The Harvey Awards, for outstanding comic book work, are adding seven members to the Hall of Fame this week.
The honorees include Alison Bechdel, the cartoonist and former Minneapolis resident behind the 2006 memoir "Fun Home," and Mike Mignola, creator of the "Hellboy" comic book, about a do-good demon. The character debuted in 1993 and was in a live-action film this year.
The other inductees, posthumously, are Will Elder, Jack Davis, Ben Oda and siblings John and Marie Severin, who were all significant contributors to Mad Magazine, which was founded and created by Harvey Kurtzman. (The award is named for Kurtzman and is sponsored by ReedPOP, the company that operates New York Comic Con.)
The awards have been presented at a variety of comic book conventions over the years, and made New York Comic Con a permanent home in 2017. Past winners can be viewed at HarveyAwards.com.
The honors for the Mad Magazine contributors come just months after news that Mad, whose first issue was in 1952, would largely move away from original material and rely on reprints.
The Hall of Famers will be inducted Friday in a ceremony held at the Hudson Mercantile during New York Comic Con, which runs Thursday through Sunday at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
"The Kurtzman family, who own the Harvey Awards, had wanted to see a return to New York City, which is where Harvey spent the majority of his life," John Lind, co-chairman of the Harvey Awards Steering Committee, wrote in an e-mail. New York Comic Con did not have its own awards event, "so it was a natural partnership," Lind wrote.
The Harvey Awards were started in 1988 by Gary Groth, president and co-founder of Fantagraphics Books. The steering committee, which chooses the Hall of Fame inductees, also includes Chip Mosher, head of content at comiXology, and Nellie Kurtzman, a vice president for integrated marketing at HarperCollins Children's Books and one of Kurtzman's daughters. Last year, artist Dave Gibbons and cartoonist Roz Chast were added to the honor roll.
The awards focus on six categories, including book of the year, best children's or young adult book, and best European book.
The nominees are determined via a survey of about 200 industry professionals, librarians, educators and creators who submit candidates. Their selections are tallied and pulled into a ballot, which is then open to a vote by all industry professionals, creators and librarians. This year's winners, from a list of nominees, will also be revealed Friday.
The committee had previously inducted up to three creators per year into the Hall of Fame. Those writers and artists had primarily produced work from the 1970s to the 1990s.
"We decided to balance the induction class with some of the past creators who may have been overlooked," Lind wrote.
The five from Mad all contributed to Mad No. 1.