The San Diego Comic-Con has announced the comics writers
who will be awarded The Bill Finger Award this year.
Comic-Con is proud to announce six writers who contributed greatly to the history of comics have been selected to receive the 2021 Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing. The selection, made by a blue-ribbon committee chaired by writer/historian Mark Evanier, was unanimous.
“Since we are not yet in a position to honor a writer who is still with us in a proper ceremony, we’re going to a long list of comic book writers from the past who we feel did not receive sufficient recognition or reward for their contributions to the field. As with last year, we have selected six posthumous awards and no ‘alive’ award,” Evanier explained. “Each of these six writers left us with a body of work that the judges deem worthy of this honor.”
As stated the award is for comic book writing but, as with comic book drawing, there is a crossover to comic strip writing and four of the six have written syndicated strips.
The same year Robert Bernstein began writing comic books he co-created Judge Wright for newspapers, writing the strip for the three years of its existence from 1945 to 1948 under the pseudonym “Bob Brent.”
Audrey (Toni) Blum had a successful career writing comic books for the Eisner/Iger shop and Quality Comics. That professional relationship helped win scripting chores in newspapers’ Comic Book Section (aka The Spirit Section). First on Lady Luck, then on The Spirit as Eisner got sidetracked serving during WWII.
Prolific author Vic Lockman helped Merrill Blosser for a few years (1956-1963) writing gags for Freckles and His Friends.
Writer Paul Newman‘s contributions to syndicated comic strips exceeds all the above combined. Already well ensconced as a comic book writer Newman first began writing comic strips with Tom Corbett, Space Cadet in 1951.
Toward the end of the 1950s Paul was writing the adventures of Smokey the Bear.
The early 1960s saw him begin scripting Charles Flanders’ The Lone Ranger comic strip; having established himself as the long time writer of Dell’s The Lone Ranger comic books. He would write the masked man’s newspaper stories until the end in 1971.
In 1967 Paul wrote the first few months of Robin Malone before handing it off.
In 1968 Paul was contributing gags to Roy Doty’s Laugh-In.
We are unaware of the other recipients Bob White and Robert Morales contributing to comic strips.
Committee Chair Mark Evanier has posted about this year’s awards:
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 Bill Finger Award is administered by Jackie Estrada and presented by the San Diego Comic Convention (Comic-Con), a California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation
comic strips © their respective copyright owners