Google Doodle Celebrates Will Eisner's 94th Birthday

Posted by Grey Monday, March 7, 2011

One of the most influential creator in the comic industry, Will Eisner (March 6th, 1917 – January 3rd, 2005) would have turned 94 yesterday. Google, ever the zeitgeist media, conspired with writer/artist Scott McCloud for a special Google Doodle in honor of the iconic creator.

Unquestionably one of the important and influential contributor in shaping the comic book medium, Will Eisner, the creator of "The Spirit" (in the love of all that sacred, please do not think of Frank Miller's atrocious film adaptation in 2008 when reading this one), was the one who single-handedly elevated the status of comics to sequential art, an art form now recognized as part of literature.

In collaboration with writer/artist Scott McCloud, Google honored the iconic creator with a special Google Doodle highlighting the unique artistic style of Eisner.

McCloud, in a tribute to Eisner, has this to say:

Eisner influenced comics in dozens of ways. In the ‘40s, Eisner’s The Spirit—a seven-page newspaper feature—introduced an arsenal of visual storytelling techniques still used generations later, and provided an early testing ground for future comics stars including Jack Kirby and Jules Feiffer. (The Spirit also began a tradition of pictorially-integrated logos—inspiring today's snazzy rooftop doodle!)

Eisner was one of the first cartoonists to understand the power of visual education, and wrote eloquently about the process of making comics in Comics and Sequential Art (1985) and Graphic Storytelling (1996). As early as 1941, he publicly advocated treating comics as a distinct literary and artistic form, and—nearly four decades later—was instrumental in the rise of the graphic novel in America, beginning with A Contract with God in 1978.

For most of his career, Eisner was years, even decades, ahead of the curve. I saw him debating artists and editors half his age, and there was rarely any question who the youngest man in the room was. It helped that he never stood on ceremony. Everyone was his peer, regardless of age or status. None of us called him “Mr. Eisner.” He was just “Will.”

Do check out the article for the full tribute.


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