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Will Eisner: A Spirited Lifeby Bob Andelman
Synopses & Reviews
Will Eisner is a founding father of two American mediums: comic books (The Spirit) and graphic novels (A Contract with God). WILL EISNER: A Spirited Life is the biography of this master's life and work, often told in his own words and family photos. Eisner trained some of the world's greatest comic art talent: Bob Kane (Batman); Jack Kirby (Fantastic Four); Jules Feiffer; Dave Berg (Mad); and Joe Kubert (Tarzan). Eisner also inspired generations of modern artists and writers, including Frank Miller (Sin City) Harlan Ellison, Brad Bird (The Incredibles) and Art Spiegelman (Maus). Michael Chabon, whose Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay was influenced by Eisner's career, wrote the stirring introduction for Will Eisner: A Spirited Life. Neal Adams also contributed an appreciation of his friend Eisner. Author Bob Andelman conducted almost weekly interviews with Will Eisner. The book includes interviews with dozens of other familiar names in popular literature and graphic arts. Among those who spoke about either their personal experience with Eisner or the way in which he touched their careers were Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, Neil Gaiman, Denis Kitchen, Joe Kubert, Jim Warren, Stan Lee, Dave Sim, and Patrick McDonnell.
"It is highly fortunate that Andelman got to write this authorized biography of the towering American cartoonist Eisner before his death this year at age 87. Following Michael Chabon's insightful introduction, Andelman states that he will not critique Eisner's work, and so barely describes Eisner's innovative 'The Spirit' or the contents of his pioneering graphic novels. Andelman thus limits his audience to comics aficionados who are already thoroughly familiar with Eisner's oeuvre; others will be left puzzled as to why he merits a biography. Thoroughly researched, the book confusingly jumps back and forth in time, while presenting vivid portraits of Eisner's colleagues like Jerry Iger, Denis Kitchen and Cat Yronwode. Eisner is depicted as a hardworking, almost universally beloved artistic visionary. Yet Eisner's work indicates that he was a far more complex figure. Andelman briefly touches on intriguing issues, like Eisner's capacity for anger, his obsessive penny-pinching, his religious doubts, and his anguish over his daughter's death, but never probes them sufficiently. A future biography should delve beneath Eisner's public persona to draw connections between his life and his art. Still, so far there are few serious biographies of important figures in American comics. In authorizing this book, Eisner has proved a pioneer yet again. " Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Internationally recognized for his genre-busting 1940s art and storytelling style on The Spirit, Will Eisner's greatest legacy may be the graphic novels he championed and created. He was an American master whose work in comics permanently altered the face of global pop culture. A Spirited Life explores Eisner's amazing life, detailing a career that spanned 70 years and saw him educate several generations of Army soldiers in the innovative PS Magazine and create the first widely known graphic novel, A Contract with God. Eisner also introduced some of the world's greatest comics art talent: Bob Kane (Batman), Jack Kirby (Fantastic Four), Jules Feiffer, Dave Berg (MAD) and Joe Kubert (Tarzan). And he inspired generations of modern artists and writers, including Frank Miller (Sin City), Robert Crumb, Harlan Ellison, Neil Gaiman (Sandman, American Gods), Brad Bird (The Incredibles), Patrick McDonnell (Mutts) and Art Spiegelman (Maus). A Spirited Life also includes interviews with many of Eisner's contemporaries, such as Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, Neil Gaiman, Denis Kitchen, Jim Warren, Dave Sim, Denny O'Neil and Stan Lee.
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