The Goethe Awards were an awards program for the field of comics art that Don and Maggie Thompson began in their own fanzine, Newfangles. While not officially affiliated with CBG‘s precursor, The Buyer’s Guide for Comic Fandom, the ballot did run in the magazine — and some issues of the magazine do list many of the winners of this early fan awards program.
The ballot for the 1971 Goethe Awards appeared in TBG #14 (April 1972). Nominations from 335 fans yielded from four to seven nominees on the ballot in each of seven categories. “No award” was an option in each category.
More than 700 would vote in this round of the awards, and the awards were presented July 3, 1972, at the Comic Art Convention in a ceremony emceed by Tony Isabella and Carl Gafford. TBG did announce that it had won the “Favorite Fanzine” award in #17 (the July 1972 issue — incidentally, the last monthly issue for 22 years), but it did not list other winners.
The winners of the 1972 Goethe Awards were reported in The Buyer’s Guide for Comic Fandom #38 (June 15, 1973). Ballots were printed in TBG, Comic Crusader, The Comic Reader, Gazette Advertiser, Memonomee Falls Gazette, and Rocket’s Blast Comicollector.
There were 1,011 voters. More than a third of the ballots came from TBG, wiith Comic Reader not far behind. The median age was 19, and 93% of voters were male.
Winners in each category are listed here in boldface, along with other fan-selected nominees in their order of finish.:
Favorite Pro Artist: Barry Windsor-Smith, Neal Adams, Bernie Wrightson, Jack Kirby
Favorite Pro Writer: Roy Thomas, Len Wein, Jack Kirby, Dennis ONeil, Steve Englehart
Favorite Pro Editor: Roy Thomas, Julius Schwartz
Favorite Pro Comic Book: Conan, Swamp Thing, Tarzan, Avengers
Favorite Non-Newsstand Comic Book: The Menomonee Falls Gazette, Bedtime Stories, Further Adventures of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, Fantagor, Skull, Phase
Favorite Comic-Book Story: The Black Hound of Vengeance! (Conan #20), And through Him Save a World (Green Lantern #89), The Pact (New Gods #20), Dark Genesis (Swamp Thing #1)
Favorite Comic-Book Character: Conan, Batman, Spider-Man, Tarzan, Green Arrow
Favorite Fan Magazine: The Comic Reader, The Buyers Guide for Comic Fandom, Comixscene, Comic Crusader, Graphic Story World, Rockets Blast Comicollector
Favorite Fan Writer: Don & Maggie Thompson, Tom Fagan, Tony Isabella, Jan Strnad, Paul Levitz
Favorite Fan Artist: Richard Corben, Don Newton, John Fantucchio, Martin Greim
The Thompsons passed stewardship of the awards program to Tony Isabella, who ran the 1973 Comic Fan Art Awards winners in TBG #63 (Aug. 1, 1974). The follwowing winners were selected from an open-field voting system:
Favorite Pro Artist: Bernie Wrightson
Favorite Pro Writer: Len Wein
Favorite Pro Editor: Roy Thomas
Favorite Pro Comic Book: Swamp Thing.
Favorite Comic-Book Story: Night of the Bat by Len Wein, Bernie Wrightson, and Joe Orlando in Swamp Thing #7
Favorite Comic-Book Character: Conan
Favorite Fan Magazine: The Comic Reader
Favorite Fan Writer: Don & Maggie Thompson
Favorite Fan Artist: Don Newton
The winners of the 1974 Comic Fan Art Awards weren’t published until TBG #123 (March 26, 1976):
Favorite Writer: Roy Thomas
Favorite Penciller: Jim Starlin
Favorite Inker: Tom Palmer
Favorite Editor: Roy Thomas
Favorite Comic Book: E-Man
Favorite Fanzine: The Comic Reader
The average age of voters was 17.68.
We’ll post more of the Goethe/Comic Art awards as they turn up.