The Will and Ann Eisner Foundation unveiled an international slate of events to mark Will Eisner Week 2014, held March 1-7, an annual event to celebrate the life, work and influence of Will Eisner, a pioneering golden age comic book artist and one of the most innovative creators in the history of the comics medium. Will Eisner Week will feature a host of events—from panels and discussions to exhibitions and film documentaries—held in cities in the U.S. and abroad.

Will Eisner Week is once again focused on the theme of “Read a Graphic Novel!,” says comics writer, educator and organizer Danny Fingeroth, chair of the Will Eisner Week organizing committee. Will Eisner Week is held each year during the week of Will Eisner’s birthday, March 6.

“This year, Will Eisner Week’s sixth, we are celebrating events in more places than ever,” he said noting multiple events in New York City (held at Parsons School, Columbia University and the Society of Illustrators), London and Glasgow, Scotland. “Some amazing people are planning some incredible events to spread the word about how significant graphic novels have become, and to celebrate Will Eisner’s astonishing body of work created over a career that spanned seven decades.”

The foundation has released a complete schedule of the events to be held during Will Eisner Week 2014.

A pioneer in the formation of the American comics industry during the 1930s and 1940s and one the medium’s most inventive and imaginative creators, Will Eisner (1917-2005) is best known as the creator of the Spirit, a 1940s-era newspaper comic strip that also served as a laboratory of innovation in comics storytelling technique. He is the author of A Contract With God, an acclaimed collection of linked, literary short stories published in 1978, arguably considered one of the first graphic novels or book format comics. Eisner was also a pioneer in the creation of nonfiction and educational comics.

The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the National Book Awards of the comics industry, are named after him and are presented each year at the San Diego Comic-Con International to the best comics works, artists and writers of the year.