"An American storyteller, like Ray Bradbury, like O. Henry."?Neil Gaiman With an unparalleled eye for stories and expressive illustration, Will Eisner, the master and pioneer of American comics art, presents graphic fiction's greatest celebration of the Big Apple. No illustrator evoked the melancholy duskiness of New York City as expressively as Eisner, who knew the city from the bottom up. This new hardcover presents a quartet of graphic works (New York, The Building, City People Notebook, and Invisible People) ...
"An American storyteller, like Ray Bradbury, like O. Henry."—Neil Gaiman
With an unparalleled eye for stories and expressive illustration, Will Eisner, the master and pioneer of American comics art, presents graphic fiction's greatest celebration of the Big Apple. No illustrator evoked the melancholy duskiness of New York City as expressively as Eisner, who knew the city from the bottom up. This new hardcover presents a quartet of graphic works (New York, The Building, City People Notebook, and Invisible People) and features what Neil Gaiman describes as "tales as brutal, as uncaring as the city itself." From ancient buildings "barnacled with laughter and stained with tears" to the subways, "humorless iron reptiles, clacking stupidly on a webbing of graceful steel rails," Will Eisner's New York includes cameo appearances by the author himself; several new illustrations sketched by Eisner, posthumously inked by Peter Poplaski; and three previously unpublished "out-takes"—a treasure for any Eisner fan, and sure to become a collectible. Introduction by Neil Gaiman.
Collecting four of Eisner's later graphic novels--New York, The Building, City People Notebook and Invisible People--this volume takes as its subject the city Eisner lived in and drew for most of his life. Eisner treats the city like a lover; its flaws are on display, its cantankerous nature is well-known, but the abiding tenderness that comes from lifelong intimacy is evident on every page. In New York, people on trains fantasize about one another while never making eye contact in "An Affair on the BMT Local"; while in "Worm's Eye View," two pairs of feet come together and move apart in a wordless narrative. These little moments of witnessed connection are the heart of the collection, and Eisner's eye for humanity amid the grind of the city is always on target. In the vignettes of City People Notebook, time, smell, space and streets all have their own special sets of rules in this hectic city. Much of the collection touches on the slightly magical nature of cities, and Neil Gaiman's very personal introduction adds the context of Eisner's enormous influence on contemporary comics and graphic novels. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
This omnibus volume, collecting four books from 1981 to 1992, follows Norton's edition of Eisner's The Contract with God Trilogy (LJ 1/06) and has a similar theme: the lives of dwellers in the Big Apple. New York and City People Notebook are collections of well-observed vignettes some comic, some tragic revolving around the sights, sounds, and even scents common to New York. Many are wordless, like a more thoughtful and serious version of Mad magazine's silent gags. The Building concerns four sad ghosts whose lives were all tied to one building and relates what happens when the building is torn down. Invisible People features the stories of a shirt presser whose obituary is mistakenly printed in the newspaper; a man who (in the book's only fantastic element) can miraculously heal others; and a pair of middle-aged librarians whose love affair is cut short. Eisner is a master storyteller, and his characters here are true-to-life and believable in look and action. With some sex and mature situations, this is for adult readers and recommended for all collections. S.R.Fraction, Matt (text) & Steven Sanders (illus.). Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From skyscraper to subway, fat cats to the homeless, here's the Big Apple envisioned by one of America's top graphic-novelists-a town without pity but teeming with terrific tales. Melodramatic chiaroscuro, head-spinning zooms from distance to extreme close-up, Gumby-like body language and muscle-twisting grimaces-the entire slam-bang-boom stock-in-trade of comic-book art is on display in this collection. By now, such eye candy is a bit cliched, but Eisner (1917-2005) was one of its prime confectioners. The Brooklyn-born artist (The Plot, 2005, etc.) honed his draughtsmanship over a four-decade career beginning in the '40s, and indeed, his way with a line was exceptional-his architecture impresses, his expressiveness rivals Daumier's. As a storyteller, his keynote was pathos. In "The Building," Monroe Mensh never gets over his failure to save a child from the city's mean streets; the beauteous Gilda Green marries a dentist but carries a torch for a poet all her life. In "The Power," Morris is gifted with miraculous, healing fingers, but can't cure his own son. In "Sanctum," Pincus Pleatnik, a dry-cleaning presser who "understood that being unnoticed is a major skill in urban survival" is mistakenly reported dead in the obituaries. Eisner's narratives are Chaplinesque in their heart-tugging mix of laughter and tears; even more instantly appealing are his vignettes. Largely shorn of dialogue, they're comic-strip silent movies: a great series on the smells of the metropolis, another on how its harried citizens handle time, another on New York City walls, which alternately serve as bulletin boards, mazes, backdrops and frontiers. Mainly what's marvelous is how much of New York Eisner managedto cram into his hyperactive panels. Incredible sights and bite-sized sagas of the city that never sleeps.
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, Will 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 eight decades—from the dawn of the comic book to the advent of digital comics—Will Eisner was truly 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.
During World War II, Will Eisner used the comic format to develop training and equipment maintenance manuals for the US Army. After the war this continued as the Army's P.S. Magazine, which is still being produced today. Will Eisner taught Sequential Arts at the New York School of Visual Arts. The textbooks that he wrote based on his course are still bestsellers. In 1978, Will Eisner wrote A Contract with God, the first modern graphic novel. This was followed by almost 20 additional graphic novels over the following 25 years.
The "Oscars" of the Comic Industry are called The Eisner Awards, and named after Will Eisner. The Eisners are presented annually before a packed ballroom at Comic-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 The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay is based in good part on Eisner. 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.