Jo Duffy + Ralph Newman will receive the 2024 Bill Finger Award

The awards will be presented at Comic-Con International later this month during the Eisner Award ceremony.

Comic-Con International has announced that Jo Duffy and Ralph Newman will receive the 2024 Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing, which recognizes comic writers who made lasting contributions to comics that went largely “unsung.” The award is named for Bill Finger, whose contributions to the creation of Batman and related characters went unsung for many decades.

The two recipients were chosen by a committee headed up by comic historian and Groo writer Mark Evanier that included editor Charles Kochman, writer Kurt Busiek, artist/historian Jim Amash, cartoonist Scott Shaw! and writer/editor Marv Wolfman.

“Since 2005, we have been honoring writers whose work in the comic book industry has not, we feel, received the attention and recognition that their work deserved,” Evanier said. “This year’s posthumous recipient wrote hundreds if not thousands of comic book scripts without, as far as we can tell, ever getting his name on any of them. That’s about as unrecognized as you can be.”

Newman, who passed away in 1989, worked as an “idea man” for other magazine cartoonists before moving into the comics field in the 1940s. He wrote stories featuring Terrytoons characters such as Gandy Goose and Sourpuss, first for for Timely Comics, the predecessor to Marvel, and then for St. John’s publishing company when the license shifted. He also wrote for Harvey Comics, working on comics featuring Casper the Friendly Ghost, Wendy the Good Little Witch, Sad Sack, Little Audrey, Little Lotta, Richie Rich and more — all without receiving credit.

Maybe better known as an editor for Marvel, Duffy wrote plenty of comics herself, including Power Man and Iron Fist, Catwoman, Batman, Wolverine, Fallen Angels, Crystar, Star Wars, Glory and more. She also wrote the English adaptation of Akira for Marvel and Naruto for Viz, and in the 1990s worked on scripts for the horror films Puppet Master 4 and Puppet Master 5. Her editorial work included Epic Magazine, as well as Elektra, Daredevil, Dreadstar, Groo, Doctor Strange, Hulk and ROM.

The Bill Finger Award honors William Finger, who was the first writer of Batman. His contributions to the character went unrecognized, though, with Bob Kane being listed as Batman’s sole creator until 2015. Previous recipients of the award include William Messner-Loebs, Elliot S! Maggin, Steve Gerber, Archie Goodwin, Bob Haney, Don McGregor, John Stanley, Sam Glanzman and Robert Morales.

The awards will be presented during the Eisner Award ceremony at Comic-Con International on July 26.

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