MCAD Min-Comics Con 2012

The Cartoon Art Museum celebrates Will Eisner Week with a spirited discussion of the legendary creator’s life and artwork on Sunday, March 8, 2015 from 4-5 pm.  San Francisco-based comic creators Mario Hernandez (Love and Rockets), Steve Leialoha (Fables), and Trina Robbins (Pretty in Ink) will discuss Eisner’s career and the impact that his work had on their own artistic endeavors.  

WILL EISNER WEEK is an annual series of celebrations that takes place in multiple cities, timed around Will Eisner’s March 6th birthday. Started in 2009, Will Eisner Week is dedicated to promoting graphic novel literacy, free speech awareness, and the legacy of Will Eisner. This year Will Eisner Week is once again a truly international celebration including England, Scotland and Italy.

For more details about Will Eisner Week, go to: http://www.WillEisnerWeek.com.

Will Eisner week may have ended, but our graphic novel display lives on! In celebrating the work of one of the godfathers of American comics, we’re also looking at the artists he fostered and inspired, whether directly or indirectly. (Fun fact: as noted in “The Great Women Cartoonists,” Eisner and Jerry Iger’s studio, Fiction House, hired more women cartoonists than any of the other major publishers at the time.)

Find these and more graphic novels on the 1st floor of the Jen Library!

I’m going to be helping with a comics workshop for kids at the Cambridge Public Library from 1 to 3 on Saturday (the 14th) as part of Will Eisner Week. If you’ve got kids, you are a kid, or if you’re short enough to pretend that you’re a kid, please come and drop by!

Saturday is also pi day (3/14/15), which is a special day in my own comics history, since the first comic I ever drew was a three page epic in which I defeated the Borg with the power of irrational numbers, a comic which I created in honor of pi day in 6th grade.

Will Eisner Week March 1-7, 2015

In the Sequential world, Will Eisner (1917-2005) is an awe inspiring genius! And this year is the 75th anniversary of his most famous title, The Spirit! At the age of 19, he was already running Eisner Iger Studios, creating comics with the hope of publication with such talent as Bob Kane, Lou Fine, Mort Meskin, and Jack Kurtzberg.  At the age of 23, he launched his series, The Spirit, in Sunday newspaper comic book inserts, running from 1940 to 1952.  The work was interrupted in 1942, when he was drafted into service.  He spent the war creating posters, illustrations, and comic strips for the troops.  He returned to The Spirit in 1945.  

He then founded the American Visuals Company, which produced instructional manuals in comic book form for business and government.  In the 1970s, Eisner revived The Spirit in a series of reprints.  During the same time period, he produced a series of “graphic novels.” A Contract with God was published in 1978.  The graphic novel brought a new level of seriousness and maturity to the comic arts, and strengthened his reputation as a true innovator in the genre.  He is considered the most influential comic artist and the Father of the Graphic Novel.

Established in 1988 and deemed the “Oscars” of the comic book world, the Eisner Awards are given out at Comic-Con International’s annual ceremony to honor the best works in the comic book industry.   Find out more about Will Eisner at WillEisner.com

In the Jen Library’s Special Collections department, we are celebrating Will Eisner Week with a display of books and comics. Come in and see them. Here is a list:  

Will Eisner’s the Spirit: artist’s edition. [San Diego, Calif.] : IDW Publishing, 2013. Call Number: SPC PN6728.S63 E4 2013 folio

The Spirit: a pop-up graphic novel.  By Will Eisner, San Rafael, CA: Insight, c2008.Call Number: SPC PN6728.S63 E4 2008 

Will Eisner reader: seven graphic stories by a comics master. By Will Eisner, Princeton, Wis.: Kitchen Sink Press, 1991. Call Number:  SPC PN6727 .E4 W5 1991 

A life force  By Will Eisner, Princeton, Wis.: Kitchen Sink Press, c1988.  Call Number: SPC PN 6727 .E4 L5 1988  

The Spirit  By Will Eisner, New York, N.Y.: Warren Pub. Co., 1974-1983.  Call Number: SPC PN6720.13.S747 S747 a number of single issues are available

Spirit jam Northampton, Mass.: Kitchen Sink Press, c1998. Call Number: SPC PN6727 .E4 S72 1998

The narrative corpse : a chain-story by 69 artists!  Richmond, VA: co-published by Raw Books and Gates of Heck, c1995. Call Number: SPC PN6727.N37 S65 1995 folio  One chapter by Will Eisner

It's Will Eisner Week! Recommendation #1: Mnemovore

The great thing about graphic novels is the perfect blend of art and literature. I love that graphic novels use two mediums to deliver something that words and art alone can’t quite reach.

Which is why my first recommendation for Will Eisner Week is Mnemovore by Ray Fawkes, Hans Rodionoff, and Mike Huddleston. What was so great about the way Mnemovore is put together, you ask. Let me show you:

That cover is flippin’ creepy! And the title. It took me about ten tries to wrap my brain around it. Which is ironic, considering the book’s premise. From Amazon:

Kaley Markowic is a world-class athlete, shattered by a calamitous accident. In the struggle to reassemble her mind, she encounters a monstrous, ancient predator hidden outside of normal human perception. Standing by and watching it devour everyone and everything she’s ever cared about is not an option…but fighting it might prove to be even worse!

And it does. No spoilers here, folks, but the art is pretty fantastic too.

Mnemovore is horror with a dash of creature feature thrown in for good measure. Don’t read it if you dislike a little violence or creepy crawlies.

The Rundown

Title: Mnemovore
Genre: Horror
Original Release: 2005
How old do you have to be to ride this ride?: 16+
Warnings: Violence, Awesome Ladies with Axes, Tentacles
Links: Amazon, Goodreads 

Will Eisner Week workshop today

Will Eisner Week workshop today

Today, find writer, Josh Dahl (Rapid City: Below Zero), teaching local kids how to write comics, as part of a week dedicated to comics visionary Will Eisner.
Million Year Picnic and The Cambridge Public Library host a series of workshops teaching young artists and writers what it takes to make comics.  The workshops run today, Saturday March 8th 2014, in the downstairs space at the Cambridge…

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Will Eisner Week events announced for US and UK

The Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation has announced the dates and schedule for the sixth Will Eisner Week, a series of events in more than a dozen cities designed to promote graphic novels, literacy, free speech and the legacy of the late cartoonist.

The celebration is scheduled in the week surrounding the late Will Eisner’s birthday on 6th March.

“This year, Will Eisner Week’s sixth, we are celebrating events in more places than ever,” organizing committee chair Danny Fingeroth said in a statement. “Some amazing people are planning some incredible events to spread the word about how significant graphic novels have become, and to celebrate Will Eisner’s astonishing body of work created over a career that spanned seven decades.”

Here’s the schedule: I’ve highlighted the UK events.

  • Feb. 27-March 1, Savannah, Georgia: The Savannah College of Art and Design will hold events run by Professor David Duncan featuring artist Kevin Cannon.
  • March 1, 7:30-9:00 p.m., San Francisco: The Cartoon Art Museum will host a presentation about James Bond as seen in comics including a little-known Spirit-James Bond connection – with museum chair Ron Evans and critic Alan J. Porter.
  • March 1, New York City: 1-2 p.m.: At the New Yorker Hotel. Mike Carbo’s Comic Book Marketplace: “The Genius of Will Eisner” panel with Danny Fingeroth, Howard Zimmerman (who worked with Eisner on a digital Spirit project), and a special, surprise guest or two.
  • March 1, Glasgow, Scotland: A screening of Will Eisner: Portrait of a Sequential Artist, by Jon and Andrew Cooke, at the Glasgow International Film Festival, followed by a reading of Eisner’s graphic novel A Family Matter, at the new building of the Glasgow School of Art.
  • March 1-7, Arkadelphia, Arkansas: Henderson State Univ’s Huie Library. “Will Eisner at War,” a display of Eisner’s work (P*S Magazine, To the Heart of the Storm, etc.), produced by the Comics Arts Club.
  • March 3, New York City: Parsons School of Design. “Will Eisner: Champion of the Graphic Novel.” Writer Paul Levitz (former president/publisher of DC Comics) will read from Will Eisner: The Dreamer and the Dream, Levitz’s work-in-progress about Eisner’s unique role in the evolution of the American Graphic Novel, to be published in 2015 by Abrams ComicArts.
  • March 4, New York City: Columbia University. “Celebrating Al Jaffee.” 7 p.m., 523 Butler Library. A panel moderated by Paul Levitz, featuring Jaffee, the inventor of the Mad Fold-In, who started his career working for Will Eisner; Mad art director Sam Viviano; and Mad cartoonist Peter Kuper.
  • March 5, Glasgow, Scotland. 6 p.m. Glasgow University. A Will Eisner Symposium/Roundtable followed T 8:00 PM by An Eisner-related comics quiz!
  • March 5: Portland, Oregon: 7 p.m.. The Art Institute of Portland, 1122 NW Davis Street. Open Space Room. Dark Horse Comics Executive Editor Diana Schutz gives an in-depth presentation on the innovative and prolific 70-year career of the founding father of sequential art, Will Eisner. As Eisner’s editor for several years until his 2005 death, Schutz brings a uniquely personal insight into his work.
  • March 6, Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Cambridge Public Library. A talk by Denis Kitchen and Paul Hornscheimer on Will Eisner, followed by a signing at the Million Year Picnic, 99 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge. [All Eisner books 10% off all week]
  • March 6, Amherst, Massachusetts: Time and place to be determined. Screening of a new documentary about comic book stores, which were a passion of Eisner’s.
  • March 7, Portland, Oregon: 7:30 p.m.. Floating World Comics, 400 NW Couch Street. Comic book legend Matt Wagner reads from Eisner’s “Invisible People,” with accompanying slides from the graphic novel. Wagner will talk about the impact of Eisner’s work and create a drawing inspired by Eisner, which will be given to one lucky attendee.
  • March 7-8, Minneapolis: Minneapolis College of Art & Design (MCAD) will host a mini-comic con, with a table of Eisner promotional materials and books. The documentary “Will Eisner, Profession: Cartoonist,” directed by Marisa Furtado, will be shown.
  • March 8, Minneapolis: Minneapolis College of Art & Design (MCAD). 12:00 noon. Screening, at the mini-comic con, of John and Andrew Cooke’s “Will Eisner: Portrait of a Sequential Artist.”
  • March 8, Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Cambridge Public Library. Art activity led by Jef Cjeka, followed with a signing by several Boston area cartoonists, including Paul Hornschmeier, at the Million Year Picnic, 99 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge. [All Eisner books all week at 10% off.]
  • March 8, Pittsburgh: The Toonseum hosts Jimmy Gownley who will be making a special appearance and discussing his latest book, “THE DUMBEST IDEA EVER!”
  • March 8, Sacramento, California. Wizard World Sacramento comics convention. “Why Eisner Matters,” a panel moderated by Danny Fingeroth, featuring artist and comics historian Trina Robbins, and UC Berkeley professors Tom Andrae and Mel Gordon.
  • March 15, New York City: Society of Illustrators/MoCCA. A special day of Eisner-oriented history and art lessons for students of the NYC High School of Art & Design, with practicing cartoonists including Dean Haspiel. facilitated by Danny Fingeroth. [Sorry, not open to the public.]
  • March 29, Seattle, 4:40 p.m. Emerald City Comic Convention panel: “Why Eisner Matters,” featuring Jeff Smith, Peter David, Jimmy Palmiotti, Matt Fraction, and Michael Avon Oeming.

Dates to be determined:

  • Glasgow, Scotland: The Glasgow League of Writers discussion: “From Script to Page: The Eisner Approach to Storytelling.”
  • Glasgow, Scotland: Eisner event at the Reading Group bookstore.
  • LONDON, England: Eisner panel discussion on Resonance 107 FM radio’s “Panel Borders” show. Panelists include author Richard Reynolds, host Alex Fitch, Ian Rakoff of the Victoria and Albert Museum comics collection, and Guy Lawley, former editor of the Comics Forum.
  • Angouleme, France: Venue TBD

Additional events are being planned for Los Angeles and Baltimore.