Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Will Eisner, comics pioneer, dies

Will Eisner died Monday after heart surgery. He was 87 years old. Neil Gaiman offers an appreciation of the man. You can read Eisner's biography here.
Among his major works were A Contract With God, To the Heart of the Storm, and The Neighborhood: Dropsie Avenue. He was also the creator of the seminal hero character, The Spirit and one of the first, and probably most important, books on the art of creating comics, Comics and Sequential Art.

2 comments:

writerfella said...

A WRITER WRITES WHAT HE REMEMBERS...
The passing of Will Eisner keynotes particular memories of the factors that made me a writer. My Kiowa Native American family moved to Los Angeles in 1941 when I was a month old. My early childhood contains a flurry of experiences sparked by living in a major American city during WWII. Such as: the Hollywood Santa Claus Parade of 1944 was interrupted by an air raid and a total city blackout. My parents, one of their friends, and I took shelter in the doorway of stairs that led to someone's apartment on Hollywood Boulevard. The family friend was "Tiny" Roebuck, a giant of a man who was a famous Native American champion wrestler. "Tiny" placed me atop his huge shoulders and I remember that we all watched dozens of searchlights sweeping the night sky amid tracer-filled streams of anti-aircraft fire rising far to the south. I remember feeling incredibly safe as we witnessed a part of the war happening right before our eyes.
My mother had taught me to read and write at age three, as my California-born baby sister was a sickly child and I mostly was left entertaining myself. I began to read her pulp science fiction magazines and novels, dooming me at an early age to eventually becoming a science fiction writer. As well, I relished finding a bound and fully-illustrated comic book of THE SPIRIT in every Sunday LOS ANGELES TIMES. THE SPIRIT's weekly adventures were absorbing, thrilling, humorous, and thought-provoking, all at the same time. That contact with the literate, intelligent, and richly well-plotted stories remained in my memories and thus became early guidelines for the writer I was to become. By the time we moved back to Oklahoma in 1947, I had accumulated scores of those little books and I guarded them jealously. Alas, when I first went to college in 1959, my SPIRIT comic book collection mysteriously vanished back home.
So it is that I believe that Will Eisner was owed a very great debt for his influence on my later career, and it is with further sadness that I note his passing because I never received the opportunity to meet that man, to tell him so, and to thank him.
A writer writes what he remembers, and I always will remember the joy I found in THE SPIRIT and in the mind of Will Eisner...
---Writerfella

zencomix said...

"You can't scare off demons with a shotgun!" Bad Cinema movie.....