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R.I.P. Will Eisner (1917-2005)

#1 · Posted: 5 Jan 2005 16:06
Comic writer, artist and creator, Will Eisner, died on January 3rd aged 87 - one of the masters of the comic strip artform from the American 'Golden Age'.

#2 · Posted: 6 Jan 2005 10:41
This was a real downer for me; my brother told me the other day.

I was very fortunate to meet Mr. Eisner when he made a guest appearance at a comic-book convention in Glasgow in the Eighties. He gave a seminar on sequential art over two days, which was great.

I spotted him afterwards in a lounge eating his lunch, and waited to one side for him to finish his sandwich. He was actually then accosted (I think “mugged” comes closer to expressing it...) mid-bite by some obnoxious loud woman, who insisted on getting him to sign books for her. She then charged off, and with what could be called mutual bewilderment, left me and Mr. Eisner to exchange “Well what was that?” kind of looks.

He ordered a coffee, and then seeing that I was still hovering, clutching “Signal From Space” (not his best book, to be honest), gestured for me to come over - at which point mugger-lady suddenly steam-rollered her way back between us, and stuck another book under his nose, and demanded that he draw her The Spirit. Frankly I think he was too nice, but he graciously did her a sketch, and off she went.

He then apologised to me for her (!), signed my book, and then drew me a head and shoulders portrait of The Spirit in my sketch-book, which even slightly faded, is a treasured posession, and a lovely souvenir of meeting a very gracious and creative man.

I don’t think I have met many (or even any other?) people of historic significance, but I think he falls into that category.
#3 · Posted: 6 Jan 2005 11:36
That's a great little tale, and lovely to have a sketch by him. I have always been very partial to 'A Contract with God' which I have read and re-read a number of times. What amazes me about his work is how modern even some of his oldest stuff looks - he really used the language of comics to its fullest.

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