Book Review: Will Eisner: A Centennial Celebration

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This oversized 176-page hardcover is the official catalogue to exhibitions at Le Musée de la Bande Dessinée in Angoulême and The Society of Illustrators in New York.

Collected within are artworks from Will Eisner's extensive career in making comics. The selected works are curated by Denis Kitchen and John Lind. The selection is quite balanced in the sense that there are almost equal amount of artworks from all the stages in Eisner's career. So it's not just heavy on The Spirit but a representative retrospective.

There are pen and ink location sketches from the 1930s, some of the earliest existing pages of Espionage comics Eisner drew for Smash Comics, poster illustrations drawn for the army while he was enlisted in 1942, The Spirit of course, and various short stories he has created. It's great to see the whole spectrum of work.

I know there's another book called Will Eisner: Champion of the Graphic Novel by Paul Levitz but I've not read that so I can't really compare the content.

Just right behind the front cover is this quote by Harvey Kurtzman, "The Spirit [became] the standard by which other comic books would be measured." That's really an accurate quote. This book explores how the man became the comics legend we know today.

I felt like more could be written about Eisner's biography, but the amount of text included is just right for a book like this. I really do need to check out Paul Levitz's book too.

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This book was borrowed from Basheer Graphic Books for review purposes. You can order the book from them. Check with Basheer on Facebook.

Will Eisner: A Centennial Celebration is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | JP | CN) and Book Depository

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