Comics artist and movie director Katsuhiro Otomo, internationally renowned for his manga “Akira” and other works, has been inducted into the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame.
The announcement was made at the San Diego Comic-Con International convention on July 13.
The prestigious Eisner Awards are given for outstanding achievements in comic books by U.S. comic industry professionals.
Otomo became the fourth Japanese artist and the first in eight years to be inducted.
He was initially scheduled to make a guest appearance at the Comic-Con, but he had to cancel.
The Hall of Fame was introduced in 1987. Past inductees include greats such as the awards' namesake Will Eisner, along with Stan Lee, Moebius and Winsor McCay.
The previous Japanese inductees are Osamu Tezuka (2002) and "Lone Wolf and Cub" creators Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima (2004).
It is rare for artists outside of the United States to be inducted.
In recent years, the Eisner Awards judges select two persons to be automatically included into the Hall of Fame and choose a dozen or so nominees from which industry professionals select four winners through a voting process.
Otomo was the first Japanese artist to be chosen through voting, a measure of the high regard in which he is held.
This year, "Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths" (Drawn and Quarterly), an autobiographical manga by Shigeru Mizuki, won the award in the Best U.S. Edition of International Material--Asia category. The manga previously won the Heritage Award at the Angouleme International Comics Festival in 2009.
In addition, "A Bride's Story" by Kaoru Mori (published by Yen Press); "The Drops of God" by Tadashi Agi and Shu Okimoto (Vertical); "Saturn Apartments" by Hisae Iwaoka (Viz Media); "Stargazing Dog" by Takashi Murakami (NBM); and "Wandering Son" by Takako Shimura (Fantagraphics) were in the running in the category.
Naoki Urasawa's "20th Century Boys," which was nominated in the Best Continuing Series category with four other works, missed out this year.
For more information, visit the Comic-Con's official website at (http://www.comic-con.org/cci/cci_eisners_main.php).
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