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Sunday, March 06, 2011

One of my favourite graphic novelists …

Will Eisner would have been 94 today.

'Graphic Novel' was a category that he  popularised (which is why many thought he invented the term). This was when he published A Contract With God. A truly wonderful book in every way - and one that I have read again and again. The illustrations are super-brilliant and the stories are marvelous.

He is now considered to be the father of the modern graphic novel.Will Eisner's Comics and Sequential Art as well as his Graphic Story Telling and Visual Narrative are essential for anyone who wishes to really understand comics.

Among the several books  that Will Eisner wrote, one that I enjoyed a lot was The Plot: The Secret Story of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion — a book that tells us of how theElders of Zion book became what it became ... and we still see anti-Jews referring to it as if it were fact.

My favourite possession, of course, is a limited edition of a book (Invisible People) that I have, signed by him. Here's the first page:

Apart from being one of the most wonderful artistes of his genre, Will also gave us people that comics fans love: Jack KirbyJules Feiffer, and Scott McCloud.

Of course, one must follow Will's books with the three of Scott McCloud's amazing masterpieces. They are, in my opinion, the most comprehensive sources that anyone who loves comics will enjoy, even if s/he is not interested in drawing comics.

In 1988, The Eisner Awards were established in his name. Presented each year at Comic-Con International in San Diego, they have become the 'Oscars' of the comic book industry.

A conversation between him and Frank Miller (author and co-Director of Sin City) is available again as Eisner/Miller. Parts of his Spirit, a comic book that has been the favourite of many and it is re-selling in thousands again, are now beginning to be available on films, too, and Frank Miller has directed the first one.

The Eisner/Miller book is worth buying if you are 'Will crazy', like I am. But do get it with his Shop Talk - a book where he discusses with many artists (including Harvey Kurtzman and Neal Adams) the importance, direction and wonderful stories about comics.

Finally, a film that we should soon see at T2F as soon as my copy arrives!

Thanks, Will.

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Anonymous Sabeen Mahmud said...

Lovely post. Thank you for introducing me to Will. What a marvelous story-teller. Loved the last poster!

06 March, 2011 22:14

Anonymous Ally said...

Okay, I gotta admit. I've never read a graph novel, because I looked down on books with too many pictures, and non-fiction in general. But when i saw your post, I was intrigued. So I went to the library, and checked out the trilogy, and WOW.. I couldn't put it down! Its amazing. The pictures really don't get in the way, as I expected, and they add a lot. Its almost like reading a movie, slide by slide. And although its fiction, it sure feels real. Its feels like the difference between what did happen, and what could of happened, lost all importance... historical fiction writers would be turning in their graves, but ya, thats the impression the novel left on me....
Thanks for your post.

09 March, 2011 23:27

Blogger Amit J said...

it was the result of a random search that i chanced upon your blog today...must say it's quite a gem...and it looks like that we have many things in common(including a certain fondness for chirkeen's poetry)...
Well I'm from India, and I occasionally pen my musings on


08 April, 2011 17:52


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