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Will Eisner: A Spirited Life [Paperback]

Bob Andelman , Will Eisner
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 15, 2005
The Spirit's creator is immortalized in TwoMorrows' Deluxe Edition of Will Eisner: A Spirited Life


So much more than just a new printing, this expanded, full-color hardcover Deluxe Edition of Bob Andelman's out-of-print biography explores the fascinating life of Will Eisner, detailing a more than 70-year career in which he spearheaded comics for adult readers and created the first widely accepted graphic novel, A Contract with God.


From his childhood to famously turning down a proposal for Superman, to educating Army soldiers in P.S. Magazine and creating The Spirit, Eisner's personal and professional life is told in dramatic detail. Andelman spent almost three years interviewing Eisner prior to his passing, researching his life and work and interviewing friends, family, and colleagues including Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, Neil Gaiman, Denis Kitchen, Joe Kubert, Stan Lee, Jules Feiffer, Jim Warren, Dave Sim, Denny O'Neil, Neal Adams, and Patrick McDonnell.


In addition to dozens of full-color images from Will's archives and private collections (not found in the original edition), this expanded Deluxe Edition includes a series of new interviews with Drew Friedman, Howard Chaykin, Darwyn Cooke, Sergio Aragones, Ken Quattro, Michael Uslan, and others, which clear the air on some topics left unfinished by the first edition, and add depth to the reader's knowledge of Eisner's body of work.


It features an insightful introduction by Michael Chabon, and a Foreword by Neal Adams.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Michael Chabon contributes a heartfelt introduction to Andelman's first-ever biography of Will Eisner (1917-2005), and the story that follows is a real-life Kavalier and Clay. Present at the comics industry's birth in the 1930s, Eisner revolutionized the field not just creatively in work spanning from his 1940s stories featuring masked crime fighter the Spirit to his later, pioneering graphic novels but also as businessman and entrepreneur, teacher, mentor, and the inspiration of countless young artists. Andelman covers all those roles and points up Eisner's uniqueness among his peers: he retained ownership of his creations, and that allowed him to reprint the Spirit stories at a time, decades after their original publication, when so doing cemented his reputation in a new era of comics fandom and facilitated launching a new career as a graphic novelist with A Contract with God (1978). Besides verifying Eisner's impact on nearly every artist who drew comics in his wake, Andelman shows that Eisner's influence extends to such film directors as Spielberg and Tarantino. Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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on November 1, 2005
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