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Will Eisner Honored in “Spirited” Interviews

by  in Comic News Comment
Will Eisner Honored in “Spirited” Interviews

Official Press Release


M Press/Dark Horse Comics is pleased to announce an online extension of Bob Andelman’s critically acclaimed new biography Will Eisner: A Spirited Life. In the weblog “Interview Series,” debuting on June 12 at http://www.aspiritedlife.com/blog/, Andelman will publish a new Q&A interview with comics artists, writers and publishers with all-new stories to tell about legendary artist and writer Will Eisner.


The series begins this Monday, June 12, with a controversial uppercut from artist Howard Chaykin (American Flag, Blackhawk), who reveals himself as something less than a fan of Will Eisner the man. In fact, Chaykin says he nearly came to blows with Eisner at a comic book convention in Barcelona after Eisner implied that Chaykin was “fascistic.”


“I offered Joe Kubert $10 to kick his ass,” Chaykin said, “and Kubert said that for $20 he would think about it.”


Here is a look at the starting lineup for “Will Eisner: A Spirited Life Interview Series”:


• June 12 Howard Chaykin, artist, nearly comes to blows with Will Eisner

• June 19 Mike Richardson, president of Dark Horse Comics, recalls the influence Eisner had on him as a writer and businessman

• June 26 Drew Friedman, artist and former Eisner student, takes strong issue with Eisner’s stories about him and his father, novelist Bruce Jay Friedman, in A Spirited Life

• July 3 Abe Foxman, executive director of the Anti-Defamation League, describes efforts to distribute Eisner’s final graphic novel, The Plot: The Secret Story of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in Arabic language newspapers in the Middle East

• July 10 Denis Kitchen, Eisner’s agent and friend, updates a host of new and in-process Eisner projects from print to film and radio

• July 17 Pete Poplaski, illustrator and former art director at Kitchen Sink Press, describes his work finishing Eisner’s final instructional book and recalls his earlier experiences with Eisner

• July 24 Ted Cabarga, former production director for Eisner’s American Visuals company, describes working for Eisner on PS magazine from 1959-73 and how Eisner changed after the death of his daughter

• July 31 Scott & Bo Hampton, brothers and artists, recall apprenticing for Eisner in the mid-1970s while Eisner completed his landmark graphic novel, A Contract With God


Additional interviews are in the works as well.


“A chance meeting with Howard Chaykin in February put the ‘Interview Series’ in motion,” biographer Bob Andelman explained. “Even after almost three years of conducting interviews and reporting for the biography, I keep finding more and more people with interesting stories to tell or conflicting points of view on Will Eisner. In print, the book is done, but on the Web, there’s no reason the man’s life story can’t continue to be told. And I think people who already read the book will be surprised that not everyone interviewed for this new series is a fan of Will’s, although many are.”


In recent months, Andelman has made well-received presentations about Eisner at the International Comic Arts Festival at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, the St. Petersburg Times Festival of Reading, the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco, the Ringling School of Art & Design in Sarasota, Florida, and the Milwaukee Art Museum.


“Will Eisner: A Spirited Life” features an introduction by Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay) and an appreciation by master comics artist Neal Adams. In its review of the book, the Miami Herald called it “… entertaining and enlightening, capturing Will’s extraordinary character and dignified presence quite nicely.”And in his five-star review, Tony Isabella of the Comics Buyers Guide said A Spirited Life is “a must-have item for any serious devotee of the comics art form.” The book was a finalist for the 2005 British Eagle Awards.


Interview Requests: interviews@aspiritedlife.com or 727-896-2600


Speaking Invitations: presentations@aspiritedlife.com or 727-896-2600


Request a Review Copy of “Will Eisner: A Spirited Life”: Jeremy Atkins, Publicist, jeremya@darkhorse.com or 503-905-2315


Download High Resolution, Color Photo of Author Bob Andelman: http://www.aspiritedlife.com/high-res.html


Read Reviews of “Will Eisner: A Spirited Life”: http://www.aspiritedlife.com/reviews.html


ABOUT WILL EISNER: Pop culture would never have been the same without Will Eisner. Internationally recognized as the founding father of an utterly American medium-comic books-Eisner pioneered this art form in the late 1930s, and continued to shape its direction until his passing at 87 in 2005. This personality-driven biography, written by Bob Andelman, explores the fascinating life of Eisner and details a career that stretched over 70 years. Eisner spearheaded the cause of comics for adult readers (including 30 years spent producing comics for the U.S. Army and corporate clients such as General Motors and the United Nations) and in 1978 published the first widely recognized graphic novel, A Contract With God.


Eisner trained some of the world’s greatest comic art talent: Bob Kane (Batman); Jack Kirby (Fantastic Four); Jules Feiffer; Dave Berg (Mad); and Joe Kubert (Tarzan). Eisner also inspired generations of modern artists and writers, including Frank Miller (Sin City), Robert Crumb, Harlan Ellison, Neil Gaiman (Sandman, American Gods), Dave Gibbons (Watchmen) Brad Bird (The Incredibles), Patrick McDonnell (Mutts) and Art Spiegelman (Maus).


“The Spirit,” Eisner’s most famous comics character is in pre-production as a major motion picture from Batman Begins producer Michael Uslan. And the Spirit will join the DC Comics Universe in December in an ongoing monthly title that will bring the character into the realm of Batman and Superman for the first time. The “Oscars” of the comic book world are the “Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards,” have been given annually at San Diego’s Comic-Con International since 1987.


ABOUT BOB ANDELMAN: Bob Andelman is the co-author of nine books including three bestselling business management books, including “The Profit Zone” (with Adrian Slywotzky), “Built from Scratch”(with Home Depot co-founders Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank) and “Mean Business” (with notorious corporate turnaround specialist “Chainsaw” Al Dunlap). He is also author of three books with sports themes – “Stadium For Rent,” “Why Men Watch Football” and “The Corporate Athlete.” Andelman has lived in the Tampa Bay area since 1982. He has a bachelor’s degree in film studies with a minor in American literature from the University of Florida. He and his wife, Mimi, an editor at the St. Petersburg Times, have been married since 1988 and have a 9-year-old daughter. For more information, please visit http://www.andelman.com.

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