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Biography of Will Eisner (1917-2005)


Comic artist U.S. born in Brooklyn (New York) on March 6, 1917 and died in Lauderdale Lakes (Florida) on January 4, 2005. He was one of the first big names of international comic, and one of the best representatives of the glorious era of American comics. He was best known for the character of The Spirit. His real name was William Erwin.

Son of Jewish painter who emigrated from Vienna to New York and was employed as a Decorator of scenarios, his talent for drawing was expressed since I was a child. His first known drawing published it in the newspaper of the school in 1933, drawing entitled "At the 'forgotten' ghetto '. When I was young economic needs did work of seller of newspapers, which was for him a kind, because he knew the work of great cartoonists like Milton Caniff, Alex Raymond and George Herriman. Thanks to his influence, he decided to try their luck with the professional drawing, which began with the Herry Carey detective character, which gave a good dose of humor. The success was immediate, as publications like Wow or What magazine became interested in his drawings (although changed the name of the character by the Harry Carry). Also created at that time Flame, a history of pirates.

When he was still in his early befriended Samuel "Jerry" Iger, with which most later formed a study that would hire Bob Kane (creator of Batman) or Jack Kirby (creator of the fantastic four and Spiderman). This relationship, at least strictly work, continued until 1939, when Eisner was hired by the label Quality Comics as a writer, cartoonist, humorist and editor in Chief. From this period are his series of Doll Man, Uncle Sam, Wonder Man, Lady Luck, Black Hwak, etc.

In 1940 first drew the character that would make him famous, The Spirit, a comic that introduced new technical and narrative, close to the film, which included time ellipsis and onomatopoeias of sounds that would be soon followed by a generation of artists. The masked character, whose name was actually Denny Colt, a researcher with many cunning who had been dead, was followed by five million readers in its best moments and published in 20 newspapers at the same time. These publications were not mere strips, as they occupied a seven page booklet which became the forerunner of the format comic-book, so popular then among superhero comics. Called up in 1942, temporarily left his character in the hands of Lou Fine, until in 1945 he returned to him and did not draw him until 1952. However, in that period of time he made a very important informative work thanks to his comic character Joe Dope, who taught (with their own of a clumsy ways) the soldiers the basics of first aid and other momentous issues for his life at the front.

Another personage of great importance emerged from the pen of Eisner was Sheena (the Queen of the jungle), a character of great erotic charge that it was an alter ego female Tarzan and which was devised for the male audience. The marcatismo was in charge of that it is extinct in 1953, but his mark was undeniable in other later female characters.

Interested in the role that the comic has played as an instrument of communication in society, he founded the American Visuals Corporation, which produced booklets and newspapers to U.S. Government services, as well as several humorous Collections. In fact, Eisner became a theoretician of the comic's enormous influence, and developed a very important work as a teacher of the genre, in his position as Professor at the school of Visual Arts in New York. Thanks to it were published two crucial works in the evolution of comics: comics and sequential art and graphic storytelling.

Forgotten for several years, since he devoted himself for a long time to advertising, would be at the end of the 1960's when he returned to be recognized for their work, and even returned to draw new volumes. This contributed to be granted the Yellow Kid in the Lucca Festival award in 1974, and the Grand Prix of the International Salon of the comic strip of Angoulême. In these circumstances, he edited Dios contract, a work that mixes autobiographical and fictional elements, and which has been described as a true "graphic novel". This work was a real event that made that from that time Eisner was considered one of the greatest figures of the comic world, by their talent, their ability to renewal of the genre and its great artistic sensitivity.


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