The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards are the coveted prizes given for creative excellence in American comic books/graphic novels. The award is named after Will Eisner, a cartoonist famous for his book A Contract With God , and was one of the first to use the term “graphic novel”. The awards are given at the San Diego Comic Con in July.
In addition, a yearly Hall of Fame is announced, with a panel of judges picking some of the inductees while professionals working in the comic industry get to vote on preselected nominees. The criteria for being selected to vote on the remaining nominees are: you must be a professional working in the comics or related industries as a creator (writer, artist, cartoonist, colorist, letterer), a publisher or editor, a retailer (comics store owner or manager), a graphic novels librarian, or a comics historian/educator. As I am a teen librarian who orders graphic novels, I submitted my information and was eligible to vote!
Two cartoonists, Carl Burgos (The Human Torch) and Tove Jansson (Moomins) are locks for being inducted in 2016, but fourteen remaining nominees needed to be winnowed down, and I had to select four to vote on.
The possibilities with a brief comment of what they are most famous for-
Lynda Barry (Ernie Pook’s Comeek & The Good Times are Killing Me)
Kim Deitch (Stuff of Dreams & Amazing Katherine Whaley)
Rube Goldberg (Rube Goldberg machines & detailed illustrations)
Edward Gorey (Gashleycrumb Tinies)
Bill Griffith (Zippy)
Matt Groening (The Simpsons)
Jack Kamen (Creepshow)
Francoise Mouly (co-founder of the comics and graphics magazine Raw)
George Pérez (Avengers & Wonder Woman)
Antonio Prohias (Spy vs Spy)
P. Craig Russell (Night Music & Batman)
Rumiko Takahashi (Manga- Ranma 1/2 & Rin-ne)
Jacques Tardi (The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc & WWI themes)
Herb Trimpe (Marvel, Hulk & Wolverine)
Such agony in deciding who would get my vote, as they are all worthy! My final votes went to Lynda Barry (love her unique illustrations & sense of humor), Francoise Mouly (rock on that she founded Raw), George Perez (Wonder Woman- nuf’ said) and Herb Trimpe (first artist to draw Wolverine). I almost picked Matt Groening, but he’s made millions already, and he can look at his bank account for his recognition.
So…who would you pick & why????