Tom Spurgeon's topic for this weekend's "Five for Friday" is to name five people who you think won't get into the Eisner Hall of Fame that you'd like to see in there. Frankly, it's not an award that I pay too much attention to, but I figured it was safe to assume most of your standard comic legends were already inducted. Kirby, Ditko, Barks, McCay, Steranko, etc. So I started my list off with someone who's work isn't widely known because it was mostly done before comic books as we know them even existed: Lynd Ward.
"But wait," I thought. "I probably ought to call up a list of winners just to make sure."
And would you believe Ward was actually just inducted this year! Who knew?
So I scanned through the list to familiarize myself a bit. Mostly the types of folks I figured. Mostly American names, though. Fair enough. Not entirely surprising. I'll focus on non-American creators. I'll start with the artist from Lone Wolf and Cub: Goseki Kojima.
Nope, there he is. He won in 2004 alongside Kazuo Koike.
Hey, look! Matt Baker won in 2009. Osamu Tezuka in 2002. Richard Outcault, Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, Dale Messick...
In short, a lot of folks who I would not have figured would have even been considered because, frankly, they're weren't white American men who were working in the business after 1950. Granted, it's still very heavily weighted toward those types of guys, but that any of these other folks made it in surprises the heck out of me. In a good way.
So here's a hearty kudos to the Eisner judges for keeping an open mind about inductees! That list could still stand to use quite a few women, minorities, and non-Americans but it's a MUCH healthier list than I would've guessed.