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.

Carmine Infantino

Carmine Infantino

Photo by Tom Deleon

Carmine
Infantino

1925-2013

Carmine Infantino‘s art established a distinctive look to DC’s science fiction comics in the late 1950s and early 1960s. His work on the relaunched Silver Age Flash is prized by collectors. In the mid-1960s he became DC’s art director and proceeded to use such artists as Joe Kubert, Joe Orlando, and Dick Giordano as editors. He moved on to become DC’s editorial director, publisher, and president; he left DC in 1975. Inducted 2000

Graham Ingels

Graham Ingels

Photo courtesy Fantagraphics

Graham
Ingels

1915-1991

Graham Ingels is best known for his stories and covers for EC Comics’ horror line: The Haunt of Fear, Tales from the Crypt, and The Vault of Horror. Ingels was one of the first artists to come to work for EC after Bill Gaines took over the company in 1948. As "Ghastly” Graham Ingels, he became the company’s premiere horror artist. Inducted 2009

Jack Jackson

Jack Jackson
Jack
Jackson

1941-2006

Jack Jackson, aka “Jaxon,” created, wrote, drew, and self-published what comics historians consider one of the first underground comix, God Nose. He was art director at Family Dog and a co-founder of Rip-Off Press. He contributed to such underground anthology titles as Skull, Slow Death, and Tales of the Leather Nun. Jaxon went on to pioneer historical graphic novels with the innovative Comanche Moon series for Last Gasp. He continued chronicling his home state’s history via El Alamo, Los Tejanos, and Lost Cause. Inducted 2011

Al Jaffee

Al Jaffee

Photo by Len Briggs

Al
Jaffee

1921–

Al Jaffee is best known as the creator of MAD magazine’s fold-ins, which he has been doing since 1964, and for “Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions,” a feature that has been collected into over a dozen books. Al is MAD’s longest-running contributor, having been there since 1955. Earlier in his career, Al worked for Stan Lee at Timely, where he was in charge of all humor and teen titles as associate editor. He also worked with Harvey Kurtzman on the short-lived Trump and Humbug humor magazines. Inducted 2013

Tove Jansson

Tove Jansson, Will Eisner Hall of Fame
Tove
Jansson

(1914–2001)

Tove Jansson began her work as a political cartoonist and illustrator in the Garm magazine in the 1930s; through these strips, Moomin was born. Her first book was published in 1945, featuring her loveable hippopotamus-like characters, The Moomins and the Great Flood. She went on to write several more Moomin books as well as her equally popular children’s books. She produced her magnum opus that consisted of 21 long Moomin stories that were broken up as four panel strips from 1954 to1959. Jansson’s work has been translated into 33 languages and they are the most widely translated works of Finnish literature. Not only does she have an amusement park based on her Moomin world but the Finnish put her likeness on a coin.

Inducted 2016

Carol Kalish

Will Eisner Hall of Fame Recipient, 2018, Carol Kalish
Carol
Kalish

(1955–1991)

Carol Kalish served as direct sales manager and vice president of new product development at Marvel Comics from 1981 to 1991. She is credited with pioneering the comics direct market when it was in its adolescence, in part through a program in which Marvel helped pay for comic book stores to acquire cash registers. Beginning in the mid-1980s, Kalish spearheaded the expansion of Marvel's distribution into previously unexplored retail outlets, including major bookstores such as B. Daltons and Waldenbooks. In 2010 she was posthumously awarded the first ComicsPRO Industry Appreciation Award.

Inducted 2018

Michael Kaluta

Michael Kaluta

Photo by Jackie Estrada

Michael
Kaluta

1947-

Artist and illustrator Michael Kaluta is best known for his work on The Shadow and Elaine Lee’s Starstruck and for his cover art. Influenced by art nouveau and the 1930s pulps, he brought a unique look to comics in the 1970s and 1980s. In recent years he has been in demand as a cover artist, including an award-nominated run on DC/Vertigo’s Madame Xanadu. Inducted 2010

Bob Kane

Bob Kane

Photo by Jackie Estrada

Bob
Kane

1915-1998

Bob Kane entered the comic book industry in 1936 as a freelancer for Jerry Iger’s Wow! What a Magazine! At the Eisner-Iger studio, he drew funny animal strips and humor features. His first adventure strip was “Rusty and His Pals” for DC’s Adventure Comics. In 1939 he collaborated with writer Bill Finger to create a new strip for Detective Comics: “The Bat-Man.” The rest is history! Inducted 1998

Gil Kane

Gil Kane
Gil
Kane

1926-2000

As a penciller, Gil Kane lent his distinctive style to numerous DC and Marvel titles beginning in the 1950s, including drawing more than 900 covers for Marvel starting in the late 1960s. His work at DC on such titles as Green Lantern and The Atom is highly revered by fans, as is his work at Marvel on Amazing Spider-Man, and many other titles. In the 1970s, he was Marvel’s main cover artist. Inducted 1997

Robert Kanigher

Robert Kanigher
Robert
Kanigher

1915-2002

In the mid-1940s Robert Kanigher wrote the Justice Society of America, Hawkman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman (which he also edited). In 1952 he took over writing and editing the Big Five DC war titles and created Sgt. Rock, Enemy Ace, and The Unknown Soldier (all with Joe Kubert) and The Haunted Tank (with Russ Heath). In the late 1950s and early 1960s he was involved in creating such characters as Viking Prince, the Metal Men, and Poison Ivy. He also scripted the first appearance of the Flash in Showcase #4, the comic often credited as launching the Silver Age of Comics. Inducted 2007

Walt Kelly

Will Eisner Hall of Fame
Walt
Kelly

1913-1973

Walt Kelly created the denizens of the Okeefenokee swamp, including Pogo Possum, Albert the Alligator, Miz Mamselle Hepzibah, and Porkypine. His Pogo was one of the great sophisticated comics strips, imbued with great humor, sublime satire, and transcendental cartooning. Inducted 1995

Frank King

Will Eisner Hall of Fame
Frank
King

1883-1969

With Gasoline Alley, Frank King created a neighborhood full of interesting characters who did something no other comics characters did: they aged. He was also a master of the Sunday newspaper page, utilizing it to its full potential by often creating a full-page image and dividing it into panels. Inducted 2001

Jack Kirby

Jack Kirby

Photo by Jackie Estrada

Jack
Kirby

1917-1994

The “King” of the comic book artists, Jack Kirby was there from the beginning, co-creating Captain America in the Golden Age, whole genres such as romance comics in the 1940s, and the “Marvel Age of Comics” in the 1960s. He gave the distinctive look to such characters as the Fantastic Four, Thor, the Silver Surfer, the Avengers, and hundreds of other characters. In the 1970s he created the “Fourth World” for DC, giving birth to such characters as Darkseid, the Demon, and Mr. Miracle. Inducted 1987

Denis Kitchen

Denis Kitchen

Photo by Tony Amat

Denis
Kitchen

1946–

Denis Kitchen started out as an underground cartoonist. After self-publishing his own work in 1969, he founded Kitchen Sink Press in 1970. Under the name of the Krupp Syndicate, he distributed comic strips to almost 50 underground and college newspapers. Over the course of the next few decades Kitchen Sink published such cartoonists as R. Crumb, Art Spiegelman, S. Clay Wilson, Howard Cruse, Harvey Kurtzman, Will Eisner, Al Capp, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Scott McCloud, and dozens more. In 1986 Denis founded the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, and he served as the fund’s president until his retirement in 2004. Inducted 2015

Kazuo Koike

Will Eisner Hall of Fame
Kazuo
Koike

1936-

Kazuo Koike is the co-creator and writer of such classic Japanese comics series as Lone Wolf and Cub, Samurai Executioner, and Crying Freeman. He is also an influential educator, having established the Gekikia Sonjuka, a college course that teaches manga, and mentoring a whole new generation of mangaka (comics artists). Inducted 2004