Comics Lowdown | Harvey Awards announce 2021 Hall of Fame inductees

Plus: Three new members join the CBLDF board, Noelle Stevenson’s Substack and more!

Harvey Awards logo

The Harvey Awards Committee have announced the five creators who will be inducted into the Harvey Awards Hall of Fame this year:  Manga creator Rumiko Takahashi (Ranma 1/2, Inu Yasha); horror comics artist Bernie Wrightson, the co-creator of Swamp Thing; cover artist and painter Jeffrey Catherine Jones; artist Barry Windsor-Smith (Conan the Barbarian); and Michael Kaluta (The Shadow, Starstruck). The latter four formed an artists’ commune called The Studio in 1975; in his 2011 obituary of Jones, Tom Spurgeon explained its significance:

Starting in 1975 Jones worked for a few brief but memorable years in a large, shared Chelsea neighborhood space with fellow artists Bernie WrightsonBarry Windsor-Smith and Michael William Kaluta. The four artists had early success and boundary-pushing in common, at a time when work in comics and perhaps more broadly illustration seemed at the end of a cycle rather than at the beginning of one. That space and their time together was known as The Studio — a book of that name came out in 1979 and solidified the space’s reputation, ironically after all four men had moved on to different work situations. The legacy of that much talent doing what was collectively very good work at a point of almost monolithic and degrading corporate influence over the kind of art they wanted to do has provided The Studio with a legacy that can be embraced even by those that didn’t particularly care for the artists’ output. The idea of a dedicated workplace that would allow for coercive influence one artist to another has been carried over into very nearly ever cartoonists’ collective space initiative since. 

Awards: In addition to the first-ever Tom Spurgeon Awards, this past weekend’s Cartoon Crossroads Columbus Festival also presented awards in the categories of CXC Master Cartoonist, Transformative Work and Emerging Talent.

Underground cartoonist Shary Flenniken was named CXC Master Cartoonist, while Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home received the deserved honor of being named a Transformative Work. Robyn Smith, who was given the Emerging Talent award, will also receive $7,500 from the festival.

Organizations: The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has added three more board members: creator Amy Chu, editor Joseph Illidge, and “fandom fixture” Pam Noles, a regular volunteer at Comic-Con International in San Diego who has also worked for the ACLU in Los Angeles.

Passings: Joe McCulloch, editor of The Comics Journal, has written a detailed and moving obituary of Golgo 13 creator Takao Saitō, who passed away Sept. 24.

Creators: Nimona creator Noelle Stevenson is the latest creator to join Substack, where they plan to share comics through both the free and paid tiers the system offers, as well as process art and “updates about transition, mental health, career and life in general.”

Stevenson, who is trans, also addressed the platform’s reputation for hosting anti-trans voices:

I’m receiving a grant from Substack to publish my comics here. As a trans person, I am very much aware that Substack has become a platform to many dangerous anti-trans voices, and I take it very seriously. This is not about a difference of opinion; this is about the safety of trans people everywhere. I urge Substack to deplatform TERFs who have built their brands on harassment, and I will be donating all subscriber funds, minus Substack’s cut, to Genderbands to help trans people obtain gender-affirming care.

Cover of Where No One Goes

Reviews: At Broken Frontier, Andy Oliver reviews the first three issues of Zarika Gaeta’s Where No One Goes, which is being crowdfunded one issue at a time on Kickstarter (but is available online).

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