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Comics and Sequential Art Paperback – 28 Sep 2001

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Paperback, 28 Sep 2001
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Product details

  • Paperback: 164 pages
  • Publisher: Poorhouse Press (28 Sept. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0961472812
  • ISBN-13: 978-0961472818
  • Product Dimensions: 25.9 x 21.5 x 1.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 720,003 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

WILL EISNER was born on March 6, 1917 in Brooklyn, New York, USA. By the time of his death on January 3, 2005, Will Eisner was recognized internationally as one of the giants in the field of sequential art, a term he coined.

In a career that spanned nearly eight decades -- from the dawn of the comic book to the advent of digital comics - Will Eisner was truly the 'Father of the Graphic Novel' and the 'Orson Welles of Comics.' He broke new ground in the development of visual narrative and the language of comics and was the creator of The Spirit, John Law, Lady Luck, Mr. Mystic, Uncle Sam, Blackhawk, Sheena, and countless others.

During World War II, Will Eisner developed the comic format to for training and equipment maintenance manuals for the US Army. After the war this continued as the Army's "PS Magazine" which is still being produced today. Will Eisner taught Sequential Art at the New York School of Visual Arts for 20 years. The textbooks that he wrote were based on his course and are still bestsellers. In 1978, Will Eisner wrote "A Contract with God," the first modern Graphic Novel. This was followed by almost 20 additional graphic novels over the following 25 years.

The "Oscars" of the Comic Industry are called The Eisner Awards, and named after Will Eisner. The Eisners are presented annually before a packed ballroom at San Diego Comic-Con, America's largest comics convention.

Wizard magazine named Eisner "the most influential comic artist of all time." Michael Chabon's Pulitzer-prize winning novel "Kavalier and Clay" is based in good part on Eisner. In 2002, Eisner received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Federation for Jewish Culture, presented by Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Art Spiegelman.

Like the Will Eisner Official Site on Facebook and visit for more information about Will Eisner.

Product Description


"Indispensable technique from the mind of the master cartoonist who developed them." -- Jeff Smith, creator of Bone --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Eisner has created the most insightful and dynamic examination of the comic art form to date. It's perfect for use by the serious student, practicing professional and curious comic fan. The accumulation of ideas, theories and advice, culled from more than sixty years' experience, is stunning to behold.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
In modern times the daily newspaper strip, and more recently the comic book, provide the major outlet for sequential art. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 April 2002
Format: Paperback
Absolutely essential reading for anyone who wants to write, draw or just understand better the medium of sequential art. It deconstructs the way a comic book artist comminicates with the audience, bringing into clear focus what is often subconscious knowledge. It looks at all the tools of visual communication from the words and text to timing, framing etc. Lots of well labled examples from Will Eisners own work (it would have been nice to see a few examples of how other graphic novel illustrators do it. I found the text a little hard to follow in places but not detremental to the overall value of this book. A first rate bible and reference manual for this genre of illustration.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on 28 Jan. 2004
Format: Paperback
"Comics & Sequential Art" is based on a course Will Eisner taught at New York's School of Visual Art although originally this work was written as a series of essays that appeared randomly in "The Spirit" magazine. Eisner provides a guide book to the "principles & practice of the world's most popular art form, and while it is of interest to those of us who read comic books it is clearly intended to be of use to aspiring comic book artists (and writers, albeit to a lesser degree). One way of measuring the book's success is to note that I have the 24th printing of a work that was first published in 1985 (and expanded in 1990 to include print and computer), but then the fact that the book was written by Eisner and uses dozens of examples of his own art work to evidence his points, as well as drawings down specifically for the book, is enough to tell you this is something special.
There are eight lessons in Professor Eisner's syllabus: (1) Comics as a Form of Reading looks at the interplay of word and image in comic books that has created a cross-breeding of illustration and prose, including the idea of how text can be read as image, which shows the sense of detail Eisner brings to his subject. (2) Imagery begins with the idea of letters as images and develops a notion of how the "pictograph" functions in the modern comic strip as a calligraphic style variation. The key subject here is that of images without words. (3) "Timing" considers the phenomenon of duration and its experience as an integral dimension of sequential art, with Eisner drawing (literally) a distinction between "time" and "timing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 30 July 2008
Format: Paperback
My guess is that a hundred people have heard of this work for every one who has actually read it. At the time the book was developed, you could only find this information by taking Will Eisner's class at the New York School of Visual Art.

Unless you haven't been paying attention to comics, you will probably find that you already understand most of the key messages: words and illustrations combine to form imagery; time elapses between panels and the pacing of the time involved affects how you react to the story; the frames around the panels and pages as a mechanism for tying the story together; using anatomy and expression to extract emotion from readers; how to combine words and illustrations for best effect; the potential to use sequential art in more than comic strips and books; and new technologies for making comics and sequential art.

As for me, the only section that I found rewarding was the extensive middle section on panels. Maybe I'm obtuse (I probably am), but I've often found it difficult to follow and understand the choice of panel structure on pages in Golden age comics. Mr. Eisner thoughtfully provides extended sections from The Spirit to demonstrate why he made the choices he did and what he hoped to accomplish. It was like a Rosetta Stone for translating what some of those odd pages are supposed to do. For that section, it was worth reading the book. The other sections I could have skipped and not missed anything.

I also recommend you read Scott McCloud book's about comics and sequential art: They are more rewarding in terms of setting out the issues and opportunities.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Mf Jamma on 14 Feb. 2006
Format: Hardcover
Eisner is definantly the master of comic books, even though he's not with us anymore. This amazing book is the definant companion to any other instructional art book, whether it be 'How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way' or 'Comics Crash Course'. Mr Eisner shows you how movie frames compare to comic panels, how calligraphy inspired certain posture and the effect of unlimited space. He provides storytelling examples on writing a comic script, creating beautiful composition and the preparation before doing the work.
Other essential elements you'll learn about include why most comics are not considered English literature material, how an artist lays down the 'acting' for his characters and how silent comics can still communicate their message to the reader!
Like all the professionals, I will start with this book whenever I draft any piece. Stick with Eisner. He, alongside other greats like the Manga-god Osamu Tezuka, invented these techniques.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Biff TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 April 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The essential guide to the techniques of comicillustration.

Will Eisner was one of the great prononents of comic art in the 1940's and 50's and although not so well known in the Uk he has alsmost legendary status in the US.

Covers everything you need to know - from layout, text, composition and the psychology behind the comic itself.

If you have any interest in comic art then this book should be on your shelf.
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