2014 Nominees and Judges' Choice Winners
The Eisner Awards judges have selected three individuals to automatically be inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Awards Hall of Fame for 2014. These inductees are African American comics pioneer Orrin C. Evans (All-Negro Comics), Golden Age artist Irwin Hasen (Green Lantern, Wildcat, Justice Society), and Golden Age and Batman artist Sheldon Moldoff. Click on the images to enlarge them and see a slide show of the nominees' art. For a complete list of the current Will Eisner Hall of Fame, click here.
Judges’ Choices (will be automatically inducted)
Orrin C. Evans (1902–1971)
Orrin C. Evans was a Philadelphia newspaper reporter who, with two partners, published the first all-black comic book in 1947. All-Negro Comics was a 48-page newsstand comic consisting of a variety of strips (from hard-boiled crime to fantasy to humor) that featured black characters created by black writers and artists. The creators included Orrin, his brother George Evans Jr., John Terrill, and a pair of one-named artists (Cooper and Cravat). Although only one issue was published, its existence was a historic achievement. Evans returned to newspapers shortly after the end of All-Negro Comics, serving as editor of the Chester Times and the Philadelphia Bulletin, director of the Philadelphia Press Association, and an officer of the Newspaper Guild of Greater Philadelphia. The New York Times obituary, called Evans “the dean of black reporters,” but many consider him to be the “father of black comic books.”
Irwin Hasen (1917–)
Irwin Hasen started in comic books in 1940, working on such features as The Green Hornet, The Fox, Secret Agent Z-2, Bob Preston, Cat-Man and The Flash, through the Harry "A" Chesler shop. He went on to draw several Green Lantern issues for DC and to co-create the character of Wildcat with Bill Finger. After serving in the military in WWII, Hasen returned to DC where he drew Johnny Thunder, Justice Society of America, Wonder Woman, The Flash, and and Green Lantern, among others. He and writer Gus Edson collaborated on the Dondi newspaper strip from 1955 to 1986. In 2009 Vanguard published his autobiographical graphic novel Loverboy: The Irwin Hasen Story.
Sheldon Moldoff (1920-2012)
Artist Sheldon Moldoff, Bob Kane's first assistant on Batman, worked on the character off and on for 30 years. He is credited with co-creating Bat-Girl, Bat-Woman, Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze, Bat-Mite, and Ace the Bat Hound, and he was the regular artist on the Golden Age Hawkman. He was also prolific cover artist, with credits including the first Green Lantern cover (All-American #6). He was also a pioneer in horror comics, with such titles as This Magazine Is Haunted and Worlds of Fear for Fawcett, and his work on EC’s Moon Girl is also fondly remembered by fans.
Nominees (4 will be chosen from voting)
Online voting is now open. To vote, you must be a professional working in the comics or related industries as a creator (writer, artist, cartoonist, colorist, letterer), a publisher or editor, a retailer (comics store owner or manager), a graphic novels librarian, or a comics historian/educator. Eligible voters can visit www.eisnervote.com to register and then select up to four picks in the Hall of Fame category. The deadline for voting is March 31. Further eligibility information is provided on the Eisner Awards page.
Gus Arriola (1917–2008)
Gus Arriola wrote and drew the Mexican-themed comic strip Gordo for 44 years, beginning in 1941. As noted by comics historian R. C. Harvey, “Over the years, Arriola dramatically changed his way of drawing, producing eventually the decorative masterpiece of the comics page, the envy of his colleagues.” The strip introduced America to such now-popular Spanish words and phrases as hasta la vista, "piñata, compadre, amigo, muchacho, and pussy gato as well as Mayan, Aztec, and Mexican customs, history, and folklore.
Howard Cruse (1944– )
Howard Cruse first appeared on the national comics scene with his underground strip Barefootz in 1972. In 1979 he began editing Gay Comix, an anthology featuring comix by openly gay and lesbian cartoonists. In 1983 Cruse introduced his comic strip Wendel to the pages of The Advocate, the national gay newsmagazine, where it appeared regularly until 1989. His 1995 graphic novel Stuck Rubber Baby (published Paradox Press) won Eisner and Harvey Awards and went on to be translated into numerous languages around the world; it was republished by Vertigo in 2010.
Philippe Druillet (1944– )
Philippe Druillet, one of the most influential French cartoonists, is known for his baroque drawings and bizarre science fiction stories. He made his debut in comics with “Lone Sloane, le Mystère des Abîmes” in 1966. In 1970, he joined Pilote magazine, where he continued the “Lone Sloane” series and created such new series as “Délirius” (written by Jacques Lob), “Yragaël,” and “Urm le Fou” (written by Demuth). In 1975, along with Bernard Farkas, Jean-Pierre Dionnet, and Moebius, he founded the publishing house Humanoïdes Associés and the Métal Hurlant periodical, for which he created several series that were later reprinted in Heavy Metal magazine. Over the last few decades he has been pursuing art through a variety of media, including sculpture, architecture, film, photography, and painting.
Rube Goldberg (1882–1970)
Reuben “Rube” Goldberg was a cartoonist best known for his creation of the “Rube Goldberg machine,” a contraption that performs a simple action in a convoluted way. Goldberg drew a number of syndicated strips, including Mike and Ike (They Look Alike), Boob McNutt, Foolish Questions, and The Weekly Meeting of the Tuesday Women's Club. The cartoons that brought him lasting fame involved a character named Professor Lucifer Gorgonzola Butts. In that series, Goldberg drew labeled schematics of the comical "inventions" that would later bear his name. Goldberg was a founding member and the first president of the National Cartoonists Society is the namesake of the Reuben Awards, which the NCS gives to the Cartoonist of the Year.
Fred Kida (1920– )
Golden Age artist Fred Kida broke into comics as an inker and background artist in 1941. After working on strips for Quality and Hillman, he drew Airboy, perhaps his best-loved work, from 1943 to 1948. At Atlas (Marvel) in the 1950s Kida drew the western Ringo Kid as well as some horror, war, and fantasy stories. He assisted Dan Barry on Flash Gordon in 1958-1961 and 1968-1971 and drew the The Amazing Spider-Man comic strip from 1981 to 1986. Kida returned to Marvel in the 1970s, primarily as an inker, working on such characters as Iron Man, Godzilla, Ka-Zar, Luke Cage, and Man-Wolf.
Tarpé Mills (1915–1988)
One of the few female artists working during the Golden Age of comics, June Tarpé Mills was the creator of Miss Fury, an action comic strip and comic book that first appeared in 1941. Miss Fury is credited as being the first female action hero created by a woman. The Miss Fury comic strip ran until 1951. Mills returned briefly in 1971 with a story in Our Love Story for Marvel Comics.
Hiyao Miyazaki (1941– )
Although best known as Japan’s premier anime filmmaker, Hiyao Miyazaki is also celebrated as a manga artist worldwide. His first published work was an interpretation of Puss in Boots, serialized in Tokyo Shimbun in 1969. His major project, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, was published intermittently from 1981 to 1994 and has been collected in multiple book volumes as well as being made into an animated feature. Other manga works include The Journey of Shuna, Hikōtei Jidai, and Kaze Tachinu (The Wind Rises).
Alan Moore (1953– )
British writer Alan Moore’s first published comics work was the strip Maxwell the Magic Cat, which appeared in Northants Post from 1979 to 1986. In the early 1980s he worked primarily for 2000AD (creating such series as Skiz, D.R. & Quinch, and The Ballad of Halo Jones), Marvel UK, and Warrior Publications. It was at Warrior that he wrote V for Vendetta, The Bojeffries Saga, and Marvelman (aka Miracleman). Moore hit the American comics scene in 1983 as the writer of DC’s Swamp Thing. The success of that title led to DC’s recruitment of more British writers, the founding of the Vertigo imprint, and Moore’s going on to create such enduring titles as Batman: The Killing Joke, Watchmen, From Hell, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and Lost Girls.
Francoise Mouly (1955- )
Editor and publisher Francoise Mouly has played a role in providing outlets to new and foreign cartoonists, and in promoting comics as a serious artform and as an educational tool. She founded Raw Books and Graphics in 1978. With her husband Art Spiegelman she launched Raw magazine in 1980, which is perhaps best known for serializing Spiegleman’s award-winning Maus. A lavishly produced oversize anthology, Raw published work by Lynda Barry, Charles Burns, Sue Coe, Kim Deitch, Ben Katchor, Richard McGuire, Lorenzo Mattotti, Jose Munoz, Gary Panter, Joost Swarte, Jacques Tardi, and Chris Ware, to name but a few. When Mouly became art director at The New Yorker in 1993, she brought a large number of cartoonists and artists to the periodical's interiors and covers. In 2008 she launched Toon Books, an imprint devoted to books for young readers done by cartoonists.
Dennis O’Neil (1939– )
In 1968 DC editor Julius Schwartz asked Dennis O'Neil to revamp Batman. O’Neil and artist Neal Adams took the character back to his roots and, adding sophistication and their own unique vision, created the version of Batman that has been an inspiration for many of the Warner Bros. films and current comics. In 1970, Dennis again collaborated with Adams and Schwartz to produce the Green Lantern/Green Arrow series that first brought him into national prominence. Among his other laudded works for DC are The Shadow with Michael Kaluta and The Question with Denys Cowan. Earlier in his career he was an editor at both Marvel (handling Frank Miller’s Daredevil among other titles) and Charlton, and he was the Batman editor at DC from 1986 to 2000.
Antonio Prohias (1921–1998)
Antonio Prohías is best known for his 30 years of work with MAD magazine on his comic feature Spy Vs. Spy, which continues to this day (currently drawn by Peter Kuper). Spy Vs. Spy has been adapted into a series of animated shorts, several video games, a series of live-action television commercials, and a Sunday strip.
Rumiko Takahashi (1957– )
Popular manga creator Rumiko Takahashi is said to be the best-selling female comics artist in history, with hundreds of millions of her books sold around the world. Takahashi's first published work was the one-shot Katte na Yatsura in 1978. Later that year her first major work began being serialized, Urusei Yatsura. She went on to create such classic works as Maison Ikkoku, Ranma ½, InuYasha, One Pound Gospel, Mermaid Saga, and Rumic Theater. Several of her works have been animated.
George Tuska (1916–2009)
Artist George Tuska joined the Iger/Eisner Studio1939, where he worked on stories for a variety of titles, including Jungle, Wings, Planet, Wonderworld, and Mystery Men. In the 1940s, as a member of the Harry “A” Chesler Studio, he drew several episodes of Captain Marvel, Golden Arrow, Uncle Sam, and El Carim. After the war, he drew stories for Charles Biro’s Crime Does Not Pay, as well as Black Terror, Crimebuster, and Doc Savage. He also became the main artist on the Scorchy Smith newspaper strip (1954- 1959) and then took over Buck Rogers, which he continued until 1965 (daily) and 1967 (Sunday). In the late 1960s, Tuska worked for Marvel on such features as Ghost Rider, Planet of the Apes, X-Men, Daredevil, and Iron Man, while for DC he drew Superman, Superboy and Challengers of the Unknown. In 1978, along with José Delbo, Paul Kupperberg and Martin Pasko, Tuska started a new version of the daily Superman comic strip. Tuska worked on this series until 1993.
Bernie Wrightson (1947– )
Bernie Wrightson is perhaps best known as the co-creator (with Len Wein) of Swamp Thing. His first published work was a story in House of Mystery #179 (1969). He worked for both DC and Marvel over the next few years, with Swamp Thing hitting big for DC in 1972. In the mid-1970s Bernie’s work in Warren’s horror magazines brought him further popularity, and in 1975 he formed The Studio with Michael Kaluta, Jeffrey Jones, and Barry Windsor-Smith. During this time he produced the art for an edition of Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein. The early 1980s saw the appearance of his own Captain Sternn for Heavy Metal, the Freakshow and Creepshow graphic novels, and other collaborations with Stephen King. Most recently, he collaborated with Steve Niles on Frankenstein Alive! Alive! for IDW.