Wizard World Launches Hall of Legends
You’re not a real, national-level comic show these days unless you have an awards program. So Wizard World has just announced, as “part of the enhanced comics offerings at Wizard World Comic Cons this year”, that they are starting a Hall of Legends “to celebrate the artists, writers and insiders who have built the industry and those [who] continue the traditions.”
The press release begins
“For more than a quarter-century, the name Wizard World has represented the best in comics and pop culture. As one of the media pioneers in the space, Wizard World is proud to be honoring and respecting the legacy of the comic arts through the Wizard World Hall of Legends.”
But it gets better. Guess who the first legend honored is?
That’s right, it’s Rob Liefeld, Image Comics co-founder and “creator of the popular Cable, Deadpool, X-Force, and Youngblood franchises”! (Not characters, not titles, but franchises.) He will receive the inaugural award on Friday, June 2, at a ceremony that’s part of Wizard World Comic Con Philadelphia.
“I’m honored to be inducted into the Wizard World Hall of Legends and have my 30 years of contributions to the industry recognized,” said Liefeld. “I have tremendous love and affection for this art form, its community, and the business of creating and selling comic books and graphic novels. It was a passion of mine long before it was my vocation.”
“Comics is where Wizard World began, and the community continues to be a vital part of all facets of our company,” said John D. Maatta, Wizard World President and CEO. “We have worked diligently to make Artist Alley at our shows even more engaging for attendees, and we encourage fans to let us know what else they’d like to see as we continue to improve the experience for the many fans who love comics as much as we do.”
X-Force #1 is the #2 selling comic book of all time, with five million copies sold, according to Wizard World while Youngblood, “went on to sell 1 million copies, shattering the sales record for an independent comic book.” The Wizard World Hall of Legends will “honor one or more figures from the comics world at each convention”. Reading between the lines of this release, I’m guessing the honorees are selected based on high sales, media interest (Liefeld is described as “a top creator whose work has gained worldwide acclaim in various media forms, all the way to the big screen”), and who’s willing to attend and promote the show.