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.

Stan Lee

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Stan Lee
Stan
Lee

1922-

In a career at Marvel Comics spanning more than 60 years, Stan Lee has seen it all. After having been an editor at Timely in the 1940s and 1950s, in the ’60s he co-created all the Silver Age Marvel characters, wrote all the books, and still had time to commune with readers (“Face front, true believers!”) via “Stan’s Soapbox.” He remains active today, with many projects in the works. Inducted 1994

Harry Lucey

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Harry Lucey
Harry
Lucey

1913-1984

In the early 1940s Harry Lucey worked in a studio with Bob Montana, and legend has it that he helped Montana create the original Archie gang for MLJ’s Pep comics (even contributing Betty’s name). After stints in World War II and as an advertising illustrator, Lucey returned to MLJ in 1949, where he drew Archie comics for the next two decades. The dynamic and expressive style he developed in his Archie stories was highly influential on subsequent artists, most prominently Jaime Hernandez. Inducted 2012

Russ Manning

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Russ Manning
Russ
Manning

1929-1981

Russ Manning was a giant in both the comic strip and comic book worlds. He drew the Tarzan comic for Dell in the 1950s and 1960s, then went on to draw the syndicated Tarzan newspaper strip from 1969 to 1972 and the Sunday strip through 1979. He created the comic book series Magnus, Robot Fighter for Gold Key in 1963 and continued to write and draw it through 1968. He wrote and drew the syndicated Star Wars strip in 1979–1980. Inducted 2006

William Moulton Marston

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Will Eisner Hall of Fame
William Moulton
Marston

1893-1947

In 1940, psychologist William Marston was hired by Max Gaines as a consultant for National Comics (DC). Marston pointed out that DC had no females among its flagship heroes, and he (with his wife Elizabeth) proceeded to create Wonder Woman, who made her debut in All Star Comics #8 in December 1941. Wonder Woman was a hit and soon had her own book, which Martson (writing as “Charles Moulton”) wrote up until his death in 1947. Inducted 2006

Don Martin

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Will Eisner Hall of Fame
Don
Martin

1931-2000

MAD’s maddest artist” Don Martin delighted decades of readers with his goofy strips featuring oddball characters and demented sound effects. Who could forget Fonebone or Fester Bestertester? And what kind of imaginative mind did it take to add “Glabadap,” “Schloot,” “Sklishk,” “Sploydoing,” and “Thwizzik” to the sound effects lexicon? There could only be one Don Martin. Inducted 2004

Sheldon Mayer

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Will Eisner Hall of Fame
Sheldon
Mayer

1917-1991

Sheldon Mayer was at DC from its very beginning, having played a role in convincing Harry Donenfeld to feature Superman in the company’s new title, Action Comics. He was not only one of the most revered editors in the history of comics but a cartoonist in his own right, having created Scribbly and the much-beloved Sugar and Spike. Inducted 2000

Winsor McKay

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Will Eisner Hall of Fame
Winsor
McKay

1867-1934

Winsor McCay‘s Dream of the Rarebit Fiend and Little Nemo set unparalleled standards for fantasy artwork on the Sunday comics page early in the 20th century. McCay was also a pioneer in animation with his “Gertie the Dinosaur” short film. Inducted 1998

Mort Meskin

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Mort Meskin

Photo courtesy Peter Meskin

Mort
Meskin

1916-1995

Mort Meskin is best known for his 1940s work at DC, drawing such series as “Vigilante,” “Wildcat,” “Starman,” and “Johnny Quick.” Together with Jerry Robinson he created “Atoman” and “Golden Lad” for Spark Publications; drew “The Fighting Yank” and “Black Terror” for Better Publications/Standard; and did several horror stories for Atlas (Marvel). Through the studio of Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, he produced Boys’ Ranch for Harvey and Black Magic for Crestwood Publications, and he is considered a major influence on Kirby and many other artists. Inducted 2013

Dale Messick

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Dale Messick

Photo by Jackie Estrada

Dale
Messick

1906-2005

Dale Messick‘s landmark comic strip Brenda Starr debuted in 1940, and she produced it herself for 43 years. She treated readers to stories of adventure and intrigue that also included glamour, fashion, and romance. Inducted 2001

Bob Montana

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Bob Montana
Bob
Montana

1920-1975

Cartoonist Bob Montana is famed for co-creating the character of Archie for MLJ Publications in 1941. He drew Archie’s first appearance in Pep and the first Archie comic books, and he was the writer/artist of the Archie newspaper strip from 1946 until his death in 1975. Inducted 2010

Martin Nodell

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Martin Nodell

Photo by Jackie Estrada

Martin
Nodell

1915-2006

Marty Nodell co-created the Green Lantern in 1940 with writer Bill Finger. He drew Green Lantern in various titles until leaving DC in 1947 to work for Timely Comics. At Timely he drew Captain America, The Human Torch, and the Submariner, among others, until 1950 when he left the comics business for good. Inducted 2011

Joe Orlando

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Will Eisner Hall of Fame
Joe
Orlando

1927-1998

Joe Orlando started out as an assistant to Wally Wood in the late 1940s and became one of EC’s top sf/fantasy illustrators in the early 1950s. After a stint drawing for Classics Illustrated, he freelanced for MAD and Warren Publications in the 1960s. In 1968 he went on staff at DC, where he edited such titles as House of Mystery, The Witching Hour, Weird War Tales, and Plop! and went on to become vice president and coordinator of special projects. Orlando is credited with designing much of DC’s distinctive typography. Inducted 2007

Katsuhiro Otomo

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Katsuhiro Otomo
Katsuhiro
Otomo

1954-

In addition to Osamu Tezuka, Katsuhiro Otomo is the creator most responsible for popularizing anime and manga in the Western world. Akira, his landmark achievement, revitalized the anime and manga industry, building an entire new anime empire on the groundwork laid by Tezuka. Otomo’s other famous work is Domu, which began being serialized in 1980 and ran for two years. Next came Akira, which ran to over 2,000 pages serialized over eight years (1982–1990). The anime adaptation was released in 1988. Following the success of Akira, Otomo continued work in film as a director and screenwriter. Inducted 2012

R. F. Outcault

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R.F. Outcault
R. F.
Outcault

1863-1928

Richard Felton Outcault was one of the pioneers of the American comic strip, having created The Yellow Kid (1894) and Buster Brown (1902), among other early titles. Inducted 2011

Harvey Pekar

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Harvey Pekar

Photo by Jackie Estrada

Harvey
Pekar

1939-2010

The first issue of Harvey Pekar‘s American Splendor appeared in 1976. Between then and 1991 he self-published 16 issues, drawn by a variety of artists, most notably R. Crumb and Frank Stack. Subsequent issues were published by Dark Horse and Vertigo. His book with Joyce Brabner Our Cancer Year garnered numerous awards, and Harvey became somewhat of a celebrity by appearing on the Letterman show. In 2003 a film version of American Splendor brought Harvey back into the spotlight. Inducted 2011

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