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Will Eisner: A Dreamer's Life in Comics Hardcover – November 9, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; 1St Edition edition (November 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1608190137
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608190133
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.4 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,169,275 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

An iconic figure in the world of comics, Will Eisner has stellar achievements worthy of the reverence shown by Schumacher (Wreck of the Carl D.). Fortified by intimate interviews, Schumacher's work shows an outsider during a Depression-era childhood, "an artistic dreamer and steely realist" determined to use his exceptional talent to forge a career. Eisner, his skills sharpened by an apprenticeship and a stint at Manhattan's noted Art Students League, created one of the first comics syndicates at a peak in the comics trend in the 1930s and '40s, recruiting such top names as Lou Fine, Bob Kane, and Jack Kirby. Despite wars, a congressional probe on the "immorality" of comics, and the cancer death of his daughter, Eisner produced remarkable work over eight decades: as a young artist, as the creator of a classic superhero, the Spirit, and as the father of the American graphic novel with his Contract with God trilogy. This exploration of Eisner, with photos and drawings, provides an absorbing glimpse of an American original who continually set the bar higher in his field. (Dec.)
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* Born in 1917, Will Eisner, now known as the father of the graphic novel, grew up in the Bronx poor but resourceful. Seasoned biographer Schumacher zeroes in on the essence of Eisner’s success: his rare ability to unite art (he inherited his phenomenal gift for drawing from his immigrant artist father) with practicality (his mother’s specialty). After going to work selling newspapers at age 13, it didn’t take long for this tireless “observer of the city” and an ardent fan of short stories and movies to excel in the burgeoning world of comics as the creator of the Spirit, a masked superhero, and as the founder of a thriving comics studio. Drafted in 1942 and put to work making educational comics for the army, Eisner spent the next two decades creating instructional comics until the underground comic movement initiated a revival of his early work and sparked his revolutionary and socially conscious graphic novels, beginning with A Contract with God (1978). Propelled by Eisner’s geyserlike energy and output, Schumacher keenly chronicles Eisner’s brilliant career within a lively history of American comics and creates an inspiring portrait of a perpetually diligent and innovative artist whose belief in comics as fine art fueled a new and fertile creative universe. --Donna Seaman

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Weiner on January 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover
As a young man, Eisner saw a future for comics that few others did. He sold a successful complany in 1940 to produce The Spirit, a weekly strip aimed at the unheard of audience of adult readers. For 20 years or so he produced educational material in comics form. Then he returned to storytelling comics because he saw that the audience had matured and was now ready for his contribution; the graphic novel. Over the course of 25 years or so, he pounded oout graphic novels--books in comics format aimed at readers who might enjoy Saul Bellow or John Berryman. Other people produced a graphic novel or two, but Eisner made graphic novels themselves his business. Would he even had the opportunity if Denis Kitchen hadn't believed in him and the comics' future he foresaw? An amazing story, all the more poignant in that his tremendous career success tried to offset the loss of his children.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Avrum M. Fine on March 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well written piece of comic book art history. I recommend this to every fan of the graphic novel. Will Eisner created the genre. He was an absolute genius.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Grant W. Laird Jr. on February 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
All comics sample and old photography are very small and hard to read on Kindle. Otherwise it was easy and enjoyable reading!
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More About the Author

Michael Schumacher has written twelve books, including "Mighty Fitz: The Sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald" (Minnesota, 2012) and "Wreck of the Carl D.," and twenty-five documentaries on Great Lakes shipwrecks and lighthouses. He lives in Wisconsin.

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Will Eisner: A Dreamer's Life in Comics
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