Saturday, 5 March 2016

Celebrate Will Eisner Week!

(100 Hour Internet Tour at Newsarama, February 2008)
I think it's worth remarking on this occasion that Will Eisner was one of the earliest and most devoted citizens of the worldwide Comic Book Nation. Practically from the minute that he laid eyes on one of Phil Seuling's July 4 New York Comic Cons -- getting a crash course from Denis [Kitchen] in the new wave of creative freedom in the field in the process -- he literally couldn't divest himself of his other business interests fast enough.

As he said several times of his epiphany, "I could see it was TIME": that the comic-book field as he had always envisioned it, as he always tried to make it and as he never stopped believing it could be had now become a reality. He moved bag and baggage into the Direct Market and never once considered doing anything else in the remaining three decades of his life. As Denis said of the day that word came down that the SPIRIT TV pilot was going to get made, "I was more excited about it than he was."

Well, yes, because Will wasn't excited at all. Hollywood interested in him about as much as career in the NBA. It was a fine life for someone, but Will's heart and soul all along belonged to the comic-book field and that's where he put his time, his energy and attentions.

Thanks, as always, to Ann for taking such good care of him all those years so that all he really needed to think about was "What subject and I going to tackle next in comics and how am I going to tackle it?"

I like to think he would have been happy to find out that I was back working again. It seems a little pretentious to add a dedication to a project the length of Secret Project One [Judenhass] (49 pages), but the only person I would have considered dedicating it to is Will.

I miss him a great deal as we all do. We must rededicate ourselves every day to "doing good" IN comics and FOR comics.

It's the only tribute that would have meant anything to him...


Jeff Seiler said...

If you haven't seen Following Cerebus #4 (the Will Eisner issue) go try to beg, borrow, or steal it from someone (or buy it at your local comic book shop). It is sold out at the publisher's website.

Like almost all of the late, lamented Following Cerebus was, it is a scintillating read.

In fact, I think I owe myself a reread of all 12 issues...

Dave Kopperman said...

That's the "Advise & Consent" issue, right? Yep. That issue should be required reading in any college course on reading or creating comics. Fascinating reading top to bottom.

Tony Dunlop said...

For many years I've been saying that I put cartoonists/comix artists in two categories: Will Eisner, and everyone else.

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

This is especially appropriate, given that Dave has often been called (sometimes by me, though I didn't come up with the thought) the modern cartoonist most in the mould of Eisner rather than Kirby.

-- Damian