Here are the biographies of the 2011 inductees into the Will Eisner Comic Awards Hall of Fame, found at: http://www.comic-con.org/cci/cci_eisners_11halloffame.php
This page also showcases the other ten nominees.
Four inductees were automatically chosen by the judges, while four were selected by Eisner voters from a field of fourteen. The fourteen nominees were:
- Bill Blackbeard
- Chris Claremont
- Kim Deitch
- Rudolph Dirks
- Mort Drucker
- Jenette Kahn
- George McManus
- Dennis O’Neil
- Harvey Pekar
- Cliff Sterrett
- Roy Thomas
- Rodolphe Töpffer
- George Tuska
- Marv Wolfman
As with other Hall of Fames, feel free to debate the inductees, those who were not voted in this year, and those who deserve future consideration. I will have a more analytical post later. Please be aware that these awards are primarily for American, comic book work. Foreign and comic strip creators are allowed under the “influential” criteria.
Here are the criteria for inclusion into the Hall of Fame, supplied by Jackie Estrada, Eisner Awards Administrator:
*The person must have made some kind of major contribution to the comic book medium, whether by creating a major character (or characters), producing memorable stories that are considered “classics,” having an art style that influenced numerous others, innovating storytelling devices in the medium, or otherwise having been influential.
*The person should be a creator (writer, artist) or else highly influential editor or publisher.
*The person can be from the comic strip medium if his/her work there specifically influenced how comic books are done.
*The person can be from another country if his/her work is well known in the U.S. and is considered a pioneer/giant in the field (such as Herge, Tezuka, Moebius, etc.).
*The person’s first significant professional work (or job) must have appeared at least 35 years before the year of the awards .
The four inductees from the Eisner judges:
Iconic newspaper cartoonist
Ernie Bushmiller got his start as a cartoonist when he took over the Fritzi Ritz comic strip in 1925. In 1933, he added Fritzi’s niece Nancy to the strip. The character became so popular that Ernie changed the name of the strip to Nancy in 1938 and added Sluggo Smith to the cast of characters. Distributed by United Feature Syndicate, Nancy also was reprinted in Tip Top Comics and Sparkler Comics as “Nancy and Sluggo. Bushmiller continued to do the newspaper strip (with the help of various assistants) until his death in 1982 at the age of 77. The National Cartoonists Society honored Ernie (who was one of the founding members of NCS in the 1940s) with the 1976 Reuben Award for Cartoonist of the Year.
Underground Comix Pioneer
Jack Jackson (1941–2006), aka “Jaxon,” created, wrote, drew, and self-published what comics historians consider one of the first underground comix, God Nose. He was art director at Family Dog and a co-founder of Rip-Off Press. He contributed to such underground anthology titles as Skull, Slow Death, and Tales of the Leather Nun. Jaxon introduced historical comics to the underground movement, which he expanded on in his next phase of work, the innovative Comanche Moon series (1975–1978) for Last Gasp. He continued chronicling his home state’s history via award-winning graphic novels El Alamo, Los Tejanos, Indian Lover: Sam Houston and the Cherokees, and Lost Cause.
Golden Age artist
Marty Nodell co-created the Green Lantern in 1940 with writer Bill Finger. He drew Green Lantern in various titles until leaving DC in 1947 to work for Timely Comics. At Timely he drew Captain America, The Human Torch, and the Submariner, among others, until 1950 when he left the comics business for good. Nodell went into advertising illustration in the early fifties and had a very successful career (including creating the Pillsbury Doughboy) until his retirement in 1976. He died in 2006.
Pioneer graphic novelist
Lynd Ward produced six wordless graphic novels in wood engravings from 1929 to 1937. His first novel, God’s Man, was followed by Madman’s Drum, Wild Pilgrimage, Prelude to a Million Years, Song Without Words, and Vertigo. All six books have been collected in a two-volume slip-cased edition by Library of the Americas.
The four inductees selected by ballot:
After freelancing on mystery, war, and space titles for DC and Atlas during the 1950s, Mort Drucker found his way to MAD magazine, where he has specialized in movie and television satires and parodies for 54 years…and counting! Drucker has also pursued assignments in commercial art, doing animation for television, movie posters, and covers and illustrations for magazines, in addition to drawing such titles as Adventures of Bob Hope and Jerry Lewis for DC. Between 1984 and 1986, he drew the syndicated daily Benchley in collaboration with Jerry Dumas.
Premier reality-based comics writer
The first issue of Harvey’s American Splendor appeared in 1976. Between then and 1991 he self-published 16 issues, drawn by a variety of artists, most notably R. Crumb and Frank Stack. Subsequent issues were published by Dark Horse and Vertigo. His book with Joyce Brabner Our Cancer Year garnered numerous awards, and Harvey became somewhat of a celebrity by appearing on the David Letterman show. In 2003 a film version of American Splendor brought Harvey back into the spotlight. In addition to his autobiographical works, in recent years Harvey wrote a number of other nonfiction graphic novels. He died in 2010.
Marvel writer/editor, fanzine pioneer
Roy Thomas helped Jerry G. Bails found Alter Ego, the first real comic book fanzine. From 1965 to 1980 he wrote and edited for Stan Lee at Marvel (X-Men, Avengers, Invaders, Conan the Barbarian, Red Sonja et al.) and served as editor-in-chief from 1972 to 1974. From 1980 to 1986 Roy wrote for DC, mostly titles he co-created such as All-Star Squadron and Infinity, Inc. In 1999 Roy revived Alter Ego for TwoMorrows Publishing; its 100th issue appears in March 2011. Roy has edited All-Star Companion (four volumes) and written several mainstream hardcovers on comics. Roy is currently writing Conan: Road of Kings for Dark Horse, editing Alter Ego, and working with Stan Lee on the Spider-Man newspaper comic strip.
Marv Wolfman has created more characters that have gone on to television, animation, movies and toys than any other comics creator since Stan Lee. Marv is the writer-creator of Blade, the Vampire Hunter, Bullseye (the prime villain in the 2003 movie Daredevil), and the New Teen Titans, as well as the writer of DC’s big 50th anniversary series Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1985. Marv also writes novels; his adaptation of Superman Returns won the industry’s “Scribe” award. His nonfiction book Homeland, The Illustrated History of The State of Israel won the National Jewish Book Award among others.
Congratulations to all! A list of previous inductees can be found at Wikipedia.
I’ve been writing for The Beat since July of 2010.
I’ve been reading comics since 1974, collecting since 1984, and spreading the graphic novel gospel since 1994.
I’m a bookseller, a librarian, an amateur scholar, a cool uncle, and a comics evangelist.
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