Direct market pioneer Carol Kalish and black female newspaper cartoonist Jackie Ormes will be inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame in July at Comic-Con International, as announced by CCI on their official blog this week.
Kalish, who worked as direct sales manager and vice president of new product development at Marvel Comics from 1981 to 1991, is credited with pioneering the comics direct market when it was in its adolescence, in part through a program in which Marvel helped pay for comic book stores to acquire cash registers. Kalish also spearheaded the expansion of the Marvel’s distribution into major bookstores such as B. Daltons and Waldenbooks. Kalish passed away in 1991 from a brain aneurysm, at the age 36.
Ormes was the first, and for a long time only, black female newspaper cartoonist. In the 1930s she wrote and drew Dixie in Harlem comics featuring Torchy Brown. After returning to her roots in journalism, she published Candy, a single-panel cartoon about a witty housemaid in 1945. Then she created Patty-Jo ’n’ Ginger, another single-panel cartoon about a pair of sisters, which ran for 11 years through 1956. Finally, from 1950 to 1954, Ormes revamped Torchy Brown into Torchy in Heartbeats, an 8-page color comic insert that included paper dolls. Ormes passed away in 1985.
The Eisner Award judges selected both Kalish and Ormes for induction, which will happen automatically at the Eisner Awards ceremony. In addition, they nominated 16 other comics professionals for the honor, four of whom will be chosen by voters later this year for induction. That list includes:
- Charles Addams, creator of The Addams Family
- Jim Aparo, artist of The Brave and the Bold and Batman and the Outsiders
- Gus Arriola, writer/artist of Gordo
- Former DC/Vertigo editor Karen Berger
- Underground comics artist Howard Cruse
- Carlos Ezquerra, co-creator of Judge Dredd
- Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons
- Former DC Publisher Paul Levitz
- Miss Fury creator Tarpé Mills
- Raw editor and publisher Francoise Mouly
- Editorial cartoonist Thomas Nast
- Golden Age artist Lily Renée Wilhelm Peters Phillips
- British cartoonist Posy Simmonds
- Manga creator Rumiko Takahashi
- John Wagner, the other co-creator of Judge Dredd
- Underground artist S. Clay Wilson