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Spirit

RIP, Will Eisner. .
NEW YORK Cartoonist/graphic novelist Will Eisner died last night in Florida following quadruple heart bypass surgery. He was 87. His newspaper connection included creating "The Spirit" insert for Sunday papers from 1940 to 1952. Jules Feiffer worked under Eisner on that comic feature from 1946 and 1951. Eisner received the 1995 Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award and the 1998 Reuben Award as cartoonist of the year from the National Cartoonists Society.
Eisner was a pioneer, as far as sequential art/graphic novels go. I thank him for paving the way for Sandman, Preacher, Transmetropolitan, Watchmen and all my favorites. He put the storytelling into comics. He made comics respected as art. He was a genius in his field and truly a pioneer who left an impressive legacy in his industry. [via Johnny Bacardi] Update: As noted in the comments, Frank Kelly Freas passed away yesterday. Update again: Read Neil Gaiman's post on Eisner.

Comments

Holy crow! Will Eisner basically invented, if not just mastered, sequential comic art. His panels flowed beautifully and his use of light, dark and especially rain were fantastic. His most recent work was ok, but his Spirit stories should be seen by everyone even remotely interested in comic narrative storytelling. My favorite was “The Story of Rat-Tat the Toy
Machine Gun.”, from 1949.

What horrible news! Eisner was one of the masters of the medium. His inking alone was just about the most incredible in the field (with the exception of Wood and Stout) and he really knew how to tell a story. May he rest in peace.
On a related note, I also heard yesterday that the great Frank Kelly Freas passed away. Another incredible artist who contributed so much to our pop culture mythology. I had the good fortune to talk with Freas in 1987 (or 88) at AmigoCon in El Paso, TX - he was a wonderfully patient man and answered all my questions while I was fanclubbing him - he seemed to really appreciate his fans and spent almost an hour chatting with 4 or 5 of us fanboys. Two great artists in two days. How depressing...

I only met Eisner once, and briefly, but I knew Kelly and his wife Laura quite well. Two more wonderful people could not be found anywhere. He was a gentleman in every sense of the word, and he did indeed love his fans.

Will Eisner was my favorite. My tribute to him here.