The Eisner Hall of Fame judges have announced 19 members of the comics industry who will be automatically inducted into the Eisner Awards Hall of Fame this year. The list includes A.B. Frost (1851-1928), whose work influenced many early comics artists; Flemish woodcut artist Frans Masreel, who created wordless graphic novels; Keiji Nakazawa, creator of Barefoot Gen, the first manga to be published in English (see “Keiji Nakazawa”); and Ron Turner, founder of Last Gasp, which published not only Barefoot Gen but also a number of seminal underground comix including Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary, Air Pirates, and Wimmin’s Comix (see “Ron Turner and Denis Kitchen”).

In April, a slate of nominees will be announced for four more slots, who will be chosen by Eisner Award voters.

This is the first year that the Hall of Fame choices have been made by a separate panel from the other Eisner Awards. The panel includes Dr. William Foster, Michael T. Gilbert, Karen Green, Alonso Nuñez, Jim Thompson, and Maggie Thompson.

The full list of inductees is: Kim Deitch, Creig Flessel, A. B. Frost, Billy Graham, Gary Groth, Albert Kanter, Warren Kremer, Oscar Lebeck, Frans Masereel, Don McGregor, Keiji Nakaszawa, Noel Sickles, Cliff Sterrett, Elmer C. Stoner, and Bryan Talbot, Ron Turner, George Tuska, Lynn Varley, and James Warren.