At its annual Eisner Awards event on July 24, Comic-Con International: San Diego added Don and Maggie Thompson to membership in its Will Eisner Comic Awards Hall of Fame. The Awards are named in honor of comics pioneer Will Eisner, creator of The Spirit.
The Thompsons separately collected comic books from the time of childhood and went on to explore the art of comic books and strips together as adults. Eventually, they turned their mutual hobby into a profession when they began working in 1983 as pop-culture editors for publications from Iola’s Krause Publications. After her husband died in 1994, Maggie Thompson continued to co-edit Comics Buyer’s Guide until its closure in 2013. Since then, she has continued to contribute to the comics field.
Accepting the award, Thompson said, “It is an honor and a privilege and a thrill to receive this award. With so many challenges in the world today, it takes an extra effort to celebrate our history. Thank you.
“Six decades ago, when Don Thompson and I were dating, the term ‘popular culture’ was not in wide use. Nevertheless, pop culture is what brought us together. It fascinated us. It challenged us to learn and share at a time when comic art was usually dismissed as childish entertainment.
“When we began producing fanzines, we didn’t call ourselves critics; we called ourselves reviewers. We didn’t call ourselves journalists; we called ourselves editors and reporters and writers. When we were hired to edit Comics Buyer’s Guide, our job was to provide a growing audience of comics fans, collectors, and professionals with a newspaper that served the needs of that audience. And that’s what we did.
“I know Don would be so proud of, and grateful for, this honor. It means the world to me to see his memory celebrated 26 years after his death.
“I hope that we will all continue to support each other, just as Don and I shared our comics with our children, Valerie and Stephen. Let’s keep spreading the news of— and sharing the love for—this art form. The world benefits so much from what used to be dismissed as kid stuff. It needs to know that. And, while never forgetting the kids, we can all continue to benefit from comics, no matter what our age may be. Thank you again. Thank you.”
For more information on the Eisner Awards, visit www. comic-con.org/awards/eisner-awards-current-info. Past inductees into the Hall of Fame can be found at www. comic-con.org/awards/hall-fame-awards; however, an entry for Don and Maggie Thompson has not yet been included.