Today we get to celebrate comics by remembering the birthday of the father of the graphic novel, Will Eisner (March 6, 1917 – January 3, 2005). Known for creating The Spirit and longer stories such as A Contract With God, Eisner continues to be a reigning influence on comics and graphic storytelling. The high school friend of Bob Kane started his comics career at an early age and continued working until his death. Tufts University screens the 2007 film Will Eisner: Portrait of a Sequential Artist on Thursday as we celebrate Will Eisner Week at Earth Prime Time.
Sure, we’ve gushed about Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, but a man important to comic books has escaped the public’s consciousness over the years. Will Eisner’s cinematic visions of the comic book page alongside a kinetic lettering style continues to define the look of the comic book page as professional artists continue to learn from his masterful storytelling techniques.
The Spirit is perhaps Eisner’s most notable work. The presumed dead police detective Denny Colt establishes a hideout in Central City’s Wildwood Cemetery.
The Spirit was a dashing vigilante, hunting down his arch enemy, The Octopus, and solving crimes with sidekick Ebony White. The stories ran the gamut of crime and detective noir to romance and horror.
Many great comic artists have had their hands on the domino-masked hero, from launching the career of Wally Wood in 1952 to modern day vintage illustrators Darwyn Cooke (New Frontier) and J. Bone (Rocketeer: Hollywood Horror). Sin City’s Frank Miller made the jump to full time director and filmmaker, only to release a vacant and vapid adaptation of the character on screen in 2008′s The Spirit.
[READ MORE at DIGBOSTON.COM]