cover image Will Eisner's New York: Life in the Big City

Will Eisner's New York: Life in the Big City

Will Eisner, , intro. by Neil Gaiman. . Norton, $29.95 (423pp) ISBN 978-0-393-06106-2

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.)