Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

February 9, 2010

Burne Hogarth, Bob Montana Named To Will Eisner Comic Awards Hall Of Fame; Other Nominees Announced


Comics artist and educator Burne Hogarth and Archie creator Bob Montana were the judges' choices for the Will Eisner Comic Awards Hall Of Fame, it was announced today.

Burne Hogarth began drawing comics for King Features in 1934 on their Pieces Of Eight feature. In 1936, he took over the extremely popular Tarzan offering, holding onto that gig -- with a brief post WWII interruption -- until 1950. His popularity on the assignment transformed his life. A cartooning school for returning veterans he co-founded eventually became the School of Visual Arts. He would later also teach at Parsons School Of Design and at Otis School in California. He authored a series of well-regarded anatomy and drawing books, starting with Dynamic Anatomy in 1958, and authored a early entrant into the modern graphic novel movement with 1972's Tarzan Of The Apes. His considerable artistic talents may have been overshadowed in some circles by his championship-talker status. He died in 1996.

Bob Montana created Archie for Pep Comics in 1941. The feature became popular enough to spin off into its own title in 1942, and Montana's creations would eventually serve as the foundation for the Archie Comics empire. After serving in World War II, Montana took over the daily and Sunday Archie strips, then serving 700 newspaper clients. He would die in 1975.

The judges have also chosen 13 nominees from which voters will select four to be named at this Summer's Eisner Awards ceremony. Eligible voters are directed to a devoted web site for registration and voting.

The 13 nominees are Carl Burgos, Steve Gerber, Dick Giordano, Michael Kaluta, Jack Kamen, Frans Masereel, Sheldon Moldoff, Marty Nodell, George McManus, Bob Oksner, Bob Powell, Yoshihiro Tatsumi, and Mort Weisinger.

Longtime Eisner Awards followers may make note of three figures probably best known for their work in the 1970s making an appearance, continuing a trend of such creators slowly bleeding into a pre-1970s dominant awards slate. There is also a woodcuts representative (Frans Masereel) and a cartoonist who worked in Japan's manga industry (Yoshihiro Tatsumi). In that sense, this year's slate may be the awards program's best, most diverse line-up of nominees.

The 2010 Eisner Awards judging panel is Craig Fisher, Francisca Goldsmith, John Hogan, James Hudnall and Wayne Winsett. They were assisted by the students of Center For Cartoon Studies, organized by their instructor Steve Bissette.

The ceremony is scheduled for July 23 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel.
posted 12:00 pm PST | Permalink

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