Eisner judges have selected four automatic inductees into the Hall of Fame instead of the usual two because, in the words of administrator Jackie Estrada, “The judges felt that some significant contributors to comics’ history were being consistently overlooked by the regular voters. Choosing only two creators to induct was proving too difficult this year. The solution they chose was to single out individuals from four aspects of the medium.”

The winners are:

Ernie Bushmiller, the cartoonist on the iconic and baffling Nancy comic strip, whose zen absurdism has inspired both attire and games.

Jack Jackson (Jaxon), underground cartoonist who pioneered non fiction historical comics and co-founded Ripoff Press.

Marty Nodell, a beloved comics figure best known as the co-creator of Green Lantern

Lynd Ward, whose striking woodcut books are some of the earliest — but still powerful — American graphic novels.

An additional four inductees will be chosen on the public ballot, where eligible industry professionals can vote.

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

Judges Ned Catto, Andrew Helfer, Rich Johnson, Karen Green, and Chris Powell were aided by students at the Center for Cartoon Studies, who researched potential nominees.

Just a guess, but we’d imagine Pekar, who passed away last year, will be a sentimental favorite on that public ballot.


  1. That’s a great list. They’re all so terrific.

    The first time I met Mart Nodell, he couldn’t have been nicer. And then, years later, I met him a second time and he was.

    Good choice Eisner committee.

  2. So Rodolphe Töpffer, who practically invented the comic strip, comic book, and graphic novel, has to be elected, yet Martin Nodell, who created one Golden Age character, gets automatic entry?

    Ah well, even Cooperstown has some clunkers (and there, candidates have to receive 75% of votes cast!)

    Otherwise, it’s an amazing list. Good luck picking just four!

  3. This isn’t about fans (which cannot vote). Or even who the nicest guy is (even though it is a popularity contest). (Actually, the Clampett Award is for “nice guys”.)

    It’s about a Hall of Fame. The Best of The Best. Those who have made lasting contributions to the medium, those who have inspired others, those who innovated and blazed trails, those who have made lasting achievements in the medium of comics.

    I knew who he was, I’d seen him at various shows in the New York area, and knew he had created the Golden Age Green Lantern. “Perhaps there’s more I didn’t know,” I thought. I read the article in Wikipedia. I did more reading online. Even the official Comic-Con bio is rather bare. What, besides the original Green Lantern, is he known for in comics? Since you’re a fan, please inform me. I’d like to know more.

    So, yes, Martin Nodell was a nice guy, approachable at conventions, still drawing sketches for fans. Does he deserve a free pass from the judges? No. Does he deserve to be on the ballot? Sure. Why not? Let the professionals decide if he is worthy of one of their four votes.

    Of course, that creates another problem: a longer list of nominees. (It currently has 14 names, voters can only pick four.) How often do you allow a nominee to be listed before removing the name from the list and giving someone else a chance?

    That’s my opinion. If he were on the list of 14, he would not get one of my four votes. If he were on the list of 18, he would not get one of my (hypothetical) eight votes.

    (And really, if you’re speaking for his family and fans, you should use more polite language. But I’ll excuse that profanity as a result of your passionate esteem for Mr. Nodell’s work.)

  4. You’re right Torsten, I shouldn’t have dropped the F-bomb on behalf of others, so feel free to accept it directly from me to you. Although, I wouldn’t be surprised if they shared my sentiment after reading how you referred to him as a clunker.

    And to respond to your attempt to justify your post lets take a look. You wrote, “It’s about a Hall of Fame. The Best of The Best. Those who have made lasting contributions to the medium, those who have inspired others, those who innovated and blazed trails, those who have made lasting achievements in the medium of comics.”

    I don’t think that is necessarily accurate or comprehensive. But lets see how Mart fares with your criteria:

    Best of the best. That’s fairly subjective but I think he was one of the best of the best.

    Lasting contributions to the medium, I’m pretty sure there have been a few comics since 1940 that stared the character in question. I hear they’re even making a movie about him.

    Lasting achievement in the medium that seems an awful lot like lasting contribution and again, I’d say co-creating The Green Lantern qualifies for both a lasting achievement and a lasting contribution to comics.

    Inspired others, that’s kind of a hard one to make a case with 99% of hall of famers in any discipline unless the inspired actually speak out about it. Does inspiring Francis Ford Coppola count? Without Mart and the Green Lantern, maybe we don’t get The Godfather or Apocalypse Now.

    Innovated and blazed trails I just disagree with this criteria. There are examples in every HOF where someone doesn’t break new ground but still managed to be worthy.

    Personally, I think a lasting legacy far outweighs a short career. Look at people like Gale Sayers (football) and Kirby Puckett (baseball). I believe space in a Hall of Fame (especially in comics) is reserved for people who made enough of an impact to be celebrated forever. I for one am glad Martin is receiving this honor and certainly don’t think he deserves the title of “clunker.” Apparently I’m not the only one.

  5. I agree with you ed!

    And I came back to apologize for the f-bombs Torsten. Not a very nice way to communicate and I’ll have to chalk it up to a rough day today. I read your comment and pictured Mart sitting behind a table at one of a million shows and it upset me. (behold the power of the internet!)

    Clearly you know your comics but I think I make a good case. I think of the guy as a legend and he happened to be a super nice person too.

  6. I would point out that, perhaps, Topffer is more likely to be elected by voters than Nodell might be, which is one point of Judges Choice. Judges Choices can place people in the Hall who might otherwise be overlooked. Topffer doesn’t need the judges to look out for him.

  7. If making a movie about his creation is a prerequisite for being inducted on the Hall of Fame, maybe George McManus, whose Bringing Up Father creation has had over half a sozen movie adaptations in the past, should have been there.

    Rudolph Dirks, who created what is still the longest lived comic strip, is no pushover either.

    Not to mention the guy who effectively created comics, of course. But he is european, so who cares?

    Yet Carmine Infantino is there, for the honor of having redesigned a few second rate super-heroes (and not as well as Gil Kane…). Even Marty Nodell has had more accomplishments!

  8. Well, these are “comic book” awards, so strip creators have a tougher criteria to meet. (Yes, I consider strips to be short-form comic books. Is a Sunday comic different than a one-page comic?)

    But I do hope there’s debate over the individuals nominated. They deserve more notice… a chance for everyone to know their acomplishments.

    This problem will become larger in the near future. There’s a 35-year waiting period, which means a creator who started in 1976 is just now eligible for inclusion. What happens when the boom of talent in the 1980s becomes eligible?

  9. alex—

    Yeah, why let SDCC have all the fun determining who’s worthy of inclusion in a Comics “Hall of Fame”?

    A NYCC version can correct its slights and omissions— and with more stringent and defined criteria than those mentioned above, can avoid those ‘less worthy’ from being inducted? (Perhaps Torsten can offer his advice
    to the adminstrative committee.)

    And the REED Pop Group imprimatur will distinguish this new Awards honor from that of the EISNER HoF of CCI’s…

  10. My criticism is having judges “anoint” figures without subjecting them to a vote by the general public. Why have a vote at all? Let a committee meet in private and then announce the inductees. Heck, why not do it for the regular awards as well?

    CCI is already strict… Comic strip creators can only be inducted if they are considered influential to the comic book industry.

    “*The person can be from the comic strip medium if his/her work there specifically influenced how comic books are done.”

    Also, foreign creators are marginalized, unless they are/were influential to American creators.

    Hmmm… then why are they called the “Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards”?