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.

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

Steve Ditko

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Steve Ditko
Steve
Ditko

1927-

The reclusive and enigmatic Steve Ditko co-created Spider-Man with Stan Lee and was an integral part of Marvel’s Silver Age in the 1960s, where he also co-created the psychedelic Dr. Strange. At DC, he created The Creeper, Hawk and Dove, The Question, and other titles. His distinctive style on Dr. Strange and numerous horror and SF books for other companies (especially Charlton) influenced hundreds of artists. Inducted 1994

Arnold Drake

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Arnold Drake
Arnold
Drake

1924-2007

Arnold Drake was a writer best known for creating Deadman and Doom Patrol for DC Comics. He also wrote issues of Marvel Comics’ X-Men in the 1960s and created The Guardians of the Galaxy with artist Gene Colan. Drake is also notable for co-creating It Rhymes with Lust (with Matt Baker), perhaps the first American graphic novel ever published, in 1953. Inducted 2008

Mort Drucker

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Mort Drucker
Mort
Drucker

1929-

After freelancing on mystery, war, and space titles for DC and Atlas during the 1950s, Mort Drucker found his way to MAD magazine, where he has specialized in movie and television satires and parodies for over 50 years. Drucker has also done work in commercial art, doing animation for television, movie posters, and covers and illustrations for magazines. Inducted 2011

Will Eisner

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Will Eisner
Will
Eisner

1917-2005

In his more than 50 years in the comics industry, Will Eisner did it all. He was a pioneer in the Golden Age, involved in the creation of characters such as Sheena, Blackhawk, and Uncle Sam. His weekly newspaper insert, The Spirit, was unique not only for its format and great art/storytelling but also for the fact that Eisner owned it himself. Later in his career, Eisner created award-winning graphic novels and wrote and illustrated books about graphic storytelling. Inducted 1987

Will Elder

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Will Elder

Photo by Tom Deleon

Will
Elder

1921-2008

Will Elder began his comics career in 1946, sharing a studio with Harvey Kurtzman. He was one of the original artists of Kurtzman's MAD from its first issue in October/November 1952. At MAD he was noted for his zany humor and the extra jokes he would work into story backgrounds. He also worked with Kurtzman on Trump, Humbug, and Help! magazines before embarking on their longtime collaboration, “Little Annie Fanny,” for Playboy, which lasted from 1962 to 1988. Inducted 2003

Mike Esposito

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Will Eisner Hall of Fame
Mike
Esposito

1927-2010

Inker Mike Esposito is known for his longtime collaboration with penciler Ross Andru., In the early 1950s the young men started their own studio to work primarily on such DC war titles as Our Army at War, Fighting Forces, and Star Spangled War Stories. They went on to have successful runs on DC’s Metal Men and Wonder Woman. In the mid-1960s Esposito began inking for Marvel, then went on to become an inker and then editor at Archie Comics. Inducted 2007

Orrin C. Evans

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Orrin C. Evans
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. 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. Inducted 2014

Bill Everett

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Bill Everett

Photo courtesy Fantagraphics

Bill
Everett

1917-1973

Starting with the first issue of Marvel Mystery Comics in 1939, Bill Everett created the Sub-Mariner and drew the character’s most memorable stories for Timely (which later became Marvel). A fan favorite artist of the Golden Age, Everett returned to Marvel briefly in the 1960s, where he drew the first issue of Daredevil and worked on his signature creation, Sub-Mariner, once again. Inducted 2000

Lee Falk

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Lee Falk
Lee
Falk

1911-1999

Lee Falk created Mandrake the Magician as a newspaper strip in 1934 (with art by Phil Davis) and The Phantom in 1936 (with art by Ray Moore). He continued to write both series until his death in 1999. The characters have been featured in serials, films, and comic books, and the strips continue today. Inducted 2013

Jules Feiffer

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Jules Feiffer

Photo by Jackie Estrada

Jules
Feiffer

1929-

Jules Feiffer began his career as an assistant to Will Eisner on The Spirit newspaper section and went on to be a syndicated cartoonist, a playwright, and bestselling author. His books include Munro, Tantrum, Passionella, and Sick, Sick, Sick, plus the groundbreaking comics history book, The Great Comic Book Heroes. Inducted 2004

Al Feldstein

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Al Feldstein
Al
Feldstein

1925-2014

Al Feldstein served as editor, writer, and artist for EC Comics beginning in 1947. He wrote most of what are considered the “classic” EC stories for the horror and science fiction titles, along with producing covers and interior art. He took over as editor of MAD magazine in 1956, which he shepherded until his retirement in 1984. Still active as an artist, Feldstein is now a well-known painter. Inducted 2003

Lou Fine

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Will Eisner Hall of Fame
Lou
Fine

1915-1971

Lou Fine is known as one of the best artists to work in the Golden Age of comics. His career began at the Eisner/Iger Studio, where he specialized in covers for Fox Features titles. For Quality, he drew such features as “The Black Condor” and “Uncle Sam,” and he drew The Spirit for Will Eisner during Eisner’s stint in the service. His most highly regarded efforts were his art on “The Ray” in Smash Comics and his covers for Hit Comics. Inducted 2005

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