Organized by the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation, Will Eisner Week features a series of events to be held March 1 to March 10 in more than a dozen cities around the country to honor the work and career of the great comics innovator Will Eisner (1917-2005), the comics medium and the graphic novel format. Will Eisner Week 2013 also marks the 35th anniversary of the publication of A Contract With God, his acclaimed and pioneering 1978 collection of comics short stories.

Events will be held in Savanah, Ga., Arkadelphia, Ar, Portland, Or., Minneapolis, Minn., New York, San Francisco, Seattle and other towns. Events include every thing from screening Portrait of a Sequential Artist, a documentary on Eisner to readings from his graphic novels and panel discussions to lectures on his works. For more information and a schedule all the events slated for Will Eisner Week check out the Will Eisner website.

Considered to have created one of the earliest graphic novels, the late Will Eisner was born in the Bronx and is a central figure in the creation of the American Comic book, as well as a pioneer in establishing the beginnings of the comic book industry of the 1930s. While A Contract With God is a series of comics stories linked by their examination of Jewish urban life in New York, Eisner is credited with pioneering the creation of the “Graphic Novel,” the book length narrative comics work, as well as using comics in education and institutional training. After the publication of A Contract With God and Other Tenement Stories in 1978 Eisner released a series of standalone graphic fiction that include The Building, To the Heart of the Storm, Dropsie Avenue and A Life Force.

The theme for this year’s Will Eisner Week is “Read a Graphic Novel," Danny Fingeroth, said Will Eisner Week Organizing Committee Chair, “This year, we will be having Will Eisner Week celebrations in more places than ever before. The people doing the events are planning some amazing happenings that will spread the word about how cool graphic novels are, and that celebrate Will Eisner’s astonishing body of work done over a career that spanned seven decades.”