New York Comic Con (NYCC) is making its annual return to the city this weekend, as one of the most anticipated and well-known comic conventions in the nation, alongside San Diego Comic Con (SDCC).
Both conventions are known for celebrating those in the comics industry, honoring them amongst colleagues and fans alike. Each year, SDCC holds a ceremony for the Eisner Awards, and notable members of the comics community are inducted into its Hall of Fame.
Pace University’s own Professor Paul Levitz was recently awarded this prestigious honor. Before becoming a professor for the MS in Publishing program, Levitz was President of DC Comics for seven years. He was one of only four comic book creators from DC to be inducted this year.
Levitz has joined the ranks of other renowned DC alums such as Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the creators of Superman. Other notable inductees of the Hall of Fame include Charles M. Schulz of the Peanuts comic strip, Bob Montana of Archie Comics, and Jack Kirby, Joe Simon, Steve Ditko, and Stan Lee of Marvel Comics.
“For me, the joy of entering the Hall of Fame was the connection to so many of the creative people whose work I grew up on, who mentored me — notably my first boss, Joe Orlando — and who are dear friends,” Levitz said. Orlando was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007.
Levitz, who also received SDCC’s Inkpot Award for comics creation in 2002, sees the values of the comics environment reflected here at Pace. “Comics has a great community feeling in a way that many subsets of publishing have… and I think we try to inculcate that feeling here in the MS in Publishing program too.” Levitz believes both his work in comics and his work at Pace are “all about learning, mentoring, and paying it forward.”
Levitz was also able to reunite with his “Socrates and Plato” of DC Comics — Jennette Kahn, his mentor and predecessor as President — and Karen Berger, the editor who founded DC’s Vertigo imprint in 1993, with the support of both Kahn and Levitz. Berger was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018, and Kahn received the honor in 2019 alongside Levitz.
Professor Levitz teaches PUB 615: Publishing Comics and Graphic Novels for the fall 2019 semester. Catch him in spring 2020 in PUB 613: The Future of Publishing: Transmedia.
New York Comic Con 2019 will take place at the Javits Center Oct. 3-6.