(1917-2005), born in Brooklyn NY, is recognized internationally as a giant in the field of sequential art, a term he coined. His cartooning career spanned nearly seventy years and eight decades.
EARLY CAREER… Eisner contributed to Wow, What a Magazine shortly after high school. While still a teenager, in 1936, he co-founded the Eisner & Iger Studio, a “packaging house” providing content to publishers at the virtual onset of the comic book industry. That same year he started his buccaneering saga Hawks of the Seas. Eisner’s early staff included such future luminaries as Jack Kurtzberg (later Jack Kirby, co-creator of Spider-Man and Fantastic Four), Lou Fine, Bob Kahn (later Bob Kane, creator of Batman), and Mort Meskin. Among Eisner’s early character creations were Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, Dollman and Blackhawk. At this shop Eisner famously turned down a crude submission called Superman by equally young creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. An autobiographical account of those formative years can be found in Eisner’s The Dreamer.
THE SPIRIT… In 1940, after selling his interest in the comic book packaging company to Jerry Iger, Eisner created his most famous character, The Spirit, a masked crime fighter. The Spirit was the lead feature in an unprecedented format: a 16-page color comic book that was inserted in Sunday newspapers, one of numerous Eisner innovations. Eisner assistants included Bob Powell, Lou Fine, Jules Feiffer (later famous as a satirist and playwright) and a 12-year-old Joe Kubert (Tor, Sgt. Rock, Tarzan). At its height The Spirit insert appeared in twenty major market newspapers with a combined circulation of 5 million readers each Sunday, quintupling the circulation of America’s best-selling monthly comic book.
is a fictional character created by writer-artist Will Eisner in 1948. Law is an eyepatched, pipe smoking Crossroads Police Department detective, who, with his shoeshine boy sidekick Nubbin, is featured in several adventures planned for a new comic series. These completed adventures were eventually adapted into Spirit stories, with John Law’s eyepatch being changed to The Spirit’s mask and Nubbin being redrawn to be Willum Waif or other Spirit support characters.
The original John Law stories were first reprinted in 1983 by Eclipse Comics. They were next published in Will Eisner’s John Law: Dead Man Walking (2004, IDW), a collection of stories that also features new adventures by writer/artist Gary Chaloner starring John Law, Nubbin, and many other Eisner creations including Lady Luck and Mr. Mystic.