Otaku USA Magazine
Barefoot Gen Creator Keiji Nakazawa Joins Eisner Hall of Fame

The judges have revealed 19 people who are being added to the Will Eisner Comics Awards Hall of Fame in 2024. One of them is Keiji Nakazawa, whose manga Barefoot Gen was inspired by his own life story of surviving the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

The Eisner Awards Hall of Fame gave this description for Nakazawa:

Keiji Nakazawa was born in Hiroshima and was in the city when it was destroyed by a nuclear weapon in 1945. He settled in Tokyo in 1961 to become a cartoonist. He produced his first manga for anthologies like Shonen Gaho, Shonen King, and Bokura. By 1966, Nakazawa began to express his memories of Hiroshima in his manga, starting with the fictional Kuroi Ame ni Utarete (Struck by Black Rain) and the autobiographical story Ore wa Mita (I Saw It). Nakazawa’s life work, Barefoot Gen (1972), was the first Japanese comic ever to be translated into Western languages. Barefoot Gen was adapted into two animated films and a live-action TV drama and has been translated into a dozen languages.

Speaking to The Comics Journal in 2003, Nakazawa said about creating Barefoot Gen, “What struck me most was how poorly informed people outside Japan were about the atomic bomb and nuclear war. I’d like to think that reading Gen has helped people get a sense of the horror of the war and the bombing, as well as the danger of depriving people of their freedom of speech.”

Manga creators Osamu Tezuka, Kazuo Koike, Goseki Kojima, Katsuhiro Ōtomo, Rumiko Takahashi, and Moto Hagio have also been inducted to the Eisner Hall of Fame.

The other 18 people inducted this year are Kim Deitch, Creig Flessel, A. B. Frost, Billy Graham, Gary Groth, Albert Kanter, Warren Kremer, Oscar Lebeck, Frans Masereel, Don McGregor, Noel Sickles, Cliff Sterrett, Elmer C. Stoner, Bryan Talbot, Ron Turner, George Tuska, Lynn Varley, and James Warren.

Source: ICv2


Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.