Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Who was Harvey Kurtzman?

Harvey Kurtzman (1924-1993) was a cartoonist, writer, editor and comics genius. He is probably best remembered for MAD, which he founded in 1952. He created 28 revolutionary issues with such talent as Will Elder, Jack Davis, and Wally Wood but left after a bitter falling out in 1956 with E.C. publisher Bill Gaines (for whom he also created Two-Fisted Tales and Frontline Combat).
Kurtzman then created the short-lived satire magazine Trump for Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner in 1957. He followed with the comic-sizeHumbug in 1958, then Help! magazine. During his Help! tenure 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.

“To historians of pop culture, Mr. Kurtzman is one of the most important figures in postwar America.”
[ The New York Times ]

“Kurtzman has been the single most significant influence on a couple of generations of comic artists.” 

[Art Spiegelman]

What are the Harvey Awards?

The Harvey Awards are one of the comic book industry's oldest and most respected awards. The Harveys recognize outstanding achievements in over 20 categories, ranging from Best Artist to the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame. They are the only industry awards both nominated by and selected by the full body of comic book professionals.

Beginning in 1988 at the Chicago Comic-Con, the Harveys enjoyed runs at the Dallas Fantasy Fair, Oakland's Wondercon, the Pittsburgh Comicon, and the Museum of Comics and Cartoon Art.  In 2005, the Harveys have joined the Baltimore Comic-Con, held each year at the Baltimore Convention Center.  The Harvey Awards and the Baltimore Comic-Con look forward to a long and fruitful relationship together.

The Harvey Awards are presented annually to those creators and publications that receive the most votes from their peers in the comics industry. At the beginning of each year, nominating ballots are sent to comics professionals and publishers. Qualifying professionals are able to nominate up to five entries in each category. The top five nominees, plus ties, in each category are placed on the final ballot, which is mailed in the Spring. Final ballots are returned and the votes are tabulated. Winners are announced each year at the Harvey Awards banquet, now held as part of the Baltimore Comic-Con.

The Harvey Awards Executive Committee, or subgroups of the Executive Committee, oversees the publication and mailing of the nominating ballots, tabulation of the nominees, publication and mailing of the final ballot, tabulation of the final votes and organization and presentation of the awards. The Executive Committee does not nominate candidates for the Harvey Awards, nor engage in selection of the candidates or winners. This is done solely through votes cast by the comics professionals who choose to participate in the process.

Ballots are made available to all qualifying comics professionals, either directly from the Harvey Awards Executive Committee, the website at harveyawards.org, or from publishers who receive bundles of ballots and disseminate them to professionals in their employ.

The Harvey Awards Executive Committee and its subgroups work strictly on a volunteer basis. The Harveys employ no paid staff and are completely funded from the generous donations of its sponsors.


My name is Brad Tree and I am the liason between the Harvey Awards and the Baltimore Comic-Con.  I have assisted with the Harvey Awards since they came to Baltimore in 2006.

This blog is intended to help us share more Harvey news, information, and history with the general public.

Please look forward to more updates soon!

Best Regards,