Thursday, April 26, 2007


I've already discussed the career of this GIANT of the cartooning world in one of my other blogs, but here are some of the reasons I love his work.

***THE SPIRIT stories are the comic book equivalent to good, short movies. They are full of great "camera angles", inventive "set design" and are among the first adventure comic material to have a really fun, tongue-in-cheek sense of humor. This opinion is evinced not only via the drawing, which, from the wonderfully designed opening, or "splash", pages is always dramatic and dynamic, but also by the writing. Naturally I know that writing is not in and of itself _cartooning_, but writing and drawing bond together to make comic book, strip, and animation art. Good writing can usually not save bad drawing, and good drawing cannot often save bad writing.

***The "graphic novels", longer format stories, written and drawn by Mr. Eisner, are fine examples of this sort of comic book work. Will's heartfelt, autobiographical stories are often sad and touching, but not sentimental or "schmaltzy". His most famous graphic novel, A CONTRACT WITH GOD, first presented in brown ink, to give it an old-fashioned look, and the later work, TO THE HEART OF THE STORM are very rich in their portrayal of the times they tell of, and the individuals who walk through their pages. THE DREAMER, a mix of fact and fiction, perhaps, that delves into the history of the early days of comic books, is sad and nostalgic, recalling a tough time in the world, but a time that was saved for many with the appearance of comic books for a mode of escape from the world's harsh realities.

***Eisner was an educator, who used comic book formats to teach not only drawing, but also to teach individuals in the US Armed Services preventive maintenance. His vision in using comics as an educational tool are unsurpassed, and his talent for this is something that could and should be continued worldwide.

---additions and edits will follow---

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