Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Will Eisner, R.I.P.

Will Eisner, one of the greatest forces in the world of comic books, died last night in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at age 87. He had recently undergone quadruple heart bypass surgery and died from complications.

Writes Bob Andelman, author of the upcoming biography Will Eisner: A Spirited Life:

"Will Eisner didn't create Superman, Batman, Spider-Man or even Archie and Jughead. Some comic book fans may scratch their heads when asked to describe his work. But every artist and writer in comic books, as well as graphic artists across the entire spectrum of modern illustration, television and film, owes debt to him."

More than 35 years ago, I began reading reprints of Eisner's extraordinarily clever stories (from the 1940s) about Denny Colt, aka The Spirit, a "dead" detective who lived in a cemetary and fought for justice. I'm still re-reading them today, and I get as much pleasure from them now as I did at the age of 14 or 15.

I will miss Will Eisner. Thankfully, his unique work will live on.


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