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.

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

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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Will Eisner Hall of Fame
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

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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Will Eisner Hall of Fame
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

Jack Davis

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Jack Davis

Photo by Jackie Estrada

Jack
Davis

1924-

Perhaps best known for his wild and vivid art for the early MAD, Jack Davis was also a staple of EC’s horror and war titles, from Vault of Horror and Tales from the Crypt to Two-Fisted Tales. He went on to a career as a commercial illustrator, creating movie posters as well as covers for record albums and for such magazines as Time and TV Guide. Inducted 2003

Dan DeCarlo

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Dan DeCarlo

Photo by Jackie Estrada

Dan
DeCarlo

1919-2001

Dan DeCarlo defined the “house style” at Archie Comics with his rendition of the teen characters, especially the “gals.” In his 40+ years as an Archie freelancer, Dan also created Josie (of Josie and the Pussycats fame) and co-created Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Inducted 2002

Rudolph Dirks

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Rudolph Dirks
Rudolph
Dirks

1877-1968

In 1897 Rudolph Dirks‘ editor at the New York Journal asked him to create a strip that could compete with the popularity of The Yellow Kid by Outcault, which was published in a rival newspaper, The New York World. Dirks came up with The Katzenjammer Kids, which was one of the first strips to use a permanent cast, a frame sequence, and speech balloons. Dirks took the strip to the New York World under the title Hans und Fritz, later renamed The Captain and the Kids. Inducted 2012

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