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Bill Finger Award

Bill Finger

Bill Finger by Jerry Robinson

Elliot S! Maggin, Richard E. Hughes to Receive 2016 Bill Finger Award

Comic-Con International is proud to announce that Elliot S! Maggin and Richard E. Hughes have been selected to receive the 2015 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.

"Once again, I asked on my blog for suggestions of worthy recipients," Evanier explains. "We wound up with a lot of worthy names from which to choose, but these two seemed the worthiest."

The Bill Finger Award was created in 2005 on the suggestion 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 recognition for his role in the creation of Batman, he’s still the industry poster boy for writers not receiving proper reward or recognition." Evanier will present the awards during the Eisner Awards ceremony on the evening of Friday, July 22 at the San Diego Hilton Bayfront.


Elliot S! Maggin, 2015 Bill Finger Award Recipient
Elliot S! Maggin

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, 2015 Bill Finger Award Recipient
Richard E. Hughes

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.


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.

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 major sponsor for the 2016 awards is DC Comics; supporting sponsors are Heritage Auctions and Maggie Thompson.

The Finger Award falls under the auspices of Comic-Con International: San Diego and is administered by Jackie Estrada.

Bill Finger Award Recipients
  • 2015: Don McGregor, John Stanley
  • 2014: Robert Kanigher, Bill Mantlo, Jack Mendelsohn
  • 2013: Steve Gerber, Don Rosa
  • 2012: Frank Doyle, Steve Skeates
  • 2011: Bob Haney, Del Connell
  • 2010: Otto Binder, Gary Friedrich
  • 2009: John Broome, Frank Jacobs
  • 2008: Archie Goodwin, Larry Lieber
  • 2007: Gardner Fox, George Gladir
  • 2006: Harvey Kurtzman, Alvin Schwartz
  • 2005: Jerry Siegel, Arnold Drake