Hall of Fame

Since the founding of the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards (and their previous incarnation, the Kirby Awards), the following individuals have been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

John Buscema

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John Buscema

Photo by Jackie Estrada

John
Buscema

1927-2002

Fan favorite artist John Buscema is probably best known for his work at Marvel, drawing The Silver Surfer and Conan the Barbarian, plus pretty much every other character the company produced from the 1960s through the 1990s. He influenced many an aspiring penciller with his art in Stan Lee’s How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way. Inducted 2002

Ernie Bushmiller

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Ernie Bushmiller
Ernie
Bushmiller

1905-1982

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. Ernie continued to do the newspaper strip (with the help of various assistants) until his death at the age of 77. Inducted 2011

John Byrne

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John Byrne

Photo by Jackie Estrada

John
Byrne

1950–

Writer/artist John Byrne is best known for his long run on Uncanny X-Men (beginning with writer Chris Claremont in 1977), including the classic “Days of Future Past” and “Dark Phoenix” story arcs. During that time he created Alpha Flight, Proteus, and Kitty Pryde. This work was followed by a five-year run (1981–1986) on Fantastic Four along with the Alpha Flight series. In 1986 he revamped Superman for DC and worked on various Superman titles for two years, after which he returned to Marvel to write and draw such titles as The Sensational She-Hulk, Namor the Sub-Mariner, and West Coast Avengers. In the 1990s he produced the creator-owned series Next Men for Dark Horse. He continues to produce work for IDW and other publishers. Inducted 2015

Milton Caniff

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Milton Caniff
Milton
Caniff

1907-1988

A pioneer in the action/adventure comic strip, Milton Caniff influence generations of artists with his storytelling and chiaroscuro art on Terry and the Pirates. He also set precedent by leaving Terry to create a strip that he could own himself: Steve Canyon. Inducted 1988

Al Capp

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Al Capp

© Capp Enterprises, Inc.

Al
Capp

1909-1979

Cartoonist Al Capp added to American pop culture and our language through his clever and popular newspaper strip Li’l Abner, which ran for 43 years. Capp delighted funnypapers fans with his creations: the Yokum family of Dogpatch, U.S.A., the Schmoo, Sadie Hawkins Day, Kickapoo Joy Juice, Joe Bfstplk, Fearless Fosdick, Lower Slobbovia, and much, much more. Inducted 2004

Nick Cardy

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Nick Cardy
Nick
Cardy

1920-

Nick Cardy began in comics in 1939 at the Eisner/Iger Studio. He then joined Will Eisner at his Tudor City Studio to draw “Lady Luck,” among other assignments. In the 1960s Nick he had long and influential runs on Aquaman and then Teen Titans. In 1969 he drew the short-lived but highly regarded Bat Lash series. In the early 1970s he drew a number of popular stories for Brave & the Bold and was the chief cover artist for DC, drawing numerous covers for Superman, Action Comics, Flash, Secret Origins, The Witching Hour, and many more titles. Inducted 2005

Chris Claremont

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Chris Claremont

Photo by Tony Amat

Chris
Claremont

1950–

Writer Chris Claremont is well known for his 17-year run on Uncanny X-Men, for which he created or co-created such characters as Rogue, Phoenix, Mystique, Sabretooth, and Gambit. His story arcs in collaboration with John Byrne included such classics as “Dark Phoenix” and “Days of Future Past.” His Wolverine minseries with artist Frank Miller inspired the storyline for the 2013 film The Wolverine. The 1991 X-Men #1 spinoff issue, which Claremont co-wrote with Jim Lee, remains the bestselling comic book of all time. In the 1990s Claremont wrote a variety of titles for several publishers, including his own Sovereign Seven for DC, as well as some prose novels. He returned to Marvel in 1998 as editorial director and the regular writer of Fantastic Four. Today he continues to write novels and to work for Marvel, writing such titles as X-Women and Nightcrawler. Inducted 2015

Gene Colan

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Gene Colan
Gene
Colan

1926-2011

Gene Colan began working in comics in 1944. He came into prominence in the 1960s as part of the Marvel Silver Age crew, drawing Daredevil, Dr. Strange, Sub-Mariner, Captain America, and other titles before going on to famed runs on Tomb of Dracula and Howard the Duck. In the 1980s, Gene worked on a number of titles at DC, including Night Force and Nathaniel Dusk. Inducted 2005

Jack Cole

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Will Eisner Hall of Fame
Jack
Cole

1918-1958

Jack Cole was one of the most innovative cartoonists in the history of comics. In addition to creating Plastic Man, he gave a distinctive look to superhero, crime, and horror series for Harry A. Chesler, Busy Arnold, MLJ, and other Golden Age publishers. He eventually left comics in the early 1950s to draw “Females by Cole” for Playboy, and a syndicated comic strip, Betsy and Me. Inducted 1999

L.B. Cole

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L.B. Cole

Photo by Jackie Estrada

L.B.
Cole

1918-1995

One of the most versatile cover artists in the history of comics, Leonard Brandt Cole worked in a wide range of styles and in just about every genre, from funny animals to romance to war as well as science fiction and horror. His striking colors and appealing (if sometimes bizarre) designs have made Golden Age comics with his covers highly collectible. Inducted 1999

Richard Corben

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Richard Corben
Richard
Corben

1940-

In the late 1960s Richard Corben published his own underground comic book, Fantagor, and contributed to the underground magazines Slow Death and Skull. In the 1970s he drew regularly for Eerie, Creepy, and Vampirella. But it was his color stories in Heavy Metal that brought him a huge fan following, with such series as “Bloodstar,” “Mutantworld,” and “Den.” Since then he has done work for Marvel, DC, IDW, and most notably Dark Horse, drawing the Eisner Award–winning Hellboy. Inducted 2012

Johnny Craig

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Johnny Craig

Photo courtesy Fantagraphics

Johnny
Craig

1926-2001

Johnny Craig is best known for his work on the horror and crime titles at EC Comics in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Although he created some of the most notorious and gory covers for such titles as Vault of Horror and Crime Suspenstories, aficionados laud him for this well-crafted crime stories, which he both wrote and drew, in Shock Suspenstories, Crime Suspenstories, and Extra. Inducted 2005

Reed Crandall

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Will Eisner Hall of Fame
Reed
Crandall

1917-1982

Reed Crandall started with the Eisner/Iger Studio, where he worked primarily on titles for Quality Comics, including Hit, Crack, Smash, and Uncle Sam (which became Blackhawk), where he drew such features as “The Ray,” “Dollman,” and “Firebrand.” In the late 1940s Crandall began working at EC, drawing everything from horror and suspense to science fiction. In the 1960s he produced a series of highly acclaimed stories for Warren’s Creepy and Eerie. Inducted 2009

Roy Crane

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Will Eisner Hall of Fame
Roy
Crane

1901-1977

Roy Crane was a major innovator of the adventure strip with his creations Wash Tubbs, Captain Easy, and Buz Sawyer. His use of chiaroscuro and his storytelling techniques have influenced countless artists in both comics strips and comic books. Inducted 2001

R. Crumb

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Will Eisner Hall of Fame
R.
Crumb

1943-

Immortalized in the film Crumb, the legendary underground cartoonist Robert Crumb created lasting cultural icons in the form of Mr. Natural, Fritz the Cat, and “Keep on Truckin’.” Today he continues to turn out his idiosyncratic and beautifully drawn work from his home in France, which he shares with wife, cartoonist Aline Kominsky. Inducted 1991

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