Every year at the San Diego Comic-Con, in the sumptuous surroundings of the Hilton Bayfront Ballroom, the glitterati and honoured guests gather to toast the best and the brightest in the comics industry in an highlight of the calendar year: The Eisner Awards. As part of the ceremony, an award is presented to celebrate the past and induct somebody into the hallowed Hall Of Fame – and, this year, notorious British comic creative icon Alan Moore is in the running.
Four names are put forward each year for final selection; three selected by a noted panel of judges and the fourth, voted from a shortlist by eligible industry types – writers, colourists, publishers and the like. Already confirmed as the Judges Choices for the first three slots are Orrin C. Evans (publisher of the the first all-black comic book in 1947, ‘All-Negro Comics’), Irwin Hasen (Golden Age DC Comics artist of titles such as Wildcat and Green Lantern) and comic strip artist Sheldon Moldoff (Golden Age artist of characters such as Hawkman and Batman).
Illustruous company, indeed.
Alan Moore faces stiff competition from the likes of Rube Goldberg, creator of the “Rube Goldberg machine” and founding member of the National Cartoonists Society, Hiyao Miyazaki, animated filmmaker and manga artist, Bernie Wrightson, co-creator of Swamp Thing and Dennis O’Neil (if you’re not sure who he is, you’re very possibly reading the wrong blog!).
The work that Moore has produced over the years casts an incredible shadow over the comics landscape; from his work on DC Comics Swamp Thing, to the groundbreaking Watchmen, co-created with artist Dave Gibbons, to his own self-published work such as The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Lost Girls, which continues to stir controversy to this day.
It may be this controversy that may work against any potential votes for Moore – he has never held back for his opinions on the state of the mainstream comics industry or numerous personalities in it. He has, in recent decades, made short-thrift of the superhero genre and it’s fans. More recently, he was thrust into the spotlight for a interview which served as a long-winded attack against his detractors, as well as potentially being his last ever word on his own work.
Any other year, this could easily be Alan Moore’s time to shine – safe to say, this may be one award driven by politics and opinion of the man himself, rather than his output. The deadline for vote submissions is the 17th March, with the Award itself being presented on the 25th July at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel. If, by some chance, Alan is the worthy recipient, anyone who expects him to collect the Award in person may be at risk of holding their breath…
In summery, this year’s Judges’ Choice inductees are:
- Orrin C. Evans (1902-1971) Publisher of the the first all-black comic book in 1947, All-Negro Comics.
- Irwin Hasen (1918- ) Golden Age DC Comics artist (Wildcat, Green Lantern) and comic strip artist (ondi).
- and Sheldon Moldoff (1920–2012) Golden Age artist (Hawkman) and Batman artist.
This years nominees for the fourth spot, voted by eligible industry members, are:
- Gus Arriola (1917–2008) Gordo comic strip creator.
- Howard Cruse (1944– ) Creator of Barefootz and Stuck Rubber Baby.
- Philippe Druillet (1944– ) Influential French cartoonist and founder of Humanoïdes Associés and the Métal Hurlant magazine.
- Rube Goldberg (1882–1970) Iconic cartoonist best known for his creation of the “Rube Goldberg machine,” a contraption that performs a simple action in a convoluted way, and founding member of the National Cartoonists Society.
- Fred Kida (1920– ) Golden Age artist best known for Airboy.
- Tarpé Mills (1915–1988) One of the few female artists working during the Golden Age of comics, creator of Miss Fury.
- Hiyao Miyazaki (1941– ) Legendary animated filmmaker and manga artist, including Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.
- Alan Moore (1953– ) Writer of Batman: The Killing Joke, Watchmen, From Hell, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and Lost Girls.
- Francoise Mouly (1955- ) Editor and publisher, Raw magazine, New Yorker art director.
- Dennis O’Neil (1939– ) Writer/editor, Batman titles, Daredevil.
- Antonio Prohias (1921–1998) Spy Vs. Spy creator.
- Rumiko Takahashi (1957– ) Popular manga creator, including Urusei Yatsura and Ranma
- George Tuska (1916–2009) Golden and Silver Age artist best known for Crime Does Not Pay and Marvel Comics work, including Iron Man.
- Bernie Wrightson (1947– ) Artist whose work includes co-creating Swamp Thing, Warren publications, and his own adaptations of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.