Sunday, March 6, 2011

Happy birthday, Will Eisner!

Jeff Overturf and I might be the only two individuals to be tickled by the above graphic but that’s what you’ll see if you need to “Google” anything today…in honor of the legendary artist-writer-entrepreneur who created comic bookdom’s The Spirit, a cartooning studio and so many other contributions to the world of comics.  Eisner would have been 94 today, but unfortunately left this world for a better one in 2005.

I was first introduced to Eisner’s Spirit in Jules Feiffer’s The Great Comic Book Heroes (Feiffer was one of Will’s collaborators on the strip, along with other greats like Jack Cole and Wally Wood) and became a big fan of the man’s work as a result.  I happened upon the 2008 movie adaptation on one of the On Demand channels a few months back and while I’ll freely acknowledge the movie is a P.O.C. there’s something about its visual style that nicely captured the look of Eisner’s creation if anything else.  (Artist Frank Miller, who directed Sin City [2005], is the man responsible for bring The Spirit to the silver screen; the hollow, empty story and cardboard characterizations pretty much do the film in.)  I remember when the early discussions on making the film were underway I read somewhere where Samuel L. Jackson had agreed to do the movie and I said sort-of-out-loud: “Don’t tell me he’s playing Ebony.”  (As it turns out, he essays the role of The Octopus, the Spirit’s arch nemesis in a performance that allows him to make several trips to the Scenery Salad Bar for some real impressive chewing.)

Happy birthday, Mr. Eisner—one of my great comic book heroes...and thanks to Facebook chum and fellow old-time radio aficionado Sean Doughterty for pointing me toward the Google graphic.  (Sean also celebrates a birthday today.)

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Jeff Overturf said...

A very happy birthday to one of the greats. I had the pleasure of shaking his hand, not once, but twice at a San diego Comi-Con in the early 90's.

As gracious as can be.

lashel said...

Eisner was indeed one of the "Gods" of comics. I had the pleasure of meeting him numerous times, had dinner with him and even stayed over his house once while working on a project which never reached fruition. He was a great guy and an incredible talent. Larry S.

Rich said...

Zack Snyder directed 300, not Miller.

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

Zack Snyder directed 300, not Miller.

Which will no doubt come as a relief to Miller, I'll bet. Duty noted and corrected...thanks for keeping me honest.

Rich said...

No prob. I'm still pouring through your blog - there's a whole lot to look at! - but I'm liking it.