Mike Friedrich and E. Nelson Bridwell have been chosen as this year's recipients for the Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing. The Bill Finger Award was created in 2005 to honor those writers considered under-recognized by the industry and its readers at-large.
"Once again, we have two winners who are way past-due for some rightful recognition," said awards committee chairman Mark Evanier. "Both were among the first human beings who went from reading comics to writing letters-to-the-editor that were published in comics and then on to writing the comics themselves. And both wrote some very fine comics that were appreciated at the time and appreciated in reprints - but, we think, not enough."
Mike Friedrich is a 1960s letter hack who went on to write Batman, The Flash, Justice League of Amerca, Iron Man, Ant-Man, Captain Marvel, and more. He was the founder of one of the industry's first major alternative publishers, Star*Reach, and co-founded WonderCon. Friedrich co-created the DC archer Merylyn, and scripted the first appearances of Thanos and Drax the Destroyer.
E. Nelson Bridwell wrote for Mad, Super Friends, and the Batman comic strip, and worked as an editor for DC. He co-created DC's Inferior Five, Secret Six, Angel and the Ape, and the JLA heroines Fire and Ice. He was the namesake of characters in Watchmen and Astro City.
Friedrich and Bridwell were chosen by a commitee comprised of Evanier, Charles Kochman, Kurt Busiek, Jim Amash, Scott Shaw!, and Marv Wolfman.
The Finger Awards are scheduled to be handed out by Evanier and Athena Finger (Bill Finger's granddaughter) on Friday, July 19 during the Eisner Awards ceremony.