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.

Rumiko Takahashi

Will Eisner Hall of Fame: Rumiko Takahashi
Rumiko
Takahashi

1957-

Popular manga creator Rumiko Takahashi is said to be the bestselling female comics artist in history, with hundreds of millions of her books sold around the world. Takahashi's first published work was the one-shot Katte na Yatsura in 1978. Later that year her first major work began being serialized, Urusei Yatsura. She went on to create such classic works as Maison Ikkoku, Ranma ½, InuYasha, One Pound Gospel, Mermaid Saga, and Rumic Theater. Several of her works have been animated. The year 2008 marked the 50th anniversary of Weekly Shōnen Sunday and the 30th anniversary of the first publication of Urusei Yatsura, and Rumiko Takahashi's manga work was honored in It's a Rumic World, a special exhibition held from at the Matsuya Ginza department store in Tokyo.

Inducted 2018

Jacques Tardi

Will Eisner Hall of Fame: Jacques Tardi
Jacques
Tardi

1946–

Considered the father of the “new realism” style, French cartoonist Jacques Tardi began his comics career in 1970, with stories for Pilote and later Metal Hurlant. He is best known in the U.S. for his Adele Blanc-Sec series and the graphic novels West Coast Blues, The Arctic Maurauder, Bloody Streets of Paris, Like a Sniper Lining Up His Shot, and the Eisner Award-winning It Was the War of the Trenches and Goddamn This War.

Inducted 2016

Osamu Tezuka

Will Eisner Hall of Fame: Osamu Tezuka

Photo by Jackie Estrada

Osamu
Tezuka

1928-1989

Osamu Tezuka was the dean of Japan’s comics (manga) and animation (anime) industries from 1947 until his death in 1989. He created such wide-ranging series as Astro Boy (Mighty Atom), Kimba the White Lion (Jungle Emperor), Adolf, Phoenix, and Black Jack. With many of these works now available in U.S. editions, his following and influence among Americans continues to increase, over 20 years after his death.

Inducted 2002

Roy Thomas

Will Eisner Hall of Fame: Roy Thomas

Photo by Alan Waite

Roy
Thomas

1940-

Roy Thomas helped Jerry G. Bails found Alter Ego, the first real comic book fanzine. From 1965 to 1980 he wrote and edited for Stan Lee at Marvel (X-Men, Avengers, Invaders, Conan the Barbarian, Red Sonja et al.) and served as editor-in-chief from 1972 to 1974. From 1980 to 1986 Roy wrote for DC, mostly titles he co-created such as All-Star Squadron and Infinity, Inc. In 1999 Roy revived Alter Ego for TwoMorrows Publishing.

Inducted 2011

Don Thompson

Will Eisner Hall of Fame: Don Thompson

Photo by Jackie Estrada

Don
Thompson

1935–1994

Don Thompson and his wife Maggie are among the legendary founders of comics fandom. Lifelong fans of science fiction and comic books, they met in 1957 and published their first fanzine, Comic Art, starting in 1961. In 1967 they launched Newfangles, one of the first fanzines devoted to the doings of comics fandom. In 1972 the Thompsons started writing a column for the Buyer’s Guide for Comic Fandom, which later became the Comics Buyer’s Guide (CBG). They ran CBG together from 1983 until Don’s death in 1994. Under their direction, it became essential reading as the industry’s main fan-oriented news magazine. Don was also the co-editor (with Richard Lupoff) of the 1970 book All in Color for a Dime, which got many a comics fan interested in the medium’s Golden Age.

Maggie Thompson

Will Eisner Hall of Fame: Maggie Thompson

Photo by Jackie Estrada

Maggie
Thompson

1942-

Maggie Thompson and her late husband, Don, are among the legendary founders of comics fandom. Lifelong fans of science fiction and comic books, they met in 1957 and published their first fanzine, Comic Art, starting in 1961. In 1967 they launched Newfangles, one of the first fanzines devoted to the doings of comics fandom. In 1972 the Thompsons started writing a column for the Buyer’s Guide for Comic Fandom, which later became the Comics Buyer’s Guide (CBG). They ran CBG together from 1983 until Don’s death in 1994, after which Maggie continued to manage CBG until it ceased publication in 2013. Under their direction, it became essential reading as the industry’s main fan-oriented news magazine. Maggie has received the Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award and the Friends of Lulu “Woman of Distinction” Award. Maggie is a regular contributor to Comic-Con's Toucan Blog; click here to read her monthly posts.

Rodolphe Töpffer

Will Eisner Hall of Fame: Rodolphe Töpffer
Rodolphe
Töpffer

1799–1846

Swiss artist Rodolphe Töpffer is known for his histoires en images, picture stories that are considered predecessors to modern comic strips. His works included Histoire de M. Jabot (1833), Monsieur Crépin (1837), Monsieur Pencil (1840), and Le Docteur Festus (1846). These works were distinctively different from a painting, a political cartoon, or an illustrated novel. The images followed clear narrative sequences over a course of many pages, rather than just a series of unrelated events. Both text and images were closely intertwined. Originally, he drew his comics purely for his own and friends’ amusement. One of his friends, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, liked them so much (especially the Faust parody) that he encouraged Töpffer to publish his littérature en estampes ("graphic literature"). His stories were printed in various magazines and translated into German, Dutch, English, Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish. 

Inducted 2021

Alex Toth

Will Eisner Hall of Fame: Alex Toth

Photo by Jackie Estrada

Alex
Toth

1928-2006

Although he didn’t create any famous characters or have long runs on any well-known comics titles, Alex Toth is revered among comics artists for his sparse yet eloquent drawing style and his storytelling techniques. In animation, his character designs for shows such as Space Ghost and Jonny Quest have influenced many a modern cartoonist.

Inducted 1991

Morrie Turner

Will Eisner Hall of Fame: Morrie Turner
Morrie
Turner

1923–2014

Morrie Turner created the Wee Pals comic strip in 1965. When Wee Pals first appeared, bringing black characters to the comics pages was by no means an easy task. At first, only five major newspapers published the strip. It was not until 1968 and the tragic assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. that Wee Pals achieved nationwide acceptance. Within three months of Dr. King’s death, Wee Pals was appearing in more than 100 newspapers nationwide. In 2012 Turner was the recipient of Comic-Con’s Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award. He also has the distinction of having been one of the handful of pros at the very first Comic-Con in 1970.

Inducted 2019

Alberto Uderzo

Will Eisner Hall of Fame: Alberto Uderzo
Alberto
Uderzo

1927-2020

Alberto Uderzo was a struggling French cartoonist with several unsuccessful strips under his belt when he hooked up with writer René Goscinny to create Asterix the Gaul in 1959 for the first issue of Pilote, a comics weekly. After Goscinny died in 1977, Uderzo continued to produce Asterix albums on his own.

Inducted 2007

Lynd Ward

Will Eisner Hall of Fame: Lynd Ward
Lynd
Ward

1905-1985

As a pioneer in the graphic novel, Lynd Ward produced six wordless novels in wood engravings from 1929 to 1937. His first novel, God's Man, was followed by Madman's Drum, Wild Pilgrimage, Prelude to a Million Years, Song Without Words, and Vertigo. All six books have been collected in a two-volume slip-cased edition by Library of the Americas.

Inducted 2011

Bill Watterson

Will Eisner Hall of Fame: Bill Watterson

Self-portrait by Bill Watterson

Bill
Watterson

1958-

Cartoonist Bill Watterson created the strip Calvin and Hobbes, which was syndicated by Universal Press Syndicate from 1985 to 1995. The wildly popular series featured the highly imaginative little boy Calvin and his stuffed tiger, Hobbes, who came to life only with Calvin. In 1986, Watterson became the youngest cartoonist ever to receive the National Cartoonists Society's Reuben Award—the industry's highest honor. Watterson refused all merchandising for the characters, and after its 10-year run, he ended the series, saying that he had done all he could with Calvin and Hobbes. The final strip ran on December 31, 1995.

Inducted 2020

Len Wein

Will Eisner Hall of Fame: Len Wein
Len
Wein

1948-1917

Len Wein is the co-creator of the legendary comic book series Swamp Thing, Human Target, and Brother Voodoo, as well as Wolverine and the New X-Men. He is noted for long runs writing almost every major character in the business, ranging from Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Justice League, Green Lantern, and the Flash, at DC to Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, the Mighty Thor, the Fantastic Four, and the X-Men at Marvel.

Inducted 2007

Mort Weisinger

Will Eisner Hall of Fame: Mort Weisinger
Mort
Weisinger

1915-1978

The Superman editor at DC Comics during the 1940s–1960s, Mort Weisinger is also credited with co-creating Aquaman, Green Arrow, and Johnny Quick. It was under his tenure that many aspects of the Superman universe came into being, from Supergirl and Krypto to the Legion of Super-Heroes and the various types of kryptonite.

Inducted 2010

Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson

Will Eisner Hall of Fame: Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson
Major Malcolm
Wheeler-Nicholson

1890-1968

In the fall of 1934, Major Wheeler-Nicholson founded National Allied Publications and published New Fun #1, the first comic book containing all-original material. The magazine was retitled More Fun in 1936. Wheeler-Nicholson added a second magazine, New Comics, in 1935, which became New Adventure Comics with issue 12 and finally Adventure Comics with #32. The third and final title published under his aegis was Detective Comics, premiering in 1937.

Inducted 2009