38 Facts About Will Eisner


William Erwin Eisner was an American cartoonist, writer, and entrepreneur.


Will Eisner was one of the earliest cartoonists to work in the American comic book industry, and his series The Spirit was noted for its experiments in content and form.


Will Eisner was an early contributor to formal comics studies with his book Comics and Sequential Art.


Will Eisner aspired to be an artist, and as a teenager painted murals for rich patrons and Catholic churches in Vienna.


Will Eisner made what living he could painting backdrops for vaudeville and the Jewish theater.


Will Eisner's mother, Fannie Ingber, was born to Jewish parents from Romania on April 25,1891, on a ship bound for the US.


Will Eisner's mother died on her tenth birthday and was quickly followed by her father.


Will Eisner grew up poor, and the family moved frequently.


Young Will Eisner often got into physical confrontations when subjected to antisemitism from his schoolmates.


Will Eisner's family were not orthodox followers of Judaism; Eisner himself, while he prided his cultural background, turned against the religion when his family was denied entry to a synagogue over lack of money for admission.


Young Will Eisner was tall and of sturdy build, but lacked athletic skills.


Will Eisner was a voracious consumer of pulp magazines and film, including avant-garde films such as those by Man Ray.


In 1930, the situation was so desperate that Will Eisner's mother demanded that he, at thirteen, find some way to contribute to the family's income.


Will Eisner entered working life selling newspapers on street corners, a competitive job where the toughest boys fought for the best locations.


Will Eisner drew $10-a-page illustrations for pulp magazines, including Western Sheriffs and Outlaws.


Will Eisner subsequently wrote and drew the pirate strip "The Flame" and the secret agent strip "Harry Karry" for Wow as well.


Will Eisner said that he declined the offer; he described the decision as "one of the most difficult moral decisions of my life".


In 1939, Will Eisner was commissioned to create Wonder Man for Victor Fox, an accountant who had previously worked at DC Comics and was becoming a comic book publisher himself.


Iger Studio and as Phoenix Features through 1955, for $20,000, Will Eisner left to create The Spirit.


Will Eisner has cited the Spirit story "Gerhard Shnobble" as a particular favorite, as it was one of his first attempts at injecting his personal point of view into the series.


Will Eisner was drafted into the US Army in "late '41, early '42" and then "had about another half-year which the government gave me to clean up my affairs before going off" to fight in World War II.


Will Eisner continued to work on that and its 1950 successor magazine, PS, The Preventive Maintenance Monthly, until 1971.


Will Eisner illustrated an official Army pamphlet in 1968 and 1969 called The M16A1 Rifle specifically for troops in Vietnam to help minimize the M16 rifle's notorious early reliability problems with proper maintenance.


Will Eisner's style helped to popularize these officially-distributed works in order to better educate soldiers on equipment maintenance.


Will Eisner's most trusted assistant on The Spirit was Jules Feiffer, later a renowned cartoonist, playwright and screenwriter in his own right.


Will Eisner credited the 1971 Comic Art Convention for his return to comics.


Will Eisner later elaborated about meeting underground comics creators and publishers, including Denis Kitchen:.


Will Eisner continued with a string of graphic novels that tell the history of New York's immigrant communities, particularly Jews, including The Building, A Life Force, Dropsie Avenue and To the Heart of the Storm.


Will Eisner continued producing new books into his seventies and eighties, at an average rate of nearly one a year.


Fagin the Jew is an account of the life of Dickens's character Fagin, in which Will Eisner tries to get past the stereotyped portrait of Fagin in Oliver Twist.


Will Eisner taught at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, where he published Will Eisner's Gallery, a collection of work by his students and wrote two books based on these lectures, Comics and Sequential Art and Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative, which are widely used by students of cartooning.


Will Eisner died January 3,2005, in Lauderdale Lakes, Florida, of complications from a quadruple bypass surgery performed December 22,2004.


DC Comics held a memorial service in Manhattan's Lower East Side, a neighborhood Will Eisner often visited in his work, at the Angel Orensanz Foundation on Norfolk Street.


Will Eisner was survived by his wife, Ann Weingarten Will Eisner, and their son, John.


Will Eisner has been recognized for his work with the National Cartoonists Society Comic Book Award for 1967,1968,1969,1987 and 1988, as well as its Story Comic Book Award in 1979, and its Reuben Award in 1998.


Will Eisner was inducted into the Academy of Comic Book Arts Hall of Fame in 1971, and the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1987.


In 2015, Will Eisner was posthumously elected to the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame.


Comics by Will Eisner are archived in the James Branch Cabell Library of Virginia Commonwealth University.