Today is Will Eisner’s 94th birthday! Why is it that we celebrate a persons birth even after death? Why not celebrate his death day? Or better yet, lets celebrate an important day in the persons life. Anyway, let us not have my questions rain on this parade, Mother Nature is doing a good enough job on her own. Weather aside, lets celebrate!
Just to make sure we’re all on the same page, Will Eisner is considered by most people to be the most influential and/or important person to ever grace the comic industry. You might also know him from a little book called The Spirit. Here’s the short biography from WillEisner.com
WILL EISNER was born William Erwin Eisner on March 6, 1917 in Brooklyn, New York. By the time of his death on January 3, 2005, following complications from open heart surgery, Eisner was recognized internationally as one of the giants in the field of sequential art, a term he coined.
In a career that spanned nearly seventy years and eight decades — from the dawn of the comic book to the advent of digital comics — he truly was the ‘Orson Welles of comics’ and the ‘father of the Graphic Novel’. He broke new ground in the development of visual narrative and the language of comics and was the creator of The Spirit, John Law, Lady Luck, Mr. Mystic, Uncle Sam, Blackhawk, Sheena and countless others.
One of the comic industry’s most prestigious awards, The Eisner Award, is named after him. Recognized as the ‘Oscars’ of the American comic book business, the Eisners are presented annually before a packed ballroom at Comi-Con International in San Diego, America’s largest comics convention.
Wizard magazine named Eisner “the most influential comic artist of all time.” Michael Chabon’s Pulitzer-prize winning novel Kavalier and Clay is based in good part on Eisner. Also in 2002, Eisner received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Federation for Jewish Culture, only the second such honor in the organization’s history, presented by Pulitzer-prize winning cartoonist Art Spiegelman.
An authorized biography, Will Eisner: A Spirited Life by Bob Andelman, was published in 2005. A new biography, Will Eisner: A Dreamer’s Life in Comics by Michael Schumacher has been released in 2010 by Bloomsbury.
A film documentary about Eisner’s career, “Will Eisner: Portrait of a Sequential Artist” from Montilla Pictures (Andrew and Jon B. Cooke), premiered at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival.
Back to the celebration…
Check out Google’s Eisner inspired page header. Click it and your mind will be opened to all the Eisner you can handle.
Then if you feel like braving the rain, drop by MoCCA today for a screening of Will Eisner: Portrait of a Sequential Artist followed by a panel with the film’s makers, Andrew D. Cooke and Jon B. Cooke moderated by Danny Fingeroth.
The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art – MoCCA – and The Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation are proud to announce that, as part of Will Eisner Week, 2011, they will be presenting a screening of the award-winning Documentary “Will Eisner: Portrait of a Sequential Artist,” followed by a special panel with the film’s makers, Andrew D. Cooke and Jon B. Cooke. The panel will be moderated by Danny Fingeroth, MoCCA’s SVP of Education and co-curator of Will Eisner’s New York: From the Spirit to the Modern Graphic Novel exhibition, currently on view at MoCCA.
WHEN: Sunday, March 6, 2011
WHERE: Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (MoCCA)
594 Broadway, suite 401, New York, NY 10012
COST: General public: $5 / MoCCA members: Free
Space is limited, and reservations are required. To make a reservation, please call MoCCA at 212-254-3511, Tuesday through Sundays, 12 PM to 5 PM. For more information visit www.moccany.org
Click the DVD and you’ll be taken to a site that hosts the trailer.
If you can’t make it today, don’t fret… all week MoCCA is hosting Will Eisner’s New York: From the Spirit to the Modern Graphic Novel, an exhibit of Will Eisner’s New York inspired work, curated by Danny Fingeroth, and one of the coolest dudes in comics Denis Kitchen.
Do yourself a favor and stop by the store, or webstore for that matter and familiarize yourself with the work of Mr. Eisner.
Happy Birthday Will, thanks for everything!