cover image Will Eisner: A Dreamer's Life in Comics

Will Eisner: A Dreamer's Life in Comics

Michael Schumacher, Bloomsbury, $28 (368p) ISBN 978-1-60819-013-3

An iconic figure in the world of comics, Will Eisner has stellar achievements worthy of the reverence shown by Schumacher (Wreck of the Carl D.). Fortified by intimate interviews, Schumacher's work shows an outsider during a Depression-era childhood, "an artistic dreamer and steely realist" determined to use his exceptional talent to forge a career. Eisner, his skills sharpened by an apprenticeship and a stint at Manhattan's noted Art Students League, created one of the first comics syndicates at a peak in the comics trend in the 1930s and '40s, recruiting such top names as Lou Fine, Bob Kane, and Jack Kirby. Despite wars, a congressional probe on the "immorality" of comics, and the cancer death of his daughter, Eisner produced remarkable work over eight decades: as a young artist, as the creator of a classic superhero, the Spirit, and as the father of the American graphic novel with his Contract with God trilogy. This exploration of Eisner, with photos and drawings, provides an absorbing glimpse of an American original who continually set the bar higher in his field. (Dec.)