Don McGregor, John Stanley to Receive 2015 Bill Finger Award
Don McGregor and John Stanley have been selected to receive the 2015 Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing. The selection, made by a blue-ribbon committee chaired by writer-historian Mark Evanier, was unanimous.
"I asked on my blog for suggestions of worthy recipients," Evanier explains. "I received dozens of worthy names, but the frequency and passion with which these two gentlemen were suggested led us to an easy decision."
The Bill Finger Award was created in 2005 at the instigation of comic book legend Jerry Robinson. "The premise of this award is to recognize writers for a body of work that has not received its rightful reward and/or recognition," Evanier explains. "That was what Jerry Robinson intended as his way of remembering his friend, Bill Finger. Bill is still kind of the industry poster boy for writers not receiving proper reward or recognition." Evanier will present the awards on July 10 during the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards ceremony at Comic-Con International 2015.
Don McGregor began his career writing comic books with work for Warren (Creepy, Eerie) in 1971, and in 1972 he joined the editorial staff at Marvel Comics. Before long, he was writing for Marvel where his work became known for its unique voice. His runs with the character Black Panther in Jungle Action and on Killraven in Amazing Adventures drew strong fan response, as did his later efforts for other publishers: Detectives, Inc; Sabre, Nathaniel Dusk, and the acclaimed Ragamuffins. He also wrote Zorro both for comic books and comic strips. Don will appear at Comic-Con to accept this award for his inspiring body of work.
John Stanley is best known for writing and occasionally drawing Little Lulu for Dell Comics from 1945 to 1959, turning Marge's single-panel gag cartoon into a popular and hilarious series of stories and creating most of the supporting cast for Lulu's world. His rich characterizations and humor made for a memorable series, and he applied those skills to other Dell and Gold Key comics, including Nancy and Sluggo, Melvin Monster, O.G. Whiz, and Thirteen (Going On Eighteen). As with his contemporary Carl Barks, Stanley’s work was almost completely anonymous, but avid fans unearthed the secret of who was doing that superb work. Stanley left comics for other work in the early seventies and passed away in 1993. His Finger Award will be accepted by his son, James.
The Bill Finger Award honors the memory of William Finger (1914–1974), who was the first and, some say, most important writer of Batman. Many have called him the "unsung hero" of the character and have hailed his work not only on that iconic figure but on dozens of others, primarily for DC Comics.
In addition to Evanier, the selection committee consists of Charles Kochman (executive editor at Harry N. Abrams, book publisher), comic book writer Kurt Busiek, artist/historian Jim Amash, cartoonist Scott Shaw!, and writer/editor Marv Wolfman.
The major sponsor for the 2015 awards is DC Comics; supporting sponsors are Heritage Auctions and Maggie Thompson.
The Finger Award falls under the auspices of Comic-Con International: San Diego and is administered by Jackie Estrada.
Bill Finger Award Recipients
2014: Robert Kanigher, Bill Mantlo, Jack Mendelsohn
2013: Steve Gerber, Don Rosa
2012: Frank Doyle, Steve Skeates
2011: Bob Haney, Del Connell
2010: Otto Binder, Gary Friedrich
2009: John Broome, Frank Jacobs
2008: Archie Goodwin, Larry Lieber
2007: Gardner Fox, George Gladir
2006: Harvey Kurtzman, Alvin Schwartz
2005: Jerry Siegel, Arnold Drake