Comic Book Hall of Fame to Induct New Members

The Harvey Awards, for outstanding comic book work, is adding seven members to its Hall of Fame next week.

The honorees include Alison Bechdel, the cartoonist behind the 2006 memoir “Fun Home,” and Mike Mignola, the creator of the Hellboy comic book, about a do-good demon. The character debuted in 1993 and was in a live-action film this year.

The other inductees, posthumously, are Will Elder, Jack Davis, Ben Oda, and the siblings John Severin and Marie Severin, who were all significant contributors to Mad Magazine, which was founded and created by Harvey Kurtzman. (The award is named for Kurtzman and is sponsored by ReedPOP, the company that operates New York Comic Con.)

The awards have been presented at a variety of comic book conventions over the years, and made New York Comic Con a permanent home in 2017. Past winners can be viewed at

The honors for the Mad Magazine contributors comes just months after news that Mad, whose first issue was in 1952, would largely move away from original material and rely on reprints.

The Hall of Famers will be inducted on Oct. 4, at a ceremony held at the Hudson Mercantile during New York Comic Con, which runs Oct. 3-6 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

“The Kurtzman family, who own the Harvey Awards, had wanted to see a return to New York City which is where Harvey spent the majority of his life,” John Lind, the co-chairman of the Harvey Awards Steering Committee, wrote in an email. New York Comic Con did not have its own awards event, “so it was a natural partnership,” Mr. Lind wrote.

The Harvey Awards were started in 1988 by Gary Groth, the president and co-founder of Fantagraphics Books. The steering committee, which chooses the Hall of Fame inductees, also includes Chip Mosher, the head of content at comiXology, and Nellie Kurtzman, a vice president for integrated marketing at HarperCollins Children’s Books and one of Kurtzman’s daughters. Last year, the artist Dave Gibbons and the cartoonist Roz Chast were added to the honor roll.

The awards focus on six categories, including book of the year, best children’s or young adult book, and best European book. The nominees are determined via a survey of about 200 industry professionals, librarians, educators and creators who submit candidates for the categories. Their selections are tallied and pulled into a ballot, which is then open to a vote by all industry professionals, creators and librarians. This year’s winners, from a list of nominees, will also be revealed on Oct. 4.

The committee had previously inducted up to three creators per year into the Hall of Fame. Those writers and artists had primarily produced work from the 1970s to the 1990s. “We decided to balance the induction class with some of the past creators who may have been overlooked,” Mr. Lind wrote. The five from Mad had all contributed to Mad No. 1.

George Gustines is a senior editor. He began writing about the comic book industry in 2002. @georgegustines Facebook

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