Will Eisner. Graphic Novel Godfather
Will Eisner (1917-2005) is considered one of the founding fathers of modern comics. Born to poor Jewish immigrants from Austria and Romania, this artist, writer, “inventor” of the graphic novel, theorist, and producer grew up in Brooklyn and the Bronx. In 1939, he created “The Spirit,” his famous series about a masked gangster hunter. For Eisner, this was mainly about probing the causes of criminality and societal problems. His sophisticated dramaturgy, spectacular perspectives, subjective points of view, unusual cuts, and formal experiments were ground-breaking.
In 1978, he released a 196-page comic, “A Contract with God and Other Tenement Stories,” on the cover of which he definitively announced a new genre: “A Graphic Novel by Will Eisner.” Before his death in 2005, Eisner published several non-fiction books on the subject of “sequential art” and created another 16 highly ambitious graphic novels. Due to his Jewish background, Eisner fought prejudice and anti-Semitism throughout his life. In 2002, he received a lifetime achievement award from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture, adding to his numerous other honors and prizes.
Cartoonmuseum Basel presents this major artist for the first time in Switzerland, in a large-scale retrospective with original drawings, historical comic books, photographs and other contemporary documents.
St. Alban-Vorstadt 28