Will Eisner, an innovative comic-book artist who created the Spirit, a hero without superpowers, and the first modern graphic novel, "A Contract With God," died on Monday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where he lived. He was 87.Every artistic field has its "best-of" award: the Oscars, the Emmies, the Grammies. The annual awards for best comics are the Eisner Awards.
His seriousness helped bring mainstream attention to works like Art Spiegelman's "Maus" and Marjane Satrapi's "Persepolis." As Mr. Couch put it: "He drew on everything from Theodore Dreiser to the Talmud. He brought American literary naturalism to the comics. And he kept publishing these books until everybody woke up and said, 'Wow, these are books! This is an art form! We should take this seriously!' "
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
Today was New Comics Day, but a sad one, due to the death of Will Eisner, a giant in the field, the very first comics auteur. The New York Times wrote: