The ECBACC Pioneer and Lifetime Achievement Award was inaugurated in 1984 to honour men and women and many unsung, who have made innovative, dynamic and lasting contributions to the Comic Art industry, and who have paved the way for others. Nominations are solicited from and submitted by a select ad hoc consortium of comic book historians, writers, artists and aficionados, who make their own independent submissions. The 2018 Awards will be awarded to five veteran cartoonists, who are modern-day creative pioneers, and who have maintained a consistent presence in the industry for over three decades.
Keep The Faith cartoon contributor and comic artist, TAYO Fatunla, has won an award for his contributions to Black history through his cartoon feature, OUR ROOTS. TAYO began his cartooning career in Nigeria, drawing for local and mainstream newspapers and magazines, including the popular cartoon commentary column, OMOBA, for the Punch newspapers, and TIROGO for the Nigerian Herald. He attended the prestigious Kubert School, an art school based in Dover, New Jersey. It was in the US that he created OUR ROOTS whilst in art school. A devout Christian, TAYO was water baptised by Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo of KICC. TAYO’s Gospel humour cartoons are featured in Keep The Faith magazine regularly. He began the concept in 2007, in Light of the World – a Christian newspaper based in New York.
TAYO and four other well-known and established African American cartoonists and award recipients, namely Ray Billingsley, Barbara Brandon-Croft, Jerry Craft and Ralph L Stevenson, are pioneers of Comic Art in their own right, and will be presented with their awards in Philadelphia.