National Cartoonists Society honors Russ Heath with the Milton Caniff Award

Heath Self Portrait National Cartoonists Society honors Russ Heath with the Milton Caniff Award

The NCS has just announced that Russ Heath will receive The Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award . The Caniff is presented to a cartoonist for “a lifetime of outstanding and accomplished work to a cartoonist who has not previously won the organization’s highest honor, the Reuben Award.”

GiveTake self National Cartoonists Society honors Russ Heath with the Milton Caniff Award

Heath is best known for his DC war comics, but he has a lengthy varied career—including work with Will Elder and Harvey Kurtzman on Little Annie Fanny and stuff for Marvel and just about every other publisher—beginning at age 16 in 1944. He was voted into Will Eisner Hall of Fame in 2004 and won the Sergio Award by the Comic Art Professional Society in 2010. He’s definitely a comics legend and seeing him honored like this is a nice capstone for him.

all american men of war 94 russ heath National Cartoonists Society honors Russ Heath with the Milton Caniff Award

sea.devils 01 710x1024 National Cartoonists Society honors Russ Heath with the Milton Caniff Award

It wasn’t until I read this announcement that I put into place the fact that Heath drew those ads for Roman and Revolutionary war plastic soldiers that adorned just about every comic of the 60s. The things you learn on the internet.
Roman Soldiers Ad 1024x694 National Cartoonists Society honors Russ Heath with the Milton Caniff Award

Comments

  1. Couldn’t happen to a greater guy!

    That second piece of art showing the soldier and the bottle is from “Give and Take” in Blazing Combat #4, arguably the most beautiful comic story ever drawn. Russ worked for six weeks on a six-page story. He was living at Playboy Mansion at the time (!) and had Playboy photogs shoot reference photos on EVERYTHING from multiple angles and with different lighting. He called it “a labor of love…and a lot of money!” as he lost money turning down other jobs while he was working on this one.

    The work, and Russ, stand the test of time.

    Jim McLauchlin

  2. I saw Heath at the San Diego Comic Fest and bought some nice Sgt. Rock prints from him.

    Jim, it makes sense what you say about that Blazing Combat piece — that soldier looks a lot like Heath, so I presume he posed for the shot!

  3. Russ Heath’s work should be hanging in the Museum of Modern Art.

    Instead, they honor Roy ” The Rip Off ” Lichtenstein

  4. Nice to see Heath get the recognition he deserves. And what a range of content, from horror and war comics to some wild National Lampoon stories.

  5. Russ Maheras says:

    Fantastic news! A well-deserved award to a terrific person, and one of the greatest artists the comic book industry has ever known. He’s one of my personal all-time favorites, and he’s been an endless source of artistic inspiration — especially the time I got to watch him ink a Haunted Tank page in his studio circa 1975. And when I first saw his signature a few years before that, I simply had to steal the “Russ” part and incorporate in in my own. You see, even though I was just a dumb teenager, I was smart enough to know perfection when I saw it!

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