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.

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

Bill Everett

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Will Eisner Hall of Fame
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-

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

Bill Finger

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Bill Finger

Art by Jerry Robinson

Bill
Finger

1914-1974

One of the unsung heroes of the Golden Age, Bill Finger, along with Bob Kane, co-created Batman. Besides writing the first Batman stories and the first Robin story, he is credited with dreaming up such villains as the Penguin and Catwoman. He also wrote the first Green Lantern story and is the namesake of Comic-Con International’s Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing. Inducted 1999

Harold R. Foster

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Harold R. Foster

Photo courtesy Harold R. Foster Estate

Harold R.
Foster

1892-1982

For decades Harold R. Foster produced gorgeous Sunday comic strips of Tarzan and his own creation, Prince Valiant, which he wrote and illustrated for almost 40 years. He is lauded by all as one of the great artists of the comic strip field. Inducted 1998

Gardner Fox

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Will Eisner Hall of Fame
Gardner
Fox

1911-1986

Gardner Fox was the first “full-time professional” comic book writer, with a career that spanned 34 years, from 1938 to 1972. In all, he churned out more than 4,000 scripts for DC, where he created the Flash, Sandman, Dr. Fate, Hawkman, Adam Strange, the Justice Society, and the Justice League, and he wrote for numerous other titles, from Batman to the Atom. Inducted 1999

Ramona Fradon

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Ramona Fradon
Ramona
Fradon

1927-

Working in what was primarily a men’s industry, Ramona Fradon drew comics for DC in the 1950s and 1960s, with a memorable run on Aquaman. She also co-created Metamorpho. After a hiatus in the late 1960s, she returned to DC to draw such titles as Plastic Man. She left DC in 1980 to bring her distinctive style the Brenda Starr newspaper strip, which she continued to draw until her retirement in 1995. Inducted 2006

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