6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2000
Will Eisner offers a revealing look at the early days of comics in this semi-autobiographical tale of a young comics artist's early shot at stardom and some of his stumbling blocks (such as the copyright suit he was involved in as a young man over a Superman rip-off he was paid to draw).
The humanity of all Eisner's books is in strong evidence here, as we meet the other artists in the workshop where our dreamer goes to work: people with flaws and strengths, weaknesses and dignity, who just may be based on Jack Kirby, Alex Toth, Joe Kubert, and others from the dawn of the medium. Names are changed to protect Eisner's cohorts, however.
If you're a fan of comics' Golden Age, this is a book very worth checking out. This could be the story of any creator who worked for National, Atlas, Dell, or any of the other publishing houses of the time and dreamed of striking out on his own.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
it's not difficult to figure out the pseudonyms. eisner's decision to write his autobiography using code names for everyone (who is completely and obviously specific people), especially in this era of tell-all comics, is something of a head-scratcher. nevertheless, this is a thoroughly interesting and entertaining insight into Eisner's early career: his work at a printing press, his infamous encounter with the mafia and tijuana bibles, the decline of pulps and the rise of comic books, and the start of the Eisner/Iger production shop, with some nice cameos by Alex Toth (i think), Jack Kirby (i'm sure), and a writer who i don't recognize.
And, as ever, Eisner's storytelling, renderings, design, and particularly his breakdowns are excellent, regardless of any flaws in the story or, in Eisner's style, excessively emotive and kinetic characters.
The book is short, probably a 20-30 minute read the first time you go through it.