The Executive Committees of the Harvey Awards and the Baltimore Comic-Con are thrilled to announce the introduction of the Harvey Kurtzman Hall of Fame Award, which will be presented at this year’s Harvey Award ceremony on Saturday, September 6, 2014 in conjuction with the Baltimore Comic-Con!
Premiering in 2014, the Harvey Kurtzman Hall of Fame Award honors cartoonists for their significant, cultural impact: men and women who write, draw, and create compelling graphical content that has both artistic excellence and an impact to the culture and the industry. Harvey Kurtzman exemplified that excellence in the extensive catalog of his work and life. We are proud to expand the Harvey Awards tradition with the introduction of the Harvey Kurtzman Hall of Fame Award.
The first Harvey Kurtzman Hall of Fame Award will be presented posthumously to the legendary Charles M. Schulz, the creative genius behind the long-running comic strip Peanuts. Schulz, or “Sparky” as he was affectionately called, was born in 1922 in Minneapolis, MN, and created what is arguably one of the most influential comic strips of all times, setting the scene for what comic strip artists hoped to achieve in readership, draftsmanship, and licensing. After penning a weekly strip for the St. Paul Pioneer Press from 1947 to 1950 called Li’l Folks and, after being dropped from the paper, approached United Feature Syndicate with a new idea that would become Peanuts, which debuted in 1950. The strip, still running today in reprints, would ultimately go on to run in 2,600 papers in 75 countries (and in 21 languages). Schulz created new strips consistently, with the exception of a 5-week break to celebrate his 75th birthday, until the strip’s retirement in 2000.
Receiving the Harvey Kurtzman Hall of Fame Award on behalf of Schulz will be Karen Johnson, Director of the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa, CA. The museum houses thousands of original artworks created by Charles M. Schulz for Peanuts as well as letters, photographs, unique Peanuts products, and tribute artwork. It is also home to permanent and rotating exhibitions, as well as a research center with a vast variety of archival information related to Schulz, his life, and his works. Ms. Johnson will be hosting a panel Saturday at the Baltimore Comic-Con, and will be presenting Schulz artwork that no one has seen before.
The eponymous Harvey Kurtzman, who passed away in 1993 at 68 years of age, was a cartoonist, writer, editor and comics genius. He is probably best remembered for his 28 revolutionary issues of MAD, which he founded in 1952 for E.C. publisher Bill Gaines. Kurtzman then created the short-lived satire magazine Trump for Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner in 1957. He followed with the comic-size Humbug in 1958, then Help! magazine (where he discovered such diverse talent as Terry Gilliam, Gloria Steinem, Gilbert Shelton, and R. Crumb). In 1962, he and collaborator Will Elder began producing the long-running and elaborate Little Annie Fanny comic for Playboy. In the ’70s he became known as the “father-in-law of underground comix” for inspiring a new generation of media-bending cartoonists. Kurtzman had a great deal of love and admiration for the works of Charles M. Schulz, even creating an unpublished Little Annie Fanny strip featuring Annie as a little girl playing with the Peanuts characters, so it is particularly appropriate for this first award to go to Schulz.
Said Denis Kitchen, Chairman of the Harvey Awards Committee, “Harvey Kurtzman was a big fan of Charles Schulz. He even envisioned his Little Annie Fanny growing up in the ‘Peanuts’ universe (see image). I’m confident Harvey would be very pleased to have Schulz be the first recipient of the Hall of Fame named after himself.”
“This is a very proud moment for the Harvey Awards,” said Marc Nathan, promoter of the Baltimore Comic-Con. “The Harvey Kurtzman Hall of Fame Award begins a legacy of esteemed recognition for some of the most influential and historically significant creators, and we couldn’t be more proud to host their presentation.”
Harvey Awards Banquet, and General Admission and VIP Package tickets for Weekend, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of the Baltimore Comic-Con are now on sale! Visit www.baltimorecomiccon.com/tickets/ for more information and to purchase your advanced tickets now!
In the coming weeks, look for more announcements from the Baltimore Comic-Con. We are looking forward to highlighting our guests, the Harvey Awards, industry exclusives, and programming. The latest developments can always be found on our website, Twitter, and Facebook pages.
About The Baltimore Comic-Con
The Baltimore Comic-Con is celebrating its 14th year of bringing the comic book industry to the Baltimore and Washington D.C. area. For more information, please visit www.baltimorecomiccon.com.
About The Harvey Awards
The Harvey Awards are one of the comic book industry’s oldest and most respected awards. With a history of over 20 years, the last 9 in conjunction with the Baltimore Comic-Con, the Harveys recognize outstanding achievements in over 20 categories. They are the only industry awards nominated and selected by the full body of comic book professionals. For more information, please visit www.harveyawards.org.