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For the first time ever, the Bill Finger Award recipients are women

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Jun 13, 2018

In what feels like a long overdue moment, San Diego Comic-Con announced Wednesday that two women would at last be the recipients of the Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing. The winners of the 13-year-old award are Joye Hummel Murchison Kelly and Dorothy Roubicek Woolfolk.

After taking a class taught by Wonder Woman creator Dr. William Moulton Marston, Kelly began working with him on the comic and wrote scripts until 1947. Her work went uncredited with everything published under the “Charles Moulton” byline. Kelly was a key figure in Wonder Woman’s early years.

The late Woolfolk was another important figure at DC Comics and beyond. In the 1940s she was a writer and editor for the company and later returned to it in the ‘70s. She worked on numerous titles, including Wonder Woman, and often receives credit for coming up with a key aspect of Superman’s story: Kryptonite.

The work of these women was essential to the stories of many of our favorite superheroes, and it is well past time to recognize their achievements. It’s frankly hard to believe it took this long for a woman to be acknowledged with the award.

Chair of the selection committee for the award Mark Evanier said in the announcement that they are “really excited about this one.”

"The comic book industry employed too few women in its early decades. Back when this year's honorees were active, their gender was horribly unrepresented among the creative talents that made the comics—and what few there were went totally unrecognized. The work of these two extraordinary ladies deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated,” he said.

The Bill Finger Award was first presented in 2005 and, Evanier explained, is meant to “recognize and salute writers for a body of work that has not received its rightful reward and/or recognition.” It’s named after Finger, who only recently received credit for his role in Batman’s creation.

The award will be given out during the Eisner Awards at SDCC on July 20. Kelly will accept her award in person, while Woolfolk’s daughter Donna WoolFolk Cross will accept the award on her mother’s behalf.

(via The Beat)