Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Rankin

Each Year in Cross Plains, the Robert E. Howard Foundation presents awards for the best contribution to Howard studies. In past years, illustration wasn't among the categories eligible for a specific award, but that changed this year with the addition of "The Rankin." The award is named for Weird Tales illustrator Hugh Rankin (1878-1956). Howard himself cited Rankin as among his favorite illustrators, and actually collected some of his original art.

In 2009, one of our Adventures of Two-Gun Bob strips was devoted to Rankin — and, except for the hand in panel 2, it was entirely composed of Rankin's own illustrations from Howard's stories.

We weren't able to be in Cross Plains for the awards presentation this year, but we received a pleasant surprise package last week from the Foundation. Along with several wonderful new books, the box included ... the first Rankin Award. We were both really flattered to have won — especially with such amazing artists as Tim Bradstreet and Tom├ís Giorello also in nomination.

Another great Rankin nominee, "Indiana" Bill Cavalier, designed the handsome award plaque. He tells us that it's laser engraved into bamboo!

Very cool. Thanks to all involved.