Comic-Con International has announced the recipients of this year’s Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Writing, which goes to writers who have not been given due recognition for their work.
This year’s award will go to Mike Friedrich, a pioneer of independent comics as well as a writer for both DC Comics and Marvel, and E. Nelson Bridwell, who worked on MAD Magazine and co-created The Inferior Five, The Secret Six and The Angel and the Ape for DC Comics. Before becoming professional writers, both men were active letter-writers to comics letter columns. You can read more about both men on the CCI website.
“Once again, we have two winners who are way past-due for some rightful recognition,” Evanier says. “Both were among the first human beings who went from reading comics to writing letters-to-the-editor that were published in comics and then on to writing the comics themselves. And both wrote some very fine comics that were appreciated at the time and appreciated in reprints — but, we think, not enough.”
In addition to Evanier, the selection committee consists of Charles Kochman (executive editor at Harry N. Abrams, book publisher), comic book writer Kurt Busiek, artist/historian Jim Amash, cartoonist Scott Shaw! and writer/editor Marv Wolfman.
The awards will be presented by Evanier along with Bill Finger’s granddaughter Athena Finger during the Eisner Awards ceremony at this summer’s Comic-Con International on Friday, July 19.
The Bill Finger Award was created in 2005 via a proposal from the late comic book legend Jerry Robinson. “We need to point out those wonderful bodies of work by writers who have not received their rightful reward and/or recognition,” Evanier said. “When this award began, the late Bill Finger received almost no credit for his role in the creation of Batman. He does now, but there are still plenty of writers who have not received their proper rewards and/or recognition.” Past recipients include William Messner-Loebs, Archie Goodwin, Steve Gerber and Bill Mantlo.