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Caroline and Erwin Swann Foundation for Caricature and Cartoon

Will Eisner on the Graphic Novel

Frontispiece from A Contract with God
Will Eisner,
Frontispiece from
A Contract with God

© 1978 Will Eisner

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Will Eisner, universally acknowledged as one of the great masters of comic book art, discussed the Graphic Novel. This event, which was free and open to the public, was co-sponsored by the Prints and Photographs Division and the Swann Foundation for Caricature and Cartoon.

A compelling visual storyteller, Eisner is considered to be one of the most influential comic book artists of all time. He has been called "the Leonardo of the comic-book form" and the "single person most responsible for giving comics its brains."

Since the 1930s, Eisner has written and illustrated numerous comic books and weekly strips, including the internationally acclaimed "The Spirit"(1940-52), instructional comics for the U.S. Army and 16 graphic novels. The Will Eisner Comic Industry Award is named in his honor as a testament to his contributions to the field. Eisner coined the phrase "graphic novel" to describe a substantial comic book, often over 200 pages in length that consists of a single dramatic story or several interconnected narratives told through expressive illustration art. In the lecture, Eisner discusses his own approach to writing and illustrating graphic novels and explores his views on the evolution of popular visual media. Images from early wordless books and a variety of recent graphic novels are be shown, along with a selection of Eisner's own drawings.

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  March 25, 2022
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