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Judges’ Choices (will be automatically inducted)
The Eisner Awards judges have selected two individuals to automatically be inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame for 2016. These inductees are Carl Burgos (creator of the Human Torch) and Tove Jansson (creator of Moomin).
Carl Burgos (1916–1984)
Carl Burgos joined the Harry Chesler shop in 1938. He spent most of 1938 and 1939 writing and drawing features like “Iron Skull” and “Stoney Dawson” for the Centaur group. He soon moved to Lloyd Jacquet's Funnies, Inc. studio, and together with Bill Everett began working for Timely. Both created new characters for the first issue of Marvel Comics: Everett created the Sub-Mariner strip, Burgos created the flaming android known as the Human Torch. The fiery character caught on and was appearing in his own book by autumn 1940. Burgos later left comics for a career in advertising art but returned to comics occasionally.
Tove Jansson (1914–2001)
Finnish cartoonist Tove Jansson began her career as a political cartoonist and illustrator in the Garm magazine in the 1930s; through these strips, Moomin was born. Her first book featuring her lovable hippopotamus-like characters was published in 1945. She went on to write several more Moomin books as well as her equally popular children’s books. While she was working on these books, she was also working on her magnum opus that consisted of 21 long Moomin stories that were broken up as four panel strips from 1954 to 1959. Jansson’s work has been translated into 33 languages. There is an amusement park based on her Moomin world in Finland, and her likeness has appeared on a Finnish coin.
Nominees (four will be chosen by voters for induction into the Hall of Fame)
Lynda Barry (1956– )
Lynda Barry is the creator behind the seminal comic strip Ernie Pook's Comeek, which was syndicated across North America in alternative weeklies from 1979 to 2008. She is the author of The Freddie Stories, One! Hundred! Demons! (which won the 2003 Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album), The! Greatest! of! Marlys!, Cruddy: An Illustrated Novel, and The Good Times Are Killing Me, which was adapted as an off-Broadway play. She has written two bestselling and acclaimed creative how-to graphic novels: What It Is, which won the 2009 Eisner Award for Best Reality-Based Work and the R. R. Donnelly Award for highest literary achievement by a Wisconsin author, and Picture This.
Kim Deitch (1944– )
Kim Deitch is an underground cartoonist best known for his recurring character Waldo the Cat, a fictional ‘30s-era animated cat. Waldo stars in the seminal Boulevard of Broken Dreams (an issue of which received an Eisner award in 2003), Shroud of Waldo, Alias the Cat, and various other strips and serials. Deitch has also released Shadowlands and Pictorama, a collaboration with brothers Simon and Seth. Art Spiegelman has called Deitch “the best kept secret in American comics.” Deitch has also been a publisher, a co-founder of the Cartoonists Co-op Press, and has taught at the School for Visual Arts in New York.
Rube Goldberg (1882–1970)
Reuben “Rube” Goldberg was 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, and is the namesake of the Reuben Awards, which the NCS gives to the Cartoonist of the Year.
Edward Gorey (1925–2000)
Edward St. John Gorey produced over 100 works, including The Gashlycrumb Tinies, The Doubtful Guest, Amphigorey, and The Wuggly Ump, and drew hundreds of illustrations in publications such as The New Yorker and The New York Times and in books by authors ranging from Charles Dickens to Edward Lear, Samuel Beckett, John Updike, Virginia Woolf, and H. G. Wells. Today he is probably best known for his animated credits for the PBS Mystery series.
Bill Griffith (1944– )
Known for his non sequitur-spouting character Zippy the Pinhead, Bill Griffith had his first work published in 1969 in the East Village Other and Screw. His first major comic book titles included Tales of Toad and Young Lust, a bestselling series parodying romance comics. He was co-editor of Arcade, The Comics Revue for its seven issue run in the mid-’70s. The first Zippy strip appeared in Real Pulp #1 (Print Mint) in 1970. The strip went weekly in 1976, first in the Berkeley Barb and then syndicated nationally. Today the daily Zippy appears in over 200 newspapers worldwide. Most recently, he produced the autobiographical Invisible Ink: My Mother’s Love Affair with a Famous Cartoonist.
Matt Groening (1954– )
Matt Groening, creator and executive producer of The Simpsons, the longest running primetime animated series in television history, started out as a cartoonist, producing the syndicated weekly strip Life in Hell beginning in 1978; he continued the strip until 2012. In 1985 he was asked to come up with an animated short to be part of Fox’s Tracey Ullman Show; the rest is history. Groening's other award-winning animated series, Futurama, launched in 1999 and ran for five seasons. In 1993, he formed Bongo Comics Group, where he serves as publisher of Simpsons Comics, Futurama Comics, and dozens of other titles.
Jack Kamen (1920–2008)
Jack Kamen was one of the most prolific EC Comics artists, drawing crime, horror, humor, suspense, and science fiction stories. EC editor Al Feldstein said, "We gave Kamen those stories where the All-American girl and guy are married, and then chop each other to pieces." After EC, he drew Sunday supplement illustrations and created advertising art for a wide variety of clients. He also drew all the comic book artwork for Stephen King and George Romero’s 1982 horror anthology film Creepshow. their homage to the EC horror comics.
Francoise Mouly (1955- )
Editor and publisher Francoise Mouly 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, Kim Deitch, Ben Katchor, Richard McGuire, Lorenzo Mattotti, 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.
George Pérez (1954– )
George Pérez started drawing comics at Marvel in 1974. After working on such titles as Fantastic Four, The Inhumans, and The Avengers, he developed a reputation as the artist that liked to draw group books. In addition to his Marvel stints, he is best known for his work on DC’s The New Teen Titans, Wonder Woman, and Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Antonio Prohías (1921–1988)
Cuban American Antonio Prohías is best known for his 30 years of work with Mad magazine on his comic feature Spy Vs. Spy, which has also been adapted into a series of animated shorts, several video games, a series of live-action television commercials, and a Sunday strip. In the late 1940s Prohias began drawing cartoons for the prestigious Cuban newspaper El Mundo. His wordless material enjoyed international appeal, and by the late 1950s he was the president of the Association of Cuban Cartoonists. On May 1, 1960, just three days before Castro gained control of El Mundo and the rest of Cuba’s free press, Prohías fled Cuba for New York City.
P. Craig Russell (1951– )
After establishing a name for himself at Marvel on Killraven and Dr. Strange in the 1970s, artist P. Craig Russell went on to become one of the pioneers in opening new vistas in the field with, among other works, adaptations of Michael Moorcock’s Elric for graphic novels and comics, and adaptations of operas by Mozart (The Magic Flute), Strauss (Salome), and Wagner (The Ring of the Nibelung). His more recent work includes graphic novel adaptations of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline and The Graveyard Book.
Rumiko Takahashi (1957– )
Popular manga creator Rumiko Takahashi is said to be the bestselling 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.
Jacques Tardi (1946– )
Considered the father of the “new realism” style, French cartoonist Jacques Tardi began his comics career in 1970, with stories for Pilote and later Metal Hurlant. He is best known in the U.S. for his works Adele Blanc-Sec, West Coast Blues, The Arctic Maurauder, Bloody Streets of Paris, and the Eisner Award-winning It Was the War of the Trenches.
Herb Trimpe (1939–2015)
Herb Trimpe is best known for his long run on The Incredible Hulk and for being the co-creator (with John Romita and Len Wein) of Wolverine. As a Marvel mainstay beginning in the late 1960s, he drew nearly all of the company's major characters over the next three decades, as well as many licensed movie and TV franchises such as G.I. Joe, Transformers, and Godzilla. He received the Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award in 2002 for his work as a chaplain at the World Trade Center following the September 11 attacks.