annual Inkwell Awards (the “Inkwells”) has ended and the comic book inking advocacy group will present its live awards ceremony during this summer’s Heroes Con, held June 20-22 in Charlotte, NC, to reveal the highly-anticipated results.

Rather than just “Favorite Inker”, the Inkwells have five categories, including the “Props” award for under-recognized professionals, and the S.P.A.M.I., for favorite Small Press And Mainstream-Independent work. Thousands of voters came to the group’s web site to vote online from May 15-30.

“After another productive year spreading the word about the art form and its vital contribution to the industry, the Inkwell family is thrilled to celebrate with fans the culmination of that time, effort and passion by recognizing the industry’s best ink artists,” said Bob Almond, the non-profit organization’s founder and director. “We’re forever grateful to Heroes Con and their staff for making this mission an annual reality, supporting the community and giving fans an opportunity to learn more about and appreciate this often overlooked part of the business.”

Continue reading

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