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Will Eisner: A Dreamer's Life in Comics
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Will Eisner: A Dreamer's Life in Comics

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  57 ratings  ·  14 reviews
In Will Eisner: A Dreamer's Life in Comics, Michael Schumacher delves beneath Eisner's public persona to draw connections between his life and his art. Eisner's career spanned a remarkable eight decades, from his scrappy survival at the dawn of comics' Golden Age in the late 1930s to the beginning of the twenty-first century, when Pulitzers began going to graphic novels (a ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published November 9th 2010 by Bloomsbury USA
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Sarah
I thought I knew a fair bit about Will Eisner. Many of his comics that I've read are at least quasi-autobiographical, and I had read interviews with other comic writers about his influence on their work. This book sets out to give greater insight into a comics pioneer. The subtitle is "A Dreamer's Life in Comics" and most of the book focuses on his work, not only on the comics that bear his name, but also on armed services safety manuals and other commercial work. Eisner may have been a dreamer, ...more
Casey
Do people who wrote autobiographical stories lend themselves to third party biographies? Do we need a Harvey Pekar biography? Eisner certainly covered the high points/greatest struggles of his life in his work...so I'm not sure the world needed this book.

That said, this bio gave more context to Eisner's work than the documentary "Will Eisner Profession: Cartoonist," but almost too much context. In many parts of the book Schumacher shifts the focus away from Eisner to breifly profile other artist
...more
Alexander Veee
With the exception of the novel's villains, who are largely caricatures motivated by greed or a lust for power, Eisner's characters in A Life Force are complex individuals trapped in a harsh world of daily survival, forced to make decisions that under other circumstances they might never have faced. They are the victims of life -- not the one they were raised to believe was possible, but the one they are forced to live. The Depression and the European immigration to New York City brought on by H
...more
Greg Allan Holcomb
Having read _Shop Talk_ and the forewords to the KSP versions of Eisner's work, and flipping through the DC versions I thought I knew a lot about Will Eisner. A lot of this book was familiar to me, but the interviews with actual people were in depth and fantastic. The bibliography for this was impressive and the research was extensive.

I am quite glad to have won this book from Goodreads.com (there's the government disclaimer) and was planning on releasing this book into the wilds of the local Li
...more
Cindy Samul
Will Eisner's life spanned the history and evolution of comics, from the cheap disposable entertainment of the 1930's to the award winning graphic novels we're familiar with today. Very early on Eisner recognized comics as a unique storytelling medium with potential far beyond what was being produced in the late 1930's. At the age of 19 and with $15 he started his own comics studio where he created his now famous "The Spirit." The biography goes on to cover his life during the war years, the com ...more
Brandy
I won this book in a First Reads giveaway. I'm a big fan of graphic novels and their history and thought I would enjoy this look at one of the pioneers, and I'm pleased to say that I was correct about that. I learned a lot about Will Eisner and his work, and I came away with admiration for both his art and his business sense. He's a great example to artists of all types that you don't have to sign away your art in order to make a living with it. My only quibble with the book is that I would have ...more
Carol
I'm really glad I won this book through Good Reads first-reads. It’s not the type of book I would normally pick up but it was really interesting. I'm a big fan of the Contract with God trilogy so it was interesting to learn more about the author’s life. He is a big part of making graphic novels what they are today. In fact he is the person credited with coining the term "Graphic Novel". I would recommend this to anyone interested in the history of graphic novels.
C.D. Reimer
This is a fascinating biography of Will Eisner, who had an enormous impact on the early days of comics and the development of the graphic novel later in life. One thing that keeps being mentioned over and over again was that Eisner was a businessman first and foremost. He wouldn't work with anyone unless he had a contract with the details worked out. Most comic artists weren't that great as business people and suffered from their ignorance.
Steven
A very good bio and history both of Eisner and the comics industry itself. There's enough info here to truly flesh out the significance of Eisner's work (especially his autobiographical graphic novels like A Contract with God) without losing the reader in minutiae.

Highly recommended for anyone thinking of a creative career as well as comics fans. Now to go and read The Spirit....
Jeremy
It was an ok book, I really like Will Eisner, I am a great comic book fan and all the other books related to it, it was really detailed, but I miss having more pictures of his work, I draw some myself and have always been interested in all of this kind of reading matter. If you are into this kind of art and comic anything this is a good book to have.
Wallace
Exemplifying Will Eisner's skills as a businessman and a successful promoter of a more mature vision of comics. Describes much of his later works as erratic in quality and content, but celebrates his support of the art.
Derek Royal
Glaring error on the publication of DROPSIE AVENUE. It was published in 1995, not after 9/11. The book is okay, but this is certainly not the biography that Eisner deserves.
Nevertaken
I won this book in a First Reads giveaway. I will review it once I've received it, and read it.
Christie
It's a great biography. Super researched so a little long.
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