cover image Will Eisner Reader: Seven Graphic Stories by a Comics Master

Will Eisner Reader: Seven Graphic Stories by a Comics Master

Will Eisner, William Eisner. Kitchen Sink Press, $9.94 (10pp) ISBN 978-0-87816-129-4

Two of the seven stories in this collection (culled from Will Eisner's Quarterly magazine) show a side of Eisner little seen since The Spirit , his Sunday supplement in the 1940s and 1950s: his sense of humor. ``The Telephone'' is an amusing collection of one-page phone vignettes that highlight the more bizarre aspects of that instrument (for instance, a burglar who answers a ringing phone in a doctor's office and leaves off rifling through the drawers in order to offer medical advice). Black humor suffuses ``The Long Hit'': an assassin never manages to complete a job in 1934; 51 years later, having retired to Florida, he meets the man he was supposed to kill. Of the remaining tales, only ``A Sunset in Sunshine City'' is worthy of what one would expect from a ``comics master.'' It involves a cafeteria owner named Klop who retires to Florida only to find himself preyed on by a neighboring widow in pursuit of a husband and by a son-in-law who wants Klop to hurry up and die so he and his wife will get their inheritance. The rest of the stories are either melodramatic or cliched. The collection also includes an excerpt from Eisner's To the Heart of the Storm . (July)