“Funeral in Foam,” by Casey Gilly and Raina Telgemeier, in You Died: An Anthology of the Afterlife (Iron Circus)
BEST SINGLE ISSUE/ONE-SHOT (MUST BE ABLE TO STAND ALONE)
Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons, by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Phil Jimenez (DC)
BEST CONTINUING SERIES
Bitter Root, by David F. Walker, Chuck Brown, and Sanford Greene (Image)
Something Is Killing the Children, by James Tynion IV and Werther Dell’Edera (BOOM! Studios)
BEST LIMITED SERIES
The Good Asian, by Pornsak Pichetshote and Alexandre Tefenkgi (Image)
BEST NEW SERIES
The Nice House on the Lake, by James Tynion IV and Álvaro Martínez Bueno (DC Black Label)
BEST PUBLICATION FOR EARLY READERS (UP TO AGE 8)
Chibi Usagi: Attack of the Heebie Chibis, by Julie and Stan Sakai (IDW)
BEST PUBLICATION FOR KIDS (AGES 9-12)
Salt Magic, by Hope Larson and Rebecca Mock (Margaret Ferguson Books/Holiday House)
BEST PUBLICATION FOR TEENS (AGES 13-17)
The Legend of Auntie Po, by Shing Yin Khor (Kokila/Penguin Random House)
BEST HUMOR PUBLICATION
Not All Robots, by Mark Russell and Mike Deodato Jr. (AWA Upshot)
You Died: An Anthology of the Afterlife, edited by Kel McDonald and Andrea Purcell (Iron Circus)
BEST REALITY-BASED WORK
The Black Panther Party: A Graphic History, by David F. Walker and Marcus Kwame Anderson (Ten Speed Press)
BEST GRAPHIC MEMOIR
Run: Book One, by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, L. Fury, and Nate Powell (Abrams ComicArts)
BEST GRAPHIC ALBUM—NEW
Monsters, by Barry Windsor-Smith (Fantagraphics)
BEST GRAPHIC ALBUM—REPRINT
The Complete American Gods, by Neil Gaiman, P. Craig Russell, and Scott Hampton (Dark Horse)
BEST ADAPTATION FROM ANOTHER MEDIUM
George Orwell’s 1984: The Graphic Novel, adapted by Fido Nesti (Mariner Books)
BEST U.S. EDITION OF INTERNATIONAL MATERIAL
The Shadow of a Man, by Benoît Peeters and François Schuiten, translation by Stephen D. Smith (IDW)
BEST U.S. EDITION OF INTERNATIONAL MATERIAL—ASIA
Lovesickness: Junji Ito Story Collection, by Junji Ito, translation by Jocelyne Allen (VIZ Media)
BEST ARCHIVAL COLLECTION/PROJECT—STRIPS (AT LEAST 20 YEARS OLD)
Popeye: The E.C. Segar Sundays, vol. 1 by E.C. Segar, edited by Gary Groth and Conrad Groth (Fantagraphics)
BEST ARCHIVAL COLLECTION/PROJECT—COMIC BOOKS (AT LEAST 20 YEARS OLD)
EC Covers Artist’s Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
James Tynion IV, House of Slaughter, Something Is Killing the Children, Wynd (BOOM! Studios); The Nice House on the Lake, The Joker, Batman, DC Pride 2021 (DC); The Department of Truth (Image); Blue Book, Razorblades (Tiny Onion Studios)
Barry Windsor-Smith, Monsters (Fantagraphics)
BEST PENCILLER/INKER OR PENCILLER/INKER TEAM
Phil Jimenez, Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons (DC)
BEST PAINTER/MULTIMEDIA ARTIST (INTERIOR ART)
Sana Takeda, Monstress (Image)
BEST COVER ARTIST
Jen Bartel, Future State Immortal Wonder Woman #1 & 2, Wonder Woman Black & Gold #1, Wonder Woman 80th Anniversary (DC); Women’s History Month variant covers (Marvel)
Matt Wilson, Undiscovered Country (Image); Fire Power (Image Skybound); Eternals, Thor,Wolverine (Marvel); Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters (Oni)
Barry Windsor-Smith, Monsters (Fantagraphics)
BEST COMICS-RELATED PERIODICAL/JOURNALISM
WomenWriteAboutComics.com, edited by Wendy Browne and Nola Pfau (WWAC)
BEST COMICS-RELATED BOOK
All of the Marvels, by Douglas Wolk (Penguin Press)
BEST ACADEMIC/SCHOLARLY WORK
Comics and the Origins of Manga: A Revisionist History, by Eike Exner (Rutgers University Press)
“We’re excited to be back presenting awards in our original format,” Evanier noted. “And we couldn’t have better recipients than these two men, whose work in comics never received the recognition it deserved. Too often, they worked in utter anonymity, creating work that is fondly remembered even if those who enjoyed it were unaware of its authors’ names.”
The Bill Finger Award was created in 2005 thanks to the late comic book legend Jerry Robinson, who proposed it to honor the memory of his friend, Bill Finger. According to Evanier, “At the time, though everyone knew Batman and his supporting cast, not nearly enough knew Mr. Finger and his vital contributions to the creation of that beloved hero. Finger’s name now appears on Batman movies and comic books, and we want to keep it on this award, as he’s still the industry poster boy for writers not receiving proper reward or attention.”
Bob Bolling was born on June 9, 1928, in Brockton, MA. His parents were scientists, but all Bob wanted to do was write and draw. He drew for his high school newspaper, then did a four-year stint in the U.S. Navy, after which he studied at the Vesper George School of Art in Boston and finally at the School of Visual Arts in New York, where he studied under master illustrator Burne Hogarth. Bolling worked briefly on a short-lived newspaper strip called Marlin Keel before a friend recommended him to Archie editor Harry Shorten. Shorten liked the young man’s work, and in 1954 Bolling began a 50-year association with the publisher, interrupted only briefly in 1985 when he drew Wally the Wizard for Marvel’s Star line of comics for younger readers.
Otherwise. Bolling worked for Archie—at first, mainly on a “Dennis the Menace”–like character named Pat the Brat. His skills at handling kids of that age led to his most esteemed work in 1956, when he inaugurated the Little Archie series, writing and drawing some of the most memorable comics to ever come from that company. It was also one of its bestselling and was quickly promoted from standard to giant-size, with additional spinoffs as well. Later, he also did many stories for the better-known teen version of Archie with work in Life With Archie, Betty, Betty and Me, Sabrina, and others, along with more tales of Little Archie that are avidly collected and treasured. Bolling began painting in the 1980s and turned to that full time after retiring in the early 2000s. He is unable to attend the awards ceremony, but he will be receiving his award plaque before then.
Donato “Don” Rico (1912–1985) was one of the first writer/artists in comic books, starting with a story in Fantastic Comics #1 (Dec. 1939) from Victor Fox’s outfit, where so many began their careers. His work soon appeared in publications from Fiction House and from Lev Gleason Publications, where he worked on Silver Streak and on the first comics character to bear the name Daredevil. Many of the stories he wrote and drew there were signed with the name of Charles Biro. Rico joined Timely (now Marvel) in late 1941, in time to work on a back-up story in Captain America #13 and to later contribute many stories of Captain America, The Human Torch, the Whizzer, Sub-Mariner, the Blonde Phantom, Venus, and the Young Allies.
Beginning as a fine artist whose work is still in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and other museums, he also wrote novels and screenplays, leaving and rejoining Timely/Atlas many times. He eventually worked there mainly as a writer and editor, contributing to their horror and western comics and specializing in jungle girl comics such as Jann of the Jungle and Leopard Girl, both of which he co-created. In the 1960s, he specialized in paperback novels but wrote three stories for Marvel under the name “N. Korok.” In one, an Iron Man tale, he co-created The Black Widow, who would become one of Marvel’s most popular characters. His later work was mainly for film and television, but he was a featured guest at many of the early years of Comic-Con, and he co-founded C.A.P.S., the Comic Art Professional Society, with Sergio Aragonés and Mark Evanier. His Finger Award will be accepted by his widow, actress Michele Hart, and his son, Buz Rico.
The Bill Finger Award selection committee consists of Mark Evanier, Charles Kochman (executive editor at Harry N. Abrams, book publisher), comic book writer Kurt Busiek, artist/historian Jim Amash, cartoonist Scott Shaw!, and writer/editor Marv Wolfman.
The awards will be presented during the Eisner Awards ceremony at this summer’s Comic-Con on Friday, July 22.
“Since we are not yet in a position to honor a writer who is still with us in a proper ceremony, we’re going to a long list of comic book writers from the past who we feel did not receive sufficient recognition or reward for their contributions to the field. As with last year, we have selected six posthumous awards and no ‘alive’ award,” Evanier explained. “Each of these six writers left us with a body of work that the judges deem worthy of this honor.”
This year’s recipient list includes two of the most prolific writers to ever work in comics—and there are several others who have received or may soon receive this award who unquestionably count among the most prolific ever. The Finger Award committee takes no position as to which of them was the most prolific. Such a determination might require records that no longer exist (or never existed), as well as distinguishing between writing the most stories and writing the most pages. “All of these writers deserve recognition,” Evanier remarked. He added, “Everyone should remember that it’s tough to determine precise totals when you’re recognizing writers who did not receive credit for most of their work or, in some cases, didn’t receive any credit at all.”
The Bill Finger Award was created in 2005 at the instigation of Finger’s friend and colleague, Jerry Robinson, who felt that Finger had received way too little credit and compensation for his work in comics, especially regarding Batman and that character’s supporting cast and mythos. As Evanier explains, “Though Bill Finger now receives a lot more recognition than he received in his lifetime, there are still so many who have not, and that’s why we keep giving out these awards.” Here are this year’s recipients, in alphabetical order.
In addition to Evanier, the Finger Award selection committee consists of Charles Kochman (executive editor at Harry N. Abrams, book publisher), comic book writer Kurt Busiek, artist/historian Jim Amash, cartoonist Scott Shaw!, and writer/editor Marv Wolfman.
This year’s recipients are, in alphabetical order:
Robert Bernstein (1919–1988)
A former high school English teacher, Robert Bernstein began writing comic books around 1945, working for, among other companies, Fox, Hillman, Harvey, and Spark, though his longest association then was with Lev Gleason. There, he joined the ranks of ghostwriters for Charles Biro on the top-selling Crime Does Not Pay and similar comics. In the 1950s, Bernstein wrote war, western, and horror scripts for Atlas (later known as Marvel) and for EC Comics, where his scripts appeared in Valor, Impact ,and M.D., among others. He is also said to have written the entirety of the short-lived EC series Psychoanalysis and to have patterned one of its recurring characters, Mark Stone, on himself and his own experiences undergoing analysis. His major account during the fifties, though, was DC Comics, where between 1952 and 1968 he wrote countless stories featuring Superman, Superboy, Supergirl, Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane, Aquaman, Green Arrow, Congo Bill, and Congorilla as well as scripts for all of the company’s war and romance titles. In the 1960s, he also wrote Iron Man, Thor, and The Human Torch stories for Marvel under the name “R. Berns,” and without credit he wrote The Fly, The Jaguar, The Shadow, and other books for the Archie line. Throughout most of his career, he was also functioning as an impresario, arranging and promoting concerts in Long Island, New York (his longtime residence) and around the state. In 1968, he curtailed his comic book writing to focus on the music; he died in 1988.
Audrey “Toni” Blum (1918–1973)
Audrey “Toni” Blum was very likely the first female comic book writer/creator. The daughter of artist Alex Blum, she worked under an array of pen names—or with no credits at all—so it is difficult to determine her first work. It may have been in 1936–1937 on “The Vikings,” published in New Comics (later Adventure Comics) for DC. Whatever the date of her entry into the field, it made her one of the few women creating comic book material who wasn’t lettering or coloring. She began working for the Eisner-Iger shop in 1938 and wrote stories in a wide variety of genres, usually directly with Eisner and the artists who drew her stories. Some of this writing was done in what later became known as “The Marvel Method” and some was done as complete scripts. Her best-known work was for Quality Comics, where she wrote Black Condor, The Ray, Dollman, and Uncle Sam. She also reportedly wrote scripts for the “The Spirit” and “Lady Luck” Sunday newspaper comic book inserts Eisner produced. During World War II, she married shop artist Bill Bossert, and she largely retired from comic book writing when the War ended. Thereafter, she authored children’s books, and some sources say she wrote stories drawn by her father for Gilberton’s Classics Illustrated series. She passed away in 2020.
Vic Lockman (1927–2017)
Born into a vaudeville family (his father was the aptly named escape artist Earl Lockman), Vic Lockman broke into comics in 1950 as a letterer for the Dell Comics created by Western Publishing. He worked briefly in editorial for Western but soon moved into freelancing. While he occasionally pencilled, lettered, and/or inked comics for Dell, his main output for the next 29 years was as a writer, producing more stories for the firm’s “funny animal” comics than any other freelancer. During his most prolific period (1955–1984), he claimed to have written one story per day. Some were one-pagers or puzzle pages, a few were book-length, but most were 4 to 8 pages, submitted in “sketch” format with rough drawings and all of the copy handwritten. Western’s editors did not buy every submission, and some of what they passed on was purchased by the Disney Studios for its foreign comics program that created comics not published in America. That and interviews with his editors made credible Lockman’s claim of having sold more than 7,000 scripts. His work appeared in Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, Uncle Scrooge, Goofy, and all the Disney comics produced by Western, along with tales of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tweety & Sylvester, Woody Woodpecker, Andy Panda, and dozens more. He was said to have created the Disney comic book character Moby Duck and to have developed and written The Wacky Adventures of Cracky. Lockman also wrote Terrytoons comics such as Mighty Mouse for St. John Publishing and Dennis the Menace comics for Hank Ketcham, but his most passionate work was for the Christian marketplace, where he published dozens of books and tracts, most of them featuring his writing and drawing on religion and controversial topics of the day. Lockman left this world in 2017.
Robert Morales (1958–2013)
Born in New York City and of Afro-Puerto Rican descent, Morales broke into writing for magazines such as Heavy Metal and Publishers Weekly. Moving into the world of entertainment journalism, he worked as executive editor of the music and pop culture magazine Reflex and at Quincy Jones’s Vibe magazine, where he gave greater exposure to the work of cartoonists such as Chris Ware, Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez, Jeff Smith, and Kyle Baker. Morales and Baker collaborated on several projects, including perhaps Morales’s best-known work in comics, the groundbreaking seven-issue miniseries for Marvel Truth: Red, White & Black. Published in 2003, it introduced the African American character Isaiah Bradley. Using World War II and the Tuskegee medical atrocities as their canvas, Morales and Baker crafted a stark tale that explored America’s history of racial injustice and medical experimentation on African Americans. The story revealed that Bradley was the first successful recipient of the super-soldier serum, which would later transform serviceman Steve Rogers into Captain America, and established Bradley as the first Captain America. Most recently, a version of the character appeared in the 2021 television series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, raising awareness for Morales and his work that is long overdue. Morales would go on to write a celebrated run of the monthly Captain America series for Marvel in 2004. He passed away unexpectedly on April 18, 2013, at the age of 54.
Paul S. Newman (1924–1999)
Hailed in the Guinness Book of World Recordsas the all-time most prolific comic book writer, Paul S. Newman is credited with more than 4,100 published stories totaling approximately 36,000 pages. His earliest credit seems to have been in 1947 for DC’s teen comic A Date With Judy. Within months, though, he was selling scripts to Avon Comics, the American Comics Group, Fawcett Comics, Timely (Marvel), Hillman, Fiction House, and many others. His longest runs were writing The Lone Ranger and Turok, Son of Stone for Western Publishing in tandem with Dell Comics. In fact, when Western and Dell severed their partnership and split into two separate lines of comics in 1962, Newman was among the few contributors to then work for both houses. A very partial list of the comics he wrote would include Doctor Solar, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Plastic Man, Prince Valiant, Smokey the Bear, The Sub-Mariner, Mighty Mouse, I Love Lucy, Gunsmoke, Hopalong Cassidy, Kid Colt, Fat Albert, Gene Autry, The Twilight Zone, Jungle Jim, Leave It to Beaver, Captain Video, Yosemite Sam, Patsy Walker, Zorro, Nancy and Sluggo, and Mr. Ed, plus almost every anthology title published by Atlas/Marvel during the fifties or Western during the following three decades. All of this was in addition to dozens of young adult novels written for Western Publishing, movie scripts, and the newspaper strips of Robin Malone, Smokey the Bear, The Lone Ranger, Laugh-In, and Tom Corbett, Space Cadet. Paul S. Newman passed away in 1999.
Robert “Bob” White (1928–2005)
Bob White was the creator, writer, and artist of Archie Comics’ Cosmo the Merry Martian humorous sci-fi series. Between 1954 and 1968, he worked prolifically as a penciller/inker and sometimes writer on many Archie-related titles, including Archie and Me, Archie as Pureheart the Powerful, Archie’s Jokebook, Archie’s Madhouse, Archie’s Mechanics, Betty and Veronica, Jughead, Reggie and Me, and of course, just plain Archie. His most acclaimed work for the company was probably his stint on Archie and Me, writing and drawing many of the action/adventure-ish full-length stories for the title’s early issues, as well as plenty of memorable covers. He also wrote stories about The Shield, Black Hood, and The Web for Archie’s 1960s superhero line, Mighty Comics. His stint with the company came to an end in 1968 because, he said, he was found to be “moonlighting” on Tippy Teen for rival Tower Comics. White was so discouraged by this that he opted to leave the comic book industry altogether and switch careers. He labored in the emerging field of computer programming for the remainder of his working days and passed away in 2005.
“In a year where Comic-Con cannot take place, it seemed wrong to honor, as we usually do, one posthumous writer and one who is still with us,” Evanier explained. “The one who is still with us would be denied the full honors of being brought to the convention and presented with the award onstage. Therefore, after much discussion, we decided to instead present no ‘alive’ award this year, and, assuming there is a convention in 2021, we will present two of those awards then. For 2020, we have selected six writers from the dozens who have been nominated to receive the posthumous award. Each of these six during their time in the industry produced a body of work that the judges deem worthy of more recognition and/or reward than it has received.”
The Bill Finger Award was created in 2005 at the suggestion of the late Jerry Robinson, who worked with Finger, knew him, and was disturbed that Bill had received so little credit and compensation for his work in comics, especially with regard to Batman and that character’s supporting cast and world. As Evanier explains, “Though Bill Finger now receives a lot more recognition than he received in his lifetime, there are still many who do not, and that’s why we keep giving out these awards.”
In addition to Evanier, the Finger Award selection committee consists of Charles Kochman (executive editor at Harry N. Abrams, book publisher), comic book writer Kurt Busiek, artist/historian Jim Amash, cartoonist Scott Shaw!, and writer/editor Marv Wolfman.
This year’s recipients are, in alphabetical order:
Virginia Hubbell Bloch (1914-2006)
The writing of Virginia Hubbell Bloch—almost wholly uncredited, some signed by others—could be found for years in the pages of Lev Gleason Publications, MLJ Comics, and Dell Comics in the forties and fifties. A poet and copywriter before she met her first husband, comic book artist Cari Hubbell, she began writing scripts, some drawn by her husband and some not, in 1941 for MLJ, which would later be known as the Archie company. That was where she met editor-writer Charles Biro, who encouraged her to write comics and who went on to become the most famous comic book writer of his day, often credited on covers. Artists who worked for him at Lev Gleason later told historians that many of the scripts credited to Biro were clearly ghostwritten by Virginia Hubbell, especially for the popular Boy Comics and the Lev Gleason version of Daredevil. On her own, she also wrote for Marvel, St. John, and Western Publishing, where she mainly wrote Little Lulu. She also wrote plays and children’s books, credited (when she was credited) as Virginia Bloch after she divorced Carl and remarried.
Nicola Cuti (1944-2020)
Nick Cuti began his writing (and drawing) career in 1968 with the self-published underground comic book Moonchild, much of which was done while he was serving in the Air Force. After his service, the popularity of Moonchild led to a series of jobs, including working for animator Ralph Bakshi, assisting artist Wally Wood, and serving as an assistant editor and writer at Charlton. Charlton led to Warren Publishing, and Warren led to DC. Along the way, he co-created E-Man and a spinoff comic, Michael Mauser, with artist Joe Staton. Cuti’s writing for those comics won great critical acclaim, especially in bringing a fresh approach and a healthy sense of humor to a superhero title like E-Man. He later worked extensively as an artist in animation, as a writer-producer of short independent films, and an author of both text and graphic novels, some of which revived his beloved Moonchild. Nick left us earlier this year, and we look forward to a representative of his family joining us at the 2021 ceremony for a more formal recognition of his work.
Leo Dorfman (1914-1974)
Leo Dorfman began his comic book writing career in 1950, following years of writing mystery and romance novels under a wide array of pseudonyms. Utterly uncredited for most of his first two decades in comics, he first worked for Fawcett Comics until they cut back in production and sent all their freelancers scurrying for other markets. It wasn’t until 1957 that he connected with Western Publishing, writing westerns based on TV shows such as Cheyenne and Gunsmoke at first, later segueing to The Twilight Zone, Boris Karloff’s Tales of Mystery, Ripley’s Believe it or Not, and other comics filled with ghost stories. In 1960, he began writing for Mort Weisinger at DC, contributing to the world of Superman with tales not only about the Man of Steel but also Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane, Superboy, and Supergirl. Among his many contributions to the mythos was that In Superboy, he introduced the character of Pete Ross. He also penned “The Amazing Story of Superman-Red and Superman-Blue!”, which ran in a 1963 issue and was considered one of the most memorable stories to ever grace the Superman comic book. At the same time, he wrote hundreds of stories for Western under the Dell and Gold Key imprints and hundreds more for DC. In 1971, he launched the comic Ghosts for DC, filling it with allegedly true tales of the unexplainable and quickly becoming the top seller of all the DC titles that offered such stories in anthology format.
Gaylord DuBois (1899-1993)
Gaylord DuBois spent over 30 years writing comic books and children’s books for Western Publishing, the comics appearing under the Dell and Gold Key imprints. His work for them included thousands of scripts for well-known properties including The Lone Ranger, Red Ryder, Bat Masterson, National Velvet, Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, and Roy Rogers, as well as stories featuring his own co-creations, The Jungle Twins, Brothers of the Spear, and Turok, Son of Stone. Between 1947 and 1971, he wrote an estimated 95 percent of all the comics Western produced of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan of the Apes. During his run on it, the Tarzan comic book was consistently one of the top-selling comics in America; in the sixties, so was a comic DuBois wrote every issue of except the first: Space Family Robinson. During this time, he also wrote novels, Big Little Books, and other text-based publications for Western, many of them featuring the same characters. In his last years, DuBois—a devout Christian who occasionally taught Sunday school or filled in for a pastor on vacation—authored several Christian-focused comic books and books of inspirational poetry.
Joe Gill (1919-2006)
Suggested by some as the most prolific comic book writer of all time, Joe Gill began his career in the mid-1940s, working for his brother Ray Gill at Funnies, Inc., a company that created content for many comic book publishers. Soon, Joe was working directly for most of those publishers, including a staff job at Timely (now Marvel), where he wrote The Human Torch, Captain America, and, from all reports, every kind of comic they published. Around 1948 when Timely laid off a number of staffers, Gill connected with Charlton Comics, where he wrote a minimum of one comic a week until the firm ceased publishing in 1986. Some who worked with him claimed it was more like one comic per day, which was what it took to make a decent living for a company that paid such low rates. Few Charlton titles during those years did not feature some Joe Gill scripts, but the best remembered books would include Konga, Gorgo, Billy the Kid, Cheyenne Kid, Ghostly Tales, The Many Ghosts of Dr. Graves, The Phantom, Flash Gordon, Popeye, Tales of the Mysterious Traveler, and all the other western, war, romance, and ghostly titles. He was the co-creator of Captain Atom, Peacemaker, The Fightin’ Five, and Sarge Steel, among others. He also worked briefly for DC, Dell, and a few other publishers, but just his astounding output for Charlton earns him a Finger Award.
France Edward Herron (1917-1966)
France “Eddie” Herron was referred to as “the first comic book writer” by some of his contemporaries. The honor is arguable, but he was writing and editing as early as 1937, mainly for the Harry “A” Chesler studio, which produced comic book material for several publishers. He worked for Centaur Comics, then for Victor Fox’s outfit, which is where he met and began a long association with Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. Among the other companies he worked for, often simultaneously, were Timely (where he worked with Joe and Jack on Captain America and co-created The Red Skull), Quality Comics, and Fawcett (where he wrote many early stories of the original Captain Marvel and co-created Captain Marvel Jr.). In 1945, he began a long association with DC Comics, where he often wrote Superman and Batman stories, and he was the main writer for long stints on Boy Commandos, Green Arrow, Challengers of the Unknown, and Tomahawk. His scripts appeared in all their war, western, romance, crime, and mystery titles, and he co-created the character, Cave Carson. Among the many newspaper strips he authored were Bat Masterson, Davy Crockett, Rip Tide, and Captain Midnight.
The selection was made by a committee composed of writer-historian
Mark Evanier (chair), Charles
Kochman (executive editor at Harry N. Abrams, book publisher), comic book
writer Kurt Busiek, artist/historian Jim Amash, cartoonist Scott Shaw!, and
writer/editor Marv Wolfman.
began his writing career as a teenager, incessantly writing letters of comment
to comics publishers. Over 50 of them appeared in print, and by the age of 18
he was writing professionally, at first for DC with scripts for Batman, The
Flash, The Spectre, Challengers of the Unknown, Green Lantern, Teen Titans,
House of Mystery, The Phantom Stranger, and many others, including an
extended run as writer of Justice League of America. In 1972 he moved to
Marvel, where he served as writer of Iron Man, Ant-Man, Captain Marvel,
Warlock, Ka-Zar, and many more. He assisted artist Jim Starlin in
introducing the characters of Thanos and Drax, featured in the Avengers and
Guardians of the Galaxy movies. He then shifted to the business side of comics.
He was one of the first alternative comics publishers (Star*Reach, 1974–1979),
then created the Marvel Comics Direct Sales department (1980–1982), and then
founded the first business management company for comics artists and writers
(Star*Reach, 1982–2002). Along the way, he also co-founded WonderCon, ran
retailer trade shows, and became a union representative for research scientists
and research technicians at the University of California Berkeley. More
recently, he attended the Pacific School of Religion, where he obtained a
Master of Theological Studies degree, then was ordained by the United Methodist
Church. As Mike describes it, he started out writing stories about men who put
on costumes to bring justice into the world, now he puts on his own (religious)
costume to bring justice into the world.
Nelson Bridwell (1931–1987)
grew up in Oklahoma City reading comic books, science fiction, and practically
everything else he could get his hands on. His first published work was a text
story in Adventures into the Unknown #9 (Feb–March 1950), and as comics
began to feature letter pages, the name of E. Nelson Bridwell was often seen in
them. He had a letter published in MAD #27 in 1956 and began writing for
the magazine with MAD #34 the following year. He freelanced for MAD
and other magazines before landing a job with DC Comics in 1965 as an assistant
to editor Mort Weisinger. In addition to proofreading and handling mail,
Bridwell rewrote scripts (often extensively) and wrote scripts his own for
almost all the major DC features, including Superman, Batman, Superboy, Lois
Lane, Jimmy Olsen, and the Legion of Super-Heroes. He also wrote his own
co-creations including The Inferior Five, The Secret Six, and The
Angel and the Ape, and did notable runs on Shazam! and Super-Friends.
His writing was marked by a wicked sense of humor and a strong devotion to
depicting others’ characters faithfully and always in accord with their
established histories. All of this was in addition to serving as editor for the
firm and the house expert on DC history and continuity, as well as selecting
most of the stories for reprinting during his time there. When Bill Finger’s
(and other writers’) names started appearing on reprints of their work, it was
because Nelson Bridwell made sure they were added. He cut back his work for DC
in the early eighties and died from lung cancer in January of 1987.
Bill Finger Award was created in 2005 thanks to a proposal by the late comic
book legend Jerry Robinson, who knew and worked with Finger. Evanier explained,
“We need to point out those wonderful bodies of work by writers who have
not received their rightful reward and/or recognition,” “When this
award began, the late Bill Finger received almost no credit for his role in the
creation of Batman. He does now, but there are still plenty of writers who have
not received their proper rewards and/or recognition.”
The awards will be presented during the Eisner Awards ceremony
on July 19.
The selection was made by a committee chaired by writer-historian Mark Evanier, Charles Kochman (executive editor at Harry N. Abrams, book publisher), comic book writer Kurt Busiek, artist/historian Jim Amash, cartoonist Scott Shaw!, and writer/editor Marv Wolfman.
“We’re really excited about this one,” Evanier explains. “The comic book industry employed too few women in its early decades. Back when this year’s honorees were active, their gender was horribly unrepresented among the creative talents that made the comics—and what few there were went totally unrecognized. The work of these two extraordinary ladies deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated.”
Joye Hummel Murchison Kelly
Joye Hummel Murchison Kelly was 20 years old in 1944 when she began working for Dr. William Moulton Marston on Wonder Woman. She had recently graduated from the Katherine Gibbs School in New York, where she had taken a psychology class from Dr. Marston. He had written almost all the scripts for his Amazon Princess and found himself in need of an assistant writer he could school in the precise way he wanted the heroine depicted, and Joye Hummel, as she was then named, learned quickly. Soon she was writing scripts on her own, mainly in Marston’s New York office, where she also worked alongside Wonder Woman’s artistic creator, Harry Peter. Like Marston’s own stories, her work appeared in three publications—Wonder Woman, Sensation Comics, and Comic Cavalcade—under the house byline “By Charles Moulton,” and none of it was credited to her. Her work appeared until 1947, and much of it has recently been reprinted to the delight of current readers. Ms. Kelly and her husband Jack will be traveling to Comic-Con so that she may accept her award in person and also appear on Saturday afternoon for a special spotlight interview: her first-ever visit to a comic book convention.
Dorothy Roubicek Woolfolk
Dorothy Roubicek Woolfolk (1913–2000) served as a writer/editor from 1942 to 1944 at All-American Publications, which was allied with (and soon absorbed by) the firm now known as DC Comics. She later worked, again as a writer/editor, for Timely Comics (now known as Marvel) and EC Comics. Much later, in the 1970s, she returned to comic book editing for DC, supervising, among others, Wonder Woman, Young Romance, and Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane. For all these companies, she occasionally freelanced scripts, working on her own or with her husband, the prolific writer William Woolfolk. Though much of her work was on so-called “girls’ comics” like the romance titles, she wrote for a great many superhero and adventure comics and is often credited with adding the element of Kryptonite to the Superman mythos. In her 1970s stint at DC, she discovered and gave work to a great many new writers and artists, both male and female. Her Finger Award will be accepted by her daughter, Donna Woolfolk Cross who, as a bestselling author herself, continues the family tradition.
The Bill Finger Award was created in 2005 via a proposal from the late comic book legend Jerry Robinson. “It’s to recognize and salute writers for a body of work that has not received its rightful reward and/or recognition,” says Evanier. “Even though the late Bill Finger now finally receives credit for his role in the creation of Batman, he’s still the industry poster boy for writers not receiving proper reward or attention.”
The Bill Finger Award honors the memory of William Finger (1914-1974), who was the first and, some say, most important writer of Batman. Many have called him the “unsung hero” of the character and have hailed his work not only on that iconic figure but on dozens of others, primarily for DC Comics.
The awards will be presented during the Eisner Awards ceremony on Friday, July 20.
Comicazi, Robert Howard, David Lockwood, Michael Burke. Somerville, MA
The five finalists were:
Comicazi, Robert Howard, David Lockwood, Michael Burke. Somerville, MA
The Comic Bug, Jun Goeku, Mike Wellman. Manhattan Beach, CA
Illusive Comics and Games, Anna Warren Cebrian. Santa Clara, CA
Kingpin Books, Mário Freitas. Lisbon, Portugal
Space Cadets Collection Collection, Jen King. Oak Ridge North, TX
The Spirit of Comics award judges were:
John Hertzler (actor, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
Josh Geppi (president, Diamond International Galleries)
Victoria Jamieson (graphic novelist, Roller Girl, The Great Pet Escape)
Adam Sherif (2016 Spirit Award winner, Orbital Comicz, London, UK)
Bill Morrison (executive editor, MAD magazine)
BILL FINGER AWARD WINNERS
RUSS MANNING AWARD
Anne Szabla, writer-artist of Bird Boy (Dark Horse)
The award is presented to a comics artist who, early in his or her career, shows a superior knowledge and ability in the art of creating comics. It is named for Russ Manning, the artist best known for his work on the Tarzan and Star Wars newspaper strips and the Magnus, Robot Fighter comic book, and a popular guest at the San Diego convention in the 1970s.
The 2017 nominees were:
Rafael de Latorre, artist of Animosity and Superzero (AfterShock)
Riana Dorsey, artist of Cloud Riders (Hashtag Comics)
Mindy Lee, artist of Bounty (Dark Horse)
Leila Leiz, artist of Alters (AfterShock)
Anne Szabla, writer/artist of Bird-Boy (Dark Horse)
JACK KIRBY first grabbed our attention in the spring of 1941 with Captain America, a character he created with Joe Simon. Kirby then followed this debut with a prolific output of comic books in the Western, Romance, and Monster genres–all a prelude to his defining work helping to create the foundations of the Marvel Universe. For the next decade, Kirby and co-creator Stan Lee would introduce a mind-boggling array of new characters and teams — including the Avengers, Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Silver Surfer, Ant-Man, Wasp, Black Panther, S.H.I.E.L.D., and the Inhumans. Kirby was inducted into the Eisner Hall of Fame’s 1987 inaugural class and continued creating comics throughout the ‘90s before passing away in 1994.
Other honorees of this year’s Legends Award are Carrie Fisher, Clyde “Gerry” Geronimi, Manuel Gonzales, Mark Hamill, Stan Lee, Garry Marshall, Julie Taymor, and Oprah Winfrey.
(2) BILL FINGER AWARD WINNERS. Jack Kirby, along with Bill Messner-Loebs, is also a winner of the 2017 Bill Finger Award presented by Comic-Con International.
Bill Messner-Loebs and Jack Kirby have been selected to receive the 2017 Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing. The selection, made by a blue-ribbon committee chaired by writer-historian Mark Evanier, was unanimous.
“As always, I asked on my blog for suggestions of worthy recipients,” Evanier explains. “Many were nominated and the committee chose Bill as the worthiest of those still alive and working, and Jack because although his artwork has always been justly hailed, his contribution as a writer has been too often minimized or overlooked. In fact, in the years we’ve been doing this award, Jack Kirby has received many more nominations than anyone else, but we held off honoring him until this year because it seemed appropriate to finally do it in the centennial of his birth, and because members of his family will be at Comic-Con to accept on his behalf.”
The Bill Finger Award was created in 2005 at the instigation of comic book legend Jerry Robinson. “The premise of this award is to recognize writers for a body of work that has not received its rightful reward and/or recognition,” Evanier explains. “Even though the late Bill Finger now finally receives credit for his role in the creation of Batman, he’s still the industry poster boy for writers not receiving proper reward or recognition.”
Kirby’s history was covered in the first item. Here’s the citation for the second winner.
Bill Messner-Loebs has been a cartoonist and writer since the 1970s. He has worked for DC, Marvel, Comico, Power Comics, Texas Comics, Vertigo, Boom!, Image, IDW, and the U.S. State Department (for which he produced a comic about the perils of land mines). He has written Superman, Flash, Aquaman, Mr. Monster, Hawkman, Green Arrow, Wonder Woman, Dr. Fate, Jonny Quest, Spider-Man, Thor, and the Batman newspaper strip. He wrote and drew Journey: The Adventures of Wolverine MacAlistaire and Bliss Alley, and he co-created The Maxx and Epicurus the Sage. He has also delivered pizzas, done custom framing, been a library clerk, sold art supplies, and taught cartooning.
There is no freedom of speech on Facebook — Facebook is a corporation, like a newspaper or a television station. They are not obligated to protect your rights. You waived specific rights when you agreed to the terms of service —
But those terms of service have to be a two-way street. They represent a contract between service provider and consumer. And there must be a responsibility on the part of the service provider to protect the consumers from the abusive behavior of those who violate the social contract of our nation.
The social contract, you say? I’ve heard people argue, “I never agreed to a social contract.”
Actually, you agreed to it when you accepted the responsibility of being a citizen — you agreed to abide not only by the laws of the nation, but by the underlying promise of this land, the promise of liberty and justice for all.
So, I do not regard trolls as simply an internet annoyance — I regard them as human failures — as individuals who have forgotten the promise on which this nation was founded. They are not much better than caged chimpanzees who are good at screeching at the bars and throwing feces at anyone who gets to close.
Because in the great grand scheme of things, every moment of our lives is a moment of choice. We can choose to dream of the stars, or we can choose to wallow in the mud. We can choose to create something of value for ourselves and our families and our friends — or we can choose to destroy the well-being of others.
(4) TOLKIEN BIOGRAPHER AIDS CROWDFUNDING EFFORT. John Garth, author of Tolkien and the Great War, has donated signed copies of his book to the fundraising campaign for Oxford University’s project to document the First World War.
I’ve donated five signed copies of Tolkien and the Great War to help raise money for this appeal. It’s only thanks to the personal letters and photographs preserved by various Great War veterans, by families and by museums that I was able to bring to life the experiences of Tolkien and his friends in the training camps and trenches of the war. If you can donate, please do. Whether you can or can’t, please share this announcement:–
Win over £1,000/$1,000 worth of Tolkien Books… and Help Oxford University Save Items from World War One
Oxford University is currently crowd-funding a project to run a mass-digitization initiative of publicly-held material from the First World War and as is well known the experiences J. R. R. Tolkien underwent in 1916 in the Battle of the Somme had a profound effect on him and his writing. To assist with our major crowd-funding appeal we have been generously supported by Tolkien scholars and publishers, allowing us to present a prize draw opportunity to win three major publications amounting to over £1,000. Our sincerest thanks go to John Garth, Wiley/Blackwells, and Routledge for their help.
If you sponsor us by pledging £1 or more (or equivalent) you will be entered into a draw to win one of five copies signed by John Garth of his ‘Tolkien and the Great War’ (pbk, HarperCollins, 2011 – RRP: £9.99; $12.00; ‚¬11.99).
If you sponsor us by pledging £5 or more (or equivalent) you will also be entered into a draw to win one of three copies of ‘A Companion to J. R. R. Tolkien’ (hbk, Wiley/Blackwells, 2014) signed by the editor (RRP: £125; $140; ‚¬150).
Finally, if you sponsor us by pledging £10 or more (or equivalent) you will also be entered into a draw to a full set set of ‘J. R. R. Tolkien: Critical Assessments of Major Writers’ (4 volumes, hbk, Routledge, 2017) signed by the editor (RRP: £900; $1,180; ‚¬930)
In addition to these chances of winning, you will also be helping to save and preserve important objects from the First World War which are in danger of being lost on a daily basis.
We are raising £80,000 to train local communities across the UK to run digital collection days to record and save objects and stories of the generation who lived through World War One. Every item collected will then be published on November 11th 2018 through a free-to-use online database for schools, scholars, and the wider public.
But we cannot achieve this alone so please help by donating to support the training days, outreach activities, and the equipment we need.
saving the past for the future – world war one
2018 will mark the centennial anniversary of the end of World War One. Few families in Britain were unaffected by the conflict, and in thousands of attics across the country there are photographs, diaries, letters, and mementos that tell the story of a generation at war, of the loved ones who fought in the conflict, served on the home front, or lost fathers and mothers. Help us launch this national effort to digitally capture, safeguard, and share these important personal items and reminiscences from the men and women of 1914-1918. Help us support local digitisation events across village halls, community centres, schools, and libraries.
(5) THE FOUNDATION OF MIDDLE-EARTH. Josephine Livingstone reviews The Tale of Beren and Lúthien for New Republic in “J.R.R. Tolkien’s Love Story”.
And The Tale of Beren and Lúthien is more like a scholarly volume than a storybook. There are versions of the tale in verse, and versions in prose. There are versions where the villain is an enormous, evil cat, and versions where the villain is a wolf. Names change frequently. But instead of taking the “best text” route, where the editor chooses a single manuscript to bear witness to the lost story, Christopher Tolkien has offered up what remains and allowed the reader to choose. It’s a generous editorial act, and a fitting tribute in memoriam to his parents’ romance.
(6) MEDICAL UPDATE. Fanartist Steve Stiles sent this news about his diagnosis and treatment plans.
I just found out, via the lung specialist I saw the week before last, that I’m *NOT* having lung surgery at Sinai on the 20th, but rather a consultation re my “options” (would that be chemo vs. surgery? ), followed by *another* appointment to have a tube inserted down into my lung, which sounds like a whole bunch of fun. *THEN* I go in for surgery or whatever.
Looks like July is pretty well shot as far as having the two weekend cookouts with friends who we traditionally have over. It’s a drag, but considering the alternative….
With great sadness I learn that John Dalmas has died, either last night or early this morning; I understand he was in the hospital with pneumonia. Author of “The Yngling” and many other books, he was a good friend to MosCon and PESFA. You will be missed, Onkel !
Dalmas’ The Yngling, his first published sf, was serialized in Analog in 1969 and made especially memorable by Kelly Freas’ cover art.
(8) TRIVIAL TRIVIA
Ray Bradbury and Ralph Waldo Emerson are descendents of Mary Perkins Bradbury, who was sentenced to be hanged in 1692 in the Salem Witch trials, but managed to escape before her execution could take place.
(9) TODAY IN HISTORY
June 16, 1954 —Them! premiere in New York City.
June 16, 1978 — Jaws 2 swims into theaters.
(10) THAT THING YOU DIDN’T KNOW YOU NEEDED. The Golden Snitch Harry Potter Fidget Spinners are selling like hotcakes. Who knows if there will be any left by the time you read this? (I’m kidding — they’re all over the internet.)
(11) AWESOMECON. The Washington Post’s Michael Cavna, in “Over Awesome Con weekend, D.C. will prove its geek-to-wonk ratio”, previews Awesomecon, the Washington, D.C. comicon taking place this weekend. He talks about the celebrities who are coming, including Chris Hadfield, Edgar Wright, David Tennant, and Stan Lee, still hustling at 94. A sidebar has short items of some of the panels, including “CosLove Presents: #I Can Be A Hero, where cosplayers talk about the good deeds they do, like volunteering at hospitals. Finally, Manor Hill Brewing (which is at manorhillbrewing.com) has the official Awesomecon beer, Atomic Smash, which has a robot and an A-bomb!
So could King, who worked overseas with the agency’s counterterrorism unit after 9/11, ever see the Caped Crusader making it as a CIA agent?
“I can see Batman doing the job,” King says, but it is “harder to see him filling out the paperwork. And without good paperwork skills, you’ll never even make GS-12 in this town.”
This town, where sometimes the political wonk and comics geek are the same person.
This week Anime Expo, the biggest anime convention in the English speaking world, put a call out for volunteer interpreters. Anime Expo is far from a new event, and had over 100,000 attendees last year. How did they fail to account for the cost of professional interpreters when budgeting? If they can’t afford to pay interpreters, what hope do any of the smaller cons have?
Let’s be real: they didn’t fail to account for it, and they can afford it. AX is a big enough event in the fandom calendar that they could have bumped ticket prices up by under a dollar each to bring in the necessary funds. If for some reason that wasn’t an option, they’re a big enough name that they could even have crowdfunded it. There’s no good reason not to pay every single interpreter for their work. There are, however, a couple of bad ones.
The most generous reading of their actions is that not a single person on the entire AX staff understands what interpreting involves. More likely is that they considered it an unnecessary cost, knowing they could get enthusiastic amateurs to work for free without putting a value on their time. Ours is a culture of scanlators and fansubbers working for the love of it, right? Why not give these lucky worker bees a chance to meet some cool people and see behind the scenes of a big event?
….When I first saw the tweet from AX, it made me viscerally angry. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, to the point that I’ve written this post. What possible justification is there for this decision? What on earth made them think it would be acceptable? Were interpreters even discussed at the budgeting stage (and if not, why not)? Will they get their stable of unpaid amateur interpreters anyway, or will the outcry their tweet sparked make capable people steer clear? If they don’t get enough sufficiently capable volunteers, will they fork out for professionals or settle for people with a lower level of Japanese? What are their priorities in this situation? What were their priorities when they drew up this year’s budget?
(13) BATLIGHT. Here’s what it looked like when they flashed the Bat Signal on LA City Hall.
(14) SHARKES ON DUTY. The Shadow Clarke Jury’s latest reviews include coverage of two Hugo novel finalists (if you count that the Fifth Season one also covers the Obelisk Gate a bit.)
I wanted to begin this piece by noting that I put The Fifth Season at the top of my ballot for the Hugo last year — although this is somewhat undermined by the fact that I can no longer remember for sure if I actually voted. One time when I did actually vote was at the 2005 Glasgow Worldcon, where all that was required was posting a paper form into a ballot box in the dealers’ room. That year there was an all British shortlist suggesting perhaps that the domestic audience dominated the nomination process but also the then high international standing of British SFF. I voted for Iain M Banks’s The Algebraist, which was only on the ballot paper because Terry Pratchett had withdrawn Going Postal. The Hugo was won by Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, which I had read, loved, and placed last on my ballot because it was fantasy. In retrospect, I shouldn’t have been surprised at the result because J. K. Rowling and Neil Gaiman had won recently and, in any case, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell was probably the most substantial novel on that ballot. The only virtue I can now see in the decision I made at the time is that it served to reduce the difficulty of making a choice.
While an increasing number of writers have made strenuous and laudable efforts to confront the “boys’ own adventure’ stereotypes of core genre archetypes“ the most famous recent example being Ann Leckie’s Imperial Radch trilogy — progressive experimentation and stylistic complexity in terms of the text itself is much, much rarer and receives scant notice. When Yoon Ha Lee’s Ninefox Gambit turned up on this year’s Clarke Award shortlist, of the three books I’d not read already it was definitely the one I was most excited about. My encounters with Lee’s short fiction had left me with an impression of complex ideas nestled within a prose that was dense and highly coloured and often abstruse — pluses for me on all three counts. Would Ninefox Gambit prove to be my space opera holy grail: a thrilling adventure in terms of prose as well as high-concept, widescreen FX? I was eager to find out.
One of last year’s most famous, most advertised, most-clearly-recognized-as-science-fiction novels, on a shortlist almost entirely of famous, advertised novels–especially in relation to the rest of the 86-title submissions list–the inclusion of Ninefox Gambit on the Clarke shortlist was inevitable. Its reputation as a challenging narrative, its loyalty to standard genre form, and the requisite spaceship on the cover have established its place in the science fiction book award Goldilocks zone. If things go as they did last year and in 2014, it’s also a likely winner.
Although I’ve already made it clear this is not the kind of book I would normally value or enjoy, the placement of Ninefox Gambit on the Clarke shortlist is something I asked for last year, though not in such direct terms:
I agree with everything that McCalmont says about the novel’s structural flaws, and in particular the problematic subordination of Yoon Ha Lee’s speculative inventivity and complexity to the fascistic, bellicose form of military science fiction. However, I don’t fully recognize the novel from McCalmont’s description.
1) The novel reads like both science fiction and fantasy, but there are many ways to blur or to undercut the distinction. In the case of NINEFOX GAMBIT I think that the “fantasy” aspect is only superficial. It is derived from the fact that the “hard” science underlying the story is not physics but mathematics. It has this structural feature in common with Neal Stephenson’s ANATHEM, which nonetheless is a very different sort of novel….
People were asked their opinion on 150 words in total. These included general swear words, words linked to race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, body parts and health conditions, religious insults and sexual references, as well as certain hand gestures.
(17) MARVEL LEGACY 1. Sounds like Marvel is about to push the “reset” button.
An Asgardian titan. A Wakandan warrior bred to be a king. The very first Sorcerer Supreme.
Since its inception, Marvel has been delivering groundbreaking heroes and explosive stories. Now, prepare to return to the dawn of time, as Marvel introduces you to the first Avengers from 1,000,000 BC — when iconic torch-bearers such as Odin, Iron Fist, Star Brand, Ghost Rider, Phoenix, Agamotto, and Black Panther come together for the startling origin of the Marvel Universe, in MARVEL LEGACY #1!
The acclaimed team of writer Jason Aaron (Mighty Thor) and artist Esad Ribic (Secret Wars) reunite for an all-new 50-page blockbuster one-shot that will take you through time to the current Marvel Universe, showing you how it’s truly “all connected.” A true homage to Marvel’s groundbreaking stories, MARVEL LEGACY brings your favorite characters together for exciting and epic new stories that will culminate in returning to original series numbering for long-running titles.
“MARVEL LEGACY #1 isn’t simply a history lesson,” says SVP and Executive Editor Tom Brevoort. “Rather, it’s the starting gun to a bevy of mysteries and secrets and revelations that will reverberate across the Marvel Universe in the weeks and months to come! No character, no franchise will be untouched by the game-changing events that play out across its pages. Jason and Esad pulled out all the stops to fat-pack this colossal issue with as much intrigue, action, surprise, mystery, shock and adventure as possible!€
“MARVEL LEGACY #1 will present all fans — new readers and current readers — the very best jumping on point in the history of comics,” says Marvel Editor in Chief Axel Alonso. “What Jason and Esad have crafted is more grand and more gargantuan than anything we have ever seen before and introduces concepts and characters the Marvel Universe has never encountered. Fans are going to witness an all-new look at the Marvel Universe starting at one of the earliest moments in time carried all the way into present day. Not only will this be the catalyst for Marvel evolving and moving forward, but expect it to be the spark that will ignite the industry as a whole.”
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, Steve Stiles, and Mark-kitteh for some of these stories, and a hat tip to Petréa Mitchell. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jayne.]
Elliot S! Maggin and the late Richard E. Hughes have been selected to receive the 2016 Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing. The award is given under the auspices of San Diego Comic-Con International. Each year the selection committee, chaired by Mark Evanier, chooses two recipients, one living and one deceased, whose body of work “has not received its rightful reward and/or recognition.”
Elliot S! Maggin began his career the hard way, submitting a script completely on “spec” to DC Comics in 1971. Editor Julius Schwartz thought it was the best submission he’d seen in several decades and bought it. Before long, Maggin was writing for most of DC’s star characters with a special emphasis on Superman. He has published several novels, including the upcoming Not My Closet and the soon to be re-released Superman: Miracle Monday. Among his other comic book credits are Green Arrow, Archie’s Super-Teens, Batman, Justice League, Elseworlds, Hulk, Peter Parker, Strange Sports Stories, Wonder Woman, Shazam, Ellison’s Dark Corridors, Star Raiders, Joker, and a bunch of others, including a Marvel Classics version of Homer’s 24-book Iliad “crowbarred” (his term for what he did) into 48 pages. He has also taught at every grade level including adults, run twice for Congress, designed games and software, and raised horses, dogs, bees, and kids.
Richard E. Hughes (1909–1974) was one of the most prolific writers and editors to ever work in comics, so much so that his work was published under dozens of pen names ranging from “Ace Aquila” to “Zev Zimmer.” Even “Richard E. Hughes” was a pen name for the man born Leo Rosenbaum. “Hughes” began writing for advertising and pulps in the 1930s, and his first known comic book credits were for Pine Comics where he co-created and wrote Doc Strange (no relation to the later Marvel hero) for Thrilling Comics #1 in 1940. His best-known character of that era was probably The Black Terror for Standard Comics. He eventually assumed the editor position for publisher Ben Sangor and helmed Sangor’s American Comics Group, which published both funny comics and the first horror titles, such as Adventures Into the Unknown. Hughes wrote many of the scripts for years and almost all of them the last decade of ACG’s existence. His best-known work came in a 1958 issue of Forbidden Worlds, where he wrote and co-created the Fat Fury, Herbie Popnecker, who later spun off into his own, well-remembered comic book series of the sixties, Herbie.
In addition to Evanier, the selection committee consists of Charles Kochman (executive editor at Harry N. Abrams, book publisher), comic book writer Kurt Busiek, artist/historian Jim Amash, cartoonist Scott Shaw!, and writer/editor Marv Wolfman.
The Bill Finger Award honors the memory of William Finger (1914–1974), the first writer of Batman. Many have called him the “unsung hero” of the character. The award was created in 2005 at the instigation of Jerry Robinson.